As some of you know, I got my Masters degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industry. I spent a couple years studying the ins and outs of copyright, contracts, record company practices, royalties, and licensing. I worked at a student run music publishing company that organized a yearly concert for student songwriters, and pitched songs we represented to potential clients. I also worked with some independent artists, OK Go after they left Capitol Records and Miami based jazz artist Nicole Henry, and knew plenty more artists trying to get their own careers started. Through my experiences, I realized that while the internet and other technology have leveled the playing field with regards to distribution, artists are being asked to take on a much greater level of involvement early in their careers. A lot of artists I talked to felt like there weren’t many good resources that encompassed the things they should know, or paths they should take in order to be successful and some of information available was either contradictory or confusing. So, I decided to write a book with the aim of introducing artists to the various aspects of the music industry they should be aware of and what resources might be useful to them written in a way that would be easy for anyone to read.
I spent a little over a year writing, researching, and interviewing people. My goal was to create an overview of the current music industry, how we got here, and people’s experiences with the industry. I talked to people who were signed, people who weren’t, small bands just starting out and people who have been working in music for years, I read countless articles and more than a few very large books. I know that there are people who will be able to point out things they think I should have included or said, but I’m happy with the job that I did and I think it will be helpful. The Working Musician: Essential of the Music Business for New Artists is now available on Amazon. Right now you can buy it as a paperback, but I’m working on getting a Kindle version available.
After I finish crying in my closet for a week, I’m actually thinking of writing a follow-up that goes more in depth about incorporating as a musician, how to draft and read basic contracts, and what to know about hiring staff. If you read this and think up something you’d like more information on, please tell me. Knowing what else people want to see covered would be really helpful with planning that next book. If everyone hates it, I’ll cry in my closet for a month and won’t write any more books ever again. Probably.
I’ve been hanging around the Pajiba community since 2005 and I can honestly say that your opinions are some of the most important to me. Writing for this site has made me a better writer because of the thoughtful criticism and comments many of you have left. It’d mean a lot to me if you’d go buy my book, or at least tell someone who might want to buy my book about it. Also, if you do read it maybe write a short review. It helps.
Genevieve Burgess knows that writing a book was hard, but launching a one-woman publicity campaign won’t be easy either so if you’ve got tips she’d love to hear them.