A Composer's Guide to Library Music

Library music (aka production music) is music made for TV, movie trailers and advertising with royalties earned when a track is chosen and again when the show or advert is broadcast or streamed. Established library composer and publisher Dan Graham explains how the industry works and how to build a reliable long term career.

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What You'll Learn

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    How to Find good work

    Invaluable insider tips on how to discover the most successful library publishers and approach them with the best chance of success.

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    Understand the money

    Detailed explanation of where your royalty income comes from, how much, when it will arrive and how to build a reliable long term career.

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    Be a great library composer

    Tips on how make lots of great library music and build good relationships with publishers.

Quick View

Chapters included

  1. Quick Start & Sending Out Your Demos
    • Overview of library music
    • 10 year get-rich-slow plan
    • How to find and approach publishers
  2. Making Good Library Music
    • Tips for high quality productions
    • Special requirements of library music
    • Good titles and popular genres
  3. Being Productive & Professional
    • How to be popular with publishers
    • Tips for staying motivated
    • How to be productive
  4. Your Library Music Money
    • How much money you can earn and when it will arrive
    • How money is generated and distributed
    • The key players: TV companies, rights societies and publishers
  5. Library Music Business Models
    • What to expect from large, medium and small publishers
    • Royalty free libraries & new business models
    • Contract terminology explained
  6. Meet The Clients
    • Interviews with TV and movie trailer editor clients
    • Why clients want library music
    • What they want from your music
  7. Meet The Publisher
    • Interviews with major and independent library publishers
    • What they are looking for in your music
    • Questions from composers to library publishers answered
  8. Networking
    • How networking benefits your career
    • Societies and social media groups to join
    • Annual events calendar for library composers
  9. Hollywood Trailer Music
    • Detailed history and summary of the business
    • Interviews with LA trailer editors and successful composers
    • What they are looking for in your music
  10. Composing Trailer Music
    • What good trailer music needs and how to write it
    • Interview with trailer sound design star Alessandro Camnasio
    • Epic music income from outside trailers
  11. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
    • Scams, mistakes and legal pitfalls to avoid
    • True life tales of woe to learn from
    • What you need to do to avoid trouble
  12. A Dictionary Of Library Music
    • A-Z definitions of baffling library music terminology
    • Works as brief summary of the rest of the book
    • Impress your friends by casually mentioning buttons, needledrops & stings.
  13. Recommended Reading
    • Recommended media & library composing guides
    • Recommended composition, mixing and mastering guides
    • Generally helpful books for your career
About author

Dan Graham

Dan Graham was the songwriter in a UK indie band Ooberman (“Times Single Of The Year” 1999). From 2004 he composed premium library music and from 2010 invested rising royalties in his trailer music labels Gothic Storm, 7 other catalogues and Gothic Instruments which makes DRONAR for Kontakt. Gothic Storm music is regularly placed in Hollywood movie trailers including Avengers Infinity War, Wonder Woman 1984 and Fantastic Beasts 2 The Crimes Of Grindelwald.

What people are saying


  • ‘Finally a comprehensive book about the inscrutable world of library music – or Production Music as I prefer to call it! Dan takes an independent and impartial look at all the varying approaches and models and leaves it to the reader to decide which best suits them, and this is as it should be.’

    Andrew Sunnucks Publisher, Chairman & Founder of Audio Network
  • ‘Tons of valuable information on just about every aspect of the business - all gathered intelligently and explained thoughtfully.’

    Joe Saba Publisher - co-owner of Videohelper
  • ‘I don’t know a better, more well informed book on the subject of making a living from writing library music, particularly for trailers. There’s so much confusion out there and this book cuts through it all! Full of actionable advice, it’s a godsend for any composer. It can help you avoid costly mistakes and focus in on where the real opportunities for success lie.’

    Mark Petrie Hollywood trailer composer
  • ‘A Composer’s Guide To Library Music - this title and valuable guide perfectly sums up the building blocks and how to assemble them in order to succeed in making a living as a Library Music composer. It brings to life in-depth advice from industry professionals, covers production tips, the business, networking and composing trends to name a few of the gems. The book is not only an excellent source of information but also offers valuable guidance to making the right decisions in the fast paced and competitive world of Library Music. I highly recommend this book!’

  • ‘Clear, insightful and entertaining. If I had a time machine, I would send it back to my past self: a guide like this would have certainly come in handy.’

    Alessandro Camnasio Hollywood trailer sound designer
  • ‘Dan's book is a fantastic resource for anyone with an interest in library music. It's full of information and insight taken from his own career and those of other working professionals, and the novice and expert alike will surely find many things of use in these pages.’

    Ehren Ebbage Composer
  • ‘Dan's book is basically a full education in all things music licensing for any composer looking to fully understand the industry. From the business and productivity to creativity and networking, all aspects of the industry are covered in great detail. Real advice from real composers doing the work is a priceless bonus. It's the perfect launching pad to begin or further propel anyone's career!’

    Kyle Kniceley Composer
  • ‘Very informative...having been in the production library industry for almost 20 years and having witnessed the changes brought about by the internet and the 'race to the bottom', this invaluable resource more than confirms many of the pitfalls to avoid and helps to lay out a path to success.’

    Vincent Varco Composer
  • ‘Dan Graham's book demystifies the world of library music, giving an excellent overview of this expanding industry and is an essential read for anyone looking to write music for media.’

    Martin Gratton Composer

The Composer's Guide to Library Music

The definitive guide to finding work in the industry, understanding where the money comes from, writing great music, building long lasting relationships with publishers and much more.

Buy Now