Almost all of you know music, or at least your particular piece of the music industry puzzle, but I’m willing to bet that very few of you know business. Guess what? If you want to make money off of your music, the more you understand about business, the better off you’ll be.
To that end, here’s a list of books and articles that can help you improve your understanding of business principles and how to apply them to your musical life. Of course you can also get this same info from talking to business professionals, taking classes, or the studying at the School of Hard Knocks; I just prefer reading—it fits into the sporadic nature of my downtime.
This is a living/breathing list, so I will be updating it periodically as I read new books and get recommendations from you. Note: I read most of my books on an iPad, so the links below lead to ebook versions whenever possible.
Let me know if there are any books you think should be added to the list along with a brief description of why.
- The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
- The 4-Hour Workweek
- at some point I’ll address this book directly, but for now, just know that the “4-hour” part is not literal; it’s figurative—you will work far more than four hours per week for your business.
- Crush It!
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
- Branding Basics for Small Business
- Brand Identity Essentials: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands
- Designing Brand Identity
- Brand Against the Machine
- Purple Cow
- Tropical MBA
- Great place to explore the down & dirty aspects of creating and running your own business – most musicians will be running a “location independent business” due to touring, so what better way to get in the mindset necessary to succeed? By the way, these guys have a great sense of humor and know their shit.
- Internet Business Mastery
- Another dynamic duo addressing the realities confronting internet-based businesses. Not as humorous as Tropical MBA, but these gentlemen also know business in-and-out. Lots of hands-on pragmatic advice that can help you learn about building and growing your internet business – in my mind a must for musicians that want to tour and keep additional income streams moving while on the road.