Today is September 13. It’s also the Jewish holiday of Rosh-Hashanah. Back in 1988 I was in the 8th grade & September 13 was predicted to be the end of the world. People forget about it now I’m sure, but back then the guy who made the prediction & wrote a book about it was getting interviewed on Good Morning America & they were talking about it on the local news & all that. I assume some of the local churches in my town were preaching about it too because a lot of kids in my class were scared about it. My english teacher even made some statement about needing to do our homework, but not needing to turn it in if the world ended. While I grew up with a constant hope/dread of nuclear war or zombies to bring about the post-apocalyptic culture I knew I could thrive in, I wasn’t sure what to hope for in a religious armageddon. I mean, I already knew that I wasn’t living the type of life where God would tell me, “Well done my good & faithful servant,” & I wasn’t sure what kind of post-apocalyptic world would be left. It seemed like it might be significantly darker than Dawn of the Dead or Battletruck or the third part of Robotech & not possible for a 13 year old to survive no matter how metal & punk he might be. Of course, in the end nothing happened & I kept listening to Metallica & Christian Death.
So today is a good day to me & it’s been a good week.
(1) I’ve been getting work done on a pretty epic video for Irata’s new album & I’m hopeful with it coming out on a bigger label (Retro Futurist) that maybe something I’m working on will get a little more exposure than normal.
(2) In my alerts about where people are talking about Silber on the internet, I got two new mentions of QRD interviews used as citations for Wikipedia (for John Ostrander & Devo 2.0). It makes me feel a little more appreciated than I normally do. Which is nice.
(3) This past week I sent out my new batch of mini-comics & solicited to reviewers & for the first time in a while, people actually responded wanting me to send them review copies. Once again, the appreciation of work thing.
(4) When going through some old memo pads I found a half dozen comic scripts that I mis-placed that I got typed up. Two of them went out to artists. Two of them I’m supposed to draw. Two of them are for series that are waiting for another issue to come in first.
(5) The new Yellow6 & Remora came out this week & I sent out the newsletter & all that. Once again, people seem to actually care this time out. Which makes me feel great.
(6) Celebrating my good mood, I put some new sales up on the Silber site, including downloading the ten latest releases for $20.
& here are a couple videos for the upcoming release from Yellow6.
Been running into problems lately. I’m trying to change my mailing address on the Silber bank account (online errors out for some reason) & because I set up the account 20 years ago & the bank has been sold twice since then, the changing address thing has flagged them to ask me to do a ton of paperwork, which is ironic since my wife set up a DBA account two years ago without needing the paperwork they are requesting from me. Going to try to go to another branch at some point (of course there is only one in the town I’m in) & see if I can find a banker nice enough to let it slide. Hate to have to keep the old PO Box open forever.
A couple bands I’ve worked with in the past are on some other labels & getting a lot of press for their new releases. I’m happy for them of course & I know that the labels are spending money on professional publicists that may keep the records from ever recouping costs (or at the very least would for Silber), but it still makes me feel like a bit of a failure for the consistent decrease in press interest in Silber releases over the past couple years. I admit it, I’m old & don’t know how to relate to the current wave of taste makers (even those the same age as myself). I really think I’m ready to go to just the comps & 5in5s & admit other people can do better jobs with albums & other important releases. The only dilemma is all the people who do stuff for Silber are already exhausted with trying to find someone even as good as I am.
On the good news front, I finished reading what I thought would be my bleakest research book (the letters of Robert E Howard’s dad, mostly dealing with Bob’s death & the aftermath of that) & I am happy to say it is not nearly as dark as I feared & is more boring than depressing. I also have the art in for a few more books that I need to layout. Just need to make that happen. I also have submissions in for my next couple comps here on Silber, so it seems they are going to actually happen, which is positive.
I hope all is well. Things are rough here at Silber, but we are still getting things done & have some news for you.
First off we have a new issue of QRD. Over 25 interviews with guitarists, bass players, cartoonists, & label owners about their work plus a feature interview with Rivulets. I don’t know why, but I think this issue is especially good. Read through & let me know what you think.
I did the editing to make Fathers (the interview book about balancing art & family) available as a hardcover through Lulu. I’m pretty excited about it. It’s a little bit pricey, but Lulu usually has sales about once a month to give you 20% off if you keep your eyes open.
New music in our 5in5 series from Lure of the Unknown. It’s definitely toward the experimental electronic end of the spectrum & is five sound tracks to six-word microstories. Why not spend five minutes checking it out?
We also have a new collection of remixes of M is We’s “Sinking”. It’s free to stream or download over at Bandcamp. If you didn’t listen to the M is We album a couple months ago, the music is electroclash & synthpop & post punk oriented.
Some old friends of ours have some albums coming out over the next few months, I’m sure you are savvy enough to find info on the internet about the new albums from Low, Irata, & Lycia.
Hopefully we’ll have some new releases from Drekka, Kirchenkampf, Chvad SB, & Space Sweeper done soon. Life keeps pushing things back a little, but we’re sure we’ll win eventually.
While the comics’ front has been a little stagnant lately with actual releases, a lot is going on with scripts being written again. So hopefully the art will start to flow in & we’ll have stuff for you to read soon.
Thanks for your interest & support; as always, spreading the word about the work we’re doing can be just as helpful to us as financial support.
Last week the new issue of QRD came out. Forgot to post about it in the blog. I feel it’s a pretty strong issue with a lot of good interviews. It’s got guitarists, cartoonists, bass players, label owners, & even a feature interview with Rivulets. I’ll probably start working on the next issue next week.
