Last few days for FREE downloads plus other updates

September 28, 2011
posted by sheric

In case you didn’t know, we have at long last released our book Selling Your Film Without Selling Your Soul and had a launch party last week in New York City. Thanks to all who turned out to wish us well and buy a physical copy (even though they could have a free one digitally, who knew?).

There are only a few days left to get your free digital download for whatever reading device you have and mostly for anywhere in the world. The text only pdf will always be free so there will be NO excuse to not have the helpful information inside no matter where you live. Unfortunately, iTunes sales will only work in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France and Germany.  Amazon sales will only work in the US, UK and Germany for now. We have a book distributor who is sorting out the printed edition for bookstores and he should be getting the book out in other countries IF iTunes allows digital books on those sites. Spain, for example, does not have digital books in the iTunes store much to the disappointment of my boys from The Cosmonaut :(

The .mobi and ePub files on our own site will work on these devices so you can manually download them from the site and upload to the device. These will be coming off of the site when the free period is over, so if you planned on getting a copy for free and from anywhere in the world, hurry up.

Here are a few quotes from filmmakers who have read the book:

“The book dispels misinformation that has been circulating with regards to actual income that can be derived by utilizing various types of deals involving and/or combining VOD, digital rights, theatrical releases and DVD sales and offers real life case studies that talk about the creative campaigns filmmakers have devised that are working.”

“So far I’m up to page 52 and I can assure you that this is absolutely essential reading for independent filmmakers. Indie producers, myself included, are usually quite coy about the financial side of filmmaking…Well, this book bares it all! I am shocked and delighted by the transparency of the filmmakers involved.”

“It’s a gold mine of information from a group of people that have gone out and done what someone like me, a person with a non-mainstream film, wants/needs to do.”-Jeff Barry Films


We are discussing plans for a Los Angeles launch party to coincide with DIY Days at UCLA on October 28 so our LA friends can celebrate with us. Stay tuned for details. Also regarding DIY Days, that is a FREE event (we LOVE free right?) and should be packed with filmmakers, gamers, hackers and all kinds of transmedia peeps in the LA area. Major networking going on there so make your plan to skip work that day and spend it on the UCLA campus.


I have been asked to participate in the International Women in Digital Media Summit (iWDMS) in Stratford, Ontario, Canada on October 25. The keynote speaker for the summit is Arianna Huffington which is awesome! Registration closes October 12. My panel is on  Distributing Digital Projects, Case Study: ‘Moderation Town’ and I will talk about connecting with audiences when distributing work digitally. If you are in Stratford, come say hi.


My lovely friend Tiffany Shlain has a new documentary releasing now and for the next few months across the United States called Connected. I saw it at Sundance this year and it blew me away. I love the subject matter of course (love of technology and proclaiming our Interdependence!) and she has been making the rounds online and on traditional media outlets to talk about the concepts behind her film. Here’s the trailer:

Join the film’s Facebook page for updates on where the film is playing and go see it.


Last update, the return of #filmin140 to Twitter. Yes, we took a hiatus for summer, but we plan to be back in October. Emails between Charles Judson, Mark Bell and I have been flying and we think our next session will be on using social media (believe me, the irony of using Twitter to discuss how to use social media with luddites did not escape us!) We have a few ideas for filmmakers who are doing this really well, but if you know someone or you ARE someone doing this, please send me a message @shericandler. No firm date in October yet, but it will be a Wednesday. Stay tuned for that.

Examine Your By Products For Possible Revenue

February 21, 2011
posted by sheric

In a moment of impulse buying at the mall (those who know me know I prefer digital books on a Kindle these days), I bought REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier and read it in an afternoon. I have found there are many useful nuggets of information inside that could apply to artists, not just big brands and companies. In the next few posts, I am going to highlight a few of these.

Sell Your By Products

The chapters in the book are super short, some half a page. This chapter is a 1 3/4 page. Basically, when you make work, you also produce by products of that work. The book example is lumber manufacturers. They make boards, but in the process they also make sawdust and wood chips that can be used to make other products for other industries. Those by products they sell as well as the boards, creating more revenue producing materials from their core product. The chapter posits all work has by products that could, with a little ingenuity, be sold. While physical production has by products or waste that are immediately apparent, digital work on the surface of things doesn’t, but perhaps you aren’t looking hard enough.

In developing software for 37signals, Fried’s team found that sharing their experiences of development and management of their business was also of value to their customers. They shared it on a blog that they still produce called Signal vs Noise which now has a readership of over 10k per day and eventually gathered the information together into their first book called Getting Real which has made the company over $2million in sales so far. The new book, REWORK, is also a by product of their work. They also turned it into a workshop series and the founders are regularly asked to present at prominent industry conferences. These are all revenue generating “products” and/or opportunities to market themselves and their products without buying advertising.

Let’s take this into the artist’s world. The book example is the band Wilco. While they were recording a new album (their core product), they filmed the process of making it including band in fighting and record label conflict. The result? A documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. It enabled them not only to have another revenue stream, but opened up their music to other audiences who like rockumentaries, feeding sales back into the core product.

Examining your own projects, are there by products you are producing, but not capitalizing on? Something your could make from the core work you are doing? These could be used for raising money on a crowdfunding campaign (in the form of perks) or as a separate revenue generator. Could you develop a technique you  are using with a camera or audio program to share as an ebook or a short course? Did you take any fantastic photos during a location scout or while you were in production that could be put together in a high quality physical book or a digital slide format? Are there revenue sharing opportunities you could develop in tandem with the work of one of your fans? My friends working on The Cosmonaut project have teamed up with a music producer fan in Germany to develop a separate soundtrack of music inspired by their script. They didn’t have the expertise to develop their own songs, nor could they afford to pay to license music for a soundtrack so the partnership will benefit both parties. The by product of developing their project in tandem with building their audience by sharing the process was inspiring one of those audience members to develop a separate product to sell.

It will take some thinking for sure, but you are all creative people. Even things you may find mundane (the book explains how Discovery Channel has developed successful shows around the life of truckers and commercial fisherman. Who knew their lives were that fascinating?) could be developed into something people will pay to see/read/experience.