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To Starting a Record Company
A Message from David Nevue,
Founder of the Music Biz Academy...
have been looking for a book like
this for the Academy
for a long time. A book on the process
of starting a record label that
is easy to read and yet smart at
the same time. And finally, I have
Guide to Starting a Record Company
is written by Keith Holzman,
a man who has spent over four decades
in the music business. For
two of those decades he was the
Senior Vice President of Elektra
records. Later he became director
Records and Managing Director and Executive Vice President of Discovery Records.
My point is, Keith knows his stuff.
And now he's penned this 245 page
wonder of a book that takes you
step by step through the process
of starting up your own record company.
if you have the gumption to start
your own record label, you'll get
a HUGE head start by having Keith's
terrific manual at the ready.
"Keith Holzman has been an invaluable mentor
label and me for over twenty years. He has
finally put that knowledge and
integrity into a book
that I still find to be indispensable as a road map
through the intricacies and complexity of the
business of music. This is a
guide that could only be written by a true veteran.
I’ll refer to
mine often. - Bob Feldman, Former President,
Are You Thinking About Starting a Record
Are you unhappy working for your current record label
want to create your own?
Do you need help with any or all of the
necessary procedures required to take on such a task?
If you answered
“YES” to any of the above here's the solution.
The Complete Guide to Starting a
Record Company is a primer that takes you by the hand and guides you through the
steps involved in building the independent record label of your dreams. It
contains vital advice —retaining lawyers and accountants, what to include in
your business plan, how to construct budgets, what to look for in an artist and
how to sign one, the ins and outs of artist contracts, what to seek in a
distributor, and how to develop a marketing plan that can market your music
effectively. It’s the essential guide to what you need to know and what you must
do to start your own record company.
The book can be ordered as:
• A downloadable eBook in PDF
Guide to Starting a Record Company advises you on
writing your business plan, retaining lawyers and accountants, constructing
budgets, finding and signing artists, and marketing and distributing your
product. It explains staffing, licensing, pressing, printing, packaging,
royalties, and promotion. This book provides the insight you need to understand
the workings of any sized record label, and it’s a bonanza of practical guidance
for anyone attempting the D.I.Y. approach to record
distribution. - Gino Robair, Senior
Editor, Electronic Musician, August
Table of Contents, with
Information about each Chapter
1. Introduction: a brief background on the independent record
business…asks questions you need to think about and answer honestly to help you
decide what kind of label to build.
2. First Steps: what to look for in a lawyer and accountant…legal structure…suggested books on
music business law…label naming…domain name and registration…logo and
letterhead…UPC bar code.
Business Plan: its purpose…what to
include…what should be in the budget “numbers” section.
4. Raising Start-up Money: who to approach and how to raise
5. The Art of Acquiring
Talent: how to find artists and what to look
6. Understanding Artist
Agreements: common, and not so common, deal
points - setting up your artist contracts and understanding the provisions.
“There has never been a
finer book written about starting a record label and operating
successfully in the record business. I wish ‘The Complete Guide...’ had existed
when Alison and I started Compass Records. We were still finding our way through
some of these methods and strategies five years into the process! What a
blessing it would have been.” -
Garry West, Compass Records
Introduction to Music Publishing: why it’s a
good idea to become a music publisher…what it entails…music publishing
Possibilities: essential staff for small,
medium and large labels with typical “reporting” diagrams.
9. Setting Up Your Office: space…furniture…office equipment and
10. Planning the First Recording
what to look for in a studio…the producer and
engineer…how to budget a recording…includes a sample recording budget
11. Recording the First
Project: a look at what happens during the
recording, sequencing, and mastering process…ISRC codes.
"I LOVE Keith Holzman's new book....I only wish that I
had it BEFORE I started our own indie label in the late 90's. Keith's book skips
past the hype, smoke and mirrors of most industry books and arms you with the
real information you need to set up a real label that will work and last; the
kind that pays royalties, keeps books and sustains careers. Don't just buy it
though, put it to use!" — Justin Goldberg, CEO,
Indie 911, and author of "The Ultimate Survival Guide to
the Music Industry: A Handbook to
12. The Ins and Outs of Pre-Production: what to look for in pressing and printing plants…role
of production and design people…packaging…how to keep track of all the
details…what goes where on a typical package…manufacturing…inventory
matters…mechanical licenses…includes production charts and calendar…bill of
material and photo release forms.
13. The Lowdown on Distribution: what to look for and what to avoid when considering
distributors, domestic and international…suggested deal points…production and
Complexities of Marketing: how to construct
a marketing plan and what should be included…marketing budgets…the role of
sales, radio promotion, publicity, artist tours, advertising, video, street
teams, and the web…timing of releases…artist development…the
Basics: the many tasks to be done after a
release is shipped…SR form…royalty accounting…protecting
Marketing: staying on top of
marketing…artist tours and in-store performances.
17. Ancillary Income: the many ways to make additional income by getting the
most out of your efforts…licensing…publishing…non-traditional
18. It’s a Wrap —
planning future releases…crisis management…possible exit
Reading: extensive list of some of the best
books and publications on the music industry, and business in general.
The book includes many
specially constructed charts, forms, checklists, and summaries, a complete
index, plus more than 100 useful resources, agencies, and businesses, with
"Holzman’s book offers one of the
best and most detailed explications of the “conventional wisdom” of planning,
financing, recording, producing, marketing and distributing your own discs. His
Guide is more thorough than many similar publications on the market at the
moment…. Holzman includes brief but valuable suggestions about websites, on-line
retailing, e-mail marketing, and downloadable music. The bulk of his Guide,
however, deals with the more mundane but tremendously important legal and
business savvy required to really make a go of it on your own…. For anyone
considering taking the plunge into CD commerce, investing in Holzman's Guide
will be money well spent. - John Michel, American Composers
Forum Sounding Board, May/June 2004mple
you buy this book from The
Music Biz Academy,
Keith with throw in his white
paper called Ten
Common Mistakes Independent Record
Labels Frequently Make. Keith
with email you the paper as soon
as he receives notification of your
The book can be ordered as:
• A downloadable eBook in PDF
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