- Paperback: 106 pages
- Publisher: Story of the Month Club; 1 edition (February 12, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0692350187
- ISBN-13: 978-0692350188
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,319,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Booking the Library: A Guide for Entertainers, Musicians, Speakers and Authors Paperback – February 12, 2015
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From the Author
A lot of people have asked me how this particular project came about, and what on earth it is. So, a bit of my history for you.
In 2008 I and two partners started a booking agency. It was something that they had wanted to do, for a while, but they needed someone who could handle the day to day running of things (Me). This booking agency, Unbound Booking, focused on bringing small, quality acts to public venues like libraries, schools, and community centers. We had a dual mission to encourage cultural and arts education in under served communities and to ensure that our artists were being paid a fair and sustainable amount for the art, music and entertainment they produced.
For six years, and through various iterations of the business I acted as a booking agent, owner and manager of this company. We grew from one act to fifty acts over the course of that time frame, and worked primarily with libraries across the United States. Our acts ranged from folk musicians, to magicians, to storytellers, to science educators, and quite a few things in-between. All of them were (are) good at what they did, and all of them were (are) extremely hard working people.
In 2014, a partnership dispute caused us to close down the company. These things happen.
I was not at that time in a position to start up a new agency, but I had all of this very practical knowledge of the industry at my fingertips and quite a few artists who wanted to pick my brain about how I did what I did. And thus, 'Booking the Library' was conceived! It's a slim volume, less than 100 pages all told, that gives an overview of the industry, library trends, best practices, step by step instructions on pricing your shows & contacting libraries, and sample contracts, phone scripts etc.
Many of my former performers have read it over and implemented the bits and pieces that they felt they needed. On the whole I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I hope you find it both helpful and enjoyable. As always, I wish you the best in your art.
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Top customer reviews
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Brawner relies heavily on facts instead of opinions--always a plus--and covers all the bases, from how to find libraries and approach them, to pricing your work and negotiating a fee, to proper etiquette once you finally land a gig. Throughout, there's solid, reassuring advice (including a reminder to bathe!) and it's all thoughtfully organized. I had a few quibbles here and there; for instance, it needs a stern warning to lawyers, financial consultants, insurance brokers, psychics and others to not prey on libraries by offering to do a free program on reverse mortgages, etc. as a way to drum up business. At best, they're abusing the public's trust in the library, and at worst, putting a library at risk for litigation if a client they pick up doesn't like the results; not all library programers realize this...until it's too late. I also found the book overwhelmingly oriented towards touring musicians; that said, other sorts of performers will still be able to apply most of Brawner's advice--like the suggestion to bathe, for instance.
In all, I wish I'd had "Booking The Library" when I was starting out; it would have saved me a lot of time, without question. No book will help you build a career if what you do onstage stinks, but taking Brawner's advice will at least ensure you won't screw up the offstage aspects.
It turns out, libraries across the country are looking for entertainers. Jessica started a booking agency that booked Renaissance festival entertainers at libraries. It was extremely successful and provided a great income for these Ren Performers, until finally she decided to let the business go. Now she’s decided to write about her experiences and tips on how musicians, entertainers, speakers, and authors can make money booking profitable gigs at libraries around the country.
I was fortunate enough to read a preview copy…
Wow! Booking the Library was just amazing. It is packed full of quick, actionable tips on how to get booked and make money performing at libraries. The step-by-step guide and insider tips from a former library booking agent gets me excited to start booking my own gigs. I also can’t wait to share this book with my musician friends.
Yes. That’s the quote I gave to Jessica after reading it. The book was totally awesome. I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who is looking for a fun and lucrative gig throughout the U.S.
Jessica Brawner’s book, “Booking the Library” really goes a long way to demystifying the process.
The meat of the book is a quick and easy read. There are enough example emails, contracts, references, and space for notes to cover any questions you might have. She holds your hand like a guide showing you how to approach libraries step by step. She doesn’t just tell you what to do but also what to be careful of while acting professional and maintaining a solid reputation. In other words, she helps you make sure you will get booked again and again!
The way the book was written, I think anyone can benefit from it from the seasoned pro to the beginner starting out. It also simply reads like a friend telling you how to book a library gig. I really like that! So to sum up, this is going to help me and I think it could help you too.