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Fans, Friends & Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age (English Edition) [Kindle Edition]

Scott Kirsner

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An essential guide for filmmakers, musicians, writers, artists, and other creative types. "Fans, Friends & Followers" explores the strategies for cultivating an online fan base that can support your creative career, enabling you to do the work you want to do and make a living at it. Based on dozens of interviews with the artists pioneering new approaches to production, marketing, promotion, collaboration, and distribution, it presents strategies that work - in a straightforward, jargon-free way. Featured artists include YouTube star Michael Buckley; the animators behind JibJab, Homestar Runner, and Red vs. Blue; video artist Ze Frank ("theshow"); comedian Eugene Mirman; singer-songwriters Jill Sobule and Jonathan Coulton; OK Go frontman Damian Kulash; filmmakers M dot Strange ("We Are the Strange"), Robert Greenwald ("Iraq for Sale"), and Curt Ellis ("King Corn"); writers Brunonia Barry ("The Lace Reader") and Lisa Genova ("Still Alice"); and artists Tracy White, Natasha Wescoat, and Dave Kellett. "Fans, Friends & Followers" author Scott Kirsner has written about new technologies and the entertainment industry for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Newsweek, Wired, and Fast Company, and he edits the blog CinemaTech. Kirsner has also spoken at the Sundance Film Festival, South by Southwest, and the Harvard Business School Media & Entertainment Conference.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Scott Kirsner is a journalist and blogger who writes about new ideas and their impact on the world. He edits the blog CinemaTech (, which explores the way technology is changing the entertainment industry. He is the author of "Inventing the Movies," a technological history of Hollywood published in 2008, and "The Future of Web Video: New Opportunities for Producers, Entrepreneurs, Media Companies and Advertisers," first published in 2006. He writes regularly for Variety and the Boston Globe. Scott's writing has also appeared in the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Wired, Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, BusinessWeek, and Newsweek, among other publications. Scott is one of the founders of the Nantucket Conference on Entrepreneurship and Innovation, held each May. He also speaks and moderates regularly at entertainment industry events, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the South by Southwest Film Festival. Scott is a graduate of Boston University's College of Communications and the New World School of the Arts, in Miami. He can be reached at


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 580 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 132 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: B00840BNJA
  • Gleichzeitige Verwendung von Geräten: Keine Einschränkung
  • Verlag: CinemaTech Books; Auflage: 1 (31. März 2009)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B0025KVAYI
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #481.928 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

  •  Ist der Verkauf dieses Produkts für Sie nicht akzeptabel?

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  27 Rezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great overview of DIY culture 29. März 2009
Von Charles E. Tryon Jr. - Veröffentlicht auf
Scott Kirsner's Fans, Friends, and Followers: Building an Audience and a Creative Career in the Digital Age uses interviews with a number of prominent artists who have been able to forge careers and gain widespread popularity primarily through promotional and distribution tools available online. For those of us doing research on digital cinema, Kirsner's book is a valuable resource, one that illustrates the ways in which content creators are navigating, and sometimes profiting from, what Chris Anderson has described as the "long tail" of digital distribution and what others have described as do-it-yourself (DIY) distribution. While my own research, in Reinventing Cinema (Amazon) , focuses exclusively on filmmakers, Kirsner assembles a number of key figures from what he calls the "era of digital creativity," including musicians, comics artists, visual artists, and novelists, in order to establish or explore how a set of practices have emerged that allow artists to escape the "gatekeepers" of traditional distribution and market themselves. While Kirsner's book is generally optimistic about the potentials of DIY, a number of significant themes surfaced throughout the interviews.

Kirsner knows DIY culture as well as anyone, and he is well-positioned to document what is happening in a variety of digital media, to provide that crucial snapshot of digital DIY practices. He is also aware that what he is providing is just that, a snapshot, pointing out that these practices are far from static and subject to alteration as new artists find new techniques for having their voices heard (and hopefully making a living from it). The book also provides at least some statistics about what opportunities are actually available financially to even the most successful digital artists, making the book a useful guide to all of us interested in the ongoing practices of indie filmmakers, musicians, and artists alike.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Plenty of useful examples - you do the thinking. 30. Mai 2011
Von Richard N. Stephenson - Veröffentlicht auf
Pros: Mr. Kirsner lays down the foundation for an inspirational and passionate adventure into the Digital Age's internet based livelihood and does so in a very readable and entertaining fashion. The sheer amount of personal stories from the "it crowd" of the Digital Age is awesome enough. However, the real content of their stories is where the value is at. Getting a closer view of how these folks did what they do, did it passionately, and it just happened to make a living for them is highly inspiring to me. Some VERY good lessons to learn from this content. Excellent resources at the end of the book.

