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The Indie Band Survival Guide, 2nd Ed.: The Complete Manual for the Do-it-Yourself Musician Paperback – September 4, 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Chertkow and Feehan] are the ideal mentors for aspiring indie musicians who want to navigate an ever-changing music industry.” ―Billboard Magazine

“I've seen a lot of books over the years; I've worked on every side of it….[Chertkow and Feehan] have the most up to date reference book for young musicians.” ―Matt Pinfield, radio and MTV/VH1 television personality

“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

“This is just the sort of zero-BS guide to modern artistic survival that should be in every artist's handbag.” ―Cory Doctorow

“Dear Parent: I hear your kid's band is starting to sound pretty good! The band is getting regular practices in; they're gigging a bit; they've got a logo and a Facebook page. How can you help them now? … Take a look at: The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual For The Do-It-Yourself Musician by Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan.” ―Laura Lamere, "Parenting Creative Kids" blog

“Chertkow and Feehan are plugged-in to the mercurial world that is the music industry. Their straightforward approach to making your own rules in a world without them is exactly what new and experienced artists need… I'm going to call the publisher to inquire about a quantity discount for studios. Seriously. We should hand these out to every new client who comes in the door.” ―Garrett Haines, TapeOP Magazine

“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

“Jam-packed full of incredible information. The Indie Band Survival Guide is a book that all artists, independent or not, need to own.” ―Ariel Hyatt, author, publicist, and founder of CyberPR

“[Chertkow and Feehan have] effectively produced a take-along, dog-earable handbook so anyone can follow in these well tread footsteps. ” ―BoingBoing

“Highly, highly recommended--for not only musicians, but for anyone and everyone living DIY.... It's also an incredibly invaluable resource for techies, writers, bloggers, social/digital media folk, producers, editors, and just about anybody with an interest in Indie/DIY culture.” ―Rockthought.com

“[Chertkow and Feehan] have collected a wealth of information and tools to help the indie band in getting recognized and their music distributed to their fans and, more importantly, the rest of the market.” ―Cybergrass

“The reason the guide is so good is simple...It's written by a pair of musicians, Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan...I'll be recommending for years to come.” ―Journal Star (Lincoln, NE)

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

About the Author

RANDY CHERTKOW (by day, a tech expert) and JASON FEEHAN (by day, an attorney) are lead members of Beatnik Turtle, a rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. Beatnik Turtle plays live, has produced eighteen albums, written music for TV, films, comedy shows at Second City, and has licensed music to ABC Family―all without a label.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 2 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250010756
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250010759
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was looking to get my feet wet in the music business, but I felt this guide tried to accomplish too much, at the expense of pretty much turning me off from the whole thing. Most of the chapters are long checklists of things you supposedly need to do in order to get sold, heard, noticed, win fans, etc. There's no doubt a lot of great information in this book, but it's obscured by a number of pointless tips, such as...

Create an account on Second Life and promote your music there? Do personal performances for fans via Skype? Use anime clips as footage for your music videos? Consider writing a song that disses someone famous and "ride their coattails" to fame?

Am I missing something here, or are these ridiculous pieces of advice? I understand the authors are trying to cover all their bases, but what a lot of indie musicians just starting out don't understand is that there is SO much more they have to consider than just their music, and exposing aspiring indie bands to a barrage of information at once is honestly not that helpful. Songwriting, album production, copyright laws, sales, promotion, getting gigs, social media strategies, networking, and a number of other things are already complicated enough in their own right, and trying to manage all of them as an indie musician is nothing short of a nightmare. I won't say I didn't learn anything from this book, because I learned a ton, but I don't feel optimistic about delving into this at all. I feel like a more condensed version of this would have been much better, because it's annoying and difficult trying to sift through all the stupid details they think you should know.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The RAREST of all things: a music industry guide that is actually helpful and relevant! Full of great tips, ideas and musings on what it takes to operate, promote, and manage your own independent original band. I'm in a mildly successful regional band in the northeast and everything in this book is either dead on in line with what I already know or a great tip that I hadn't thought of before. From branding to promoting to recording, copyright, publishing, radio, touring, performing... It really is chock-full of knowledge and tips that will help any new performers get off on the right foot or any established performers move to the next level!

Plus, it's a fun/inspiring read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great guide for the new band or a band needing to learn what they need to change. Bought it to help my son's band with the business side of music. It told me all about required registrations, reminded me about the importance of things I hadn't considered. I bought three similar books when I bought this. This was the best by far. I highly recommend this book and will buy the 3rd Edition when they release that.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
About two years ago I bought the first edition of this book (non-digital). I started reading it, and, even though it had a lot of useful information, it was two years old. I think you know, what it means in Digital Age. I just started a band (Winter's Flight) and really wanted to do something with it. I found a second edition of the Survival Guide and bought a digital version for my Kindle.
When I started reading it, I realized that all the information is finally fresh! Saying more, English is my second language and I prefer reading books in my native language just because I might not understand them. I understood 99.9% of this book! That is how easy it is written. So, if you are a foreigner like I am, don't be afraid and get it.
Guys tell you everything step-by-step: how to write your music, make videos, check for the copyright laws, and the most important - how to PROMOTE your stuff! They give you a bunch of links that worth checking. Their advises are very easy. I knew some information before I was reading the book, but I still found a lot of new good stuff!
If you wonder whether or not you should buy it, get it! You will read it fast (I did, and I'm a slow reader)!
Amazing book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first edition of this book was the first DIY Indie book I purchased and 50 books later, it's still the best. It has tons of highlighted text and at least half the pages have been dog eared so I purchased a second copy. When I saw this new edition I grabbed it for my Kindle app. The music industry moves at the speed of sound so no book can cover all the newly emerging social media sites, but this book gives you a great road map to follow as a musician who embraces making, marketing and selling your music independently!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very helpful, the website guide is fantastic! I've been a professional musician most of my life and I picked up this book a few months ago, I can't tell you how much clarity and insight it gives me into this strange and evolving business.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Indie Band Survival Guide contains a gold mine of information for any aspiring musician wishing to advance his or her career. As a management consultant who has worked with musicians, I find that many performers fail to adequately plan their careers. Acting on the advice provided in the Guide is essential if a musician is to succeed in the very competitive field they have chosen.
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