Career Issues for Creative People Book List

100 Careers in the Music Business – Tanja L. Crouch

9780764139147_p0_v1_s260x420 The music industry has undergone radical changes in recent years, but abundant career opportunities still exist for beginners with talent, imagination, and a love of music. The record industry and its dealers have suffered recent setbacks, but most other aspects of the music business continue to flourish-and this book tells beginners how and where to find rewarding jobs.

Highly talented singers, song writers, and instrumentalists are always in demand, but many lesser known and rewarding career opportunities exist, with new avenues opening virtually every day. Among job opportunities described in this book are artists’ agents and managers, talent agents, sound technicians, film and TV technicians, film and TV production managers, advertising illustrators and copywriters, publicists, and many others.

The author tells beginners how to match their own qualifications with potential job openings, seek and find job interviews, and get into the music business. For each job designation, she lists the special skills needed, describes a typical workday, and presents actual case studies of men and women who have found music career openings, and have gone on to make the most of them. Sidebar features include at-a-glance career tips and “voices of experience” notes citing the best and worst things about each job. New in this edition is information on how today’s new technologies have influenced careers and created opportunities in the music business.

The book’s several appendices include lists of names, addresses, and web sites of music unions, organizations, directories, magazines, and schools offering degrees in music business management. There is also a glossary of music business and technical terms.  This book is available from Amazon.
Tanja L. Crouch has spent several years on the business side of the music industry. She has worked on tours for major artists, placed music in movies and TV shows, and written extensively about the music industry.

All You Need to Know About the Music Business – Donald Passman

All-You-Need-to-Know-About-the-Music-BusinessSince the advent of file-sharing technology in the late 1990s, the music industry has been challenged to reinvent itself.  What has it done?  How have the record labels repositioned themselves to cope with these massive changes?  How does all this affect creative artists?

No one understands the music industry — from the technology, to the legalities, to the new industry practices — better than veteran music lawyer Donald Passman.  In this completely revised and updated seventh edition of All You Need to Know About the Music Business, which the Los Angeles Times called “the industry bible” and which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the last eighteen years, Passman offers executives and artists, experts and novices alike the essential information they need not only to survive in these volatile and exciting times, but also to thrive.

Drawing on his unique, up-to-the-minute experience as one of the most trusted advisors in the industry, Passman offers new information on:

  • The new 360 model of record deals, wherein record companies share in nonrecord revenue
  • The Copyright Royalty Board’s latest decisions regarding online transmissions
  • The developing customs on new technologies such as streaming on demand, ringtones, and digital downloads
  • Updates on recording and publishing deals, as well as film music

He also gives guidance on fundamental issues, such as how to:

  • Select and hire a winning team of advisors — personal and business managers, agents, and attorneys — and structure their commissions, percentages, and fees in a way that will protect you and maximize these relationships
  • Master the big picture and the finer points of record deals
  • Navigate the ins and outs of songwriting, music publishing, and copyrights
  • Maximize concert, touring, and merchandising deals

Everyone in the business — musicians, songwriters, entertainment lawyers, agents, promoters, publishers, managers, record company executives — is scrambling to figure out what’s going to happen in the future, and Passman is in the thick of these changes. Anyone interested in a music career will need this comprehensive and crucial guide to making it in one of the world’s most dynamic industries.  This book is available from Amazon.

Donald Passman is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas and a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He is a prominent entertainment lawyer with the firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, and his clients include such major entertainers as Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Don Henley, Tom Waits, and Randy Newman. In addition, he represents many music publishers, producers, record companies, songwriters, industry executives, and film companies. He is frequently listed as one of the fifty most influential people in the entertainment industry, and is commonly credited with having won Janet Jackson her $40 million megadeal with Virgin Records. He has taught and lectured extensively, and has been teaching a course on the music industry at the University of Southern California Law School’s Advanced Professional Program since 1978. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and family.

Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People (The) – Carol Eikleberry

career-guide-for-creative-unconventional-people-carol-eikleberry-paperback-cover-artNow in its third edition, this book provides knowledgeable career guidance, real-life success stories, and eye-opening self-evaluation tools to help artistic individuals figure out how to remain different, unconventional, and hard-to-categorize while finding work they love.  If you would like creative work to provide some of your income, then you have chosen a challenging goal: creative work tends to be more competitive, less secure and less well-paid than other kinds of work, at least at the beginning.  In a nutshell, this book:

  • describes changes in the world of work that promise hope for creative people everywhere (ours is the best time in ages for those who want to do creative work!)
  • takes an insightful look at the creative personality (which can lead to a feeling of not fitting in) and explains how being different can actually be an asset in the job search
  • includes a variety of exercises (including diagnostic questions and checklists and downloadable forms) designed to guide your career exploration and job search
  •  illustrates eight different routes to employing your creativity (for example, starting your own business or getting a grant), using real life success stories
  • provides time-tested and practical tips for persisting in your efforts so that you can achieve your goals: effective “how to” strategies will make your dreams come true
  • concludes with an inspiring account of the creative adventure: accepting your talent, taking risks, calling on your courage, growing as a person and artist, and giving your gift
  • profiles 270 different creative occupations from mainstream (architect) to quirky (impersonator) in an extensive appendix that features job descriptions, employers, and salaries

This book is available from Amazon, and more information in general can be found from the website listed below.

Carol Eikleberry is a licensed psychologist who has worked as a career counselor for more than 20 years, both in private practice and in counseling centers at major universities. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied creativity, career development, and vocational counseling. Before becoming a psychologist, she earned a B.A. in English literature from Stanford University and then taught freshman composition for several years–so she knows from personal experience what it is like to face a competitive job market with an impractical major and to choose a new career and change direction. Dr. Eikleberry’s career guidance is so well respected that she has been included in every edition of Who’s Who in America since 2000.  She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Complete Guide to Game Audio (The), Second Edition: For Composers, Musicians, Sound Designers and Game Developers – Aaron Marks

9780240810744_p0_v1_s260x420Turn your musical passion into a profitable career with this essential guide to the business and technical skills you need to succeed in the multi-billion dollar games industry. Step-by-step instructions lead you through the entire music and sound effects process – from developing the essential skills and purchasing the right equipment to keeping your clients happy. Learn everything you need to:

  • Find the jobs. Identify your niche, implement a business and marketing plan that includes a great demo reel, and plug into the established network to find clients.
  • Make the deals. Make the bidding and contract process work for you by knowing the standard industry terminology, understanding how to set fees, and employing non- confrontational negotiating tactics to reach sound agreements that establish acceptable boundaries for change orders, reworks, payment options, and other essentials.
  • Create music and sound effects for games. Master the exacting specifications for composing music and creating sound effects on the various gaming platforms and systems.

The companion CD-ROM features audio and cinematic examples, demos of useful sound editing and sequencing programs and sample business contracts.  This book is available from Amazon, and more information on this book and the author can be found at
Music had always been a part of Aaron Marks’ life. But it wasn’t until 1995, when his overgrown hobby became On Your Mark Music Productions, that he began selling it to the world. He started with the local radio and television scene, composing jingles and scoring public service announcements. With his sights set firmly on Hollywood, he bumped into the games industry. Ever since that fated redirect, he has been cranking out music and sound effects for games. His credits include a PlayStation 2 game, five CD-ROM game projects, 56 on-line casino games, a dozen touch-screen arcade games, and numerous multimedia projects. As an occasional diversion, Aaron sidelines as a writer for Game Developer magazine,, and

Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – Paul D. Tieger

9780316167260_p0_v1_s260x420Already a classic in the genre, this book has helped hundreds of thousands of people find truly satisfying work. Do What You Are introduces Personality Type – how you process information, make decisions and interact with the world around you – and shows you which of the 16 types describes you best. It lists dozens of occupations that are popular with people of your type. Then, using workbook exercises and real-life examples to highlight the strengths and pitfalls of each personality type, it shows you step-by-step how to use your unique strengths to customise your job search, ensuring the best results in the shortest period of time. And if you plan to stay in your job, Do What You Are provides savvy advice for getting the most out of your current career. Every other career guide offers generic, one-size-fits-all advice. But because it is based on personality type, this book helps you determine what you need to be more successful and satisfied.  This book is available from Amazon and at

Paul D. Tieger is an internationally recognized expert on – and the author of five breakthrough books – about Personality Type. Over the past 20 years, Paul has consulted with dozens of insurance companies, financial institutions, law firms, colleges, utility companies, governmental offices, hospitals, and a variety of other types of businesses. He has developed innovative programs in such areas as team-building, management and sales training, career development, succession planning, conflict resolution, and communication enhancement.

Paul pioneered the application of Personality Type as a tool to assist trial attorneys in selecting and communicating with jurors, and has worked on dozens of high-profile civil and criminal cases, including the first physician-assisted suicide trial of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Paul has appeared on scores of radio and television programs, including Geraldo Live and CNN’s Business Unusual, and has been profiled in The New York Times. As a result of his jury consulting experiences, Paul wrote The Art of SpeedReading People – a system for helping all people quickly size others up and speak their language.

