Derek Sivers

The context for these stories


This book is about you and your music. But I use some of my stories as examples. So here’s my context, for you to understand.

Since I was 14, all I wanted was to be a successful musician.

First I graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Then I got a job at Warner/Chappell Music Publishing in New York City. There I learned a ton about how the traditional music industry works. I’ll tell you about that soon.

Then I quit my job and became a full-time professional musician. I played over a thousand shows of all types. I was also a session guitarist and side-man, then ran a recording studio, booking agency, record label, and more.

I made a website to sell my CD, then my musician friends asked if I could sell their CD too. So I called it CD Baby, and it soon became the largest seller of independent music online. Over 150,000 musicians sold their music directly through me. (I have another book about that, called “Anything You Want”.)

I started to see the music business from the other side. I felt what it was like to be on the receiving end of musicians’ music. I became friends with successful people inside the music industry, and heard their perspective.

I saw thousands of musicians succeed. So I paid attention to how they did it. I’ll tell you about that soon, too.

That’s when I started writing my observations in this book. I felt like a spy, giving you the report from the inside, telling you how to get in.

Now hold tight, and I’ll tell you everything I know.