From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians (ebook)

From Art to Commerce.jpg
From Art to Commerce.jpg

From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians (ebook)


by Tamara Saviano and Rod Picott


The odds of building and sustaining a career as an independent musician are better today than ever before. But creating great music is just the beginning. In order to succeed, you’ve got to sell it, too. That requires a skill set that doesn’t come naturally to many artists, some of whom waste thousands of dollars in expenses—and generate only frustration—because they lack the information they need to work smarter.

The good news is, you can learn to think like an entrepreneur. From recording and packaging to booking gigs and marketing yourself, you can hop on the road to success, or gallop farther along if you’re already on your way, by cultivating your business acumen.

That’s where this workbook comes in. It is excerpted from the comprehensive one-day program created by Grammy and Americana award-winning producer, artist manager and publicist Tamara Saviano and independent artist Rod Picott. From Art to Commerce demystifies the perplexing elements of the music business and teaches the entrepreneurial skills essential to building and maintaining a healthy career.

You’ll learn how to develop diverse revenue streams, control costs, maximize your music catalog and decide if and when to hire professional help. In just one day, you’ll empower yourself with the tools and information you need to make savvy decisions and thrive as an independent music-business professional.

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Tamara and Rod Picott celebrate the completion of From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians

Tamara and Rod Picott celebrate the completion of From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians

From Art to Commerce: A Workbook for Independent Musicians contains the following sections:

Music Industry Overview: Is this house made of brick or straw?

As artist-entrepreneurs, you know you need to create revenue streams for yourself that extend beyond old-school music biz practices. But it’s still important to understand those practices—as well as new music industry models—so you can decide which elements might be adaptable for you. If you’re offered a record deal, publishing contract or cash from an angel investor, you need to comprehend what each might mean to your career. We give you a thorough grasp of those scenarios—and other alternatives—so you can navigate your options with confidence.

So You Are An Artist: What do you want, a cookie?

Declaring that you are an artist will not part the Red Sea and make things easy for you. But, defining what it means to be an artist and trusting your instincts is vital to a successful career. When you understand who you are and what you want from your artist life, you will learn how to find your voice and your audience.

Songwriting & Music Publishing: Can you get my song to Taylor Swift?

As soon as you’ve written your first song you have become a publisher. You will learn what that means and the simple facts about music publishing that will help you make smart choices when it comes to copyright and exploiting your catalog.

Studio Recording: Can you make me sound like Elvis?

Deciding where to work, how much money to spend and how to pull off recording your masterpiece can be daunting and confusing. You’ll learn how to approach recording your music to showcase the best possible version of yourself as a recording artist. Record Labels: Hey man, can I give you my demo? As the major label system collapses under its own weight, the independent artist is standing strong and steady with more opportunities than ever. Learning how to function like a label but without all the excess and waste that is drowning the majors will give you the best and clearest path to a sustainable independent career. You can captain your own boat or assemble a crew and we will show you how to do it simply and clearly.

Distribution: CDs, LPs, MP3s, Video and Streaming, oh my!

Being indie means you oversee everything from artwork to production to distributing your product—physical CDs and vinyl LPs or electronically through downloads and streaming services. You need to know how to handle design (including hiring graphic artists), negotiate manufacturing, control quality and get your product in stores and online. You may be able to contract for distribution or may get very friendly with UPS and post-office clerks. We’ll clue you in to how it all works.

Marketing: Guess what? No one is looking for you.

Like it or not, you are a “brand”—and need to market yourself like one. Get creative, but don’t be afraid to adapt great ideas that work for others. We’ll study some brilliant maneuvers—and some not-so-brilliant ones.

Media, Public Relations, Radio, New Media: Huh?

Learn how to submit your songs for airplay, create and distribute press releases to traditional and new media, build social media platforms, be your own PR machine, generate coverage of your music and appearances and track that coverage.

Touring: How do I get to Carnegie Hall?

No, the answer is not “practice.” It’s “connections.” That’s connections as in who you know and connections as in planes, trains, tour buses and highway exits. We cover the ins and outs of getting there—both getting yourself gigs and getting yourself to gigs.

Resources: Do I need all this stuff?

From record producers and engineers to management, booking agents, publicists, tour managers and radio promoters, we demystify each job function and give you vital tips for knowing not only when and if to hire help, but how to choose the right type of assistance without breaking the bank.

To book a workshop in your community, email