The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

the art of asking amanda palmer

I listened the the audiobook of this and Palmer reads it herself. There are also a few of her songs and others’ songs on the audiobook. I am glad that she reads it because I know her voice well. I am a fan. I have seen her play live several times and I listened to her TED Talk, so I knew what to expect from this book. Even if you are not a fan of hers, it may still be of interest, not just for artists, but for anyone who appreciates the value of art and live music in particular. It would also be of interest to anyone who has wondered how musicians plan on earning a living in future.

This is kind of a memoir. Palmer has to discuss her own experiences of being a street performance artist, then a musician, and a successful one at that, in indie rock circles, and more recently of marrying a super-famous novelist.

I bought CDs by her band, the Dresden Dolls, back in the day when people bought CDs. Amanda is interested in the internet and the communities it can help to create, and she is a pioneer in experimenting with using it to communicate with her fans, and more importantly, using it to fund her projects. The reason why TED asked her to give a talk (I presume) is because of her hugely successful Kickstarter project.

The book has lots of thought-provoking anecdotes and advice on making a living as an artist. It should also have value to anyone in any other field, she talks a great deal about trust (she trusts strangers waaaaaay more than I do) but mostly about why it is OK to ask people for stuff. She talks about asking for help in time or contribution to projects, and of course for money. It’s OK to ask, is the message.

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