What's particularly innovative about this particular tour book is the fact that there will be a different one for each of the 17 shows that the band plays.
How can any band, let alone the Dead, pull this off? They're using the on-demand book printing services provided by blurb.com, something that any band, or anybody with pictures, can also do. Blurb offers a number of professional templates that allow you to make a single book to as many as you want, but the Dead is the first band to take advantage of it, to my knowledge.
In addition to photos of the particular concert that they attend, Dead Heads can create personalized covers by using their own photograph on the cover in place of the standard image. The Dead are even covering the $5 per-book fee for personal covers if purchased by June 30th. Books from each show will be available at www.blurb.com/thedead within 72 hours of each show.
"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."Obviously not every act is worthy of a tour book, but then again, if you have only one fan that wants one, you can now make it available to them without any upfront money out of your pocket for printing.