Authors of new book about Grateful Dead's marketing approach to donate one fourth of advance and royalties to UC Santa Cruz

Inspired by a thought-provoking feature article by Joshua Green in the March issue of Atlantic magazine titled Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead, Boston writers David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan have just published a new book released Monday called Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead.

Including a foreword by basketball legend Bill Walton, plus photos by longtime Dead photographer Jay Blakesberg, the book describes how the band's marketing strategy has become the quintessential model for the Internet age.

But here's the best part:

25 percent of the royalties will be donated directly to the Grateful Dead Archive at UC Santa Cruz.

And that of course is the whole point.

"The Grateful Dead were famous for their devotion to charitable causes," explained Nicholas Meriwether, UCSC's Grateful Dead archivist, "and that is another lesson from the band that David and Brian took to heart."

"Just as their book demonstrates the band's model of excellence and creativity, David and Brian's gift is a remarkable expression of the band's belief in philanthropy."

The book's authors note that the Grateful Dead's early emphasis on content and social networking-using free giveaways, an open network of grassroots advertising, and special access (coined by modern marketers as the "freemium" model)-paid off big time as a long-term investment, earning the band unprecedented loyalty and a huge fan base.

"It's kind of like compounding interest inside your 401(k) account," Halligan recently told an audience at an East Coast book signing event.

However, the band's focus was not to make money, but rather to energize the crowd and spread the music-turning the Grateful Dead into what the authors describe as the "ultimate contrarian marketers.''

"The core values of the Grateful Dead have enabled them to develop one of the strongest brands in history, and some of the most loyal, longstanding, fervent fans -their customer base,'' says Walton.

As he notes in the book's foreword:

"Like other daring visionaries The Grateful Dead rejected conventional wisdom. We're seeing a tide change in traditional marketing no longer working or even being a player in the online space. It's only the visionaries who will win out and those visionaries know it's only when you tune into the fans that your product or service is going to succeed."