Music Business Resources
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The Best Music Business Books
Our #1 resource is The Christian Band Handbook. We lived it, we wrote it, and we recommend it as a starting place for every Christian band.
The Christian Band Handbook walks you through the steps to get your band started and running well so you can focus on mininstry.
CLICK HERE for more information about the contents and ordering.
This easy to understand book is particularly helpful to start up and run the business side of music ministry. You can set up much of your band’s business using the interactive downloadable forms to walk you through each step. Save money even if you choose to have an attorney set up all or part of the band’s business. Attorneys charge by the hour. Asking them questions costs money. This book shows you how to do what you can yourself and get questions answered without attorney fees for the rest.
Don’t get eaten by the music industry. Knowing how things work in the industry can save you money and heartache later. This book is the “industry bible” for musicians who want to be signed to a record label. It’s not an easy read, but should be a required read before beginning contract negotiations with any label or management company. You don’t need this book if you’re going to stay indie, but if you want to work within the music industry this is the place to start.
How To Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician
Indie music entrepreneurs need to know how to make money using the tools available today. This book is a combination of music marketing and music business to help you make the most of advancements both online and in the real world. It is possible to make a living as an indie musician but you must do the work to learn how to use modern tools correctly.
WARNING: This book contains some offensive language and comments.
As your business and ministry grows, you will want to upgrade to more professional accounting software.
If you don’t already have Quickbooks, we recommend Xero because it’s easier to learn, cheaper, and has an inventory management system. They have a 30 day free trial. The $9 per month Starter Plan has the features most musicians need. You can upgrade to more expensive plans with more features as you continue to grow.
Why not use Freshbooks? Freshbooks is wonderful for many businesses but not for musicians because it doesn’t have an inventory management system.
If you already have and know how to use QuickBooks, go ahead and use it. If you prefer to work in the cloud you’d ideally want the Small Business Plus plan so you can track your inventory, create budgets, and pay 1099 contractors; but at $35 a month plus fees, it’s not cheap. The desktop software is usually just under $200.
You’re also going to need to process credit cards.
We like either the Square or PayPal Here. The Square has the advantage of deposits made directly into your bank account. PayPal Here has the advantage of accepting PayPal payments. Our Merch Tables to Grow Your Ministry course has a more in-depth comparison. Both processors are free with no monthly fees. There are transaction fees, so how much you pay depends on how much you sell to people using PayPal, credit, or debit cards.
LegalZoom is the place to go when you’re not completely comfortable with registering copyrights or setting up your business by yourself but don’t want to pay for an entertainment attorney. This website has step by step forms and instructions to make sure your personal or band’s paperwork is completed easily and correctly. They are much less expensive than working with an attorney in person.
Need help from an entertainment attorney? FREE! Check out this network of entertainment attorneys who volunteer to help artists (including musicians). These nonprofit organizations are located around the country, you’ll want to contact the office closest to you. This link will take you to a Wikipedia article with a complete list of offices. Use these attorneys when you have specific questions about music law. They are usually very busy, so be sure to allow several days for them to get back to you.
Here’s a couple of our articles about entertainment attorneys:
Don’t try to do a crowdfunding project without reading this book first. It will make the difference between being fully funded and not. Money doesn’t magically come in just because you do a crowdfunding project. It’s really important to take the right steps, in the right order, at the right time. Ariel Hyatt from Cyber PR shares those steps and what she learned from raising over $60,000 with her project.
This free PDF guide from CD Baby has the basic overview you need to launch a crowdfunding campaign. This is the place to start if you’ve never done crowdfunding before.
Need a Christian alternative to Kickstarter? FaithLauncher is a social crowd funding platform for Christian inspired projects. They serve Christian filmmakers, musicians, artists, entertainers, authors, ministry leaders, entrepreneurs and other faith based projects. Christian Band Help used them for a crowdfunding campaign. They gave great advice on how to make the project more successful.
Get Your FREE Christian Band Booking Calendar
Christian musicians need places to play to be able to do their ministry.
Sign up to get a FREE booking calendar that shows you which booking tasks to do each month. Know what to do and when to do it to get more gigs so you can do more ministry.