Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My New Book on How Artists Can Make a Living in the Digital Age

Just one short and unabashedly self-promotional post about my new book, Fans, Friends & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age.

It focuses on how artists -- from filmmakers to musicians to comedians to novelists -- can cultivate a fan base online and create a business model that supports their work. The thesis is that to be a success, you no longer need to pray to be "discovered" by a movie studio, record label, art dealer, or publisher.

Saith Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and author of The Long Tail:

    “Making a living in the Long Tail means taking matters into your own hands, crafting a marketing strategy that’s just right for you and your work. This book compiles the stories of those who’ve done it best. You’ll get ideas from every one of them. Inspiring and incredibly useful — Kirsner has assembled a playbook for the social media age.”

I do try to spell out some of the "new rules" of attracting an audience, collaborating and communicating with fans in new ways, and distributing and promoting products like books, CDs, and DVDs. Among the creative pioneers featured in the book are Damian Kulash of the band OK Go; singer-songwriters Jill Sobule and Jonathan Coulton; the animators behind JibJab and Homestar Runner; multimedia artist and vlogger Ze Frank; documentary filmmaker Robert Greenwald and novelists Brunonia Barry and Lisa Genova. (Those last two live here in Massachusetts.)

Any help spreading the word among the creative types in your network would be much appreciated. The book is available as a paperback, PDF e-book, and in Kindle format.

From Kendall Whitehouse at the Wharton School of Business:

    “The flood of content and the proliferation of distribution channels make it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd... For creative artists, Fans, Friends & Followers provides insightful case studies and valuable techniques for growing an audience and finding ways to make a sustainable business from artistic expression.”