Grateful Dead Marry Concert Photos With Blurb On Demand Publishing
The Grateful Dead and long time Dead photographer Jay Blakesberg have teamed with on demand publisher Blurb to create concert books for each of the 17 dates on their 2009 tour.
In addition to photos of that concert, Dead Heads can create personalized covers by using their own photograph on the cover in place of the standard image. The Dead are covering the $5 per-book fee for personal covers through June 30th. Books from each show will be available at www.blurb.com/thedead within 72 hours of of each show.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the concept of artistic output (music or book) as a "souvenir" is a powerful monetization concept. The concept is particularly appealing to fans when the product is unique, not easily copied or one of a kind. (No one expects concerts to be free.) On demand and short run publishing opens up a world of possibilities for other artists to create not just individualized tour books (imagine if a band member was in the photograph with the band in exchange for a donation to a charity), but other original photo or lyric based projects sold as part of premium release packages.
To create and publish a Blurb book, start by downloading Blurb BookSmart software from www.blurb.com.
software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers a variety of book
layouts created by professional designers. Using Blurb, customers
enjoy "complete creative control, no minimum orders, edit on-the-fly
capabilities, mass customization, and global distribution".
"The band wanted to enable the Dead Heads to visually experience the show in a totally new way," said Jay Blakesberg, photographer for the upcoming DEAD tour. "Extending the concert experience via personalized, professional-quality photography books, available within days following each show, is unlike any band merchandising I've ever seen. The speed of Blurb's publishing platform meant we could create books with unique content for every tour stop."