- Paperback: 154 pages
- Publisher: WordCrafts Press (June 15, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615490824
- ISBN-13: 978-0615490823
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,428,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Why I FAILED in the Music Business: and How NOT to Follow in My Footsteps Paperback – June 15, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
As a writer, speaker and consultant, Steve encourage executives, young professionals, musicians and creative artists to uncover what it is they're meant to do and how to build success-full businesses and careers and lives. His current work includes consulting with several Nashville businessmen, conducting workshops at local arts organizations, serving on various boards and writing at his two blogs: whyifailed.com and stevegrossmanonline.com.
He is man, husband/father, businessman and encourager who is passionate about living fully alive and helping others do the same. He lives in Smyrna, TN with his bride of 25 years, their son and their daughter. He is blessed beyond measure.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 50%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
My main issues are with the contradictions. The author advises that a business savvy musician can make a successful living as a performing musician absolutely anywhere in the world. Later he instructs that you must live in a large city with a sizable population to make a living. Another theme that absorbs most of the book's pages is a complete contradiction to an early statement. The author says you must separate your business life from your personal life. Then spends the majority of the rest of the book saying the opposite, that you must become the CEO of You, Inc. or whatever and that every part of your life is you running your business. Instead of building on how to separate personal and business life, he proposes ways to use your friends as your board of directors. He suggests you regularly ask your friends to opine about your business. Strange contradictions.
What made the book tolerable is that the author maintains a reasonably pleasant tone in his writing. However, equally challenging was that this book is written at about a middle school reading level. This prose will not make it's readers feel they are gaining new knowledge or advancing themselves in any way. The tone of this book tries to be instructive and does so without being condemning or talking down to it's readers. However, it doesn't come across as educational or really even helpful. The author spends an appropriate amount of time making the reader aware of his achievements in the music business, touching lightly on what it was like to play drums and tour with some successful acts. No huge names but from his descriptions, enough to pay the bills and enjoy a full time career.
There is a little discussion of how one gig lead to another and some description of why and how his career failed to continue ascending after a certain level of achievement. I feel these stories should have gone into greater detail, though it may not have been possible if the writer really didn't know how or why he didn't achieve greater success.
My problem with the pleasantness of the tone of the writing is as mentioned previously, it isn't all that instructional. The whole book lacks an air of focused purposefulness. The title is somewhat misleading because you think this book will help you see what not to do and hopefully provide strong tips to help you do better than he. I don't think the author's ultimate goal is to help his readers. There is an undertone that I think explains it's vagueness and lack of tangible effectiveness. It reads as if the author wrote this for himself. I think he wants to paint himself as a self-help philosopher. I think that writing this book was like testing the waters, flexing an ability to sound like someone who knows enough to make other people's lives better. But there is such a lack of solidly useful information and so much dribble that I think anyone who reads past the written words will agree.
This is probably a stretch but there may be as many as 10 pages of collated, of useful stories and suggestions for anyone struggling in the music business. There are plenty of hackneyed anecdotes like how to dress for success, etc. but none that go much beyond, if at all the superficial. You will find a bit of motivational speak to support the idea that the author is trying to make himself almost into a music business therapist for musicians. But then there are some great quotes in the margins that go undiscussed, never tied to the text or brought in with relevance to the discussion. This makes it look like the author is trying too hard to seem smart about what he is saying. These quotes and anecdotes, while most are great, don't work in the author's favor simply because their placement is aloof.
The maybe 10 pages of collectively useful information is a real stretch. Most of it is simple common sense that anyone who has made it through their primary education could already esteem with a few seconds of reflection on their own. You would expect their to be much more solid advice about the music business. Maybe even some behind closed doors secrets revealed as to how successful artist achieve their greatness. Nope. It is as if this drummer is sharing no more than an outsider's perspective, barely gleaning what secrets and information could take a musician from playing random sessions to being a mega star. Yet, at times the author describes himself as having greater success than 99% of the world's struggling musicians, still calling himself a failure.
Drummer to what? We never learn what it is the author now does that is so much better for him than playing drums. He was making a living-which millions in America would love to be able to do in the present economy, yet he wasn't making millions having a fancy house, multiple cars, a boat, etc. He wasn't satisfied being the guy who gets a call once in a while, though he was constantly complimented by other music professionals and was seemingly making ends meet. How has he taken what he learned about what not to do in the music business and created more success for himself now? At least he states that music is indeed a business and should not be considered different from the rest of the business world. What's missing is the unfolding of the mysteries of the business world that musical artists don't understand. The best information in that regard are a few suggestions for magazine articles and other lists at the very end of the book. Really, it's like you read the whole book and here are a small handful of things you should now go and read instead.
What was totally out of left field is the section on religion. Seriously, you never see it coming. It is so bizarre, the author is clearly on a soapbox. Yet this somewhat explains for the vagueness throughout the rest of the book. Believe in my words and you shall bare the fruit of success sort of thing. So odd, so misplaced.
I don't know if the author can write better than this, but he obviously has some things he wants to say. I think this book is a miss. An effort to ramble that is almost completely useless to any average intellect musician working to improve their situation. The author indeed states that their are plenty of other books with great instruction on how to book gigs, manage finances, tour, pitch songs, get noticed by a label, etc. But if the point of this book is really to inform musicians of how to be more successful than he, you would think he would have taken his own advice and applied it to his own career instead of bailing from the music business entirely.
The only part of this book that really upset me was the teacher bashing part. There's no arguing that the state of the American education system is an unsuccessful mess in dire need of reform. My problem is that the author universally blames teachers for his failures and those of most other unsuccessful people in general. He states that he did poorly in school. I think that his blanketed finger pointing shows great ignorance for the roles and responsibilities teachers have. Even the greatest teachers cannot always take a room of 20 youths and teach to each student's strengths whilst assisting with their weaknesses as individual learners. Teachers are restricted by scheduling, one on one time with students, unfortunate disciplinary behaviors from students, administrative direction, and legal obligations at the state and federal level of mandated materials that must be covered in a non-negotiable format and time period.
Next on my desk How To Be Your Own Booking Agent: THE Musician's & Performing Artist's Guide To Successful Touring.Having merely skimmed a few pages I already see that a couple pages of this book will be far more helpful than 100 pages worth of Why I FAILED in the Music Business: and How NOT to Follow in My Footsteps. I will gladly sell my used copy of this book but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone for any purpose. Sorry to be so harsh but I wasted a lot of time reading these pages. I find it hard to believed anyone who's given this book a strong review read all of it's pages.
First off the book is fast paced and engaging. This is generally quite important these days but it is particularly important when dealing with artistic types who think that books dealing with "business" are a waste of time and creative energy. Grossman blows that idea away pretty quickly and before you know it you are hooked. This is a good thing because the ideas presented here really do have useful practical application. Grossman comes from the unique background of having been a professional musician for twenty years before discovering that he really enjoyed business as well.
I would suggest this book highly for anyone in the performing arts, not just music. This book will both enlighten and challenge such readers. Grossman not only gives valuable insight into what is really needed for success in the arts but in the same process he causes the reader to consider what is really needed for success in life regardless of your chosen profession.
This brings me to my main complaint. I understand why Grossman titled the book as he did, and it is an arresting title. However, the insight provided by this book applies to virtually every field of endeavor. It's unlikely that anyone is reading this who isn't interested in going into the music business, but if perhaps you are considering buying this for a friend you might want to get two and keep one for yourself.