Paul holds degrees in Psychology and Organizational Behavior.


The Emerging Film Composer: An Introduction to the People, Problems, and Psychology of the Film Music Business – Richard Bellis

51eMe6eb-TL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-53,22_AA300_SH20_OU15_This book serves as an introduction to the people, problems and psychology of the film music business.  In it, you will find answers to question like: Why do filmmakers like the music they like?  What makes them comfortable or uncomfortable when it comes time to put music in their films?  How can you make them want to like your cues? How do you “court the muse” on a deadline?  How much are you worth, and can you live on that?  How can you increase your efficiency in the studio or at your writing desk?  How can you get your next job while working on the current one?

This book is available from as well as Amazon.

The background of Richard bellis is distinguished by its surprising diversity: child actor, touring rock ‘n roll music director, arranger/conductor for Las Vegas headliners, university lecturer and now, award-winning Hollywood composer.

Born in Pasadena, California in 1946, he began his show business career acting in movies (notably the sci-fi classic “Them!”) and TV (from “Cheyenne” to “Batman”) but turned his attention to music in his teens, fronting his own Dixieland band and writing arrangements for several Los Angeles – based big bands.

Richard Bellis is an Emmy Award winning composer who, for the past 20 years, has found time to teach and mentor as well as compose. He has served on the faculty of the USC Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program and taught film scoring for UCLA Extension. He is a past president of the Society of Composers & Lyricists and has served on the board of governors for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In addition, he annually mentors a select group of emerging composers for the “ASCAP Television & Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis.”


Getting Gigs: The Musicians & Singers Survival Guide to Booking Better Paying Jobs – Mark W. Curran

Getting-Gigs-the-Musician-s-and-Singer-s-Survival-Guide-to-Booking-Better-9780970677327A comprehensive guide to finding the best paying gigs for musicians and singers, from their local area to the international stage. A music business veteran gives the inside track to creating a profitable career in the performing arts, from local clubs international cruise ships. Includes interviews with successful musicians and entertainment directors who share their secrets in landing the best paying gigs. Also includes directories of resources for further research.

In this easy to read step-by-step manual, you will be shown how you can use simple tools such as the telephone, fax machine and computer to drum up more business and get better paying jobs, without spending a fortune.

Written for both the amateur part-time to full time professional musician, this guide will show you how to get gigs, no matter where you live.

You’ll learn where the better paying gigs are and how to get them.

You’ll learn techniques on handling the people who can make or break your career, how to approach them, how to follow up. Avoid common mistakes and pitfalls most musicians make when trying to land gigs. It includes success stories by those who have achieved their goals using these same principles and techniques.

You will also be shown how to package your demo, press kit and presentation package to get maximum results, and how to follow up in a manner that will maximize your income. This book is available from Amazon.
Mark W. Curran is Los Angeles-based professional musician and singer as well as a well-known expert in the field of music marketing. He is the author of “Sell Your Music: How To Profitably Sell Your Own Recordings Online,” and “Getting Gigs With Or Without An Agent.

Great Jobs for Music Majors – Jan Goldberg

9780071411608_p0_v1_s260x420Whether you want to play guitar on stage or sell guitars in a retail store, discover the hottest new singer or teach people how to sing, a music degree offers a diverse range of career options.

With all the flexibility the field offers, the challenge is to find a focus that fits your personality and preferences.  This book helps steer you in the right direction.

Designed to help you put your major to work, this guide covers both the basics of a job search as well as detailed profiles of possible careers in your field.  From recording artist to sound engineer, performer to musical instrument wholesaler, you’ll explore a variety of job options for music majors – including some you never knew existed – to determine the best fit for your personal, professional and practical needs.  In this updated edition, you’ll find:

  • Thorough explanations of job-search basics that include crafting resumes, writing cover letters and interviewing dos and don’ts
  • Revealing self-assessments to help you determine your best professional fit
  • Investigative tools to help you uncover those jobs that will make the most of your major
  • Networking tips that will get your face out in the field and your foot in the door before your resume is even sent
  • True-life tales from practicing professionals who detail what daily life on the job is really like
  • Up-to-date statistics on earnings, advancement, and the overall career outlook

With the information and inspiration packed into this book, you’ll discover how to explore your professional options, target your ideal career, and use your college major as an asset in landing your dream job. This book is available through Amazon.
Jan Goldberg has penned numerous career books and written more than 250 articles for career publications and general-interest magazines.

