I have watched the TED talk The Art of Asking several times. I never really knew who Amanda Palmer was I knew she was a musician yes but not her real background. I did some Googling to find out Amanda was not only an indie musician and lead singer of The Dresden Dolls but an artist, blogger, frequent exhibitionist and now author. Her army of adoring fans follow her every move; her detractors are ready to pounce on her every public misstep, which she provides via the simple expedient of rarely filtering anything she thinks, says or does.
This book could alternatively be titled How Amanda Made a Million Dollars by Saying Please. Yet, it’s about so much more than that. It’s also about being human and about the trials and tribulations of a professional artist in today climate. While her music may not be for everyone, her story could bring almost anyone to tears and laughter.
First Amanda tells about her first job as a living statue in a public park. How that performance made her fall in love repeatedly. It also brought loneliness and harassment. Little did she know at the time she was getting a real education on how to be a professional musician.
Soon she does work full time with her band and even gets signed on with a record label. However, even after selling thousands of copies of her release they considered her a failure. Surprisingly, Amanda Palmer thought of them as failures. She was mad at her record company.
The remainder of the story tells how Amanda did it right -she asked for help. Her and the band raised money through crowd-funding with Kickstarter. They twittered when they needed a place to sleep on tour, or asked for food when hungry.
Amanda Palmer knows how to keep an authentic relationship with her fans. She formed thousands of friendships full of honesty and based on trust. Instead of some large record label marketing schemas of make the audience pay for it, Amanda asks how do we let them offer money?
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. This book helps me to remember to be humble and to ask for help when needed, to go ahead and release the shame and the fear around what the answer may be. The book is yes a biography but could be consider a business or even self help book. I am still not a huge fan of her music but I am a fan of Amanda Palmer the business women and person.