Composer Resources

Cross-Disciplinary Resources

Freelancer's Survival Guide
Write. Publish. Repeat.
The Copyright Handbook

Many of the best ideas in The Composer’s Guide to Doing Business are thanks in no small part to a sizable handful of writers who work tirelessly on the behalf of their colleagues to make the world of self-publishing a better and healthier place for everyone. Here, in no particular order, are some links to their books and websites:

Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Kris wrote one of my favorite non-fiction books of all time: The Freelancer’s Survival Guide (also available for free on her website), which I think is indispensable to anyone who’s even vaguely thinking about working for themselves in any capacity. As composers, even though we may have day jobs, we’re our own bosses when it comes to our music, so I highly recommend reading this, as well as subscribing to her blog, where she has a wealth of posts about doing business as a writer, discoverability, and estate planning. Seriously, a must-read!

Dean Wesley Smith
Dean has some great posts (also available in book form) under the headings “Think Like a Publisher” and “Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing,” which he updates and re-releases on a yearly basis. His “Writing in Public” series of blog posts is also wildly inspiring. Dean and Kris’s writings propelled me out of a day job that I wasn’t happy in, and inspire me to try to keep my butt in the chair every day to keep plugging away at my music.

Joanna Penn
Joanna Penn is a recent discovery for me. Her podcast The Creative Penn, is full of great advice that is easily applicable to the world of concert music, and has led her to publish the books How to Market a Book, Public Speaking for Authors and Creatives, and Business for Authors.

The Self-Publishing Podcast
Run by three successful working writers, this is one of my favorite resources, currently. Personable, actionable, and frequently off-topic, the podcast is a great listen. Their book Write. Publish. Repeat. blew my mind, and has seriously advanced the ways that I think about audience and putting my music out into the world. A great kick in the pants. Also recommended is their follow-up book, Iterate and Optimize.

Simon Whistler
Simon’s Rocking Self-Publishing podcast has been described as the on-topic, less profanity-laden version of the Self-Publishing Podcast. Fortunately, it doesn’t suffer for having these qualities!

Joe Konrath
Although Joe doesn’t write as much on his blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, as he used to, the archives are a wonderful place to browse to catch up on the state of publishing, and get perspective on the benefits of doing things yourself. Joe is also currently at the forefront of a major experiment in collaborative writing and content licensing, which he writes about, and which challenges some of the strictness of copyright and is an object lesson in generosity.

Some great books related to music

Behind Bars by Elaine Gould
Beyond Talent by Angela Myles Beeching
The Savvy Musician by David Cutler

Some great books not related to music

The Copyright Handbook from Nolo Press
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Do the Work by Steven Pressfield
Your First 1000 Copies by Tim Grahl
The Daily Entrepreneur by S.J. Scott
Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future by Leonard Schlesinger & Charles Kiefer
The Artist’s Guide: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love by Jackie Battenfield
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
Estate Planning Basics from Nolo Press

Some great blogs

The Passive Voice
Marc D. Ostrow, Esq.

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