Aspiring music industry professionals have a wealth of information at their fingertips thanks to a wide range of literature available on the topic. However, with so many options, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best music business books to help guide your journey towards success in the industry.
From understanding the intricacies of contracts and royalties to learning about marketing and promotion, these books offer invaluable insight into the music business. Whether you’re a musician, manager, or just starting out in the industry, these books are essential reading for anyone looking to make it big.
The Best Music Business Books
- All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman – This comprehensive guide has been a staple in the music industry for over 20 years. It covers everything from copyright law to record deals and marketing strategies. Available on Amazon.
- Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business by Richard Stim – This book provides practical advice on how to navigate legal issues in the music industry, from forming a band to drafting contracts. Available on Amazon.
- The Musician’s Handbook by Bobby Borg – Written by a musician and music business consultant, this book covers topics like networking, touring, and self-promotion. It also includes interviews with successful musicians. Available on Amazon.
- Music Money and Success: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business – The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business is the industry bible and the ultimate guide to making money in the music business. Music is a business of money, contracts, decisions and making the most of every opportunity. To succeed—to make money—to have a career—you have to know what you are doing in both music and business. Available on Amazon.
- This invaluable book tells you how the business works, what you must know to succeed, and how much money you can make in films, television, video games, record sales, downloads and streams, advertising, music publishing, and much more.
- How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand – This modern guide covers the latest trends in the music industry, including streaming services, social media, and crowdfunding. It also includes insights from industry professionals.
- The Artist’s Guide to Success in the Music Business by Loren Weisman – This book offers practical advice on branding, marketing, and promotion for musicians. It also covers topics like touring, merchandise, and fan engagement.
- Six-Figure Musician by David Hooper – A practical guide for musicians who want to earn a sustainable income from their music. The author, David Hooper, emphasizes the importance of building a business around your music and treating it as a product that needs to be marketed effectively. He offers advice on various topics such as building a fanbase, monetizing your music, and using social media to promote your work. The book provides a clear roadmap for musicians who want to turn their passion into a profitable career. Available on Amazon.
- Music Marketing for the DIY Musician by Bobby Owsinski – This book offers practical advice on how to promote your music without a record label or manager. It covers topics like social media, email marketing, and website optimization.
- Work Hard Playlist Hard: The DIY playlist guide for Artists and Curators – A comprehensive guide for musicians and music curators who want to use playlists to promote their music and build their careers. The author, Mike Warner, draws on his experience as a music marketer to offer practical advice on topics such as curating playlists, pitching music to curators, and using data to track the success of your playlists. The book is divded into 3 sections – “Playlist Basics,” “The Curator’s Perspective,” and “The Artist’s Perspective”. Available on Amazon.
- The Music Business for Dummies by Loren Weisman and David H. R. Frisk – This beginner-friendly guide covers the basics of the music industry, from copyright law to touring. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the industry.
- How to Use Spotify Playlists to Launch Your Career in Music – A guide for musicians who want to use the streaming platform to gain exposure and build their fanbase. The author, Andrew Southworth, explains how Spotify playlists work and offers tips on how to get your music featured on them. He also provides advice on how to use data analytics to track your progress and adjust your strategy accordingly. The book is a valuable resource for any musician who wants to leverage the power of Spotify to advance their career. Available on Amazon.
- The Future of the Music Business by Steve Gordon – This book covers the latest trends and technologies shaping the music industry, from streaming services to blockchain. It also offers insights from industry experts.
- The Music Business Advice Book: 150 Immediately Useful Tips From The Pros – A collection of tips from industry professionals on a range of topics related to the music business. The tips cover everything from songwriting and recording to marketing and promotion. The book is designed to be a quick reference guide for musicians who need practical advice on specific issues they may encounter in their careers. The tips are concise, actionable, and based on the real-world experiences of people who have succeeded in the music industry. Available on Amazon.
- The Essential Guide to the Music Business by Holly Tessler – This book offers a comprehensive overview of the music industry, covering topics like artist management, publishing, and merchandising. It also includes interviews with industry professionals.
- Business Basics for Musicians by Bobby Borg – This book offers practical advice on the business side of the music industry, from setting up a business to negotiating contracts. It also includes interviews with successful musicians.
- Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House – A historical account of the emergence of ecstasy culture and acid house music in the UK during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The author, Matthew Collin, examines the cultural and social factors that gave rise to this movement and traces its impact on British youth culture. He also explores the political and legal challenges that the movement faced, including the government’s attempts to criminalize ecstasy use. Available on Amazon.
- Get More Fans: The DIY Guide to the New Music Business – With over 8 editions, the popular Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business has over 200 pages updated in the last year and a whole new chapter on the techniques the author uses to take bands from 0 – 10,000 fans that you won’t read in any other book. Available on Amazon.