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Recommended Reading

Friends: Please be aware that I have retired from active consulting, However, I’ve decided to keep the website up and available for archival purposes, and for access to the Newsletter Articles, Recommended Reading, etc.

Recommended Reading

This is a guide to what I think are some of the best books and publications about the music business, and business in general. Many of these books can be purchased from local bookstores, or online from Amazon.com.

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry

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 should 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 because you're likely to be referring to it frequently.

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 one of 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.

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry: An Insider’s View by Richard Schulenberg. This book covers almost every aspect of music business law, particularly contracts, breaking down legalize into readily understandable language.

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. New fourth edition was just published for 2006.

Music Industry

Indie Power by Peter Spellman. This is a good compliment to my The Complete Guide to Starting a Record Company. It approaches the subject from a somewhat different angle, and he has an interesting outlook on the Indie label scene.

Indie Marketing Power by Peter Spellman. This new (2006) Spellman book is an extremely thorough and comprehensive overview of the independent music marketing scene for both artists and independent labels. Its almost 400 pages are chock full of relevant information and excellent advise -- an essential if you’re serious about getting your music to the public.

How to Promote your Music  Successfully on the Internet by David Nevue. An excellent source of up-to-date information on internet marketing for musicians and bands.

Guerilla Music Marketing Handbook by Bob Baker.

The Musician's Handbook by Bobby Borg. Directed more to musicians than label owners, Borg's book has many helpful suggestions about building a career in the music business.

The Ultimate (Survival) Guide to the Music Industry: A Handbook for Hell by Justin Goldberg.

Music Industry Biographies and Histories

Hit Men: Power Brokers & Fast Money Inside the Music Business by Fredric Dannen.

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.

Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group by Stan Cornyn with Paul Scanlon.

Recording Studio Practice

Sound Recording Practice Edited by John Borwick, Association of Professional Recording Services.

Temples of Sound: Inside the Great Recording Studios by William Clark, Jim Cogan, Quincy Jones.

Sound Recording Advice For The Home Recording Studio by John J. Volanski.

Off the Record: The Technology and Culture of Sound Recording in America by David Morton.

Managing and Business

There are about 100,000 books listed under "Business Management" on Amazon.com'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.
Drucker has been one of the most influential writers on business and management for the last many decades. He helped develop management consulting as a profession.

Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey.

Ethical Theory and Business by Tom L. Beauchamp, Norman E. Bowie.

Essential Managers: Managing Budgets by Stephen Brookson.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton.

Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation by William Ury.


This Business of Music Marketing and Promotion by Tad Lathrop and Jim Pettigrew.

The Guerrilla Marketing Handbook by Jay Conrad Levinson and Seth Godin.

Unleashing the Idea Virus by Seth Godin.

Miscellaneous Music Publications

A&R Registry. Updated every eight 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 - 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. 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 Indie911 or 310-943-7164

And, of course The Complete Guide to Starting a Record Company

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