The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing Hardcover – 1 Jan 2010
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A 1A draft status, tech school, enlisting in the Army later anyway, a rocky marriage conspired to altered my path relegating my passion to write songs to a back burner. Through the years I continued to accumulate songs and even attempted to do something with them from time to time, but, an inner paranoia always kept me protective of "my stuff". After college and a second attempt at family life I thought I had learned enough to become my own publisher and record label owner: and this seemed to finally get me heading in the right direction -- another big BUT however -- I spent more on equipment, professionals and such that I found it difficult to see black ink and then I had a son born with a serious heart defect.
I chose to attend to family matters for the next 25 years -- family became the priority.
Now in my sixties I have been re-inspired because of Randall D. Wixen's book: The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing, 2nd Edition. Thank you very much Mr. Wixen. My paranoid protecting of my songs may have lead to meager success thus far, but my MUSIC IS STILL MINE and I can pass it on to my son. And, I still have time to put things in order and give it one more shot at "song writer's heaven"; all because your book has crystallized what I had learned on my own through experience, AND, filled in blanks, AND, has brought me into the present as far as the business realities are, AND, (lastly) your book has put it all into so concise and understandable a guide, that my hopes for accomplishing my life-long dream is better that ever.
Passman's book has been around since 1991 and it's become an industry standard (I got the 2009 7th Edition) while Wixen's book came out in 2005 (but I think it will become a standard, it's already in its 2nd Edition). Passman's book is about the music business, so it covers a lot more material, while Wixen's book is focused on music publishing.
Both books offer great legal (and practical) advice at a bargain price, and both authors explain the legal jargon in easy, everyday language. In fact, they are so well written and entertaining that you don't want to stop reading them, almost like a good novel.
To me, Wixen's book is easier to follow, probably because he covers less material more thoroughly, using more examples. I have to back up more with Passman's book. Simply put, I enjoyed reading Wixen's book much more.
For songwriters, performers (i.e. musicians trying to make a "living" off their art), both books are worth owning as you will may need to reference this information time and time again. Both books contain a lot of information and you will have to read them a number of times to fully grasp it.