The Indie Band Survival Guide The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician

Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

352 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

For the first time ever, it's now possible for musicians to find success without a record label. With the Internet, musicians can record, distribute, market, and sell their music for a lot less than most rock stars spend on average. Unfortunately, most musicians don't know where to begin. In The Indie Band Survival Guide, musicians and web gurus Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan cover every step of the process. With nothing but talent and the Web, they've gotten tens of thousands of fans for their band, in addition to being hired to write music for film, television, theater, and other media, and hope to pass on the guidelines and tips they’ve acquired in the process.


Praise for The Indie Band Survival Guide

“The Internet is an extraordinary opportunity for musicians to make and profit from their music. This clearly written and comprehensive book shows exactly how. A perfect balance between the mess of the law and the promise of the technology, it should be read by anyone who wants to take their talent and share it—for the love of sharing, or for the profit.”—Lawrence Lessig, author of Code, professor at Stanford Law School, founder of the Center for the Internet and Society, and CEO of the Creative Commons project

“Finally! A comprehensive and practical guide for musicians that explains how to navigate today's music world without a label.”—Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby and HostBaby

“If they gave out Grammys for music career books, Randy and Jason should surely win one. Their Indie Band Survival Guide is a must-read resource for any musician wanting to take the independent path to success—which, these days, is the only way to go. Networking, branding, Internet promotion, live gigs, distribution, publicity . . . they cover it all.”—Bob Baker, author of Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook and founder of

“A fabulous & comprehensive 101 guide for any musician trying to make it in the crazy 'new' Music Business.”—Ariel Hyatt, founder of Ariel Publicity & Cyber PR

“A practical, down-to-earth guide for bands working in the real world.”—Brian Austin Whitney, founder of the Just Plain Folks musician network

“In this indispensable guide for indie musicians, Chertkow and Feehan, lead members of the Chicago band Beatnik Turtle, explain how they have managed successfully to get their music out to the public, to produce four albums, to build a huge following and to write music for television shows and theater without the benefit of a record label. Covering topics such as building a brand, networking, Web site, getting booked, playing live and getting publicized, Chertkow and Feehan pass along advice that, while sometimes self-evident, encourages bands to exploit the Internet and to become Web savvy to make a name for themselves. For example, in illustrative detail they spell out clearly the terms of contracts such as nonexclusive that can often be so fuzzy. In their section on getting booked, they remind bands that the essence of a good show is remembering that the band is there for the audience, and the authors explain step-by-step the ups and downs of dealing with bookers, scheduling and booking kits. Because this lively book offers such essential guidance in these changing times, no band should be without a copy.”—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

The Indie Band Survival Guide
PART IGET PREPAREDCHAPTER 1THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BE A MUSICIANLess than ten years ago the "Holy Grail" for artists was to get a record or publishing deal. Today, many artists avoid these deals (especially record ones) at all costs. 
--"The Record Biz Today: On Which End of the Food Chain?" NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RECORD INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS (June 5, 2007)THERE HAS never been a better time to be a musician.The tools at your fingertips today were barely even dreams just ten years ago. Global digital distribution for music is simple to achieve,
Read the full excerpt




  • Randy Chertkow and Jason Feehan

  • Randy Chertkow (by day, a tech expert) and Jason Feehan (by day, an attorney) are lead members of Beatnik Turtle, a rock band based in Chicago, Illinois. Beatnik Turtle plays live, has produced eighteen albums, written music for TV, films, comedy shows at Second City, and has licensed music to ABC Family—all without a label.

  • Randy Chertkow
    Randy Chertkow
  • Jason Feehan