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Berklee Press Publishes Musician's Self Promotion Guide

Jan 26, 2000

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The image of the starving musician practicing in a coldwater flat, waitingto be discovered, went out with the 45 rpm record. Music remains an art, not simply a product or service, but making it in music today requires more than talent. It requires business savvy.

Does this mean selling out or handing yourself over to a high-priced manager or publicist? No, says Peter Spellman, Director of the Career Development Center at Berklee College of Music, in The Self-Promoting Musician, just released from Berklee Press. By understanding the forces behind the industry, adopting solid business practices, and doing serious self-promotion, musicians can help themselves be seen, heard and successful.

The Self-Promoting Musician fills a gapping void on the how-to shelf and can save years of frustration, even entire careers. Beginning with an overview of the current, increasingly diversified marketplace, Spellman presents clear advice on finding a niche and how to avoid being a victim of short-term corporate profit. He then lays out a logical system of do-it-yourself strategies that musicians can use to take control of their own careers. Included are chapters on goal setting, developing a marketing plan, time management, networking, contracts, getting bookings and radio play, using the Internet to promote your music, and customizing a demo for maximum exposure, as well as how to put together a press kit. Spellman also provides a comprehensive resource list, with continual on-line updates. He says he cannot emphasize the importance of the Internet enough. "Today and in the future, the web could be the musicians most important tool in becoming known." The digital revolution, he adds, is providing a low cost, high-impact way to the top. Says Spellman, "Setting up strategic web alliances, aligning you, your band or your music with services or products is key. Great "web of mouth" can make it all happen." marketing practices, Spellman offers sensible advice that can help both the novice and established pro to prosper. "The tradition of musicianship has been anti-business. The days of talent alone making a career are over," says Spellman. "The tricks of the trade-overcoming the bureaucracy—therefore usually aren't being employed by musicians." Spellman's easy-to-follow writing style makes The Self-Promoting Musician especially useful. In his work at Berklee, the author has helped thousands of up-and-coming musicians develop their business "chops"-- and he knows how to communicate with his audience. "Artists in general tend to prefer a more casual approach to everything, including business," notes Spellman in Chapter One.

"But like it or not, if you don't have your personal and business act together today, you'll find yourself with a lot of open weekends. But this doesn't mean you can't use the industry to your own advantage."

Although written primarily for performing and recording artists, anyone aspiring in the music business can profit from The Self-Promoting Musician. As Spellman points out, "Those with a handle on contemporary business practices will make more effective and efficient progress in the contemporary music world." This much-needed volume will help any music professional do just that.

For more information, visit their web site at www.berkleepress.com.
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