Business Basics for Musicians: The Complete Handbook from Start to Success

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Product Overview

Second Edition

Series: Music Pro Guides

Format: Softcover

ISBN: 978-1538133194

Today, when artists are empowered to take greater control of their careers and earnings, the need for musicians to understand the business of music has never been greater. In a digital age overflowing with confusing and ever-changing information, musicians need trusted business advice from a veteran artist who can break down the basics in language they understand. Written by a professional musician for other musicians, Business Basics for Musicians is the laypersons guide to the music industry.

In this must-have manual, music industry veteran Bobby Borg presents vital info in a conversational tone and an easy-to-scan format regarding five vital areas that musicians need to succeed: Career Execution, Business Relationships, Pro Teams, Deals and Dollars, and Future Predictions. Everything from copyrights to record deals, to managers, to merchandising, to doing it yourself is covered. With pro interviews, anecdotes, and review quizzes, Business Basics for Musicians is the complete handbook from start to success.

Updates for this edition:

  • Changes in copyright laws
  • Summary of the Music Modernization Act
  • Updates on record, merch, publishing, and live performance deals
  • New trends in sponsorships and partnerships with product brands
  • New interviews with industry professionals, including managers, producers, and agents
  • New stories paralleling current events and industry happenings
  • Updated business resources, industry contacts, and URLs


The music business is full of minefields. Business Basics For Musicians helps steer you through them in a way that lets you enjoy the journey. It’s packed with clear explanations, and information you’ll use time and again. (Don Gorder, chairman, Music Business/Management Department, Berklee College of Music)

Business Basics For Musicians provides a solid foundation for understanding the business at large, yet it comes at you from an everyman’s perspective. If you want to learn more about the new basics from someone who’s survived and thrived the biz, this book is a great read. (Neil Gillis, President, Round Hill Music)

The information in Bobby’s book is worth its weight in gold; it can mean the difference between succeeding or failing in the new music business. In his second life, Bobby will be reincarnated as a music attorney. This book is a must-read! (Dina Lapolt, entertainment attorney at Lapolt Law, P.C.)

Bobby’s book is an easy read. It gives a synopsis of our business today—a great quick reference guide for anyone interested in the new business of music. (Fred Croshal, CEO of Croshal Entertainment Group and former general manager of Maverick Records) ©2020,  336 pages

Bobby Borg, MCM, is a former major label, independent, and DIY recording/touring artist. He also served as the VP of Special Events for the American Marketing Association and Interim Chairman of Music Business at Musician’s Institute. Currently, he is a Distinguished Instructor at Musicians Institute and UCLA Extension as well as a frequent guest lecturer at Berklee College of Music. He is the founder of Bobby Borg Consulting and author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician. He holds a BA from Berklee College of Music and a master’s degree in communication management from the University of Southern California. Visit