The first commission batch went absolutely great. I wasn't expecting this at all - the feeling of crossing off all 20 commissions slots in less than a year was outlandish but it actually happened IN A MONTH. The """popularity""" of yours truly made me think this would be a nice way to earn some money on the side once in a month but it seems like I completely underestimated the demand that my commissions were in. I worked my ass off the same week I started these commissions in December 2017, then slowed down because college happened. This gave me a taste of something that would truly make me happy in my life - what it would feel like to make music as a full-time job. Working daily on all sorts of songs with full inspiration was magical. I'll remember that Christmas Eve forever - eating with my family while my phone goes mental, vibrating all the time because of e-mails or twitter DMs. Still - it was a lot of work and while still enjoyable - definitely exhausting. The amount of things to do at once piled up and I was already thinking that if this was going to keep up, the prices would have to go up. Speaking of which - the prices themselves were supposed to be lower. For the first commission batch the regular chiptune commission was 20/25 bucks, depending on if the song was an arrange or original work. This happened due to a conversation with a good friend of mine - where I basically got scolded for pricing myself at 15$ at first. They expected me to charge 70$ for one minute. I thought that's absolutely ridiculous, until they showed me an example that people indeed charge even more for one minute. In fact, I've confirmed it myself with other musicians. Everyone I knew told me my prices were ridiculous. That was their reaction to the price I went with in the end, not 15 dollars. I'd imagine they would be even more confused.
I don't feel like giving a history lesson about Poland, my current place of inhabitance, but in short - something like 25$ here is a bigger deal. Today, 25 USD is 85,41 Polish Zloty, so around 3,4 times more. You might think - "well, you guys must make 3,4 times more money as well". Actually, no. Our 25 Polish Zloty feels a lot like what 25 USD does for you guys in the west. Imagine if a new 60 dollar video game felt like actually buying it for 200 dollars. This is basically how that feels for us.
So you might be seeing how a possibly cheap price of 25$ for a 1:30 song is a bigger deal for me.
Another reason was that I was just starting out and placing a higher price would be a bad move. While a compelling argument at the time, it is now absolutely ruined, seeing how I was overwhelmed with commissions to make.
That way of thinking ultimately brings me to a problem my friends have brought up as well - pricing my stuff low makes it look like my music is bad. I brushed it aside, thinking that if they just listen to my commission reel after seeing the price, they will change their mind. I should have realized however how I ultimately end up looking like - pricing the music low like I'm not confident in it or not realizing the worth of it. In an e-mail conversation I was having with a certain musician, I asked them about their rates out of curiosity. I expected them to be kinda big - and yeah - they really were. But there's one thing they said that stuck with me - they were confident in their work being top quality. That stuff right there reminded me that I actually make good music. I'm not just sucking myself off - I always improve because that's what part of being a musician(artist) is - point is, my work is worth more than I think it is and in order to keep pursuing my goal and improving, I need to keep thinking like that. The worst thing to do is undervalue what you do and tell yourself you suck at it. THAT'S WHY I AM NOW PRICING MY COMMISSIONS AT 1000 DOLLARS BASE
ok im kidding
Even with that in mind, it's still hard to tell what kind of price should I put on my work for the next commission batch. I know it needs be higher, but just how much? How much has my self-worth increased after seeing the extreme demand and all the support and evidence that it's needed? Enough to raise the price to 100$ per minute? ... No. I'm still not ready for that yet.
I was considering upping the price to about 40$ per 1:30 original track. That's 15 dollars more than before. All the points I made before are again coming back to me - 40$ is actually a bit more personally to me than to people in the west and that it's only the second time I'm opening commissions so it's still sort of a "test". The difference this time is that I know both of these points have a high chance of becoming moot as they've been proven wrong already. The question is - will it happen again with a higher price? The ultimate answer to that question lies in the future and is up to you. I hope I can be proven wrong again and again until I finally reach the price point which actually represents the true value of my work. Heck, it can end at 25$ if this second commission batch fails completely. And I'll be absolutely fine with it.
Now, that said, I'll be improving the website a bit to make it easier to commission me. I noticed I asked a lot of the same questions that I wished answers to were specified from the start. This can be easily automated, so I'm gonna make a "form" - or rather - a bunch of questions that come one after another to answer. For example, the first question is: "What song are you looking for?". The answers are: "an arrange", "an original song" or "a transcription". Next one would be about the length of the track and so on. Then, after answering all the questions, you get an e-mail message that's ready to be sent my way from your own so I can reply to you quick. I haven't started work on it yet, I will soon. Of course, the option to "manually" commission me is still gonna be there - the preferred option is gonna be the form though.
So, this is where I stand right now. I still have some stuff to do from the first batch of commissions - mostly soundtracks which were also really surprising - it seems like I'll be making like 3 or 4 of them - one is already finished but I'm holding on to it because whoever paid for it all already has been gone for months. (Please don't do that)
About Melolignia2 - I don't currently have much to say about it other than being sorry that I've been so quiet about it. Work on it was at snail pace lately - this will change soon - I'll dump all sorts of info about it when the second commission batch happens, because what the album will end up becoming relies entirely on that.
If you've read all this, thank you. You didn't have to.