The music industry is full of professionals with different roles and responsibilities. If you've been on the road, playing gigs, releasing albums, or even just listening to music, then you've probably run into some of these folks:
The Music Industry Professional
A&R stands for Artists and Repertoire. A&R is the department of a record label that searches for new talent and signs artists to contracts. A&R people work with artists to develop their sound, style, and image. They also help artists decide which songs will be on their albums and what those songs should sound like; this process is called “song selection” or “songwriting” (as in “I wrote this song with my band).
There are many different kinds of managers, and each fulfills a specific role in your career. First, let's be clear: a manager is not an accountant or lawyer; he or she does not do taxes for you or help you write a will. A manager is also not typically the publicist who runs around town trying to find press opportunities for you (though some do). A manager doesn't book shows for your band or act as an agent at booking agencies (though some do). Finally, while some managers have experience publishing music and can help guide writers through that process, they won't actually handle any of the paperwork associated with getting your book out there into the world.
In short, managers are businesspeople who specialize in working with artists like yourself not accountants or lawyers and their job is to ensure that all aspects of your career run smoothly so that you can focus on what really matters: making great art!
A marketing firm is a company that provides services to help artists market themselves effectively. The main difference between a marketing firm and other types of service providers like managers, publicists or booking agents is that they are not involved in the creative process. They can be involved in the creative process, but it's not their focus. Their focus is on marketing and promotion for artists who already have something created for them (a song or album). They're usually hired by the artist rather than the other way around, this means if you're looking for someone to help you grow your career as an artist, start thinking about how to promote yourself rather than planning on finding someone else who will do it for you!
A booking agent is a third party who helps artists find gigs, often with venues that are willing to pay the artist a fee to perform. Booking agents work on behalf of their clients and are responsible for providing those clients with an income by connecting them with opportunities where they can make money through performance.
Booking agents work closely with venue owners and promoters who are interested in working with artists. They negotiate terms of payment (how much the venue will pay) and other details regarding the performance (time slots, equipment needs, etc.). If you're an artist trying to get booked at local bars or coffee shops around town, your booking agent will be responsible for organizing those gigs for you!
A publicist is a person who helps you manage your public image, which includes handling your press coverage and social media presence. They can also help you with things like scheduling interviews, writing press releases, and connecting with other influencers in your industry.
Publisher-Advances, Royalties, & Copyright Splits
A publisher, who has presumably acquired your book after you've submitted it to them, will pay you an advance. Advances are usually paid in two installments: half upon signing the contract and half upon completion of edits or delivery of the manuscript. The amount of advances varies widely by genre and popularity, but it's common for first-time authors to receive $10-20K as an advance on their book (this amount can increase with subsequent contracts). The royalty rate is how much money the author receives per unit sold after deducting the cost of printing and other expenses associated with publishing. This rate varies widely between publishers some offer royalties as high as 15% while others offer less than 5%. Royalties are paid once a year in January based on sales during the previous calendar year; if you sell more copies during that period than expected, then your royalty check will be larger too!
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when choosing the right partner for your project. The most important thing to remember is that it's OK if this process takes time and effort. You need to be sure that the person you choose will help you grow as an artist as well as take care of business in all areas of your career.
When you find someone who fits with your style and vision, they'll make all the difference in taking your career to new heights!
The music industry is a complicated one, and it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re trying to break into it. We hope that this blog post has given you a clearer understanding of how these different jobs work together in today’s world of music. If there are any questions left unanswered, please feel free to contact us at our website or give us a call so we can help answer them!