I have mixed opinions about this book. There's a lot of useful information, and the lay out is nice, but I think it would be a mistake to use it as a first and last resource as many people do and rate your sucess and failure upon those answered and unanswered query letters. A good example is the fact that most major labels only except submissions from management companies, and most management companies often want to see that you local recognition before they take you on. Some of the better ones may only represent one or two artists because a lot of time and money is required, and those that don't often do little more than keep you in their rolodex and throw a gig here and there and take commish when their main act is unavailable - - And Indie labels too want local name recognition, especially if it requires an investment as any production does. Art aside, music IS a business... if a louzy sounding group has a following of a few hundred and plays out regularly, the odds of selling enough CDs to recap the production cost are obvoiusly much higher than say a talented songwriter/performer with a great home studio, but no band or name recognition. The answer then is to make sure you're playing out. You also need to study the grapevine and the "scene" of the music you play. Many of the management companies and indie labels that your favorite bands were on before they made it big may not necessarily be in The Song Writer's Market, yet those were the people who positioned those artists for recognition to get "discovered" - - doing a bit of research and using the internet might yield surprizing results. Many record companies even have up to date A & R pages explaining criterea for submission with surprizing detail and others will answer e-mail. Also note : the info in this book is based on what was submitted to them. They don't actually look up each of the 1,000s of listings. By the time each edition hits print, many are already out of business, some are bombarded with more tapes than they can handle, and others weren't legit to start ("Sorry, we're not excepting material except for our songwriting context. Please send a check for...")
So my suggestion would be, get this book as a supplemnetary resource, but scope out resources in your own scene first, including local ones as well as examining the trail groups or artists with similar vibes took. Be aware of labels and management for new and older resources and the links on their web sites (which also include links to groups with similar vibes lower down the label on more accessible but good labels.) Do what you have to move up the ladder... and that involves being seen and going from one class of venue and management to the next... then use this book for "extra credit" and who knows... you might get lucky ! ! !