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The Musician’s Handbook Revised


Back Cover Copy

Revised Edition Includes

Industry Testimonials

Author’s Short Bio

Publisher’s Information

A Note from The Author

Customer Reviews



The Musician's Handbook - Revised


List: $19.99. Special: $14.99







Billboard Books

“Bobby Borg knows about rock ‘n’ roll because he's been in the trenches. He doesn't theorize; he's lived it. This book isn't just informative, but it's also easy to read and understand—and, most of all, interesting. It's a refreshing change to learn without feeling like you're reading a textbook.”

Gerry Gittelson, rock critic for the Los Angeles Daily News

Your music blaring to hoards of screaming fans, the marquee blazing your name in lights, red-carpet treatment . . . just a few of the dreams any musician envisions when trying to make it big in the music business. Unfortunately, the underlying, and oftentimes sobering, reality is that today’s music business is just that: a business, ridden with hidden—and many times—disastrous pitfalls. Thankfully, author Bobby Borg, a music-industry insider and veteran, has revised and updated everything a musician needs to know in plain and clear language, giving you solid advice and explanations on important topics such as record royalties, rates, escalations; recording advances and deals; live performance and touring contracts; and copyright laws in today’s new music business.
    Due to the digital age drastically uprooting the traditional business model and adding even more emphasis onto the independent and do-it-yourself musician, Bobby gives you what you need behind-the-scenes so that you can pave your way to the top of the charts and not become distracted from what truly matters to you, music.



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Bobby’s Revised Edition Includes

•    Updated chapters loaded with new industry contacts, addresses, and URLs, along with hundreds of new strategies for pursuing and succeeding in today’s music business

•    New interviews with top industry professionals discussing new music business models, future forecasts, new royalty rates and structures for the digital age and for the independent and do-it-yourself musician

•    Expanded in-depth explanations on advances, music publishing, live performances, touring, and merchandising, as well as the vital roles attorneys, personal managers, business managers, talent agents, and record producers play

Industry Testimonials

“The music business is full of minefields. The Musician’s Handbook 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 of music business/management department at Berklee College of Music

“An exceptionally well-written, thorough, and competent book for an author who is a non-attorney. Bobby’s book is extremely valuable to anyone trying to understand the music business.”
Peter Paterno, the law offices of King, Holmes, Peterno & Berlinger, representing Metallica, Dr. Dre, and Pearl Jam

“In this day and age, it's irresponsible for an artist to enter the music industry without having a grasp of the business. The Musician's Handbook should be required reading by all industry neophytes.”
Steve Vai, internationally renown guitarist

“It would take years of personal experience to acquire the knowledge and wisdom provided in The Musician’s Handbook; a must-read for anyone interested in a thorough yet concise overview of the new music industry.”   
Diony Sepulveda, manager of Pennywise

“The Musician’s Handbook published by Billboard Books 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, North America and Global Head Creative

Author’s Bio

Bobby Borg is a former recording and touring artist with over twenty-five years of experience as a drummer at both major and independent record labels. A graduate of Berklee College of Music with a BA in professional music, Borg serves as a music business educator at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, and at the University of Los Angeles. As a music business, A&R, and do-it-yourself producing consultant to managers, record labels, and music supervisors, Borg is a prominent guest speaker at music industry events around the world and is a regular contributor to many international music business publications. He is the author of seven instructional music books. Bobby lives in Los Angeles, California. To get a copy of The Musician’s Handbook, click here:


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Publisher’s Information

Billboard Books
An imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
Printed in the United States


Please all 3 to 4 weeks delivery.


Why a Revision?
For several years, The Musician’s Handbook published by Billboard Books has benefited songwriters, bands, producers, bookers, managers, start-up record labels, and countless others interested in a successful career in the new music industry. The book has been used at top educational institutions around the country, discussed at major conventions and songwriter’s camps, and reviewed in international publications online and in print. Though over the years, independent labels have gained more significance, do-it-yourself artists have more resources than ever, new revenue streams have become available in the digital age, and record company business models have evolved. By popular demand, the revised Musician’s Handbook addresses all of these aforementioned issues and further looks ahead to the future of the music business—2013 and beyond.

Why Should You Read this Book?

Most musicians spend years developing their musical talent only to learn about the music business the hard way—one mistake at a time. Focused on their creative passions and the dream of an exciting career, musicians often leave business matters entirely in the hands of others. As a result, they are frequently taken advantage of, or they develop unrealistic expectations, which inevitably are not met. If you want music to be your livelihood, you must treat it as a business or the business will take advantage of you. You must understand the basics of the music business and learn how to manage the professional relationships you will encounter. This will give you a tremendous advantage. You will also thereby earn the respect of your employers, your fellow band members, and others within the music industry. Most importantly, you will be able to make informed, intelligent, and realistic career decisions, greatly reducing the risk of making serious mistakes.

