Here’s a reading list of books I found useful. There are more off-site music resources on the Music biz links pages.
These four books are fairly similar in their coverage but very different in content and presentation. All lean towards the USA to a greater or lesser extent but you probably won’t learn the detail of the business from them anyway. I’ve put them in the order I rate them with Tunesmith top, but you might find one of the others suits you better.
|Tunesmith||Jimmy Webb||This is his autobiography with chapters on various aspects of songwriting, and it’s useful whether you like his stuff or not (how many rules does MacArthur Park break?).|
|Heart and Soul||Chris Bradford||UK/USA: Revealing the craft of songwriting. Main sections on craft, business, history and reference interspersed with interviews and quotes from a panel of songwriters (the best bit of the book).|
|6 Steps to Songwriting Success||Jason Blume||USA: Three steps cover songwriting and three cover demos, business, persistence and expectations.|
|The Craft And Business Of Songwriting||John Braheny||USA: Writing, collaboration, self-publishing, song contests, marketing, demos and DIY.|
These books cover different ground.
|Songwriters On Songwriting||Paul Zollo||This is a collection of interviews with about fifty major songwriters, and refreshingly, deals with questions of songwriting.|
|Write To The Point||Bill Stott||This is about writing clearly. Not specifically about songwriting but I’d recommend it to any writer.|
|88 Songwriting Wrongs and How To Right Them||Pat Luboff and Pete Luboff||You can’t learn songwriting from a book but this is about potential pitfalls and covers lyrics, music, demos, collaboration and publishing.|
|Mastering Audio||Bob Katz||A comprehensive, readable guide to audio recording and mastering.|
|Behind the Glass||Howard Massey||A collection of interviews with about 40 major producers, but not Hugh Padgham, Brian Eno or Mutt Lange (well, you never know) in this edition. It’s organic information about making better records so there are various different angles on any one question—David Gibson (below) has more about theory.|
|The Art of Mixing||David Gibson||A good audio production book with useful information about why things sound the way they do, and an interesting visualisation technique.|
|Basic Mixing Techniques||Paul White||Recommended as an introduction to mixing.|
|Basic Mastering||Paul White||Recommended as an introduction to mastering.|
|The Non-designers Web Book||Robin Williams and John Tollett||Robin William’s books on typography and design are brilliant. This one has everything you need to know about designing a web site (and obviously a lot more than I used here!).|
|Creating a Music Web Site||Mike Simmons||Recommended if you need more information about adding music functions to your site.|