As an independent artist, no matter what your style, genre or sound, there are a few things that you have at your disposal that many mainstream or major artists don’t or can’t always claim: extreme flexibility, genuine grassroots connections at a local level, and the ability to be more adventurous and creative with your music. But one of the most important things an independent artist must realize they have a great advantage in is something that may at times be taken for granted or even shunned: self education.
Any independent worth their weight should at least be in the process of building up their personal library filled with books that they can use as reference guides to their own success. There are tons of music business books any artist can find at their local bookstore or major chain. The key is to have a solid idea of the information that you want and a plan on how to use it. That said, here are a few great titles and authors to help you get started. No, they’re not all specifically music business books, but each one contains a truckload of great information that might just be useful to you in moving towards the career you want.
I DON’T NEED A RECORD DEAL by Dayelle Deanna Schwartz
One of the coolest things about this books is that it starts off with a laundry list of successful independent artists and professionals, and taps them throughout the duration of the book with great advice on marketing, promotion, merchandising, touring and more.
THE PIRATE’S DILEMMA by Matt Mason
Focusing on the history of how youth and counter cultures have effected corporate America, this book is perfect for any indie artist looking to tap into their inner rebel and also features the real story around how a nun at a foster care home for troubled children inadvertently started the disco and electronic music revolution.
THE BIG PAYBACK by Dan Charnas
Rarely have books on Hip Hop history focused on the business aspects of the genre. Journalist and historian Dan Charnas changed that with a stunning, lengthy account of how Hip Hop rose from the block to change corporate America’s view on youth culture forever.
MUSIC MARKETING by Mike King
A truly definitive guide to all things music marketing. The subtitle reads “Press, Promotion, Distribution and Retail”, and King, an instructor at the prestigious Berklee School of Music, goes to great length to provide readers with substantial, worthwhile information on something that still seems to stump many an indie artist these days.
CONTENT RULES by Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman
Every independent artist needs a formidable web and social media presence. But sometimes they may not know what content to create, how to create it and how to successfully maintain it. Handley and Chapman have written the bible on exactly that: how to create the greatest social media pages, blogs, podcasts, websites and more to help any artist build the presence they need on the net.Google+