A pre-announcement

Update: The campaign is now live!

Some of you may have heard about this already from my email or semi-public channels, but here’s the first public pre-announcement.

There’s no book-length treatment of the history of filk. There should be. I’ve started working on one, with the working title Tomorrow’s Songs Today. After considering the traditional paper option, I’ve decided to go with another crowdfunding campaign for an e-book, like the one for Files that Last. These days that makes more sense for a small-run book.

There will be one difference from FTL: This time I will be giving the book away if the goal is reached! I’m betting that there will be enough enthusiasm in the filk community to give the support needed to pay for copy editing and cover art and have something left over to compensate me for the time. I’ve been talking with the FTL team, and they’re willing to do it again.

So far I have a couple of chapters written, and I’ve compiled what I think is the biggest list of past filk conventions ever. I’m planning to interview lots of people, mostly by phone, to get as complete a picture of filk history as possible. There will be lots of interesting stories, but I’m not after dirt. I’ll have to deal with the Off Centaur mess of the eighties, but the focus will be on where it went wrong as a business, not the personality wars.

A stretch goal will be a higher level of editorial support, reviewing the chapters for content, not just for coherent writing. Another might be artwork and photography. Premiums could include mention in the book, mugs or T-shirts, and a hardcopy version of the book. At the high end, perhaps I’ll offer something like creating a personal songbook for contributors.

This is just the pre-announcement. Starting up the actual campaign and asking for money will take some work to make it look good, especially creating the video. (If you’re local to New England and can help make the video, please let me know.) I’ll keep you posted if you’re following this blog. Please help to get the word out.

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Posted in General. Tags: , , . 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “A pre-announcement”

  1. Barbara Says:

    Is your book going to be us-centric or will it cover non-us filk? NZ had quite an active filk group in the late 80’s!

    • Gary McGath Says:

      You can tell me about NZ filk in the 80s? Please get in touch with me at garym (at) mcgath [dot] com so you can fill me in! Anyone else with knowledge about filk outside the Big Four countries (US, Canada, UK, and Germany) is likewise invited to. I know there is or was an active filk community in Israel, and there’s been a filk booklet published in Sweden.

  2. Kay Shapero Says:

    If you haven’t already, you should talk to Karen Anderson who is the person who actually first affixed the term “filk” to fannish songs. Goodness knows, a lot of people have tried their best to lose the origin in the mists of time, but there actually IS someone who knows the true story, no fooling.

  3. paul Says:

    You must know Erwin “Filthy Pierre” Strauss, but I’ll mention him just in case.

    You probably also know Margaret Middleton, publisher of what I think was the first filkzine, Kantele.

  4. John Says:

    Count me as interested.. What croudfunding site are you going to use?

  5. Kay Shapero Says:

    Me again. :) For filk on the net, you want to talk to Eric Gerds for his early filk BBS. I started the Fidonet FILK echo, which ultimately came onto the net as first alt.music.filk, then rec.music.filk.

  6. Margaret Middleton Says:

    Yes, Gary knows me, though I’m not sure whether we’ve ever met F2F. feel free to fire questions.

  7. thnidu Says:

    I’m available for editing. Not that I expect you to need much, but a second pair of eyes for typos, punctuation, slips, etc.; you know me.


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