What Inspired Me to Write this Book?
Though musicians must understand the music business in order to succeed, many books on this subject are not readily comprehensible to them. When I began my career in music as a member of a band signed to a major label, I bought a book about the industry because I wanted to understand contracts, record royalties, music publishing, and everything else that the music business entailed. I got about eighteen pages into the book and stopped. The text was too complex; it seemed that the author was writing for attorneys rather than for a guy who was about to jump on a tour bus. At the time, I was more interested in playing music than studying law. I needed a book that spoke to me in plain English. I soon found that many other musicians shared my sentiments.
     Several years later, after experiencing the highs of success as well as the frustrations of being repeatedly mistreated, I realized more than ever that there had to be a simpler way for musicians to understand the music business without spending a fortune in legal fees. I concluded that a lay-man’s guide to understanding the music business was necessary—one written by a musician for musicians; a book written by someone who had actually been in the trenches himself, from recording studios to tour buses to concert stages. The language of business is very different from the language of art, and who better than a discerning and sympathetic musician to serve as an instructor for other artists? The Musician's Handbook is the result of several years of painstaking research, which involved consulting with literally hundreds of musicians to uncover what they wanted and needed to know, analyzing nearly every book about the music industry, and interviewing numerous music business professionals who were willing to speak candidly.

What Makes this Book Unique?
The Musician’s Handbook is the layman’s guide to the music industry. It’s written by me, a professional musician, for musicians, providing invaluable tips that only someone who has been in the trenches himself (from rehersal rooms to recording studios, from tour buses to concert stages) could reveal to those looking to pursue a career in the music business. Furthermore, numerous music industry professionals offer invaluable wisdom, real-life anecdotes, and one-on-one interviews which give The Musician’s Handbook a broad perspective and universal appeal. Serving as a music business consultant and educator at top institutions for several years, I focus on topics that musicians want and need to know. However, this book is not only for musicians; fledgling attorneys, personal managers, producers, and many others in the music business can gain an invaluable perspective on this fascinating industry. The Musician’s Handbook is a solid, concise, entertaining, and easy-to-read introduction to the business of music.

How to Use this Book.
Although the best way to fully appreciate this book is to read it from front to back so that you don’t miss a single beat, The Musician’s Handbook is also designed so that each chapter can be understood and followed on its own, allowing you to refer to individual chapters as they relate to your personal career. Therefore, you can get exactly what you want, when you need it. And for those of you who are really on the fast track, The Musician’s Handbook is full of boxed anecdotes and sidebars that relate to important aspects of the text, making it easy to flip through and read interesting stories and facts. Every attempt has been made to keep the information as current as possible, but since the music business is fast and ever changing—especially in the face of emerging technologies and the Internet—I encourage readers to keep up with the weekly trade magazines, websites, and my webpage.
     The Musician’s Handbook will provide you with a strong foundation in the music business, but every business situation you encounter will be unique. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you always consider the advice of an appropriate business professional.
Keep in mind that the music business is not always easy to understand, and that it will require some patience and work to do so. But remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The information presented here is only as good as your desire to comprehend and use it.
     With talent, preparation, and a lot of luck, you can have an extremely rewarding career—creatively and financially—in music. I hope this book will be a valuable tool that helps you achieve your professional goals. Now, let’s get to it!
Click here to get your copy.


Newly Revised and Better than Ever!
Hunter Scott; Hollywood, CA

I first read this book in its original edition and thought it was so smartly written. The book is organized in chapters such as "The Producer,” "The Manager, and "The Booking Agent" so you can truly understand each role, and why and when would YOU need one to formulate your team of success. The new edition is like a whole new book, catering to the changing industry as musicians are turning to the "do it yourself" system more than ever before. It focuses less on the big record company, a vanishing creature in our time, and more on the vital things needed for an independent musician to success in today music business. A successful musician, for musicians, wrote this book but it can also help producers, managers, and many other key people in the industry. GO BORG!

The First and Only Book You’ll Need

Steve Rosen, Los Angeles, CA

The recently published Revised Edition encompasses all the elements of the original book and a lot more. Borg was a working musician and he well understands what it means to be down in the trenches. He pulls no punches and highlights various aspects with anecdotal tales and little vignettes involving recognizable artists. In less than 300 pages, this provides a lifeline for any musician who has felt like he/she was drowning in the vast ocean of the music business. Read this and avoid the sharks. Read this and arm yourself with the information and knowledge you'll require to make it as a professional working musician. I am a 30-year veteran music journalist and this is the first book I turn to whenever I have a question about anything music. It needs to be on your bookshelf. Buy it right now.

One Stop Shop:
By Matthew Nollora, Fontana, California

After reading just a few chapters of this book, I've learned more about the ins and outs of the music industry than I have ever been told about. Before it seems that people in the industry would slam their doors shut. Bobby Borg literally gave me an opportunity to find those open doors, if not, open windows. All in all, this book is literally the one-stop shop for any serious aspiring musician wanting to know about the most up-to-date information about the music industry.

How Not to Get Screwed! 
By Courtney Stumpf , Hollwood, CA

The Musicians Handbook is a must for any serious musician. In fact, it is a must for anyone who is in the entertainment business. The book can easily be applied to any job that requires promotion and legality. It will show you with a first hand look at how to not be screwed in the business. The easy to follow and understand text really makes this book stand out from other guides. This is an amazing book and a must read.

Practically a Self Help Book
By Scott Meissner
I’m only about halfway through your book, but I had to write to you. It is probably the greatest Music Business book I have ever read. Not only is it a how to book, but it’s also a best quote collaboration book, and practically a self help book. I just had to tell you that I am really enjoying your book. Are you going to be in the Milwaukee/Chicago area anytime soon? Thank you.

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