Why Make Art? And how to fund it

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

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This morning, Seth Godin announced his newest book The Icarus Deception and a fascinating Kickstarter Project to fund it.

Seth's new book is about the mythology of success (and failure) and how our economy rewards people who are willing to stand up and stand out.

Seth writes: "For too long, we've been seduced into believing we should do less. It's time to redefine what we're capable of. We are all artists now, and the connection economy we're living in relentlessly rewards those who do work that matters."

I'm a Seth Godin fanboy and enjoy reading each of his books the second they are released.

I'd certainly read The Icarus Deception anyway. But this book is also interesting because of how Seth is funding it.

Kickstarter and Seth's art

Seth has a Kickstarter project to fund the new book. Like Amanda Palmer, who raised over $1 million to fund her new album through Kickstarter (I wrote about Amanda's project here), Seth is tapping his loyal fans to help him fund his new book – using the proof of support to convince his publisher and bookstores to back it in a big way.

As I write this, it is just a few hours into the project and one funding level has already sold out. It looks like Seth is on a similar trajectory as Amanda was in the early days of her project.

Seth is betting (rightly it seems) that his fans are willing to fund the book even before it has come out. People like me are going to buy it anyway, so why not get a commitment up front and use the fan support to make the book even more successful.

Supporting your favorite artists

Yes, I am a backer at one of the higher pledge levels. Sure, I want all the stuff that comes with being a backer.

However, more than that, I want to support the artists, like Amanda and Seth, who I believe in. I want them to live well so they can continue to produce art and enrich my life.

People want YOU to succeed too!

If you provide great art, even in the form of products and services, your fans want to support you. That's why people line up to buy new Apple products without even trying them. Do they line up for your art?

If you make great stuff, people will take a chance on you. They'll order the software upgrade, visit the chef's new restaurant, reserve a room in the resort on a different island.