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tirsdag 12. januar 2010

Book recommendations for creative minds

The books below was recommended by Derek Sivers, and I am sharing my thoughts about how the ideas in these books can be applied to the promotion of my own music project (Homeless Balloon). You may click on the book covers to check out the books at the Amazon web store.

Ignore Everybody - by Hugh MacLeod

 
 

The second part of the title of this book, is "and 39 Other Keys to Creativity". Hugh MacLeod is sharing thoughts and reflection he has written down through the years. He answers - in an original and often humorous way - questions like "How do new ideas emerge in a cynical, risk-averse world?" "Where does inspiration come from?" "What does it take to make a living as a creative person?" - Hugh MacLeod also has a very popular web blog where his ebook, "How to Be Creative" has been downloaded more than a million times.

For me, as a composer and artist, this book inspires me to think in new and creative ways about my music making and music promotion. It's fascinating how the different arts are connected to each other, and artists and creative people working in different fields, can certainly learn from each other. Just discovering someone like Hugh MacLeod, is an inspiration in itself! He also encourages me to remember to be honest to myself, and to accept my strengths and weaknesses. He writes in the book: "Had Bob Dylan been more of a technical virtuoso, he might not have felt the need to give his song lyrics such power and resonance."


Small is the New Big - by Seth Godin
   

You may know Seth Godin from his popular blog which was chosen as one of the 25 best blogs of 2009 in Time Magazine. Godin is a marketer, but in the broadest sense of the word. He's interested in not simply how products are marketed, but also how people sell themselves and their ideas, and how new technology can be a game-changer. Just like his blog, this book is full of insights about the social changes wrought by technology and the nature of creativity, and it offers loads of practical advice.

Being inspired by the thoughts in this book is just what I need when I promote myself and my music. Challenging myself to think in new and original ways, is difficult and therefore so important. When Godin writes "Your business has to work when it's small in order to survive to the point where it gets big.", I know he hits me on my weak spot. Oh yes, I want to have a successful career, now! What I need to do, is to do things right, and to be patient. A business needs to grow. If I continue to compose the best music I can, and promote it in creative ways, I will be successful.

Godin's book is full of small but practical advice, like this one: !If you're going to do it, do it now.!


Meatball Sundae - by Seth Godin
   

Another great book by Seth Godin. The message or mission can be summed up like Derek Sivers does in his own review of the book: "Instead of asking how to use the new internet tools to support your existing business, ask how you can change your business to take best advantage of the new tools."

Now, it isn't difficult to see how this philosophy applies to me and my music promotion. A couple of years ago, I wanted to release my music on CD, to make it more "official". I was warned by several artist friends who had already experienced that selling physical CD's was becoming more and more difficult. I wouldn't listen to them, so I spent my savings on printing six different CD albums, with nice Digipak sleeves and all. As I started to promote them and ship them abroad (I live in Norway), I realized that the big expense was not the printing of the CD's, but the postage. I also found out that more and more people buy digital downloads instead of CD's. When I am thinking about it, I am doing that, too! So, the market has changed, and I should follow. Godin's principle should be put into practice, which is actually my plan from now on: My next album release will be digital, and I will only print a CD version when customers ask for it. There are companies that will print CD's on demand, so I can satisfy all my customers without filling half of my garage with CD's.

     

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