When I first started in the music business at 19 years old I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do until I met Ahmet Ertegun (founder of Atlantic Records) and started following his career and business. I was passionate about it and needed to start the journey to find how I could make a living in the business without being an artist. Today I enjoy a career of over 25 years experience including A&R at major labels, artist management and artist development.
There is much to be learned on all fronts when you’re just diving in to it…Yes, the business has been morphed and is seeing ever steady changes as a result of new opportunities offered by new technology and the internet. However, it’s always good to mix the experience of what those in the past have to offer with the DIY hands on approach. Know where it came from to appreciate taking it in to the future.
Here’s a couple of books to get you started. I recommend you reading these before you immerse yourself in the business as either a professional or an artist.
All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Seventh Edition by Donald S. Passman
This is a great starting point as it covers a great deal of all aspects of the business. It will also give you insight to see the difference between the business of music and music as a hobby.
The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing, 2nd Edition by Randall D. Wixen
Publishing can be a tedious aspect to the business of music. I recommend really coming to a full appreciation of all that it entails. Many lawsuits stem from this area of the business.