Top 5 Books To Help You Learn the Music Business


If you’re serious about building a career as an independent musician, you’re gonna need to learn a thing or two about how this industry works. There are hundreds of books, online courses and resources available thanks to the power of the internet. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scams and false promises out there. Below, you’ll find the top five music business books that I recommend to my clients, along with links so that you can purchase them yourself via Amazon.

Number 5: The Music Business Contract Library by Greg Forest

There’s a contract for everything  in the Music Business. From hiring a manager to booking your first live show and perhaps getting a record deal, you’re going to need to know quite a bit about contracts. The Music Business Contract Library is a great resource, as it contains sample contracts for nearly every activity you’ll come across in the business. While you should always consult a lawyer before signing any sort of contract in this business, The Music Business Contract Library does a great job of explaining what provisions you should look for in each type of contract you’ll be faced with.

Number 4: Making Music Make Money by Eric Beall

Making Music Make Money is an excellent guide to the ins and outs of Music Publishing. There’s a whole world of money to be made outside of traditional music sales, and having a thorough understanding of music publishing will set you up to make the most of the opportunities available. Eric breaks down the copyrights associated with a song, the process of setting up your own music publishing company, and even gives you tips on how to pitch your music for licensing opportunities. If you write or produce your own music, this book is a must-have.

Number 3: Music Marketing: Press, Promotion, Distribution & Retail by Mike King

An excellent introduction to the world of Music Marketing. In this book, Mike King breaks down all the basics of a music marketing plan. Though some of the information is a tad bit outdated, the foundation Mike lays is still just as solid as the day he wrote it. I recommend it for any musician without a background in Marketing.

Number 2: All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald Passman

This book is often referred to as the Bible of the Music Industry. So many people have started their music business careers just by picking up this book and applying the knowledge inside. All You Need to Know About the Music Business is currently in its 9th edition, and literally includes everything you’ll ever want to know about how the industry works. Read it from front to back, and you’ll be an expert in no time.

Number 1: How to Make It in the New Music Business by Ari Herstand

This is the book I recommend to all of my management and consulting clients. Why? Because Ari cuts out the fluff and archaic industry jargon for a straightforward book that will help you take action and get results quickly. As a working musician, Ari not only has a wealth of knowledge and experience under his belt, but he knows how to phrase the information so that any artist can understand it. Buy it on Amazon and you’ll see exactly why this book is my number one recommendation to all of my music clients.