I frequently get asked about what my favorite books are for learning about business and the music industry. The books that act as guides to success if you will. I realized while I may have referenced these a lot, I have not actually broken down my favorites.
What follows are three of my favorite books that have guided my path in the music industry. This is stuff I wish I had read when I was much younger. They are How To Win Friends And Influence People, Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got, and All You Need To Know About The Music Business.
How To Win Friends And Influence People– Dale Carnegie
I routinely say that this book is the most important text in my life. It really helped me go from a shy and nerdy kid to someone who is able to speak on stage in front of hundreds of strangers and make friends with people all around the world.
This is a book that breaks down the core tenets of being likable and teaches you how to enact them in a meaningful way. I’ve read this book at least 10 times and every time I do I get some new strategy I can use to be a kinder and more helpful person.
Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got– Jay Abraham
This is an incredibly valuable text from the marketing master Jay Abraham. This book is filled to the brim with all manner of great exercises and tips to help grow your business or band. Many of the tips, while business-oriented, are very easy to apply to bands. This is literally a text I refer to at least once a week.
I think what I like best about it is how timeless and common sense the ideas are. While obviously I’m a big fan of digital marketing hacks and taking advantage of trends, one gets the sense that the ideas in this book worked a hundred years ago and will work a hundred years from now.
All You Need To Know About The Music Business– Donald Passman
Imagine one of the music industries premier lawyers breaking down the business from tip to taint. Every step of the way, Donald Passman is there with All You Need To Know About The Music Business. There is no comparable text, it’s awesome, incredibly helpful, and works both read straight through or as a reference guide.
I would say that this is the book that really catapulted my success in the biz because I started to finally understand some of the core tenets of how it worked. It gave me a deep understanding that many people still don’t have – and the book isn’t expensive either! Give it a buy – it’s a must-read.
Similar recommendations: Honestly I don’t know anything nearly as good.
Hopefully, you check out one, two, or even all three of these books. All of them, including the similar recommendations section, had a massive influence on my life. The more you read the more you learn. And the more you learn the more likely your band is to succeed in a turbulent musical landscape!
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Matt Bacon is a consultant, A&R man, and journalist specializing in the world of heavy metal. Having worked with everyone from Glam Rock icon Phil Collen of Def Leppard, to post Black Metal titans Alcest, by way of legendary thrashers Exhorder as well as labels including Prophecy Productions and Ripple Music, he has dedicated his life to helping young bands develop. Having started his own blog at the age of 14 he views his career in artist development as ‘a hobby that got out of hand’. In 2015 he formed Dropout Media in order to better support the artists he loves. We sit here now, years later with countless tours booked, records released and deals signed, and loving every minute of it.
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