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Rocking Your Music Business

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Table of Contents

Introduction; Chapter 1: Your Music Business; Chapter 2: Setting Up Your (Virtual) Office; Chapter 3: Working with Other People; Chapter 4: Running Your Business Online; Chapter 5: Accounts, Records, and All Those Pieces of Paper You Need to Keep; Chapter 6: Government and Officialdom: You Ain't Gonna Fight the Law

About the Author

Simon Cann is a writer based in London. He is the author of a number of music-related and business-related books. His music related books include How to Make a Noise, Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User, Building a Successful 21st Century Music Career, Sample This! (with Klaus P. Rausch), Project5 Power!, and Rocking Your Music Business. His business-related books include the Made It In... series of books (, which feature the experiences of international entrepreneurs who have built successful companies in the hottest business locations around the world. You can read more about Simon at his website,, and check out his other music-related books at his Noise Sculpture website,


I. INTRODUCTION A. This is usually the last section that I write! II. COMPUTER BASICS A. Windows or Macintosh? 1. Windows, pros and cons 2. Macintosh, pros and cons B. Palm or Windows Mobile in your cell phone C. Back up your data D. Keep your paper receipts and bank statements E. Two approaches; Run the software on your computer, or used Web-based applications F. Spreadsheets and word processors 1. Microsoft Office for Mac or Windows 2. and NeoOffice 3. Google Docs & Spreadsheets, ThinkFree Office online G. CRM: Customer Relationship Management for the Musical Act 1. Definitions and explanation a. Basically it's being able to look up a name and see a log of all the times you've had contact with that person, with notes of each thing that you talked about or did. It's nice to get reminders of to-do items and due dates for your contacts. If you have several people running the business, each one needs access to the same central database. 2. Software for doing this a. Microsoft Outlook or Entourage b. Agendus (Windows), Palm or Windows Mobile c. Now Contacts and Up-To-Date d. SugarCRM and other heavy duty enterprise business solutions III. RELATIONAL DATABASES FOR MUSICIANS A. Definitions and explanations B. Joel Stoner of Studio Suite: What is the advantage of a relational database over spreadsheets? C. Studio Suite D. TouringTools IV. SPECIFIC MUSIC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS B. Building and keeping a fan base 1. Social networking for artists. a. The strategy of acquiring and keeping fans b. MySpace for Musicians book by Fran Vincent. c. Jonathan Coulton in New York Times, May 2007; the decision to spend a couple of hours each day blogging and emailing your fans individually. 2. and keeping up on social networking trends 3. MySpace 4. YouTube 5. Blogging services a. Work with a commercial service such as Blogger or Wordpress b. Run your own WordPress software on your web site c. Use existing blogging tools in MySpace, etc. d. Back up and archive all your blogs offline. 6. Pdcasts C. Press kits and press releases, digital and on paper 1. Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) a. Making PDFs on Windows i. Adobe Acrobat ii. Third-party shareware b. Making PDFs on Macintosh i. Adobe Acrobat ii. Mac OS X's built-in PDF generation for simple tasks 2. Online Email list services such as Acajoom, ecartis 3. SonicBids and MySpace are mandatory 4. Your own .com Web site a. Why do you need your own site? b. Factors you need: Easy update-ability and the ability to post new information by band members on the fly. Don't rely on a high-tech, high-bandwidth site with Flash and graphics and animation everywhere because you won't be able to change any information on it without paying a professional Web designer each time. D. Copyright registration: Protecting your property 1. US Copyright Office and dealing with it 2. MasterWriter Songuard service E. Performing Rights, Managing and Collecting Royalties 1. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC 2. SoundExchange for royalties from Web radio stations 3. Harry Fox F. Selling Music 1. Physical Media a. CDBaby b. Duplication services for something to sell at gigs 2. Sell or Give Away your Music through Digital Downloads a. DRM and what, if anything, it is good for. b. Aggregates for digital downloads: CDBaby, TuneCore and others i. iTunes ii. Rhapsody iii. Sony Connect iv. MusicNet v. Napster vi. eMusic G. Merchandise 1. CafePress or other digital-print-on-demand services for T-shirts, coffee mugs and other wearables. 2. Merchandising from within web outlets a. MySpace b. Your own Web site c. CDBaby H. Radio and Web promotion and Marketing 1. This is where CRM comes into play. 2. and electronic press kits 3. Paper or hardcopy press kits are still needed, but should be much simpler and cheaper than what people did before the Web. 4. Emerging charting services for digital downloads and indie CD sales I. CD Distribution to Record Stores and Retailers for the independent musical act J. Touring, Booking, Venues, Contracts 1. This section needs work. V. ARTIST PROFILES A. How the pros say you should manage things 1. Basic formula a. What does your software package enable an act to do? b. What things do acts typically fail to manage and keep track of, and how does this affect them? How could they do better? 2. Joel Stoner, proprietor of StudioSuite recording studio management database system. Very successful Los Angeles mixing engineer. 3. Robert Bloomfield, proprietor of TouringTools tour management database system. Very successful touring FOH and mixing engineer B. Successful up-and-coming acts and how they manage things 1. Basic formula a. How do you manage things? b. What are you failing to manage? What would you do differently or better if you could start fresh? 2. State of Man, Atlanta rock band that's been together for 6 years and has an unusually strong work ethic. Each of these four band members come together to take care of all their management, marketing, publicity and touring needs. Key person to profile is James Beale, bass player and manager of finances. 3. To-be-named Hip-Hop DJ and production company 4. To-be-named film score composer or jingle composer (if Orren likes the idea) VI. APPENDICES A. URLs you need B. Where to get various documents C. Sample contracts and agreements prepared by lawyers.

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