Beyond the car wash

The second in our series of posts on how university presses and other small publishing concerns can enjoy greater financial security by creating new revenue streams. The introductory post is here.

Strategy No. 2: Charity single
Which charity, you ask? Your press, of course. It’s a nonprofit. It feeds starving minds. What better way to continue this essential mission than recording a fantastic single for immediate release?

The average U press staff includes numerous former/current musicians. In fact, music is one of the most common side lines in the greater AAUP community, with guitarists, singers, DJs, and flautists all supporting their tuneful jones with a daytime publishing gig. An all-points email to the rest of the staff will recruit most of a band and at least two singers. From there, you get that song out of your hearts and onto some form of digital media, and wait for the cash—uh, the donations—to flow into press coffers.

As Band Aid showed us in the Eighties, your best bet to raise funds is to pen a song about the crisis in question. Actually, your best bet is to get together a bunch of famous people, since they could sing the menu of that Chinese place across the tracks and get attention. But your press may have trouble convincing pop stars to contribute their talents to the project, even Eighties pop stars, though maybe it’s worth a phone call, I mean, Paul Young, Pere Ubu, and Bananarama don’t seem to have a lot else going on right now.

Anyway, the song should address the crisis, a true write-what-you-know piece of art that gets across your desperate situation. Can’t find a melody? Go the Weird Al route and throw down a little parody (with apologies to Carly Simon):

Your dissertation,
Your disserta-a-tion is making us late
It’s gonna cost us a lot in freightin’