The Art Of Asking

amanda_palmerHere’s a quick review of Amanda Palmer’s book.

If you’re a huge fan you will read it anyway and you will love it, so this is for the rest of us. I like what she does and how she does it but I’m not a massive diehard fan.

I have blogged before about her TED talk. If you have seen it, seen the fallout or simply have a (possibly sceptical) view about TED in general, it might make you wary of this book. Don’t be.

Another theme of the book is the The Fraud Police from her commencement speech to The New England Institute of Art in 2011. If you enjoyed her TED you’ll like that too.

There are probably 3 things this book could have been. Thankfully it isn’t just fan fodder, and despite the title it isn’t merely an expansion of The Art Of Asking TED. It’s better than either of those would have been, it’s an autobiography with those aspects of her philosophy, and others, woven in.

It covers her experience of busking as a human statue, starting up her band (The Dresden Dolls), making her first CDs and funding an album, before getting signed and dropped. Then there’s her Internet career, the £1.2 million Kickstarter album, various controversies, marriage to Neil Gaiman and so on, up to date.

She’s had a really interesting career so there’s never a dull moment and the stories about her life, friends and fans are often very moving. As I tweeted when I finished it: I laughed out loud and I cried. She writes well.

I would like to have known more about her team and her management—there are key people around her we don’t hear much about (they are mentioned in the acknowledgements). But apparently it was edited down from over twice as long so maybe there wasn’t room.

So it’s a good music autobiography and if you have followed her ups and downs it fills in a lot of gaps. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in indie musicians and the many variants of DIY music biz.

Don't just sit there fuming, write something!