Great book: Guerilla Guide to the Music Business

Over the past year I’ve read through several different books on the music business, mostly relevant to Australia, but I’ve just finished what I consider one of the best:

The Guerilla Guide to the Music Business by Sarah Davis and Dave Laing.

The downside for me is that it’s only relevant to the UK and the US (as I’m down under) but it’s fairly well written and it’s jam packed with interviews of professionals in different areas of the music industry from both sides of the Atlantic. And these interviews often give insights that are beyond the realm of textbook explanations and show clear cut examples of how the industry is really changing.

For example there was some great stuff on the publishers and when the best time is for a band to start looking for a publishing deal. And it seemed to show that  things have moved on from the days of a no-name songwriter feeding a publisher potential hits for a recording artist while living off an advance. And it warned artists/songwriters never to give up their publishing rights in the early days of struggle because it may be those rights that give them a livable income when they achieve some success.

However, I did skip over the section on the internet, because that’s changing even faster than they can bring out editions.

Concluding impressions: the music business is awfully complicated -this book helps show the points of view of the different roles going on in the industry -the artist, the indie label, the producer, the distributor, the collection agency, the promoter etc… And quite often it shows the pitfalls to watch out for.


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