A couple releases should be coming out pretty shortly. A remix collection of the M is We song “Sinking” & a 5in5 EP from Lure of the Unknown (Joeseph Simon). Then a couple more things I’m trying to prepare as well.
Lately I’ve been feeling somewhat inspired to get back to work on my comics. We’ll see what happens, but some collaborations with Nate McDonough (Grixly) & Jason Young (Veggie Dog Saturn) seem likely.
So a band I’m pretty good friends with is on a label that hired out the promos to a publicity company. A fairly highly thought of company at that. The promo company actually solicited me about the release because of QRD. The press release the label paid money for (which in the end the band is billed for) is pretty awful. Verbose & long & hard to read without even really hinting at what the music sounds like. WTF? Now I get why the few reviewers & DJs I’m in personal touch with tell me my press releases are good. I mean, I get it at the same time. If I were writing around 1000 press releases a year (sometimes the publicists sends me 8 emails promoting 8 different releases the same day) they would probably turn into something derivative & formulaic & hard to read also. Sometimes I feel like they are already doing that. I wish I’d just written the whole thing up for them. It’s both frustrating & a compliment. In a related compliment & frustration a band that I put out a 5in5 by that got only a couple reviews & a couple sales & I was apologetic about the lack of interest I could find complimented me on being the best label they’d ever worked with. WTF?
Man, I never seem to post to the blog these days, in part because it seems like I work on things that take longer to get done or maybe because I’m slower than I used to be.
So I laid out the Fathers book to get printed versions made through Lulu. I haven’t gotten my copies in yet, but I’m excited about having it as an object. I’m still hopeful about the collected editions of the interviews from QRD making longtail money ($5 a month for life or something), but it hasn’t happened as of yet. We’ll see how it all goes.
In other QRD news I’m working on the new issue. It has around 30 interviews & should be out sometime this week. I am going to try to get some other websites to co-publish some of the interviews to generate more exposure for the bands & of course for QRD as a whole & I’ll try to get the co-publishing going from here on out. We’ll see what happens. I’ve been kinda putting too much time & energy into QRD for the payoff the past couple of months, so we’ll see what happens.
I’ve been taking this social media course through Cyber PR & while a lot of it is review of what best practices are & stuff I already know & do or stuff I already know but I’m not going to do, I learned a bunch of features about Facebook ads that they didn’t used to have. Now you can import email addresses from a newsletter & advertise specifically to those people. So I’m running a $1 ad to get people on the Silber mailing list who don’t follow Silber on Facebook to like it over there. They also now have a thing where you can put a little tracking script on your page & you can advertise to Facebook users who’ve looked at a particular item. So I’m thinking about paying a penny a click to push the Silber catalog on Spotify (which pays around half a cent a song) to anyone who’s been on the Silber site. Or running a link to the QRD Patreon to people who read QRD. It really does seem like those raise possibilities of ads so highly targeted they can pay for themselves. It’s interesting if nothing else.
So yesterday I started taking a nine week social media course from Cyber PR (not sure, but I think the sign up window for the course is now closed). I get down about the lack of sales & the seeming lack of interest at Silber a lot. So I signed up for the course hoping to learn some tricks & week one is mainly a reminder of some things I’ve let slide. & while obviously one day later I haven’t really generated a lot of new interest or new sales, it has helped me feel a little more excited about what I’m doing & who I am. So I’m keeping it positive. First project I came up with is this if you want to follow along:
I just sent out 90 solicits for interviews for the next issue of QRD. Even though both the Fathers & Guitarists ebooks have so far been financial failures in the time to money ratio, both have seemed to have some positive personal impacts on individuals & sometimes I forget that is what everything I do is about. Positive impacts & making people feel less uniquely alone.
Finished posting stuff on Facebook groups about the new releases & about to finish contacting the press folks I only have web contacts for. So that means it’s time to do some new releases & start all over again. Lately it seems like I’m getting more reviews of year old releases than the new ones, but I’m pretending it’s because Silber is so cutting edge the world won’t be ready for us for another year.
Also worth noting I have the finished a big project blues & I’m trying to push on & get work done instead of wallowing in depression for a month. We’ll see who wins.
I don’t update the blog like I used to. Maybe one day I’ll get back to it, but I just realized I hadn’t really talked about the Kickstarter I have running that ends in a couple days. It was kind of a last minute thing, to do a Kickstarter for an ebook collecting the 100 interviews I’ve done with musician/cartoonist/artistic dads in time for Father’s Day. It did meet my ultra low funding goal where I make around $3 an hour for the time it takes me to make it, but way under my personal goal of 100 backers. That 100 number is what I set for myself as the point where I’d look into making a physical edition. At this point I’d say it seems pretty unlikely to hit that, but maybe there will be a long tail & it will make sense down the line. My hope is that after I get it up on Amazon & such it will be something to generate $10 a month for the next ten years & if I just right 99 other books with that degree of success I’ll be doing okay.
Anyway, a lot of other stuff going on. New releases are out & getting a little attention from M is We, The Infant Cycle, & What Does The Scanner See. Remix EPs coming from M is We & Philip Polk Palmer. New releases coming soon from Philip Polk Palmer, Chvad SB, Kirchenkampf, Remora, Space Sweeper, & more. Two new experimental comps we’re putting together for this fall. A bunch of comics out with artists. Everything looks like it’s going well except the finances!