Subject: Manage for Success: Recommended Books and Publications, Newsletter #26, June 2003

"Manage for Success" is a free monthly newsletter for record label executives who want to operate their companies efficiently and successfully.

It's published by Keith Holzman of Solutions Unlimited, a management consultant, troubleshooter, and trusted advisor, and is based on his many years as a senior executive in the music industry.

Copyright 2003 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.

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I thought this month I'd do something a bit different -- provide a guide to what I think are some of the best books and publications about the music industry, and business in general. Many remarks are my own; others are critic or reader comments derived from, where most of the books can be purchased.


"All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Revised and Updated for the 21st Century" by Donald S. Passman. This is an absolutely essential guide to the legal and financial aspects of the record industry. If you've got time to read only one book about the business, this would be it. Passman has a relaxed, conversational style of writing about what can be a very dry subject, and he updates the book about every three years. I suggest you buy your own copy and not borrow from the library because you're likely to be referring to it frequently.

"This Business of Music: The Definitive Guide to the Music Industry (8th Edition)"
by M. William Krasilovsky and Sidney Shemel with contributions by John M. Gross. Includes CD with ready-to-print contracts and copyright forms. It's useful, but much more technical and probably not as helpful as Passman. I think many of the contracts are outmoded.

"What They'll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Myths, the Secrets, the Lies (& a few Truths)" by Peter M. Thall. This is the newest of the legal books and is intended primarily for artists considering signing with a label, but it has great insight into the signing process.

"Music, Money and Success: The Insider's Guide to Making Money in the Music Business" by Jeffrey Brabec and Todd Brabec. Intended more for songwriters, composers and those interested in music for film and television, this is a good supplement to Passman.

"101 Music Business Contracts" Updated Edition - Preprinted Binder / CD-ROM set containing over 100 contracts and agreements for recording artist, musicians, record companies, managers, songwriters, labels, producers, indies and any and all others in the music industry, by R. Williams. I've not seen this one, and prefer having my own agreements drafted, but it may prove helpful to musicians or small labels.


"Everything You'd Better Know About the Record Industry" by Kashif, Gary Greenberg. Included are over 150 pages of contracts and their explanatory notes, information on obtaining recording and publishing deals, understanding how royalties are calculated, choosing the right manager, and what it takes to start your own record company. Comprehensive and comprehensible, this is an urgently recommended addition to the reference shelves of every music department and community library collection. (Midwest Book Review)

"Confessions of a Record Producer: How to Survive the Scams and Shams of the Music Business" by Moses Avalon. Avalon pseudonymously exposes the ways the recording industry can take advantage of budding artists…and examines the various stages of the record deal. (Booklist)

"The Ultimate Guide for the New Music Industry: A Handbook for Hell" by Justin Goldberg. Anecdotes and interviews with more than forty music industry pros tells musicians and budding moguls what they should be doing to succeed in the business -- to be published in August.

"Tim Sweeney's Guide to Releasing Independent Records" by Tim Sweeney & Mark Geller. A helpful guide for a musician who's plans to release his own CD.


"Hit Men: Power Brokers & Fast Money Inside the Music Business" by Fredric Dannen. A nauseatingly honest and therefore controversial expose of the base beings that inhabit the higher levels of the music industry. (

"Follow the Music: The Life and High Times of Elektra Records in the Great Years of American Pop Culture" by Jac Holzman and Gavan Daws. Not coincidentally, my brother, Jac, wrote it. Who says nepotism is bad?

"Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group" by Stan Cornyn with Paul Scanlon. I discovered a number of things about the inner workings of Warner Music that, despite my thirty year connection, I'd never known about. I had a lot of laughs as well.

"Little Labels--Big Sound: Small Record Companies and the Rise of American Music" by Rick Kennedy, Randy McNutt, Rick Kennedy. Tells how 10 independent record labels shaped the course of American popular music. (Publishers Weekly. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

"Folkways Records: Moses Asch and His Encyclopedia of Sound" by Tony Olmsted, Anthony Olmsted. A bio of the maverick founder of Folkways Records.

"The Land Where the Blues Began" by Alan Lomax. An intimate diary of a purely American art form born of a powerful mix of despair and hope. (


"Sound Recording Practice" by John Borwick (Editor), Association of Professional Recording Services. In this invaluable book, a broad range of contributors--musicians, acousticians, electronic engineers, and broadcasters--share their specialized expertise on the equipment used to record, transmit, and reproduce speech and music and the operational techniques that have evolved over half a century in the sound recording industry. (

"Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios" by William Clark, Jim Cogan, Quincy Jones. Tells the stories of the legendary studios where musical genius and a magical space came together to capture some of the most exciting jazz, pop, funk, soul, and country records ever made. (

"Sound Recording Advice For The Home Recording Studio" by John J. Volanski. A straightforward reference manual and instructional guide to the ins and outs of creating and operating a home sound recording studio. (

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Keeping up on your reading and other industry information isn't easy. And even if you read all of the books suggested here, staying on top of management issues and the day-to-day problems of running a successful label is even harder. Many label executives find it difficult to deal with such administrative matters as accounting, marketing, profitability, sales data, staff, etc.

That's where I come in. With almost forty years of record industry experience there are few problems I haven't met or had to solve at one time or another.

So when you come up against a wall of problems, and need some managerial advice, call me to see how I can improve your situation.

And if you have a topic you'd like me to address in future newsletters, please call or email me

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There are about 32,000 books listed under "Business Management" on's web site! These are some that you may find particularly useful.

