One ingenious device is Kickstarter, an internet site which allows acts to launch themselves with financial help from members of the public. The system is that the act pitches for a certain amount of money and no money is taken from anyone until the full amount requested has been pledged.
This is what Amanda Palmer did. She asked for $100,000 to promote her new album, put on a tour and publish an art book. She allowed 32 days to raise the money but the target was passed in just a few days and by the time the deadline was reached she’d raised a million more. She did this on the back of an infectious video (below) with a clever nod to Bob Dylan. As a bonus she took her kit off. I think we’d all agree that she deserves the million much more than Simon Cowell.