I have been meaning for some time to write about my friend Steve Weaver’s book Negotiating Exclusive Songwriting Agreements. This is not really meant to be a review because I am biased. I reviewed Steve’s manuscript and was honored to write a blurb for the back of the book.
What I said in my blurb is true. There are so many worthless books on the music business and precious few books that tell you exactly what stuff means and how it works. Steve’s book is a step-by-step analysis of an exclusive songwriting agreement, meaning he analyzes each paragraph of the agreement from both the writer’s perspective and the publisher’s perspective and explains why each party asks for certain things and resists certain things. This is really important information for anyone who is trying to get a handle on how these agreements are supposed to work. One of the other things I said in my endorsement was that I wish this book had been available at the beginning of my career. As a young lawyer, it really can be difficult figuring out how certain entertainment contracts are supposed to work and it can be difficult to know when you are asking for too much or too little. However, this book is not just for attorneys. Anyone with more than a passing interest in music publishing can benefit from this book. The only other book that I have found as helpful as this is Randy Poe’s A Songwriter’s Guide to Music Publishing and I don’t know if it’s still in print.
Steve has indicated that he hopes to write other books in this series “Entertainment Law Mentor” and I think he could do a great service for the industry if he does write similar books on such topics as recording agreements, producer agreements, manager agreements, etc.
As Webb Wilder says “pick up on it.”. It’s available here as a Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.com/Entertainment-Law-Mentor-Negotiating-ebook/dp/B009INKQVS/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353348800&sr=1-1&keywords=Negotiating+Exclusive+Songwriting+Agreements as well as in a physical format.