Nobody knows everything.
But when it comes to the music industry, it certainly doesn’t hurt to try.
If you want to be the best, there are a lot of resources out there that are essential building blocks to help you work smarter, not harder. There are a lot of people who were once in your musical shoes, and they know exactly what it was like to wing it and hope for the best. Thankfully, people like them have written books to help people like you.
Learn from the best with these awesome music industry books:
All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Eighth Edition by Donald Passman
This one is probably the most famous instruction manual on the music industry to exist, ever. Pro’s suggest at least reading this one even if you never plan to read another music industry book ever again. If you haven’t heard of him, Donald Passman has been one of the top music attorneys in the business for the past 30 years, and has been teaching the advanced music industry course at USC’s law school for many years. If anyone knows a little somethin’ somethin’ about the music biz, it’s him.
In the book, he talks about how record deals work, a breakdown on copyrights, merchandising tips, how to build your team, and a lot more. If you’re looking for a fundamental overview to jump start your research, this is a great book to start with. Get it, here.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story In a Noisy Social World by Gary Vaynerchuk
Being good at social media and networking is a deal breaker in this industry. Thankfully, this book provides a great foundation for using social media professionally.
This one really goes in depth into what works and what doesn’t. If you’re a visual learner, look no further. Vaynerchuk uses screenshots of real life social media posts by large companies to help walk you through the best way to do things. The book even includes photoshopped versions of these posts edited to show how to better illustrate different aspects of your posts.
However, because these posts are from the social media of larger companies, you’ll have to use your imagination to conceptualize how these ideas could work best for you.
Break The Business: Declaring Your Independence And Achieving True Success In The Music Industry by Ryan Kairalla
This modern music landscape is vast, but this book is here to help you divide and conquer.
Ryan Kairalla will help you figure out the right place for you in this industry and help you be the best. This author happens to be a music lawyer, and he tells his story in a supremely funny, interesting format. Honest and easy to read, this book gets the point across in a way that anyone can understand. He’s super anti-label, so if that resonates with you, you’ll love this book. He’s brutally honest and has strong opinions with intellect to back it up, so just keep this bias in mind if you’re someone who is trying to work with a label or currently works with one.
Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business by Jesse Cannon
Need help promoting your music and monetizing it? Look no further.
Jesse Cannon talks about how to get your music in front of more people with less effort, how to brand yourself, how to use social media to market your content and so much more. He touches on a little bit of everything in this one, including tools and websites you can use to promote your music even further and even how to make better quality sound recordings.
Six-Figure Musician: How to Sell More Music, Get More People to Your Shows and Make More Money in the Music Business by David Hooper
Music business radio host, David Hooper has been a well-known expert in the music marketing field for a very long time.
Hooper mentions, “Six Figure Musician could have been called Seven Figure Musician and it wouldn’t have been far from the truth.” He says there are many independent musicians earning six figures; lot’s of whom aren’t the biggest household names out there. So, six-figures is absolutely not the limit for you independent artists looking to make it big.
He’s got a lot of tips and tricks up his sleeves that you definitely should look into if you want some real-life advice from a boss in the industry. He’s done a lot of work for and with other artists and offers a lot of insight from all the interviews he’s done over the years. He covers how to get a record contract, how to build a strong connection with your fans, avoiding burnout, email marketing, and so much more advice from all his collective experiences in this industry.
There is a lot to learn from those who have been in your shoes and done well. Use their wisdom to help you succeed to your highest potential without all the trial and error.
Keep Calm and Read On!