Advice for Musicians… Stolen from Seth Godin

Several months ago, when I was writing Squeezing The Show, I asked Seth Godin if he had any advice on how to go about finding a publisher for the book. I figured the publishing business was very similar to the record business but when he guided me toward two posts he has written on the topic I realized that they are nearly exactly the same business. Seth’s two posts sound so similar to the advice I would give a young musician that I’m just going to send you directly onto his words. As you read his words replace the word:

  • “book(s)” with “album(s)”
  • “publisher” with “record label”
  • “editor” with “producer”
  • “author(s)” with “musician(s)”
  • “published” with “released”
  • “write(ing)” with “record(ing)”

Article 1: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2006/08/advice_for_auth.html

Article 2: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2005/07/advise_for_auth.html

Here’s some more information from Billboard to help put things in context. In 2009:

97, 751 albums were released
Of those only 2050 sold more than 5000 units
Of those 12 sold more than 1 million units

I know these numbers seemed stacked against you… yet every year there are hot new artists that come around and establish enduring, successful careers.  It doesn’t take a massive album or radio play to make a sustainable and successful career.  In fact, as Seth Godin says, if you can establish a solid and successful career then you won’t need them and then you will be exactly the type of artist a label will want to work with.  When in doubt on your career path, go back and read Seth’s advice again.  Own your career.  You can do it.

P.S.  If that doesn’t work for you, join my Advisor program and I’ll help you figure it out.

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