1. Introduction a brief background on the independent record business...asks questions you need to think about and answer honestly to help you decide what kind of label to build.
2. First Steps what to look for in a lawyer and accountant...legal structure...suggested books on music business law...label naming...domain name and registration...logo and letterhead...UPC bar code.
3. The Business Plan its purpose...what to include...what should be in the budget “numbers” section.
4. Raising Start-up Money who to approach and how to raise capital.
5. The Art of Acquiring Talent how to find artists and what to look for.
6. Understanding Artist Agreements common, and not so common, deal points.
There has never been a finer book written about starting a record label and operating successfully in the record business. I wish The Complete Guide...had existed when Alison Brown and I started Compass Records. We were still finding our way through some of these methods and strategies five years into the process! What a blessing it would have been.
Garry West, Compass Records
7. An Introduction to Music Publishing why it’s a good idea to become a music publisher...what it entails...music publishing rights.
8. Staffing Possibilities essential staff for small, medium and large labels with typical “reporting” diagrams.
9. Setting Up Your Office space...furniture...office equipment and services...computers... indispensable software.
10. Planning the First Project what to look for in a studio...the producer and engineer...how to budget a recording...includes a sample recording budget form.
11. Recording the First Project a look at what happens during the recording, sequencing, and mastering process...ISRC codes.
I LOVE Keith Holzman's new book....I only wish that I had it BEFORE I started our own indie label in the late 90's. Keith's book skips past the hype, smoke and mirrors of most industry books and arms you with the real information you need to set up a real label that will work and last; the kind that pays royalties, keeps books and sustains careers. Don't just buy it though, put it to use!
Justin Goldberg, CEO, Indie 911, and author of
"The Ultimate Survival Guide to the Music Industry:
A Handbook to Hell"
12. The Ins and Outs of Pre-Production what to look for in pressing and printing plants...role of production and design people...packaging...how to keep track of all the details...what goes where on a typical package...manufacturing...inventory matters...mechanical licenses...includes production charts and calendar...bill of material and photo release forms.
13. The Lowdown on Distribution what to look for and what to avoid when considering distributors, domestic and international...digital distribution...suggested deal points...production and distribution deals.
14. The Complexities of Marketing how to construct a marketing plan and what should be included...marketing budgets...the role of sales, radio promotion, publicity, artist tours, advertising, video, street teams, and the web...timing of releases...artist development...the one-sheet.
15. Post-Production Basics the many tasks to be done after a release is shipped...SR form...royalty accounting...protecting masters.
16. Follow-up Marketing staying on top of marketing...artist tours and in-store performances.
17. Ancillary Income the many ways to make additional income by getting the most out of your efforts...licensing...publishing...non-traditional retail...compilations...AARC...Sound Exchange.
A. Recommended Reading extensive list of some of the best books and publications on the music industry, and business in general.
The book includes many specially constructed charts, forms, checklists, and summaries, a complete index, plus more than 100 useful resources, agencies, and businesses, with URLs.