"The Essential Drucker: In One Volume the Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management" by Peter F. Drucker
"The Effective Executive Revised" by Peter F. Drucker
"The Practice of Management" by Peter F. Drucker
"Management Challenges for the 21st Century" by Peter F. Drucker
No single person has influenced the course of business in the 20th century as much as Peter Drucker. He practically invented management as a discipline in the 1950s, elevating it from an ignored, even despised, profession into a necessary institution that "reflects the basic spirit of the modern age." (

"Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change" by Stephen Covey. A business bestseller with more than 10 million copies sold. Covey suggests that true success encompasses a balance of personal and professional effectiveness. (

"Ethical Theory and Business" by Tom L. Beauchamp and Norman E. Bowie. A comprehensive anthology of readings, legal perspectives, and cases in ethics in business. (

"Essential Managers: Managing Budgets" by Stephen Brookson. Part of the "Essential Managers" series by reference publisher Dorling-Kindersley, this is an energetically formatted pocket-sized book that explains the whole budgeting process in 72 quick-and-clean pages. (

"Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In" by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton "This is by far the best thing I've ever read about negotiation. It is equally relevant for the individual who would like to keep his friends, property, and income and the statesman who would like to keep the peace." (John Kenneth Galbraith)

"Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation" by William Ury. A guide to successful negotiation shows readers how to stay cool under pressure, stand up for themselves without provoking opposition, deal with underhanded tactics, find mutually agreeable options, and more. (Ingram)

"The Art of the Long View: Paths to Strategic Insight for Yourself and Your Company" by Peter Schwartz. A revolutionary approach to developing strategic vision in business and in life, a guide for managers, entrepreneurs, and investors explains how to apply creative and intuitive skills to corporate practices. (Ingram)

"How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees" by Jeffrey J. Fox. An essential guide on what matters in management. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine

"Building Trust: How to Get It! How to Keep It!" by Hyler Bracey

"Defining Moments: When Managers Must Choose Between Right and Right" by Joseph L. Badaracco, Jr.


"This Business of Music Marketing and Promotion by Tad Lathrop and Jim Pettigrew" An invaluable guide to planning and producing a complete marketing campaign for selling music to the listening public, this book arms readers with key strategies and tools to ensure that a musical recording reaches its full sales potential. (Ingram)

"The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook" by Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin. This book will guide marketers into the world of positioning and selling products and services. The authors lead the reader step by step through the process of developing a marketing campaign. They offer detailed descriptions of more than a hundred marketing tools from contests to affinity programs, from direct mail to billboard advertising. Anecdotes, graphics, and rules of thumb are also included. (

Purple Cow: Transform Your Own Business by Being Remarkable, by Seth Godin. Toss out everything you know and do something "remarkable" by creating new ways of doing old business. ( I think that Godin is one of the most impressive and inventive minds in business today (see following entry.)

"Unleashing the Idea Virus" by Seth Godin. Describes ways to set any viable commercial concept loose among those who are most likely to catch it -- and then stand aside as these recipients become infected and pass it on to others who might do the same. (


Radio & Records
Hits Magazine
Rolling Stone
Hollywood Reporter
Variety and Daily Variety
Music Industry News Network []
Music Dish []
All Access Music Group []
All Music Guide []

For a Comprehensive List of Music Journals, Newspapers and Periodicals, see: []

"A&R Registry" -- updated every 8 weeks, includes A&R contacts not listed in any other directory; lists all major and indie labels in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, London, and Toronto.

"Film/Television Music Guide" -- published every June -- a new version is due out in about two weeks -- lists all movie studio, TV network and independent production company music departments, record and publishing film/TV departments, music supervisors, etc. This is particularly useful if you're interested in getting your masters and/or copyrights used in movies or television shows.

"Music Publisher Registry" -- published twice a year at the end of January and June, lists all major publishers and significant independents in LA, NY, Nashville, Toronto and London, entire creative staff, direct dial numbers and assistant names.

"Music Attorney, Legal and Business Affairs Guide" -- published every May, lists music business attorneys, record company legal and business affairs departments, etc.

All four of the above are available from Music Business Registry [] or call 800-377-4711 to place an order or get additional information.

"LSN Database Pro All Access Passport" is a CD-ROM that contains information on 30,000 music industry professionals throughout the world. It comes with a one-year subscription service to their Label Services Network and provides up-to-date interactive information by way of your web browser. It's available from Measurement Arts Music ( or 818-760-6640.


The Wall Street Journal
Business Week


"Mind Your Own Business: Getting Started as an Entrepreneur" by LaVerne Ludden and Bonnie Maitlen. Good, practical advise to jump-start your thinking on creating a new business.

And keep an eye out for my own book about how to start a record label, due out within the next year.


The New York Times
U.S. News and World Report


"The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: The Official Style Guide Used by the Writers and Editors of the World's Most Authoritative Newspaper" by Allan M. Siegal and William G. Connolly

"The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White (Forward by Roger Angell)" Now in its 4th Edition, the basic manual of style for all manner of writing; a masterpiece in the art of clear and concise writing.

The above two books are invaluable in determining editorial style, and are extremely useful references for writing press releases, formatting text in CD booklets, etc.

"Pocket Pal: A Graphic Arts Production Handbook" Editor: Michael H. Bruno; 18th edition, published by International Paper. Publishers, designers, and print buyers, have valued this small handbook since its release many years ago. Now in the 18th edition, more than relaying its valuable information on the history and conventional processes of the printing industry, this updated text recognizes the recent technological developments within the industry and describes and emphasizes the areas related to this transition.

Most of these books can be purchased at
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And if you have a topic you'd like me to address in future newsletters,
please call or email me

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Copyright 2003 by Keith Holzman, Solutions Unlimited. All rights reserved.