Holidays are a great time to catch up on your reading and with Easter right around the corner, why not do just that? Reading the right books are also a great way to get smarter about the music business and inspire your next career move. In this article, we recommend five books about the music business that will help you take your career to the next level whether you are an artist or a music industry person. Happy Easter!
How To Make it In The New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician (Ari Herstand)
Ari Herstand is a DIY-musician as well as a respected commentator on industry-related topics. His blog, Ari’s Take, offers advice on how to make it as an independent musician and in 2016 he compiled his wisdom in book form. As the title implies, the book examines all the tools available to independent artists today and how they can find success on their own terms. Among many other things, the book covers how to build a grass-roots fan base and understanding the modern fan, booking a profitable tour, and becoming popular on YouTube, Spotify, and SoundCloud.
Paul Allen teaches a university course on artist management and his book is the definitive guide to the subject. This obviously makes it a great read for would-be managers but it’s also very useful for artists who are managing their own career. The manager’s role is becoming increasingly important in the modern music industry and as perhaps the most important person in an artist’s career, it’s essential to know about their role. With many case studies and examples, the book does a great job of shedding light on what managers do, how they think and how to work with them effectively.
This book is the definitive guide to music publishing. It was first published in 2005 and is now in its third edition. Music publishing is one of the most complex areas of the music business and an area that many still struggle to fully understand. Wixen’s book explores the ins and outs of complicated areas like music copyright and licensing, but does so in an accessible and understandable way. Everyone in the business should have a basic idea of how publishing works, but the book is especially important if you’re a songwriter or someone looking to make a career in music publishing.
At over 600 pages, this book is an extremely comprehensive examination of all things DIY in the music business. Cannon and Thomas dive deep into the many things you can do grow your career no matter what level you’re on and whether you’re an artist, manager, label owner or booking agent you’ll find something useful in the book. With varied backgrounds in the industry, the two authors cover everything from getting press coverage to going viral, writing a great bio to funding your music and much much more.
Music Marketing for the DIY Musician: Creating and Executing a Plan of Attack on a Low Budget ( Bobby Borg)
Bobby Borg is a professional musician as well as an author, speaker and music educator. During his long career, he has been both a major label artist as well as a DIY musician. The title of the book pretty much says it all and in it, Borg offers a practical, step-by-step marketing guide for musicians on a budget. It sums up his 25 years of experience as a musician and entrepreneur as well as his work in academic and practical research on music marketing.