Matthew Whiteside

The Guidebook to Self-Releasing Your Music

(6 ratings)

A must-have resource for anyone looking to release their music–equally valuable for first timers as well as for seasoned experts who want the latest information on industry developments.

  • Master Self-Releasing Your Music: Gain the knowledge and tools you need to take control of your music, from recording to streaming success.
  • Understand Royalty Streams: Make sure you are getting what you are owed from all royalty streams, as a performer (PPL), composer (PRS/MCPS) and record label (PPL), how they are paid and how the money is generated.
  • Learn to Budget: Understand how much it costs to get your music out there and how much you can earn.
  • Harness the Power of Advertising: Discover how to leverage digital tools and platforms to maximise your self-release campaign and build a following.
  • Craft Your Brand Identity: Learn how to develop a powerful artist brand that resonates with your audience and fuels your marketing efforts.

Matthew Whiteside empowers musicians to take control of their careers. With humor and encouragement, he dives deep into the world of self-releasing music. Drawing from his decade of experience as a DIY composer, running a record label and promoting his own work, he unveils the potential benefits and pitfalls musicians can expect on the exciting, yet challenging, journey of self-releasing their music.

This is essential reading for anyone starting out as a self-employed musician, and a fabulous resource for those interested in self-releasing recordings.
A one-stop guide to support a musician of any genre, at any stage of their career, in recording and releasing their music from start to finish…Conservatoire education never touched on half of the topics covered in ‘The Guidebook to Self-Releasing Your Music’.
A comprehensive guide…written in a warm, knowledgeable way that speaks from experience. The author covers the importance of creating a ‘brand’ from both an artistic and business perspective– something that few creatives have a grip on.
A wealth of information on every stage of the self-releasing journey, supplemented by links to resources on the author’s website. The analysis of the issues surrounding streaming royalties are as clear-eyed, intelligent, and honest as any discussion of this topic I have seen.

Chapter Headings

  1. How to use this book
  2. Choosing the best people
  3. Budgeting
  4. Funding and Earned Income
  5. Choosing the best place to record
  6. Preparing for the recording session
  7. Postproduction
  8. Understanding your rights
  9. Registrations, licences, and codes
  10. Choosing a distributor
  11. Design, branding, and printing
  12. Public relations
  13. Marketing and advertising
  14. Using social media to promote your music
  15. Synchronisation
  16. The ethics of streaming
  17. The Long Tail
  18. Record companies as investors and royalty-earners

Paperback £15: ISBN 978-1-7384581-0-3

Ebook £10: ISBN 978-1-7384581-1-0

Sales will be charged in GBP. Non-GBP pricing for guidance.

Orders placed directly through my website are usually shipped within five days.

The book is printed by Ingram Spark and distributed to resellers on my behalf. Trade and bulk discounts available.

The Author

Matthew Whiteside

Matthew Whiteside is a composer and Artistic Director of The Night With… concerts based in Glasgow. He was one of The List’s Hot 100 for 2019 and in 2020 was named ‘One to Watch Classical’ by The Scotsman. He won the Scottish Music Industry Award for Creative Programming at the Scottish Awards for New Music for the 2019 season of The Night With…, and in 2021 won the Award for the Recording of New Music sponsored by VoxCarynx for his work on The Night With… Live Vol. One.

His 2019 album Entangled, featuring three string quartets with electronic interludes, was described as “effective and unsettling” by BBC Music Magazine and as “post-minimal bold sparseness” by The said, “It is refreshing to encounter a composer making albums with new classical music in this way, for when used imaginatively the format still has much to give”.

Other works include Night Thoughts, commissioned by Crash Ensemble for New Music Dublin and shortlisted in the 2021 Scottish Awards for New Music; the short opera, Little Black Lies, commissioned by Scottish Opera Connect, with libretto by Helene Grøn; Quartet No. 4 (Entangled), commissioned by the Institute of Physics for the Northern Ireland Science Festival; This Too Shall Pass, for Juice Vocal Ensemble; and Ground, Air, Life, commissioned by the Glasgow Barons.

Matthew also regularly lectures on music, composition, sound design, and the music industry as a whole. His focus is on promoting a DIY mentality within the art.

Along with his concert compositions, he composed the music for Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemisia, broadcast on BBC 4, and has scored two feature films (Anna Unbound and The Loudest Sound) along with numerous shorts. His music was also used in Citizens Theatre production, The Macbeths.

Matthew is also an avid Scuba diver who frequently shares his underwater experiences on social media.

Level Up Your Self-Release Journey with Personalised Mentoring

Have you researched self-releasing but crave focused guidance? Or maybe you attended one of my webinars or bought my book and want a deeper dive?

Then this one-on-one mentoring is for you.

Get expert advice tailored to your specific goals, whether you’re new to self-releasing or looking to refine your strategy.

Here’s what you get:

  • Focused Support: We’ll tackle your unique challenges and answer your burning questions.
  • Actionable Insights: Gain practical strategies to move forward confidently.
  • Confidence Boost: Get personalised feedback and encouragement to solidify your self-releasing vision.
  • Genre-Agnostic Guidance: Whether you’re releasing classical music or hardcore techno, my sessions are relevant for all genre. 

Ready to take control? Get in touch to discuss your needs and schedule a session.

Learn from the expert
Ruta Vitkauskaite
Would have been totally lost regarding the whole process for putting together and releasing an album if it wasn't for @mwhiteside 's help and advice!
Anselm McDonnell
As a self recording artist, I'm already familiar with the process of recording and producing an album, but all the knowledge about collecting different types of royalties, and how to promote and manage the budget around releases is incredibly helpful. Very well written book, updated to current times (this review is written in 2024) and very to the point.
Simon S
From Amazon
Incredibly well researched and clearly written. Highly recommend for anyone looking to demystify the process of releasing any music at all, under any circumstances. There is so much that nobody ever tells you about - the entire recording industry is full of protectionist nonsense and this book will prove invaluable in going somewhere to repair the damage done to creative practice by industry gatekeepers and streaming platforms.
From Amazon

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