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The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician Paperback – August 5, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this indispensable guide for indie musicians, Chertkow and Feehan, lead members of the Chicago band Beatnik Turtle, explain how they have managed successfully to get their music out to the public, to produce four albums, to build a huge following and to write music for television shows and theater without the benefit of a record label. Covering topics such as building a brand, networking, Web site, getting booked, playing live and getting publicized, Chertkow and Feehan pass along advice that, while sometimes self-evident, encourages bands to exploit the Internet and to become Web savvy to make a name for themselves. For example, in illustrative detail they spell out clearly the terms of contracts such as nonexclusive that can often be so fuzzy. In their section on getting booked, they remind bands that the essence of a good show is remembering that the band is there for the audience, and the authors explain step-by-step the ups and downs of dealing with bookers, scheduling and booking kits. Because this lively book offers such essential guidance in these changing times, no band should be without a copy. (Aug.) ""
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved."

Review

Indispensable ... This lively book offers such essential guidance in these changing times, no band should be without a copy. (Publishers Weekly)

The Internet is an extraordinary opportunity for musicians to make and profit from their music. This clearly written and comprehensive book shows exactly how. A perfect balance between the mess of the law and the promise of the technology, it should be read by anyone who wants to take their talent and share it--for the love of sharing, or for the profit. (Lawrence Lessig, author of Code, professor at Stanford Law School, founder of the Center for the Internet and Society, and CEO of the Creative Commons project)

Finally! A comprehensive and practical guide for musicians that explains how to navigate today's music world without a label. A must-read! (Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby and HostBaby)

If they gave out Grammys for music career books, Randy and Jason should surely win one. Their Indie Band Survival Guide is a must-read resource for any musician wanting to take the independent path to success--which, these days, is the only way to go. Networking, branding, Internet promotion, live gigs, distribution, publicity ... they cover it all. Highly recommended! (Bob Baker, author of Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook and founder of TheBuzzFactor.com)

A fabulous & comprehensive 101 guide for any musician trying to make it in the crazy 'new' Music Business. (Ariel Hyatt, founder of Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR)

A practical, down-to-earth guide for bands working in the real world. (Brian Austin Whitney, founder of the Just Plain Folks musician network)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312377681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312377687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #819,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Rene I. Ferrer on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book does exactly what the author set out to accomplish. It is a compilation of knowledge and useful tips, usually spread out all over the internet, for all us small bands trying to take the next steps to a more professional level.

Everything is presented in a logical order and progresses from band promotion, gigs, experience and then into recording, production and music distribution, from CD (yuck) to digital
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By S. Elwood on April 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to aid in helping me get my band up and running. I was pleasantly surprised at the thoroughness of the topics and the author's insights on each. Real world experience pays dividends and the author really makes his case. I give this book 5 stars for content and delivery. My only gripe is the lack of an index. I am using highlighters and Post-It notes and have kind of created my own. Easily a third of the book deals with internet topics and should be very helpful to those musicians who are not web designers. And while this book provides a comprehensive look at the world of indie band business and details what you need to consider, it does not provide the legal underpinnings of that business. I would strongly recommend 2 other books to complement this one. The first is "Music Law" by Richard Stim, an indispensable legal guide that explains copyrights and many other legal issues surrounding the music business. The second is "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" by Donald Passman. This book details just about every way a musician can get screwed by the music industry and how to avoid or at least deal with it. All three books complement each other beautifully. Highly recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dane E. Forst on December 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
Have you ever read a "How To" book and it wasn't much of a "how to" at all? I've been duped before. I picked up a book once on writing lyrics and it read more like a playlist of songs that have good lyrics, not how to actually construct a good lyric yourself. Just copy what others are doing! This book, however, is the opposite. I was almost expecting a simple run down of the obvious. "Make sure you have a MySpace profile and some pretty pictures!" I was pleasantly surprised when it went in to ULTRA DETAIL as to how to do something they just told you to do. If they recommend a way of doing things, they take the time to list websites to help and the actual way to do-it-yourself. What a novel concept!

I also found that it is incredibly up-to-date, it makes mention of current trends including Twitter, etc. It isn't written from the perspective of a couple of old dodgers just kicking around horror stories from the music biz. That's a book anyone could have written. This has REAL TIPS. This is coming from someone who can be incredibly jaded sometimes, especially in the subject of music and musicians.

I have to be honest and mention that I am only half way through but I wanted to give my opinion now before I forgot. Already it is pretty indispensable for me just starting my first serious band right now. I can only hope the second half is as good. I read through the first part last night and should be done by tomorrow.

If you are looking for a real way to get your music in front of people buy this book now! Again, in all caps, BUY THIS BOOK NOW!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Mitchem on September 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've read tons of music business books over the years and this one put a new spin on it for me. The Indie Band Survival Guide is the go-to Guide for the basics and beyond. It's written in a way that even a beginner can understand and packed FULL of information that even seasoned musicians will find interesting. New perspectives from authors that understand indie music and the indie way of life! In addition to this book, I recommend reading Tour:Smart by Martin Atkins. The 2 book combined will most certainly give you the advantage over everyone else!

WAY TO GO INDIE BAND SURVIVAL GUIDE!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By benboy on September 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm the author of a book that competes (in a way) with this book and I have to say I am totally into "The Indie Band Survival Guide." It has a very fresh view of what it's like to be in an indie band -- so fresh that it should be called "Indie Band 2.0." It throughly analyzes the revenue streams for indie bands in this post-music biz blowdown era and provides lots and lots of realistic and helpful info.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By uglykasanova on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ordered this along with a more intensive book on booking and performing, and was expecting this one to be a flop. Actually, the other ended up being more of an encyclopedia, useful but dry, and this one I found mind-blowingly accessible from beginning to end. I'm a working musician, and I recommend this item as a pretty straight-forward, lively, and informative book on engaging the business of being an independent musician in theory in practice.
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Format: Paperback
Even as a non-musician, with a healthy interest in the machinations of the music industry, I found the Indie Band Survival Guide extremely helpful. I can only imagine what it must do for those that actually play and desire a career from doing so.

With so much covered, it works best as a dip into the particular section you need resource. An operations manual, if you like. Even so, it's worth reading from cover-to-cover over time, especially if you're starting a brand new project and want to understand all the bases that need to be covered. The authors come across as really experienced and the book progresses logically through the actions that need to be taken. It's definitely one of those to keep with you on the road to refer to as you go.

Keep the faith, indie folk, we respect what you do!
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