Hello Monday: July 2020
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Welcome to the monthly news for Blue Legacy, the 501(c)3 nonprofit company founded in 1989 that is the parent company of four divisions -- Blue Forge Press, Blue Forge Gaming, Blue Forge Films, and Blue Forge Records -- that serve more than eight hundred artisans – authors, game designers and programmers, actors, filmmakers, and musicians.
We call our monthly update Hello Monday and it posts as a video that can be watched or listened to and as a blog that can be read on the first Monday on every month by 4pm Pacific Time. We make Hello Monday for our artisans so they stay informed and in the loop. So thank you for tuning in and being an active participant in your creative legacy.
In the description under this video is a complete company directory including email addresses, website URLs, phone number, mailing address, and other pertinent information. You can also find this information and more at the URL on the screen. [www.MyBlueLegacy.org]
My name is Jennifer DiMarco and I’m one of four full-time volunteers here at Blue Legacy. I have worked with the company since it was founded and am honored to now serve as the CFO and as an artisan creating content for all four divisions.
Feast of Words: A New Beginning
Taking our cues from the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, and from the Kitsap County Health Department that reports only 250 positive cases in our county of a population of 271,000, we are working with the local bookstore, Book ’Em, to relaunch our Feast of Words events as allowed by Washington State law.
Book ’Em has worked with Blue Forge Films before to help us make a comedy series and they were thrilled to support a local nonprofit company. Feast of Words will be held every Saturday starting July 11, 2020, from noon to 5pm, in the open air in front of the bookstore.
Each Saturday one artisan or two artisans who live together will be featured and supported by two Blue Legacy staff members. We will pay the venue, supply the table, a plexiglass droplet shield, chairs, and an awning to protect against sun or rain. Artisans are required to wear a mask and cannot have physical contact with customers.
In a recent change: Blue Legacy staff will run credit cards for artisans; artisans will not run their own credit cards so you can leave your Square or card reader at home. We have instituted this change to further limit contact between artisans and the public to reduce liability. We will pay Washington State tax out of the 10% kept for processing so you don’t charge customers tax.
We select four artisans at a time and create posters and flyers that Book ’Em and the artisans help us post around town. We also have a four-foot, double sided sign for the day of the event since Book ’Em is on a busy street.
The first artisans will be: Marshall Miller, David Martyn, Carrie Avery Moriarty, and Susan and Vern Nordman. These artisans will be featured on the Saturdays from July 11 to August 1.
If you’re interested in participating in a Feast of Words event, here are the requirements:
1. You must be a Blue Legacy artisan with one of our four divisions.
2. You can only sell books, dvds, albums, or games published by a Blue Legacy division.
3. You can tuck flyers or business cards into any product you sell that talks about your non-Blue Legacy work but you cannot display these materials or hand them out. They can only be given to paying customers. We do this so that all work being sold or promoted on the grounds has been vetted by Blue Legacy and so we can assure the venue (Book ’Em) of the quality and content.
4. You must stay from noon to 5pm.
5. You must bring a professional banner featuring you or your work. If you did not source a banner from Promotions Northwest, they have since closed due to the current state of the economy. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidelines when searching for a new vendor.
If you bring your own inventory to sell, you will make 90% of the revenue made that day.
If you have Blue Legacy supply your inventory, you will make 30% of the revenue made that day.
To sign up for the Feast of Words, send an email to email@example.com and tell us what Saturdays you’re free and whether you’ll be bringing your own inventory or not.
Artisans Ordering Inventory
We are changing where artisans send their orders. Starting today, place orders by email to firstname.lastname@example.org only. Do not mention you want to place an order in an email to your division manager. Do not ask other questions in the order email where you place an order. Simply state the book, album, dvd or game you want to order, how many you want, when you need them by, and provide the full address you want them sent to. You will be sent a payment link within 24 hours that is only good for 24 hours from when it’s sent.
Speaking of inventory... I was mortified to learn that a handful of artisans continue to order their inventory from distributors and vendors like Amazon where they’re paying full price. When they sell this inventory, they make no profit – they only break even. I hope these artisans are watching, listening or reading Hello Monday today and correct this behavior.
Artisans with all four divisions are contractually allowed to purchase inventory of any work they helped create – so even actors in a film or musicians on a soundtrack can order. Artisans receive 50% off the retail price of the book, dvd, album, or game plus shipping. No tax is charged.
