Jesse Cannon and Todd Thomas's new book, titled "Get More Fans," is more accurately described by the subtitle "The DIY Guide to the New Music Business." At a bit over 600 pages, it's hard to take in as a whole yet so far I cannot find anything I would describe as padding or filler. It's simply an amazingly complete guide to taking charge of your music career in hardcore DIY fashion.
Don't get me wrong, there's a lot about getting more fans in "Get More Fans: The DIY Guide to the New Music Business " but there's also plenty about such topics as picking a manager and getting your team together. There's even some spot-on discussion of band psychology.
The psychological notes are one obvious difference between "Get More Fans" and a number of other books about DIY music I've checked out of late. Generally when music writers get into psychology it's along the lines of self-help and motivation. That can be a valuable thing and there's certainly a market but the psychology of "Get More Fans" focuses on such topics as the fact that lack of momentum can lead to regular turnover of band members, to take just one example.
Jesse Cannon and Todd Thomas sometimes have a rather sharp edge but not at the expense of the reader. The general vibe I get is one of being very clear about the fact that they're speaking to musicians who want to take charge of their career in order to be able to make their own decisions. In the process they advocate building a solid, lasting foundation that takes advantage of the overwhelming array of online tools available for DIY artists.
Despite its depth and breadth, the book doesn't cover absolutely everything one might want to know but it certainly covers the core of what it takes to go DIY. Honestly, given that record labels want to see you have a following before they sign you, taking this approach would also help you establish a solid foundation for dealing with labels from a position of relative strength.
If anything, the book is a bit overwhelming. I certainly won't be reading the whole thing straight through, but its thorough approach means that you can use it as a guide, reading each section and focusing on that particular issue.
Here's the Table Of Contents:
Introduction – The Flat Playing Field Of Today’s Music Business
Chapter 1: How Do I Get More People To Hear My Music & Make Fans?
Chapter 2: Managing Your Music
Chapter 3: Tools For Managing & Promoting Your Music
Chapter 4: Selling Direct To Your Fans & The Tools To Do It
Chapter 5: Targeting & Researching Other Musicians For Effective Promotion
Chapter 6: Getting Potential Team Members Excited About Your Music
Chapter 7: Writing A Great Bio
Chapter 8: Dealing With Money & Funding Your Music
Chapter 9: Crowdfunding Campaigns To Fund Your Music
Chapter 10: Planning Your Recording
Chapter 11: Getting Your Music Mastered & Audio Quality
Chapter 12: Choosing Which Songs To Promote
Chapter 13: Releasing & Spreading Your Recorded Music Effectively
Chapter 14: Planning Your Press Strategy
Chapter 15: Getting Press & Covered By Blogs
Chapter 16: Going Viral
Chapter 17: Spreading Your Music With Your Live Show
Chapter 18: Promoting Shows & Increasing Turnout
Chapter 19: Mobilizing Your Fanbase
Chapter 20: Effectively Promoting Your Tour
Chapter 21: Your Image & Graphic Design Promotions
Chapter 22: Making & Selling Great Merchandise
Chapter 23: Distributing Your Music In The Digital World
Chapter 24: Selling & Distributing Your Physical Releases
Chapter 25: Your Email List & Communicating With Fans To Grow Your Fanbase
Chapter 26: Assembling & Spreading Information With Your Website & Blog
Chapter 27: Using SEO & Web Analytics To Get Your Music Discovered & Name Your Group
Chapter 28: How To Make The Most Of Social Networks
Chapter 29: Learning From MySpace’s Downfall & Its Use Today
Chapter 30: Using Facebook To Raise Awareness
Chapter 31: Building Relationships Using Twitter
Chapter 32: Other Social Networks & Services To Promote Your Music On
Chapter 33: Planning & Promoting Your Music Video
Chapter 34: YouTube – The Biggest Music Social Network, Search Engine & Music Video Channel
Chapter 35: Other Video Services To Help Promote Your Music
Chapter 36: Advertising Your Music
Chapter 37: Online Radio: Getting Your Music Heard By Potential Fans
Chapter 38: Promoting Your Music On Terrestrial And Satellite Radio
Chapter 39: Licensing Your Music
Chapter 40: Copyrights, Covers & Sampling: Using Them To Help Promote Your Music
Chapter 41: Publishing Your Music To Make Money From It
Chapter 42: Last Things To Remember
Seriously, anybody else would put out a series of books with this much material!
Large sections of the book are taken up with information on specific web services as related to specific needs. Some of those details will change but they do a good job of focusing on the services that seem likely to last.
As an industry blogger I tend to keep up with a lot of services and recognize that a certain number of those I cover won't last. But that comes with the territory.
At Musformation you can see Jesse Cannon keeps up with the ongoing stream but "Get More Fans" reveals that Cannon and Thomas are focusing in on tools to get the job done.
Like I said, this is way too much to take in over the course of a day and a half (thanks for the lead time guys!) but, from every indication, if you had to go with just one book on DIY music biz, this would be the one.
- Official Site
- Buy It @Amazon: Get More Fans: The DIY Guide to the New Music Business
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) is relaunching Flux Research and maintaining Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.