The book was written by Vancouver-based independent music producer, James Moore. Your Band Is A Virus also features many industry interviews. He focuses on a variety of marketing techniques, tips to help independent musicians, tools to help promote your music, and how to be professional as an independent musician. He shares a lot of industry secrets–from marketing to dealing with the media–that anyone can benefit from. He tells you what works (offering free music) and what doesn’t work (spamming someone’s inbox).
I like that James Moore stresses the need to be professional in Your Band Is A Virus because so few people are serious and professional about their work. This is especially true in the Arts. As an independent writer, I agree that a band’s success should be partially based on the mindset of the members involved. I also agree that musicians should be professional, as well as do what works for them. James Moore says it best in this line: “What works for a pop artist won’t work for a death metal band.” For anyone who is an independent artist–whether a writer, musician, artist, or otherwise–it is truly imperative to treat your work as a business, not a hobby. If you take yourself seriously, others will also take you seriously.
As a freelance music writer, I get submissions from a variety of bands and music producers on a daily basis. So few of the people–even the supposed “professionals” who these bands hire to–usually fail to send me what I need to do a proper review. Your Band Is A Virus tells musicians what they need to send to reviewers: photos, music, a biography, list of accolades, track list, and a variety of other resources that make our job as a reviewer easier. He also reminds them that most reviewers are incredibly busy, so, if it can make our job easier, a band should do it.
Another thing that most musicians fail to do is research the people who can write glowing reviews for them. For example, I once had a musician send me a link to a rap that he wrote praising Barack Obama as a president. The only problem? I’m a registered, card-carrying libertarian. So, while I can accept someone’s different views, I’m not going to positively review music that is not good nor will I promote something that I don’t agree with. This is one thing that I wished was mentioned in his book.