How To Be Your Own Booking Agent: THE Musician’s & Performing Artist’s Guide To Successful Touring – Jeri Goldstein

9780960683031This award-winning book is one of the top selling music and performing arts business books. It is regularly selected by professors teaching music business and the performing arts and is continually recommended by musicians and performing artists worldwide. Goldstein’s unique step-by-step guide and resource book is artfully organized into 488 pages of savvy advice, realistic methods and action plans for the performing artist and is now available in its Revised 3rd Edition. It provides current immigration regulations for touring artists, a completely rewritten Internet Marketing chapter along with exciting new insights from experienced professionals in the entertainment industry. The 24 chapters have completely updated resource sections following each chapter packed with recommended books, directories, web sites and new conferences to help performers achieve their career goals.  This book is available from and Amazon.
Jeri Goldstein was the agent and manager for some of the top touring acoustic artists on the circuit including Robin & Linda Williams and Garrison Keillor & The Hopeful Gospel Quartet. Goldstein has booked national and international tours for artists performing in country, folk, gospel, bluegrass, contemporary, classical and children’s music. She has also booked tours for theater and dance. After 20 years of working as an agent and manager, Goldstein authored the award-winning book, How To Be Your Own Booking Agent, A Performing Artist’s Guide To A Successful Touring Career. In 2001, Goldstein partnered with The Southern Arts Federation and Carnegie Mellon Arts Management Program, to produce an E-SeminArts, three-hour workshop CD-ROM, Marketing Your Act. Articles for the self-managed artist can be found on, and have been published in Indie Magazine, Music Biz Magazine, and GiG Magazine. Goldstein created two innovative programs as a resource for performing artists–Manager-In-A-Box, a consultation program, is designed to help performing artists, agents and managers enhance their career development. The Performing Biz is Goldstein’s seminar that is presented at universities, festivals, conferences, and for art councils or to individual groups of performing artists.

Complimenting her 29 years as president of The New Music Times, Inc., Goldstein’s background runs the gamut working inside the entertainment industry as concert promoter, tour coordinator, commercial television production engineer for an NBC affiliate station, commercial country radio DJ, photographer and graphic artist. She has also served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the Folk Alliance. Goldstein coordinates the Folk Alliance’s Booking Agent Training School for the annual conference. Currently, she makes her home in central Virginia.


Making Music in Looking Glass Land: A Guide to Survival and Business Skills for the Classical Musician – Ellen Highstein

51M47ZmaeqL._SS500_This book is the answer to the need for a practical guide for launching careers in classical music – business survival skills for the young professional musician. The publication is a no fuss, straight-talk description of the arena, now in its 4th edition.

Ellen Highstein’s no-nonsense style makes it easy for the young musician to learn necessary skills to be an entrepreneur in the classical music world. Step-by-step, she takes readers through the processes of getting headshots, assembling flyers, communicating with the press, obtaining management and managing oneself, program planning, and a myriad of other useful considerations.

The book is used widely in courses at conservatories and universities across the United States. It is regarded as one of the finest publications of its kind. Survival in “the biz” requires knowledge and creativity and this book will help shape your approach and stimulate your imagination.  It is available from Amazon.

Ellen Highstein was the longtime director of Concert Artists’ Guild and now heads the summer study programs at Tanglewood Music Center.

Music on Demand: Composers and Careers in the Hollywood Film Industry – Robert R. Faulkner

51XJK5SCFQLFirst printed in 1983, this study reveals the buyer-seller dynamics involved in the allocation of work among Hollywood film composers and traces the network of connections that binds composers to their employers in the film industry. Faulkner uses statistical analysis and interviews with top composers to show that the film industry is dominated by a highly visible elite who exert major influence on the control of available resources, career choices, and opportunities. Faulkner’s interviews with those composers considered to be elite and those on the industry’s periphery reveal how they perceive their careers, how they define commercial artistic success, and how they establish, or try to establish, those vital connections with filmmakers. Now available in paperback, this pioneering study will be of compelling interest to researchers in culture studies as well as readers interested in learning more about this little-known world.  This book is available from Amazon.

 Robert R. Faulkner is professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California and is the author of Hollywood Studio Musicians: Their Work and Careers in the Recording Industry. He is the recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Max Weber Award for Distinguished Scholarship.

Road Warrior Without an Expense Account – Jason Heath

9780615213651_p0_v1_s260x420This book, a guide for rethinking music performance for the 21st century musician includes chapters about the realities of professional freelancing, the rise and fall of the full-time orchestra, regional orchestras, private teaching and burnout.  This book is available from Amazon.
Jason Heath is an active double bass performer, educator, blogger, and podcaster. His writing, blogging and podcasting have been featured in the New Yorker, International Musician, Double Bassist Magazine, The Scroll, The Engaging Brand, and the Adjunct Advocate. He is on the board of directors for the International Society of Bassists, a member of the blogging network Inside the Arts, and is a staff writer for Bass Musician Magazine. He has served on the faculties of DePaul University, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and Trinity International University, and he is a frequent guest speaker for a variety of organizations.

Self-Promoting Musician (The) – Strategies For Independent Music Success – Peter Spellman

9780876390962_p0_v1_s260x420If you are an independent musician, producer, studio owner, or label, you should want this book.  This guide will teach you everything you need to know to become a success in the music business.

This updated second edition will teach you how to take charge of your musical career with crucial do-it-yourself strategies.  Filled with empowering resources and tips for self-managed musicians, including:

  • How to write a business plan, create press kits, sharpen your business chops
  • Using the Internet to promote your music
  • How to customize your demos for maximum exposure
  • Secrets to getting your music played on the radio
  • 12 things you can do to get the most out of every gig
  • The most comprehensive musician’s resource list on the planet, updated continually online!

This book is available from Amazon.

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers – Richard N. Bolles

9781607741473_p0_v1_s260x420 This book has been the bestselling job-hunting book in the world for more than three decades, in good times and bad, and it continues to be a fixture on best-seller lists, from New York Times to BusinessWeek. It has sold more than 10 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages around the world. Parachute is streamlined this year to help those struggling in these hard economic times acquire the job-search tools they need faster and more efficiently. Its life-saving information is, as always, updated and relevant to today’s job market.

Career guru Richard N. Bolles leads job-hunters to find meaningful work. He asks, WHAT skills do you most love to use? Where-in what field-would you most love to use them? And how do you find such a job without depending on agencies and ads? This book is not only about finding a job in hard times. It’s about finding your passion. In the words of Fortune magazine: “What Color Is Your Parachute? remains the gold standard of career guides.”

This bestselling book answers such questions as:

  • I was just laid off from my current job. What do I do first?
  • What are the most helpful job sites on the Internet, out of the thousands that are there?
  • What are the five best-and worst-ways to hunt for a job?
  • I haven’t a clue how to do salary negotiation. Help!
  • In general, what are employers looking for?
  • What interview questions can I expect to be asked, and how do I answer them?
  • I’m over 50. What special problems do I face when I go job-hunting?
  • How do I survive financially while I’m out of work, and how do I find health insurance when I have no employer?

This book is available from Amazon.

Richard N. Bolles has been a leader in the career development field for more than thirty-five years. He was trained in chemical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude in physics from Harvard University and a master’s in sacred theology from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Marci.

Your Own Way in Music: A Career and Resource Guide – Nancy Uscher

51J3DE9VARL._SS500_Violist Nancy Uscher presents a practical, no-nonsense guide for musicians interested in advancing their careers.  She lists available national and international resources, pointing out that musicians must be aggressive in seizing opportunities that are available.  Enlivened by accounts of her own experiences, the text covers such topics as what to expect in auditions, seeking support from various organizations, marketing, recording, and even executive search firms.  Helpful appendixes provide additional listings of out-of-the-mainstream university programs, resources on grants and philanthropy, competitions, writing, publishing, and radio stations abroad.  This book is available from Amazon.

 Dr. Nancy Uscher is Provost and a Music Faculty Member at the California Institute of the Arts, serving there in those capacities since 2004.  Prior to that, she was at the University of New Mexico for twelve years, performing many duties there such as Professor of Music (Viola), Associate Faculty for Women’s Studies Program, and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs.  She received her bachelors degree from Eastman School of Music in 1972,  followed by a masters degree in 1974 from State University of New York at Stony Brook.  In 1980, she received her Ph.D. from New York University.  Dr. Uscher has an extensive performing career as well, including violist with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, the Opera Southwest Orchestera in Albuquerque, and many others.  To learn more about her, visit the website listed above.


About Lisa Canning

“Vowels are to words what creativity is to the world~ basic and necessary.”

What motivates you to explore your creativity? Follow me @IAEOU

For daily inspiration and creative education join me on Facebook:

Need a magic creativity wand? Let’s start with the clarinet and see what it inspires you to dream and do.

Lisa Canning is the founder of Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, IAEOU, the Institute for Arts Entrepreneurship (IAE) and Entrepreneur the Arts.



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