The Art of Asking – Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking: How I learned to stop worrying and let people help,  tells the story of musician Amanda Palmer and the art of asking for help. Frankly, I didn’t know anything about Amanda Palmer, and I probably wouldn’t hear this book if it weren’t for one of my best friends. However, life is pleasantly surprising, and most of the time when you are open to new things, beautiful things comes your way. I learned a lot from what Palmer said about asking for help, moreover I thought a lot about empathy.


The Art of Asking describes what Amanda Palmer did until she collected 1.2 million on Kickstarter and what followed. The singer, who cannot work with any music company and who independently seeks help from her fans, tells how she collected the money she needed to make music. She also explains the criticism she received throughout the way, how she coped with it, and how there is not just one way to do things. I didn’t have much trouble asking people for help when needed. But I have never been willing to ask for help on certain matters. After reading the book, I understood my reasons very well. I think she can shed some light on everyone on that matter.

The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer

Empathy. Did we forget what it is?

What made me think the most in the book was empathy. Since the internet has become a sine qua non of our lives, every person who has a keyboard under her hands can reach whomever she wants. Sometimes, unfortunately, we act like the person on the other side of the screen is not real and act terribly. But people are real and the feelings are real. It’s like we forgot that — what a pain.

Even if you don’t like Palmer’s songs as a singer -I don’t like it at all- you can meet this interesting person and listen to what she has to say about asking for help. Enjoy!

When we really see each other, we want to help each other.

– Amanda Palmer

About the book: The Art of Asking

Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band, and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter – they’ve taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she had learned how to ask, she was able to go to the world to ask for the money to make a new album and tour with it and to raise over a million dollars in a month.

In the New York TImes bestseller The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use these same principles in our own lives.

About the author: Amanda Palmer

Amanda MacKinnon Gaiman Palmer, sometimes known as Amanda Fucking Palmer, is an American singer-songwriter who is the lead vocalist, pianist, and lyricist of the duo The Dresden Dolls.

The Art of Asking - Amanda Palmer

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

A Nonfiction a Month

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