Music Business Made Easy
Being an independent artist requires a renaissance mindset. Artists are not only asked to make music, but also market themselves on social media, procure an image, and oversee many duties that come with the business side of being an artist. Below are some helpful books, links, and terms as well as a dropbox link with various music contracts inside to help independent artists conquer the initial hurdles of managing their business correctly. We’ve also included some links to different ways you can generate additional income as a producer.
To become a self-sufficient artist one must be versed in ways to create revenue from their art. Selling records doesn’t pay as well in the digital age as it did in the time of CD’s and now many musicians have to turn to touring, teaching, and offering other services besides selling their records to make ends meet. This is not meant to be a top list, or full list of everything you need to know, but rather a list of resources for getting you started in the right direction.
Staying up to date with music news can be a lot easier if you sign up to receive emails from websites pertaining to the music industry. Generally staying away from opinionated blogs and leaning more towards websites that give the reader unbiased facts is a good idea. Below are a small group of websites that cover a wide spectrum of music business information.
- Audio Engineering Society – http://www.aes.org
- Billboard and Billboard Biz – https://www.billboard.com , https://www.billboard.com/biz
- Digital Music News – https://www.digitalmusicnews.com
- Music Business Worldwide – https://www.musicbusinessworldwide.com
- National Association of Music Merchants – https://www.namm.org
- NPR’s ‘The Record’ – https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/
The first book is “Music Industry Forms: The 75 Most important Documents for the Modern Musician“. The book is full of music contracts that can be used as templates to help guide you through a world of ambiguous legal terminology and help the artist negotiate carve-outs and create a more fair contract. This next book is called “Taking Care of Your Music Business” By John Kellogg and has been used as one of the benchmarks for conducting music business in the 21st century. The book doesn’t get updated very often because for the most part many of the readings stay the same from year to year with the exception of some rates for royalties and mostly electronic/streaming based aspects.
To help bring the modern day musician up to speed with musical technology, the rise and fall of napster, pirating, why musicians tend to give their music away for free in the modern age and much more, we recommend these two books titled. “Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music” and “Streaming, Sharing, Stealing: Big Data and the Future of Entertainment“. Book Number 5 is such an amazing book for music producers. It may seem like it’s intended for Ableton users, but it’s really geared to music producers regardless of DAW. “Making Music: 74 Creative Strategies for Electronic Music Producers” by Dennis Desantis is bound to get the creative juices flowing. The last book we want to recognize focuses on harnessing one’s artistic powers and creating a fruitful lifestyle for any artist. “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron is a book comprised of small self-talks that Julia gives herself daily by way of this journal which eventually turns into a nationally bestselling book and manifesto. I personally love this book.
Click HERE for a free resource of over 75 music contract templates to get you started on whatever endeavor you need help with. We are not legal experts and are not giving any legal advice, so please always consult with a professional when you can. These are intended as a free template/resource to help you get started.
RESOURCES FOR EARNING INCOME