Tuesday, October 27

Empower Yourself Through Books

When I was a child and I had a question, my mom would always tell me “Go look it up.” I always figured she was telling me this because she didn’t know the answer but as I got older, I realized she was teaching me a valuable lesson. Anything you want to know can be found in some book somewhere. The same is true for the music industry. Did you know there’s actually a book called All You Need To Know About The Music Business?
In this industry, knowledge truly is power. Without knowing your rights, what happened with the latest radio or label mergers, or what “recoupment” means in your contract, your career could be over before it even begins. Here’s just a few of the book you need to have on your bookshelf to help you in this industry.

• All You Need to Know about the Music Business by Donald Passman – This book really breaks down the basics of the industry, everything from artist management, publishing, touring, and marketing. It offers a broad overview of things you will encounter or may have already seen in this industry.

• The Musician’s Business and Legal Guide by Mark Halloran – Contracts make this industry go round. They can also have you on your own episode of Behind the Music if you catch a bad one. This book will break down in detail various types of contracts like artist management, label, and songwriting (exclusive and non-exclusive). GET THIS ONE! EMPOWER YOURSELF!

• The Business of Concert Promotion and Touring by Ray Waddell, Rich Barnet, and Jake Berry – The book covers many things with large-scale tours but there is some valuable information for small venues and club tours as well.

• Record Label Marketing by Thomas Hutchinson – If you ever wanted to understand why some artists pop on big labels over others, this book will break it down for you. The book goes through the various means that labels use to gauge the success of their artists, how they used to market and the news ways they are trying to get you to notice that next “overnight success”

• American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3 – The saying “you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been” rings true for the industry, especially when it comes to sampling or even understanding why you dO music in the first place. Learn about music pioneers like Stephen Foster and the origins of musical styles blues, jazz, rock, country, and Hip Hop.

• Billboard Directories – One of the most trusted names in music industry news is Billboard Magazine. For years, they have tracked the success of radio, album, and online singles and sales. They also have directories of contact information to help you book tours, find management, or get your album reviewed both here and abroad. They are a little pricey for the musician on a budget but these books can save you a lot of time trying to figure who is legit and who is fraud.

These are just 6 of the books that can help you protect yourself and take your career to that next level, but there are hundreds if not thousands out there. Check out your local library, Barnes and Nobles, Borders, or Amazon.com and search by topic or keyword: music business. The Billboard directories are online or you can order a print copy at Billboard.biz. Happy reading!

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