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Music Business Mon Jan 28 2013
So 2013 is the year. You've resolved to strike up the band and make music your priority. If you still have some extra Christmas cash in your pocket after you buy all those mic stands and recording equipment, there's one more small purchase that you could end up finding essential: Chicago career musicians Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan of the band Beatnik Turtle released the second edition of their highly praised The Indie Band Survival Guide in late 2012.
The handbook itself is an excellent, if not exhaustive, resource for anyone looking to make money by being in a band. In fact, even if turning your music into your moneymaker isn't your endgame, it's still a good read for anyone trying to make music into a successful personal outlet or hobby.
Version 2.0 of the Survival Guide, according to the authors' forward, focuses less on the world of major labels -- a testament to the fact that "going indie" is becoming an ever increasing trend in music. Chertkow and Feehan's guidebook simply teaches you how to do it successfully.
As far as getting the most out of this new edition of The Indie Band Survival Guide, after reading it myself, I have a couple tips for anyone interested.
1) Read it like a textbook, not a novel. Remember college textbook reading assignments? You never read every word of every chapter, just what you needed to. Treat this book similarly. Don't spend half an hour scouring the sections on Facebook and Twitter if you've been using the websites for years -- simply glance over them looking for new tips or pointers. They're there. Between band practice and your day job, finding time to sit down and read a nearly 400 page book cover to cover can be tough. Instead spend what time you have focusing thoroughly on a section that you might not be as knowledgeable in like marketing or licensing.
2) Keep a computer nearby. The Indie Band Survival Guide comes with a generous additional resource: IndieGuide.com. Of course, you don't need to buy the book to access the website but it certainly helps sift through the wealth of info on the website. The guide does an wonderful job of cramming as much as it can between the covers but the authors' blatant dedication to being thorough warranted the creation of this website -- perfect for links to resources mentioned within the guide, additional lists of resources and further instructional guides on certain programs or processes. My advice is to check IndieGuide.com as soon as you read about something you want to learn more about. There's so much within the pages self-reminders to do further research are lost easily.
This book might not guarantee success -- you can't teach talent and hard work -- but if you do possess those qualities, it's sure to help guide you there.