Music business/industry reading list

Randall D. Wixen opens The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing with The Emperor’s New Clothes, an adage still pertinent for today’s working musicians and composers. It’s foolish to work in the [music] industry if one doesn’t understand it.

Numerous musicians and creators have recently asked me where learn more about the music business, so I’ve compiled a list of essential reading material. If there are egregious mistakes or omissions, please let me know in the comments below.

Disclaimers: I’ve read or skimmed nearly all of these. This is not a complete list of useful educational material, and I’m not making any warranties that you’ll find any of these useful for your career. Some links are affiliate links: if you purchase the books, I get a few cents to fuel and sustain my coffee habit.


Licensing (Placement/Sync/Clearance):



Record Label/Artist Management/misc:

That’s it for now. Let me know if you came across a fascinating read that needs to be included in the list.