Tech Tip:Outta Here: My Name is Michael, and I'm an Addict.

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By Michael Laskow

I read a lot. I usually have three books going at any one time. All of them business books of one sort or another. I read management books. I read customer service books. I read marketing books, and I read leadership books. My wife thinks I've got Attention Deficit Disorder because I can't focus on just one thing at a time.

She may be right. But then again, she might just be wrong. I do focus on just one thing at a time--TAXI. All the books are aimed at making the company the best it can possibly be.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Who gives a rat's derrière Laskow, enough about your company and your books!" "Tell me something that will help me!" the masses were heard to say.

I'm trying damn it. And even though I've probably told you this before, please just let me get a word in edgewise.

It's the books. I'm absolutely convinced that self-education can bring you to new levels of accomplishment. I was a pretty awful student in school. As a matter of fact, I hated school from the first day of kindergarten until the day I finished my fifth year of college.

It just wasn't interesting enough to hold my attention. Yet now, I can't seem to read my books fast enough. I want to learn all I can, as fast as I can. I'm addicted to learning.

Why now? Because I have a purpose. I didn't when I was in school. I was only marking time waiting to be "sprung" from the jaws of the educational system.

Am I saying that school is a waste? No. We all need to learn to read and write. And of course, we should know about American and World history. Math? Yuck! The rudiments are needed to build a strong foundation. But people want to learn about what interests them much more passionately than what doesn't.

If you're reading this, then I have little doubt that you are passionate about making music.

And now for the big question--how many books have you read on the subjects of songwriting, the business end of the music business, self-promotion, home recording, or a myriad of other topics that can and will help you succeed in the music business?

They are there for the taking, and you'll find the good ones nearly impossible to put down. You might find it inspiring to begin with something like Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo. It wasn't meant to be educational, but it is.

If you're stumped and need suggestions on what to read after that, below is the list of books we officially recommend. Try my method (not that it's so original) of picking your next book. Pull the potential books off the shelf. Make a stack, and spend a little time with each of them. When you feel "sucked in" by one of them, head to the check out line.

Buy more than one at a time, so you'll never run out of great stuff to read. Reading will change your life and make it possible to live your dreams (even if you've got A.D.D.;-)

All You Need To Know About The Music Business

by Donald Passman (Simon & Schuster)

The Craft And Business of Songwriting
by John Braheny (Writers Digest)

Six Steps to Songwriting Success
by Jason Blume (Billboard Books)

Going Pro
by Kenny Kerner (Hal Leonard)

Writing Music For Hit Songs
by Jai Josefs (Schirmer)

Your First Cut—A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting There
by Jerry Vandiver and Gracie Hollombe (11/22 Publishing)

88 Songwriting Wrongs And How To Right Them
by Pat & Pete Luboff (Writers Digest)

Writing Better Lyrics
by Pat Pattison (Writers Digest)

Music, Money, and Success
by Jeffrey Brabec and Todd Brabec (Schirmer)

Rock Star 101:
A Rock Star’s Guide to Survival and Success in the Music Business

by Marc Ferrari (Allworth Press)

The Craft Of Lyric Writing
by Sheila Davis (Writers Digest)

101 Ways To Promote Yourself
by Raleigh Pinsky (Citadel)

The Songwriters Idea Book
by Sheila Davis (Writers Digest)

Creating Melodies
by Dick Weissman (Writers Digest)

Hot Tips For The Home Recording Studio
by Hank Linderman (Writer’s Digest)

Networking In The Music Business
by Dan Kimpel (Writer’s Digest)

by Jimmy Webb (Hyperion)

Songwriters On Songwriting
by Paul Zollo (Da Capo)

Metaphorically Speaking
by N.E. Renton (Warner Books)

Brought to you by TAXI: The Independent A&R Vehicle that connects unsigned artists, bands and songwriters with major record labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors.