This step-by-step workbook brought to you by Amy Sciarretto and Rick Florino is a good introduction to what it takes for you work your way into the music business from the writer/intern angle. Stretched out over 132 pages, Do the Devil’s Work For Him is a fast, interview-style read that covers the basics of online marketing, workplace etiquette for interns, and resume building from the point-of-view of two writers who blossomed into networking machines during the early 2000s.
If you want to write a lot and learn how to be a good intern, this is the book for you. This is not a book for musicians. The title is a misnomer as it provides no insight into the business of music or the intricacies of contracts, royalties or negotiating (all crucial to know in the music business). Do the Devils’ Work is perfect for college students with a knack for writing, who are looking for a way in, but don’t know how to get started. If you want to turn your love of music into a full-time job (not necessarily a paying one, though), these writers provide you with their blueprint.
They hit the nail on the head when they try to instill into hopefuls the necessity of becoming a one-man content machine and to make (and keep) as many friends as they can. The music business is all about who you know, and Amy and Rick drive this point home. The most important takeaway is to never burn bridges and always aspire to be your own boss. There are lots of nuggets of wisdom imparted to the writers by musicians from Slipknot, Korn, Deftons, Guns and Roses, Mastodon and System of a Down (many of the paragraphs of the latter chapters start with “When I interviewed so and so…”), but the recurring theme is basically “be nice to all because you don’t know who you will need in the future.”
The bottom line is that it takes a lot of hard work and lots of luck to make it in the music industry, no matter which job you choose to do (writer, band manager, publicist…). These writers have succeeded through their gift of gab and persistence, and they insist that you can, too. And to an extent, they are right. If you bust your ass you can succeed at anything at some level. If you have the writing chops and can afford to be someone’s bitch for a year or two, then buy this book, move to LA and get cracking. I would recommend a change in title for the next edition, though.
Interview with the authors: http://bit.ly/hJmkMG