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Page added in August, 1996 [Page: First 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]

About The Author

Dan McAvinchey is a composer/guitarist living in Raleigh, NC.

He believes every musician or composer has the power to release their own record.


His CD release on Guitar Nine was entitled "Guitar Haus".

Please direct all comments and suggestions for future columns to Dan McAvinchey.

© Dan McAvinchey

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Help For Your Independent Label or Release

Many of you, at some time or another, will be exploring the possibility of releasing your own independently produced record, tape, or CD. You may even want to start your own record label. The benefits of doing so are numerous:
  • Earnings from sales of a smaller number of independently released recordings can be more profitable than large sales on a major label
  • You can start your label and release a record today; you do not have to wait for a label to contact you
  • Your future is in your own hands, not in the hands of hardened bureaucrats
  • You retain complete creative control over your music
  • Releasing your own record is a relatively inexpensive option, and it's a way to get heard
With that in mind, you may need some help in completing a recording project for the first time. Following are reviews of several excellent books on everything from making your record and setting up a label to publishing and legal concerns. Good luck!

Note: All books reviewed may be purchased through our association with Amazon.com Books -- simply click on the book cover to order.


Releasing An Independent Record

By: Gary Hustwit

In a new, enlarged and updated sixth edition, Releasing an Independent Record focuses on a step-by-step approach to starting a new record label and marketing your music on a national basis. Mr. Hustwit (formerly with SST records) uses his own personal experience to give musicians and budding record label executives the knowldege they need to get their music heard. The book includes an extensive contact/mailing list (radio stations, press, distributors, etc.) that can be used as a publicity and marketing tool. The book would be worth buying for the contacts alone. Mr Hustwit uses a very encouraging tone throughout the book; you get the impression he really wants you to take action and start a label immediately. Rockpress Publishing, ©1997, 210 pp.

Books also worth checking out:

  • Getting Radio Airplay: The Guide to Getting Your Music Played on College, Public and Commercial Radio - Gary Hustwit
    • By the same author as Releasing An Independent Record, this book teaches you how to get positive responses when sending out review records to radio stations. Contains updated commercial and college radio directories, and features interviews with independent artists, music directors and record label promotions staff.
  • Music Producers: Conversations With Today's Top Record Makers, from the Editors of Mix, the World's Leading Recording Magazine - Terri Stone
    • Contains interviews with 24 top producers who discuss their craft, how they build mixes, their equipment preferences, their role as middlemen between labels and artists, etc. The producers also reveal how they started in the business as producers.
  • Music Money and Success 7th Edition: The Insider's Guide to Making Money in the Music Business - Jeffrey Brabec & Todd Brabec
    • The untold story of how the billion-dollar world of music really works. The Brabecs reveal for the first time the secrets of the music business that have made fortunes for the superstars, and they describes how the business works on a day-to-day basis, who makes the decisions, and more. 40 illustrations.
  • 2015 Songwriter's Market: Where & How to Market Your Songs - Cindy Laufenberg
    • Songwriters will discover where--and how--to place their songs with this completely up-to-date marketing guide. The 2,500 listings--500 of which are new--feature song markets--including music publishers, record companies, record producers, and others--with current submission requirements and tips from buyers; organizations, workshops, and conferences; and contests and awards.
  • All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Eighth Edition - Donald S. Passman
    • This book completely demystifies the workings of the entire music industry--in a musician-friendly way. If everyone negotiating with record companies read and used this book, we'd collectively be better able to get the sort of financial rewards our art deserves. Each and every chapter is full of wisdom, humor, and support, written by an actively practicing Harvard Law grad who has also been teaching music law at UCLA since 1978.
  • The Complete Handbook of Songwriting: An Insider's Guide to Making It in the Music Industry, Second Edition (Plume) - Cathy Liggett & Mark Liggett
    • Written by authorities who know all the ins and outs of the music business, this complete guide covers everything about getting a song written, published, and produced. Glossary of industry terms. Appendices of company contacts and music publishers.
  • Sound Advice: The Musician's Guide to the Record Industry - Wayne Wadhams
    • The Musician's Guide to the Record Industry explains the inner workings of record and music publishing companies. Wadhams examines relevant business affairs for songwriters and recording artists, details all potential sources of income, and offers advice on how to break into--and survive--the music business.
  • Direct Public Offerings: The Definitive Guide: The New Method for Taking Your Company Public - Drew Field
    • Hey, you have to dream big! What will your tiny, self-financed label do when you want to release ten records next year but only have enough money to release two? The answer is, go public, and sell shares in your record label to outside investors. Direct Public Offerings explains the advantages and disadvantages of outside investment, and details some new strategies for raising capital.
  • Music In The Market - Don Cusic
    • Offers a detailed overview of the business of popular music, showing how it fits into popular culture and how it is disseminated in the American commercial market. Explores subjects such as money flow, talent acquisition and development, and promotion, and discusses marketing strategies and the marketing of specialty areas such as classical, jazz, bluegrass, and folk by small independent labels. Of interest to students and scholars of popular culture and popular music fans.
  • Music Business Handbook and Career Guide - David Baskerville
    • This sixth edition of a classic has been thoroughly revised, including complete coverage of everything from copyright and licensing to recording and retailing. This can be used as a textbook, covering everything from financial management to insider's tips on breaking into various music industry careers.
  • Making Money Making Music: No Matter Where You Live - James W. Dearing
    • Dearing explodes the myths and fantasies about the music business--showing that the surest way to make a steady income is to develop a solid, professional reputation within your own community. Dearing also explores the amount of money you can expect to earn from a new recording, while minimizing your expenses to maximize your profits. His approach to making money with music is fresh and practical, full of surprises.
  • You Can Hype Anything: Creative Tactics and Advice for Anyone With a Product, Business or Talent to Promote - Raleigh Pinskey
    • Pinskey details creative tactics and relates practical tried-and-true advice (from publicists, editors and producers) for anyone with a product, business or talent to promote. His book will help you to plan a media campaign, pitch your product, and attract media coverage.
  • The Music Business (Explained In Plain English): What Every Artist and Songwriter Should Know to Avoid Getting Ripped Off! - David Naggar, Jeffrey D. Brandstetter
    • Finally, a book written for artists and songwriters that explains the music business in a concise, straightforward and easy-to-understand manner! Teaches how to properly protect songs from being stolen, who are the best people to send demo tapes to, what pitfalls to avoid in negotiations, and much more. Written by two highly respected music industry attorneys, this must-have deal-making reference guide provides practical career building tips and money-saving answers.

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