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ISBN 0-87639-045-9

Inside the Record Industry
Inside the Record Industry
Gain critical marketing and positioning advice on how to prepare yourself, your music, and your band, and learn realistic strategies for success for artists in this 12 week online course.

Artist Management
Artist Management
Explore the role and importance of an artist manager, what they do, and how it impacts the career of the artist and their brand.

Legal Aspects of the Music Industry
Legal Aspects of the Music Industry
Build your music career with an understanding of the legal issues that are of special concern to musicians and songwriters.

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Getting Signed! An Insider's Guide to the Record Industry

by George Howard
available from

Getting Signed

Learn how to get the most out of the music business from a music industry insider.

For unsigned musicians, it can be difficult to juggle the tasks of creating and performing your music, shopping your demo to labels, and promoting yourself and your music to your audience. This book can help. Getting Signed! An Insider's Guide to the Recording Industry by industry veteran George Howard will show you the importance of connecting. Connecting with the right songs, connecting with your community, connecting with the industry, and ultimately, connecting with the right label will all help you connect with your audience.

A recording contract is often critical to the long-term success of an artist, but getting signed is not an easy task when you are competing against numerous bands who submit their demos to record labels on a daily basis. Getting Signed! arms you with the knowledge you need to work your way through the maze of today's music industry, and move your demo to the top of the stack. Even if you are an artist who is comfortable without a label, you still need to assemble a team to make sure your music is heard by as many people as possible. Getting Signed! shows you how to do this.

Howard, the former president of Rykodisc, will give you critical advice on how to prepare yourself, your music, and your band for the challenging task of attracting a label's attention, and keeping them interested. Build your armory of knowledge by:

  • Learning what an A/R person does and why it matters
  • Building your team: manager, booking agent, lawyer, and others
  • Maximizing your gigs and other activities to make yourself more attractive to record labels
  • Figuring out who the decision-makers are
  • Navigating through contracts and royalties
  • Developing your record distribution chops
  • Understanding your music publishing and co-publishing options
  • Considering all labels, from major labels to smaller indie labels

This book is a must for all serious musicians regardless of what stage you are in your career. It is an all-encompassing resource that serves as a reference guide and instruction manual to today's ever-changing music industry.


GETTING SIGNED! sample chapter

About the Author

Producer and musician George Howard founded his first independent label, Slow River Records, in 1993. In 1999, he was made president of Rykodisc and was fortunate to work with a diverse roster of artists and artist catalogs, including Kelly Willis, Robert Cray, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Morphine, Pork Tornado, Josh Rouse, Bill Hicks, Richard Buckner, the Tom Tom Club, Catie Curtis, Future Bible Heroes, Sophie B. Hawkins, and the Slip, among others. He has produced records for many artists, including Kelly Joe Phelps, Chuck E. Weiss, Jess Klein, Matthew, and Peter Bruntnell. He recently started Essex River Works, a music education company. Howard teaches about the recording industry at Northeastern University and is a frequent lecturer at Berklee College of Music and many other colleges.


Getting Signed! An Insider's Guide to the Record Industry


"Before you attempt to take the music industry by storm, you might want to brush up on some of the finer points...George Howard has synthesized his years of insider knowledge and experience into this book. Getting Signed is for musicians who are serious about turning their art into a paying career."

- REMIX magazine

"Even if you're not specifically looking to be signed to a label, the book is a great resource for any artist looking to further his career. The advice on building relationships and understanding contracts is invaluable."

-Performing Songwriter magazine

"Valuable up-to-date information about the ever-changing music industry."

-Weekly Dig

"Everything you really need to know to get it on in the music biz is here."

- Tucson Citizen

"George is a gifted, passionate individual who understands the music and artist wholly."

- Chris Blackwell, Founder, Island records

"This book is a great resource for young artists trying to shape the business side of their career. It's comprehensive in scope and full of practical advice. I found the case studies used to illustrate different paths to success to be particularly compelling."

John Paluska, Phish manager

"Practical advice from an insider who has seen every aspect of the industry from supplicant to president. This book will help to demystify the often confusing music business, offering realistic strategies for success in an easy to understand style."

Paul Q. Kolderie, Producer/Engineer (Joe Jackson, Radiohead, Morphine, Hole, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Uncle Tupelo, etc.)

"The next time an aspiring recording artist comes to us for advice, we'll advise them to read this book first. George Howard really knows what he's talking about."

-Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, members of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club

Also by George Howard

Music Pub 101 Berklee In the Pocket: Music Publishing 101