Ex-Dresden Doll Amanda Palmer took to her favorite crowd-funding website in May, bringing in far more than she expected in pledged donations – and making her a poster child for DIY revenue. Palmer will use the cash to fund an album, art book and tour.
Potential payday: $1.2 million
Downsides: Not everyone can pull this off – beyond Palmer, the highest Kickstarter fundraising rounds for musicians have been roughly $200,000 per project. It's especially hard for artists who don't already have a built-in fanbase assembled the old-fashioned way, as Palmer did.