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An in-depth look at the influence of fans—society’s alpha consumers—on our lives and culture.

As fandom sheds its longtime stigmas of geekiness and hysteria, fans are demanding more from the celebrities and brands they love.  Digital tools have given organizations—from traditional businesses to tech startups—direct, real-time access to their most devoted consumers, and it’s easy to forget that this access flows both ways. This is the new ‘fandom-based economy’: a convergence of brand owner and brand consumer. Fan pressures hold more clout than ever before as audiences demand a say in shaping the future of the things they love.

In Superfandom, Zoe Fraade-Blanar and Aaron Glazer explain this new era of symbiosis. For producers, it can mean a golden opportunity: brands such as Polaroid and Surge, preserved by the passion of a handful of nostalgic fans, can now count on an articulate, creative, and, above all, loyal audience. Yet, the new economy has its own risks—it’s also easier than ever for companies to lose their audience’s trust.

Fraade-Blanar and Glazer explain why some kinds of engagement with fans succeed and some backfire, probing fandom’s history, sociology and psychology. From the 19th century American Alice Drake, who bribed her way into the houses of her favorite European composers, to Hatsune Miku, the Japanese virtual celebrity whose songs are composed entirely by fans, the dynamics of fandom—the activities we perform to show we belong to a group of people with common interests—may be as old as culture itself.

For groupies of financier Warren Buffet and enthusiasts of Cards Against Humanity alike, the consumer relationship has been transformed. Superfandom is an essential guide for those who care about, contribute to, and live in our rapidly expanding fan-driven economy. Available in Hardcover, eBook, and audiobook.

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Praise for Superfandom

“[A]n insightful and entertaining look at the culture of fandom…Well reasoned and engagingly written…Fascinating and more than a little frightening.”

David Pitt, Booklist
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“…no one understands how fans tick and what they can mean for a business better than Zoe and Aaron.”

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
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“Superfandom is the ultimate guide to making the most of the new fan-based economy.

Jonah Berger, professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and best-selling author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On
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“Recommended for companies who seek to create a successful brand, as well as readers interested in the nature of fan culture.”

–Barrie Olmstead, Library Journal

“Superfandom provocatively explores this evolving relationship―with a dazzling number of examples―and describes what happens when fans don’t just consume something but influence it as well.”

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University
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