In an effort to keep up with the ever-changing music business, author James Moore has released an updated version of his 2010 book Your Band Is A Virus. Your Band Is A Virus: Expanded Edition expounds upon the information in the original and includes resources, suggestions, and platforms not previously available in that last incarnation.
First and foremost, the best thing about this book is that it is written concisely in plain and simple English. I’ve spoken with so many artists who shy away from similar books because the other material comes across as being overtly ‘business-y’; generally, when musicians see chapters about ‘Revenue Streams’ and the like, they run and ignore these very important aspects of their careers.
Mr. Moore handles the not-so-glamorous parts of the music industry in a a very approachable manner. With chapters covering everything from what should and should not be in a press release to branding, from crowd funding to marketing, and plenty more, the book offers very practical and, perhaps more importantly, manageable advice and suggestions on how to go about tackling one’s career.
While Mr. Moore is a promoter, and probably learned a majority of his fundamentals from that perspective, I feel another great aspect about this book is that it would benefit many people within the music industry. Artists, whether they have a manager or not, should read this book to be aware of what options remain open to them in terms of marketing strategies, which of the online music retailers is best to get their music on (and why), or simply to use as a tool to help keep their creativity flowing in terms of establishing or maintaining their individual brand.
Managers should read it for all of the above reasons, in addition to gaining real-world insight on networking. Those in PR and marketing can greatly benefit from the chapters on guerilla marketing, viral marketing, how to write press releases and what NEVER to do, and how to build and maintain a band mailing list.
The book also includes an expansive list of resources. For example, it lists a number of file storage sites which allow artists a convenient means by which to send large files (i.e; albums) to A&R reps, label execs, potential managers, etc. and all of the important people you would want to have quick, easy access to your entire album on a safe and reputable web site.
Additionally, the resources offer lists of important and relevant music blogs, various social networking sites, and opportunity sites for artists. A particularly nice feature is that there is a description for each website, telling the reader a bit about the function of each site’s services, specifically, as well as offering suggestions on the protocol to benefit from the maximum potential of each site.
More often than not, I would say that any type of ‘reissue’ or ‘updated edition’ is not worth the bother, but given how quickly the music industry changes and how frequently we are faced with new technology and new tools that simplify and enhance the way we collaborate with musicians, I’d have to say I couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to Your Band Is A Virus: Expanded Edition. James Moore has refreshed what was already a very essential and fruitful publication, and made it thoroughly more relevant across the board, including something for everyone, regardless of your specific role within the music industry.