On their own, artisans can then resell the inventory for full price and keep all revenue made. Or they can sell the inventory at Blue Legacy-sponsored events and keep 90% of the revenue made.
The Trees Have Names Online Premiere
On the last Saturday of every month, usually at 7pm Pacific Time, we host online film premieres at BlueFlix Cinema. There’s a live chat room open before and after the event to talk with the cast or crew in attendance.
This month’s premiere is the psychological thriller, The Trees Have Names.
Why do the trees wear names? Tori is a young woman caught between shifting realities -- both real and virtual. Whether stalked through a forest, tormented by a sadist doctor, or finding the truth on her own terms, nothing comes easy. With outstanding performances by Kiley Moore, Faith Aoibhinn DiMarco, and Launa Sorensen as Tori at three different ages, The Trees Have Names is a psychological thriller with overlapping timelines and revisionist memories. Exploring how we manage trauma in the past, present and into the future, Tori's life is both hazardous and unreliable.
If you are a member of the Blue Village acting troupe [www.tiny.cc/bluevillage], just email email@example.com to receive a free ticket to the premiere. Likewise if you are a cast or crew member of The Trees Have Names -- just email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free ticket. If you aren’t a Blue Village member or cast or crew but you want to support your fellow artisans, tickets can be purchased for just $5 until the day before the premiere. Simply go to the URL on your screen [www.BlueForgeFilms.com] and click BlueFlix Cinema.
Print Runs & Royalties
I know we have covered this many, many times in past episodes of Hello Monday, but whenever we receive four or more artisans asking the same questions, we cover that topic in Hello Monday.
The first print run of all Blue Legacy books, albums, dvds and games is 1000 copies. If that first print run sells out, we either print 1000 more and continue like that in sets of 1000 or we increase the print run to 2500 then 5000 according to demand. We also work with almost all the major POD printers depending on what gets copies into the hands of the customers fastest vendor by vendor.
The average cost of a first print run is $5000. It is our job to pay for print runs. It is your job to help us sell those copies. Professional artisans don’t just create; they promote.
Vendors and distributors – like Ingram, Amazon, offline stores, etc – sell the books, dvds, cds, and games and then they pay us 90 days from when they make a sale. So if they sold a product in January, we get paid for it near the end of April. We pay royalties at the end of every month. You receive an email from email@example.com with a royalty report attached to the email. This report breaks down the sales by what country they were made in, how many sold, and at what price. We set the SRP – the Suggested Retail Price – but sometimes vendors and distributors sell for more or less than the SRP. We do not have control over this.
If you did not make sales in the given month that’s paying, you won’t receive an email.
If you have questions about royalties, don’t write to your division manager. Your division manager doesn’t pay your royalties. As CFO, I do. Always send questions about royalties to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With massive projects like film anthologies where thirty or forty people all get a 1% royalty, sometimes royalty payments are 10 cents… or 3 cents! We pay no matter how large or small. Literally last month I sent out a royalty report for 2 cents and another one for $294. We don’t sit on your money.
We have been asked if artisans can waive their royalties or donate them to the Create4U youth group. You can do either. Simply send an email to email@example.com.
As I mentioned earlier, when you have a royalty, you will receive an email with a royalty report attached. This email will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. Within 24 hours of receiving the email, your payment will be sent to the same email address that we contacted you at. The payment will be sent via PayPal. You have seven days to claim your email if you have never used PayPal before or your account is brand new. If your royalty is unclaimed, it will be returned to us and automatically donated to Create4U. Please take responsibility and claim your royalty payment. That’s why we take the extra time and email everyone being paid.
Build Your Brand
We held an online town meeting for artisans in June 2020. At the meeting we discussed how to build your brand as an artisan so you’re on the right path to make a living wage from your creative work. We provided concrete examples that cost nothing but time and dedication. Find the transcript of this meeting at the URL on your screen. [https://tinyurl.com/blue-hall-log]
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That’s everything we’re covering for July 2020. If you have questions, please contact your division manager. If you have a specific topic you’d like us to cover in August’s Hello Monday, please leave a comment below.
Stay safe. Stay sane. And make an effort this month to imagine walking a mile in someone else’s shoes… someone different from you. I do it every day. Every time I meet a new artisan. Every time I earn the funds to print another album, book, game or dvd for one of you. None of you are like me in a great many fundamental ways. But I respect and support all of you.
Thank you again for tuning in and staying in the loop.