D.I.Y.

Get More Fans Is A Mindblowingly Complete DIY Guide To The New Music Business

Get-more-fans-bookJesse 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.

More:

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.

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7 Comments

  1. So many of those chapters are for ‘beginners’.
    I’d like to see a book like this for bands who already have a bit of experience and want to TRULY know who the right companies are to hire for marketing and promotion.

  2. Over 40 chapters and there isn’t a single one on writing great songs; which is really the only thing that matters and the only strategy that works. Not just ‘audio quality’: that’s like mastering a bad film in HD. A good ‘release strategy’ will not save a bad song. If you put out something really great, it’ll spread. It’s a shame they couldn’t even dedicate a sliver of the book to the quality of the music, given that it’s a book written for musicians.

  3. Actually we go through both levels, if you go download the excerpt of our book @ getmorefansbook.com, you can see we do just that. As the chapters progress we recommend services and tactics for those with aestablished fanbases.

  4. Hey Alex,
    First off, I do discuss this and to be honest I wrote 300 pages we took out of this book on songwriting and finding your voice as a group. I decided to make it a separate book that I will probably release for free or a few dollars later this year.
    Secondly, I adress this fact and agree with you, but there is so much more to the promoting a song and taking it as far as possible once you have a great song. This focuses on what you can do after you write a great song. In fact, you are even cited inside the book as a great example of building relationships with fans. I would love to get you a copy so you can see for yourself. Feel free to hit me up @jessecannon on Twitter and I will get you one.

  5. great job, guys. judge the whole book on short chapter titles. its not a book about songwriting. i heard they’re writing a whole different book on that.

    I’ve read the PDF and there’s some pretty amazing material in there that i haven’t seen elsewhere. I’m gonna pick up a copy.

  6. If you need a book to tell you how to write great songs, you may want to rethink your music career anyway. Just sayin…

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