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Six-Figure Musician - How to Sell More Music, Get More People to Your Shows, and Make More Money in the Music Business (Music Marketing [Dot] Com Pres Hardcover – July 2, 2013
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
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If you're anything like me (an innate researcher who, when determined to do something, reads every book on the subject) you've probably become a little jaded by the massive amount of un-helpful information targeted to musicians. I can't tell you how many books I have thrown across the room in disgust when it became clear that a) the author had no idea what they were talking about and were stuck in a business model that died pretty much 20 years ago or b) the book was really more like a guide to make some money from your music hobby rather than how to create a passion driven career.
Thankfully, this book is up to date in it's understanding of how the industry works, and offers many timeless tips that will continue to be effective no matter what the next trend is.
It is also a guide on how to have a serious career in music that supports your goals. None of this namby pamby day job crap.
Everything that you need to know to get started is in this book: from how to manage your time and set achievable goals, to scripts to use on stage to promote yourself (as well as going into the psychology of why what works, works.) By the end of the book you'll have a better understanding of where your money will need to come from, how to make it, and how to re-invest it in yourself to make more.
More than that, though, most of the marketing ideas are creative, fun, and are focused on creating and maintaining quality relationships rather than blasting the unwitting public and your unsuspecting facebook followers with constant updates and show flyers.
If you are serious about making a career for yourself in the music business, then this book is an absolute necessity.
There is a little bit of content on the discipline of being an artist - writing regularly, work life balance etc. And another section on finding your niche, but the focus of the book is marketing and fan engagement.
One reviewer says there is nothing really new in this book. Sure if you have been around for awhile many of the ideas may already be familiar to you. That may be the case, but everyday, based on the sample of bands I follow, I now see examples where they have missed the opportunity to better engage with me.
All throughout the book, the author discusses the finer details of engagement. For example, don't email your Michigan fans about your up-coming LA tour. So straightaway you get the tip that we need to collect more information from fans than just their email addresses - otherwise how to we know who lives in Michigan or LA. Plus we don't want to be spamming fans with information that isn't relevant to them.
The author provides good insight into the impact of digital piracy on your material and how you can leverage positively from it. There are great ideas for creating crowd engagement at gigs as well as scripts for promoting merchandise between sets.
The book doesn't read as a treatise on how to rip money off your fans at every juncture. It is written for an artist who is committed to their craft and wants to bring their fans along with them for the journey of their career. You need fans to support your career, this book helps you better engage with them and create value for them. In return fans support you financially (sales, merchandise) and by marketing you (spreading the word).
If you were starting a band and were serious this is the book to read.
I follow a number of new bands and solo artists and other than the odd Tweet or a Facebook update they are missing out on so many other ways they could engage with me as a fan and hence create a stronger following.
I highly recommend this book.