Book Review – Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To the New Music Business


People are constantly writing books about the music industry. Whether they’re advising on how to run a band, start a band, market a band, or all of the above, there’s never a shortage of books crossing the desk of our lovely editor, Jordannah.  Much of the time there are simply too many for us to possibly keep up with all of them, but this one stood out and we had to tell all of you about it.

Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To the New Music Business by Jesse Cannon and Todd Thomas gives in depth and creative analysis from every aspect of the music industry. What sets this book apart from many is that the authors have practical experience in the industry; they’ve worked as musicians, managers, promoters, journalists, producers, and have also worked in marketing. The introduction alone makes it apparent that this book is not written by dilettantes, but rather by professionals who have a true passion for what they do.

Something new artists always struggle with is how to actually find fans. Cannon and Thomas do a great job of providing tools and laying out steps that can be used in the real world to allow bands to increase their fan base in a quick and proficient way. It’s one thing to tell someone to increase their fan base, it’s quite another to give them practical advice on how to do that. The authors do this, and they do it well.

The problem with many publications about navigating the music business is that, to a large degree, they’re based on what the music business was. Jesse Cannon and Todd Thomas took great care in ensuring that the information they provided was based on the modern industry, crazy as it may be. They go into great detail providing the most current information on social media sites, the strengths and weaknesses of each, including many you may very well not know exist. They let you know which ones to focus on for what aspect of your career and which you may be able to pass on, based on your goals.

The book serves as an excellent reference guide, whether you’ve just started a band or can’t quite figure out what the next step for your band might be. It also guides you through how to assemble a team and who needs to be a part of it, what your managers role really is, the true definition of DIY, the two methods of promotion strategy, the difference between a listener and a fan and, most importantly, how to convert a listener into a fan, planning and promoting your music video, and, the ever scary world of licensing and publishing.

There are very basic things that musicians tend to overlook that Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To the New Music Business reinforces nicely. While I’m quite certain that no kid is sitting in his room, guitar in hand, daydreaming about the impact of his band name on SEO, or how to best utilize analytics, that doesn’t make it any less important. There are lot of unglamorous things that people have to become acquainted with when they decide to become serious musicians. The great thing about this book is that it breaks those things down simply and logically.

Written in language you don’t need a business degree to understand, Messrs. Cannon and Thomas have done a bang up job of explaining why you should never trust a manager or A&R guy who wants to work with you after meeting you one time and why cover songs are “YouTube Gold.”

If you’re looking for something concise, this book isn’t for you. If you’re serious about your career and are looking for a comprehensive guide that you’ll want to refer to repeatedly and isn’t likely to be outdated any time soon, then be sure to pick this up.

Available in paperback and ebook, prices vary based on format.