Kickstarter Abuse? ‘Best Music Writing’ Raises $17,337, Delivers Nothing…

Daphne Carr spearheaded a Kickstarter campaign for a project called Best Music Writing in January of 2012.  She promised that a successful campaign would provide funding for a book that portrays the industry’s talents in music writing.

However, after raising $17,337 and announcing a release date for “fall of 2012,” there is no sight of Best Music Writing.

H. Drew Blackburn has done his part to shed light on this weird disappearing act, even contacting Ms. Carr herself, only to receive a “no comment” response.  Andrew Beaujon subsequently reached Carr about the issue and she offered this:

“This is the love of my life, and I really wanted it to work… and I’ve been grappling with the realities that it’s not, so this is very painful.”

Beaujon says she’ll repay backers in due time.

Carr’s project isn’t the first to fail to deliver. Kudos to passion, but many fail due to poor research and an overzealous approach over practical measures.  Perhaps the thorniest comes from Animal Collective, whose Josh Dibb delivered nothing after successfully raising $26,000.

Kickstarter’s disclaimer shown to each project creator reads, “If your project is successfully funded, you are required to fulfill all rewards or refund any backer whose reward you do not or cannot fulfill. A failure to do so can result in a damage to your reputation or even legal action on behalf of your backers.”

9 Responses

  1. Ritch Esra

    What’s so sad about this is the misguided way Carr chose to handle this. Only when she was persued for nearly a year did she make a statement. This is the kind of behavior that will destroy any credibility that she had in her community – and she had a lot.

    • Milt

      Indeed. I’m not sure any of her backers would have held it against her if she’d just owned up to it months ago and said “you know, I kind of bit off more than I could chew here, and I’m afraid this isn’t going to happen. I’ll start refunding your money as soon as I can.” But instead she disappeared for a year, and only resurfaced after Vice, of all publications, started hounding her.

      Bummer. Her book on “Pretty Hate Machine” is quite good.

  2. that's too bad

    So she’ll return the invested funds, right?

    I didn’t think so.

  3. wallow-T

    One of my guidelines, from the early days of “e-commerce”: Never do an online deal you can’t afford to walk away from. (This from the point of view of the contributors.)

  4. Jason77

    I do feel somewhat sympathetic for Ms. Carr, as she clearly bit off more than she could chew, and it’s a shame her reputation and credibility has been affected. However, without crucifying Ms. Carr, the thing that confuses me is what happened to the actual funds raised. In Daphne’s email to Kickstarter contributors she states that she’ll pay everyone back “out of pocket” and that:

    “The $15k that I had hoped for was money I knew I needed to produce only the intellectual property for the title — editorial stipends, administrative staff, and payment of reprint license.”

    “Out of Pocket” implies that this money raised went to someone else and not her. And the actuality is that it was not $15k, it was over $17k raised, and a subsequent campaign netted an additional $4k+. I haven’t heard from anyone who was paid a substantial amount (ie. editorial stipends) for any work they did on this project, whether it be website creation or administrative work. I also know that these other costs mentioned generally would not come anywhere near the figure raised.

    I’d be happy to let Ms. Carr keep my contribution, but I think some accountability to how the funds were actually spent would answer a lot of questions for people.