Cons: Not a whole lot of analysis going on as a vast majority of the book is interview / anecdote. The responsibility is on the reader to draw conclusions and see how the lessons learned could impact their lives. I don't view this as a bad aspect, but I could see how some readers (that are looking for concrete answers) would.

Assessment: Definitely worth buying and adding to the library.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Must have for small business 26. Oktober 2009
Von LAMakeupGirl - Veröffentlicht auf
I had the pleasure of seeing Scott speak at a technology seminar. What had inspired me to purchase the book was that he shared a very real world approach to building an online community. By real world, I mean something that required some effort, but was not cost prohibitive. I am not an artist, but I own a small business and realize that small business and art live in someone parallel worlds. Both are creative and typically strapped for finances. To get our message out, we have to be creative. This book gives you simple guidelines and ideas on hoave best to create an audience through the power of the web. It lays out what your audience (customers) are looking for, how they want to be involved, and how best to include them, and FREE resources to do it. If you own a small/midsize/ or even large business, read this book.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Must read for creatives/bloggers 29. April 2009
Von B. Rosenfeld - Veröffentlicht auf
Fans, Friends and Followers by Scott Kirsner is a three part book about building and monetizing an online fan base.

In the first part, Scott lays out the "new rules" of building an audience such as "Be remarkable and make remarkable stuff", "Understand the power of the link" and "Help people learn to do what you do". While artists new to social media may find this section insightful, this section is just a reminder of what the rest of us should already know. After reading Seth Godin and other online thought leaders for the past few years I found myself alternating between a state of "oh yeah, I forgot about that" and nodding along impatiently waiting to get to some new secret formula.

But a secret formula to get a large following quickly isn't the point of the book, and thankfully so. The real value of this book is in part two, where Scott interviews 30 creators from diverse fields such as singing, film production and comedy who have succeeded in building an online following (and in most cases, a monetary living) for their work. I found myself getting more ideas from creators that had nothing to do with comedy than I did from the comedians, and I feel this sort of "cross-pollination of ideas" will hold true no matter your medium.

While the interviews were very insightful, I would have liked to read interviews from the following creators who have built a huge online following: Tucker Max, Hugh McLeod, Aaron Karo and Dane Cook. (Whether you love or hate Dane, he has always been way ahead of every other comic on technology and interacting with his fans.)

In the third and final part, Scott provides a quick reference guide for getting started on using social media and the internet to one's advantage. While you won't really read this section, it will be a handy reference five months down the line when you decide you're not going to post your new joke until you raise $50 and you want to find out which site can help you implement that technology.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to any creator or blogger who is looking to establish or increase their online presence. Whether new to the internet or an experienced veteran, the people and ideas in this book will get you thinking about your audience from a new perspective. Be warned, there is no trick or quick way to build a following, it takes time, but Scott's book will help you develop a more coherent strategy for the road ahead.

(Full Disclosure: As a comedy blogger, I was received a free preview copy of this book. I don't think that influenced my opinion as it's always easier to write a negative review than a positive review, but I thought you should know.)
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Case Studies for Creative Artists on Building an Audience and Generating Revenue 10. April 2009
Von Kendall Whitehouse - Veröffentlicht auf
In "Fans, Friends, and Followers," Variety columnist and CinemaTech blogger Scott Kirsner tackles one of the key issues facing contemporary creative artists: how to build an audience and generate revenue to support their work.

New distribution channels for creative works largely bypass the traditional gatekeepers between artist and audience -- the A&R rep, the book publisher, the film distributor. But the flood of content and the proliferation of distribution options make it increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Since many of the current distribution methods provide exposure but not significant revenue, finding a business model to fund artistic development is even more challenging.

Kirsner's "Fans, Friends, and Followers" explores these issues from two perspectives.

The majority of the book consists of interviews with creative professionals who describe how they use the Internet to connect with fans and distribute their work. The artists profiled cover a wide range of endeavors -- film, music, writing, and even comedy and magic.

The book's set of thirty interviews is framed by sections offering practical advice for creative artists. The opening chapter, "The New Rules," is a mini-handbook for creative professionals looking to grow an audience. The final sections -- "Exploring the New Business Models," "Power Tools for Audience Building," and "Supplemental Reading" -- provide additional suggestions and pointers to resources.

Of the interviews that comprise the body of the work, of particular interest are those that describe effective monetization schemes. Using email, MySpace, and Twitter to reach out to fans is fairly routine these days. Less commonplace are the techniques to make fans active participants in the creative process in a way that provides artists with significant monetary backing. Building a fan base is one thing; establishing one that generates enough revenue to sustain your work is a more difficult challenge.

For creative artists "Fans, Friends, and Followers" provides insightful case studies and valuable techniques for growing an audience and finding ways to make a sustainable business from artistic expression.
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