Veteran U.K. progressive rock band Marillion claims to have secured the equivalent of a $725,000 advance by appealing direct to its fans online.

Last October, the band announced that its as-yet-unnamed fifteenth studio album was being made available to pre-purchase ahead of a late 2008 release date.

So far, a spokesperson for the band says 12,011 fans have paid £29.99 ($60) for a deluxe version of the as-yet-unreleased double-disc set, providing an income of £360,000 ($725,000). The album will be self-released; the band controls its own publishing.

Early orders were encouraged with the promise that fans would get their names listed in the "thank-yous" in the sleeve notes and be in line for giveaways of concert tickets and backstage passes for the 2008 tour.

There was also a prize on offer for those ordering early which would allow them to join Marillion in the studio and play on the album. Other potential prizes for those ordering the deluxe package included private gigs for fans, phone calls from the band and an all-expenses paid trip to a Marillion convention in Holland.

A standard version of the album will also be released, which will be available at £9.99 ($20).

Previous Marillion albums "Marbles" (2004) and "Anoraknophobia" (2001) were also financed with the direct-to-fanbase online appeal. The band was an early adopter of the internet, launching a Web site in the mid-'90s, and now claims to have an active database of 90,000 fans.