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The Indie Band Survival Guide, new book on how to succeed on your own
Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:11 PM EDT

Groklaw member ExcludedMiddle tells us:

Hey folks. I just thought that you'd like to know that I have become a new author of a book published by St. Martin's Press/Macmillan. I've been on here since the beginning, and I just wanted to share, partially because the book is probably of interest to you guys. Lawrence Lessig was an inspiration for the book, and after sending him a copy, he liked it so much that he wrote a blurb for it. It was also covered by the Creative Commons in a recent blog entry.

The book is the Indie Band Survival Guide, and is available at Amazon, and all of the major bookstores. It tells musicians exactly how to succeed on their own, entirely without music labels.

In the book, I advocate the use of Creative Commons licenses, argue that file sharing is an excellent way to get your music heard, and talk about the balance between copyright and commerce, which I know are topics dear to Groklaw denizens.

In case you're curious, Professor Lessig said the following about the book:

"The Internet is an extraordinary opportunity for musicians to make and profit from their music. This clearly written and comprehensive book shows exactly how. A perfect balance between the mess of the law and the promise of the technology, it should be read by anyone who wants to take their talent and share it—for the love of sharing, or for the profit."

~Lawrence Lessig, author of Code, professor at Stanford Law School, founder of the Center for the Internet and Society, and CEO of the Creative Commons project

Among other things, we cover how music copyright works in detail within a section written by my co-author, an attorney.

But possibly the most interesting thing about the book is that it could not have existed without the Creative Commons. We gave away the original version from our website as a PDF, under a CC license that let people share it freely, non-commercial. Without this sharing, we would never have been noticed by Billboard magazine, who wrote an article about the PDF. This was followed by the Associated Press. And, next thing we knew, a publisher was interested.

We are a living counter-example to the misguided concept that the Creative Commons destroys the commercial viability of whatever is licensed by it. We would not have a publisher if we hadn't. We're doing everything we can to make this book a success after being available for free. (And if you want to help us do this, just pick up a copy which is around $10 discounted. Especially if you're a musician or interested in music copyright.)

Thanks everyone! I'll keep you informed of how it goes with us, and how our relations with the publisher go with the Creative Commons angle. I hope to pave the way for other authors.


  


The Indie Band Survival Guide, new book on how to succeed on your own | 24 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Off Topic here
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:26 PM EDT
Please make any links clickable.

---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:28 PM EDT
If any.

---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News picks commentary here
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:30 PM EDT
Please note in the subject line which news picks
you are referencing. Also include the link to
it in case it rolls off of the main page.


---

You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Indie Band Survival Guide, new book on how to succeed on your own
Authored by: bbaston on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 06:51 PM EDT
You can bet I'll pick up a copy for my son - an aspiring musician - for his 21st birthday!

Delighted to see this information, PJ. Doubt you made any friends at the RIAA though. ;-)

---
IMBW, IANAL2, IMHO, IAVO
imaybewrong, iamnotalawyertoo, inmyhumbleopinion, iamveryold

[ Reply to This | # ]

The AP and the CC
Authored by: seraph_jeffery on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 07:44 PM EDT
Say, if the Associate Press quotes something that was released under one of the
Creative Commons licenses, can they then restrict someone from quoting that
quote to only four words? Just asking.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Indie Band Survival Guide, new book on how to succeed on your own
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, August 11 2008 @ 10:09 PM EDT
Didn't read this book. Hope it's good. I was once in a band that did make
pretty good money as an indie, and wasn't all that hard -- once we were good
enough to make money at all, that is. We did try to get signed, and got an
offer, but after reading it carefully, well...we decided to go it alone.

The **AA takes no risk, btw, despite what they say -- just try to get signed if
you don't already have a very successful operation and see for yourself. If you
don't have a tour and a following already, don't waste your time.

If you do, you don't really need them.

We recorded some of our stuff (as engineers, we did our own recording, and I
wrote a book called Digital Audio Processing), pressed CD's and started selling
them at gigs.

Then a member (John) got ambitious, and floor planned them into every record
store around (when there still were some other than Wal Mart). He did the
legwork to get us in in a couple of cities (we'd done the UPC code thing for our
CD's so the record stores could do their inventory management).

That worked OK for awhile -- we sold a few thousands, but still had trouble
getting airplay on anything but college stations -- no payola, no playola, or so
it seemed. This seemed like a rat race, only a few K per release.

So this guy starts us up a web site, and we give away low bitrate mpgs free.
And indicate that the fidelity can be far better if they buy a copy. Sales
zoomed. Mortgages half paid off!

Of the many errors the **AA has made, one was conditioning the audience to low
fidelity (we audiophiles complained for years), so that even low bitrate MP3's
sound good to those who rarely hear anything better.

But there are people with both ears and money out there if you have the desired
content and quality. Sure, some of them copy the stuff to their buddies -- more
sales for our next album, it's not a problem. That fanatic core of fans helps
far more than it hurts.

Or at least that's our experience. We never challenged the really big stars in
sales -- but then most people who are signed don't either. Most in fact, don't
break even and repay that big advance the **AA spends on their own recording and
advertising facilities for you, at their insistence.

I believe the otherwise somewhat discredited Courtney Love penned a screed
pointing out that your basic medium-success band makes less money than a
convienience store job when signed with those guys. It IS more fun than waiting
counters, but if if you want success and paid bills, indie is the way to go.
You just have to be self starting and reliable, just like any other business one
might start and run.

Doug

[ Reply to This | # ]

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