21st May2012

Amanda Palmer’s response to all the hoopla

by Mrs. Gunn

As you may know, she has raised almost a million dollars on Kickstarter, and she still has 10 days to go. This post is a response she to the world, regarding her impetus for this project and quite frankly a comeback to everyone complaining she couldn’t have done it without the label. This letter has been edited for content, and was part of the Lefsetz letter. Bob Lefsetz is an industry insider who writes a blog and sends out his “letter(s)” daily to 20k people +. You can’t find this online because it is from his “mailbag,” which doesn’t get blogged just sent as an email so everyone can see everyone else’s reactions. Thank you Mr. Lefsetz for sharing.


From: Amanda Palmer
Subject: Re: Kickstarter

hey bob

don’t know if you’ve noticed, but yesterday i launched the 30-day kickstarter for my new album, “amanda palmer & the grand theft orchestra”.

at the moment i’m writing this, we’ve reached over $250,000 after only one day of being live. go look:


that’s about $50k MORE than the scheduled recording budget i wouldn’t have been given if i’d stayed on roadrunner…AND WE’RE ONLY ON THE FIRST DAY.
i hope we reach $600k or more by the time we’re done. or a million. who knows? sky’s the limit.

since getting released, i’ve been waiting to put out – on my own terms – a big, legit solo album.
for THREE YEARS i’ve waited….three years of tweaking and agonizing over the perfect online self-release system, the perfect management team.

when i fought to get off roadrunner (my old band the dresden dolls signed in 2004; i tore off and went solo in 2009), my main problem is that they had NO IDEA how to work WITH ME.

they didn’t understand why i didn’t want to spend money and energy on stupid stuff, wasting time where our audience and potential audience WASNT…opening for vapid bands, putting our songs on lame film soundtracks to sub-par horror movies. our audience was too smart for that stuff.

they didn’t understand why i wanted to spend marketing budgets on what they considered “unnecessary” things….like hiring an internet marketing team, building giant web systems to showcase my fans’ art and homemade videos….like spending money and time on the online fan forums.

and i was always told them: “REALLY? you don’t get this? you don’t get why it’s not only important, but why it’s going to MAKE US MONEY? ok heck, we’ll pay for it ourselves.”

so we did. i was happy to spend the money out of our pockets: this stuff OBVIOUSLY had to be done. and we were starting to make money on the road by then.

i remember one freezing chaotic day in minneapolis, on tour with the dolls in 2005….leaving soundcheck, picking up my cell and asking a frantic favor of a friend in new york (the only friend i had who was adult enough to have a checkbook at the ready, i didn’t have one on the road).

my internet marketing guy had called me, freaking. when we’d signed, the label had agreed to cover his monthly fee. now he was expecting an over-due check from the label, had been waiting six weeks, and was about to be evicted from his apartment if he couldn’t get ahold of $1000. i begged my random friend to write out and mail a check it to my internet guy, promising i’d pay her back when i got to new york in a month…so he could pay his rent. i knew better than to call the label. they’d just lie and say they’d cut the check. i’d been through this 12 times already.

a few months later the label told me they wouldn’t cover our internet marketing team AT ALL while we were “between records”. they didn’t think paying someone to run our myspace and fan forums was NECESSARY unless “we had a record actively being worked”.

they didn’t get it. at. all.

they didn’t understand the value staying connected ALL THE TIME, every day, from the road, from the spaces between.

and this was 2005/2006. not the dark ages.

but still….LOST. they didn’t understand why we’d want to put the majority of our resources into connecting with our fans online.

were they on the road with us 300 nights a year? were THEY emailing & chatting online and off with these people EVERY DAY? heck no. but i was. i knew. our fans were all geeks and gays and punks and young weirdos. ALL ONLINE ALL THE TIME. i knew the connected we did throughout the year would result in the sales later.

now, after three years OFF THE LABEL, and after ALL these collected years of talking with fans after every show, twittering daily, staying connected, singing hard, touring constantly, and answering thousands of fan emails….the result?

$250k in a day.


seriously: i can’t imagine why i’d do this any other way.

amanda palmer

p.s. i just finished “strayed” by cheryl strayed and absolutely LOVED IT. thanks for the tip. and now me & cheryl and pals on twitter. amazing internet is amazing.



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