In a continuation from our article earlier this month about independent artists using self-education as a distinct and differentiating advantage, we present 5 more pieces of reading material that artists of any genre, style and background should go out and add to their personal library. Success in music and entertainment is something that, in many ways, is just like any other job, only it requires even harder and smarter work, a realization that banker’s hours must be tossed out the window, and the ability to tap as many educational and informational resources as possible.
One of those resources that every indie artist should take advantage of is, and always has been, books. Whether it’s in the physical form, a PDF eBook, in the audio format or any other format you can think of, if you’re an indie artist, be sure to get your hands on books that will give you the best information on helping your career. Think critically and entrepreneurially. Be open-minded without being too wide open. And if some reading material isn’t working for you, set it down and use it as a reference point for later. All in all, get started if you have not done so already. Check out these five titles that could be of some benefit to you as an artist and as an entrepreneur.
MUSIC LAW by Richard Stim
Considered the definitive music law book from the definitive music and entertainment business publisher, Nolo, Stim’s publication gives practical advice on the legal issues behind finding management, creating a band name, sampling, touring, budgeting, taxes, contracts and every other boring but extremely important consideration that artists have no choice but to gain a knowledge of.
THE INDIE BAND SURVIVAL GUIDE by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan
Billed as “the ultimate resource for musicians looking to record, distribute, market and sell their music for less than most rock stars spend on their green M&M’s” (from the Amazon.com Review), Chertkow and Feehan are indie musicians and techies themselves and bring some interesting and lively thoughts to how to thrive as an independent artist.
REWORK by Jason Fried and David Heinmeier Hansson
Founders of the software/web development company 37Signals, Fried and Hansson have given the world the ultimate against the grain, “not-your-typical-business-book” account of succeeding as an entrepreneur. Advice and chapter titles include “Meetings Are Poison”, “Pick A Fight” and “Unless you are a fortune-teller, long-term business planning is a fantasy.” An ideal read for the indie artist that wants to do it their way.
THIS BUSINESS OF URBAN MUSIC by James L. Walker, Jr. Esq
Written by a respected and experienced entertainment lawyer that started out with his own concert promotion company, this extension of Donald Passman’s classic is chock full of tidbits of information on subjects ranging from intellectual property, entrepreneurship, publishing, marketing and promotion and even starting a label.
MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN by Scott Belsky
Belsky is the Founder and CEO of Behance, a company dedicated towards helping creative professionals bring their creative ideas to fruition. In this book, he preaches the idea of breaking down creative ideas, attaching levels of importance and the concept of “shipping”. Essential reading for a music artist looking to make a career from their artistic endeavors.