13 Books You Need To Know About The Music Industry!

13 Books You Need To Know About The Music Industry!

Do you Know This Quote “Not al Readers Are Leaders But Leaders Are Leaders”. This is very true and it doesn’t matter which aspect of life or what business you are in! But this quote is very true. To be successful you need to stay ahead of your game and get in the habit of getting knowledge because knowledge is power.

Below you will find a list of books that can be used to help conduct the research that I have encouraged you to do throughout this guide. These books will also help to expand your knowledge base on all critical business issues relative to the music industry.

And make sure that you purchase the latest editions.  

All You Need To Know About the Music Business – Donald Passman, Esq.
For years this book has been heralded as the most comprehensive and simplistic resource for understanding music business operations. It is a quick read that often takes a humorous approach to simplifying many of the most complex issues of the industry. It is a must have reference book and Also my personal favorite!

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry – Richard Schulenberg, Esq.
If you are an aspiring industry professional, you will inevitably come into contractual situations that require the employment of an entertainment attorney. This book will help you to understand some of the basic clauses that are found in most of the common industry contracts.

Life & Def: The Russell Simmons Story – Russell Simmons & Nelson George
How did an autobiography make this list? Simple: because it does the best job of illustrating (with real life examples) how to survive and thrive in the music industry for entrepreneurs. This is the second most important book on this list for urban entrepreneurs.

Music Genres and Corporate Cultures – Keith Negus
This book will introduce you to the political side of the music industry while exposing you to the formulas for success that many major record labels use. It is NOT an easy read. The author’s writing style is very clinical and at times, not very reader friendly. But if you are starting a label that you want to compete with the most successful ones, this book will provide you with some eye opening information about the processes used.

Music Licensing – Bob Kohn, Esq.
Simply put: This is the bible of music licensing. It’s not as cheap as the bible and you don’t have a prayer of finding it much cheaper. If you buy it brand new it will cost around $150.00. It’s worth every penny. If you have any intention of staking monetary claim in the lucrative field of music licensing, this book will tell you all of the logistics and legalities of it. It’s a must have.

Music, Money, & Success – Jeffrey & Todd Brabeck
This dense paperback was written by two brothers who happen to be authorities and specialists in the areas of music licensing. (They also happen to be two of the coolest entertainment attorneys.) Their book gives you a realistic sense of just how much money can be made through licensing, as well as educating you on the many different variables that affect amount payment you will receive. This is a must have book for anyone who would like to get their material licensed.

Music Publishing – Randy Poe
If I had to recommend just one book on music publishing, this would be it. The author elaborates on the origin and history of the music publishing business, and most importantly, thoroughly explains to you in detail what music publishing is, in addition to providing you with real life examples of how it works. You will have a much greater understanding and deeper appreciation of this complex, and lucrative facet of the industry once you’ve read this short, useful, well-written book.

Succeeding in the Music Industry – Lee Wilson, Esq.
What I liked most about this book, and what you will find most useful, are the hypothetical situations that you are presented with after each topic of discussion that are designed to test your comprehension. You are forced to draw conclusions based upon information that is covered early on in each chapter. It’s a quick read, but it’s not as thorough as Donald Passman’s book.

The Music Business Handbook – David Baskerville, Esq.
This book is used primarily in college universities that offer degrees in the music business. (Bet you didn’t know that such degrees existed.) It’s very dense and it is not a quick read, but it is very comprehensive. The author makes a concerted effort to not only explain the subject matter, but to put subjects in their proper context by illustrating how situations are impacted by surrounding issues.

The Musician’s Business & Legal Guide – Mark Holloran, Esq.
This book provides you with a good general overview of the music industry with a legal emphasis. I especially recommend this book for anyone who may find themselves in a situation where legal expertise may be required.

The Recording Industry – Geoffrey P. Hull
This is the best book that I have ever read on the operations of the music industry. At times it is very clinical, but it is always informative and factual. It meticulously dissects each facet of the music industry and the roles of the professionals who work in it. This is also one of the few books that I have read that deals with real numbers and statistical data. It took the author years to conduct the intensive research that appears in these pages. It will take you only a couple of days to read and benefit from it. This is the most important book on this list.

They Fought the Law – Stan Soocher, Esq.
Despite the entertainment value of this book, which sometimes reads like a novel, it’s very educational. The author introduces a variety of subject matter that features stories on court cases by icons like the Beatles, George Michael, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson. It’s a great reference tool for those who want to learn from the mistakes and misfortunes of others.

The New Positioning – Jack Trout
This is not a music industry book, but I highly recommended it to those who are trying to start a label. It is a simple paperback that gives wonderful insight, advice, and tips on how to rise above your competitors, and “position” your company or yourself in a crowded and competitive marketplace. This is good food for the brain and attitude of an entrepreneur.

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