I recently finished listening to the audiobook version of The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. Amanda is a popular musician, and her indie approach to her music and her fans reminds me a lot of the indie approach to self-publishing books.
The thing is…Amanda isn't afraid to ask her fans for what she needs. If she's going to be in a city playing a gig and needs a place to crash, she gets on Twitter and asks her fans. If she's going to be writing in a coffee shop, she gets on Twitter and tells her fans that they should come over and say hi.
The book is about much more than her music and her fans. Amanda shares her struggles with asking for help, especially outside of her fanbase. She shares how hard it was to ask for any kind of help from her husband (author Neil Gaiman), and she helps the listener/reader think through what they have a hard time asking for as she shares her own experiences.
I enjoyed listening to Amanda read the book to me, and I really got to thinking more about my own fans. Am I afraid to let them get too close? Am I afraid to ask them for what I need – whether it's encouragement to keep going or help spreading the word about my books?
I hope you find this episode encouraging you to reach our to your audience with more of yourself, asking for what you need and asking them what they need in return.