Author's pop at the music industry

AN AUTHOR is following in the footsteps of Radiohead by using the internet to sell his product. Music journalist Sean McManus, who grew up in the Shephall area of Stevenage and went to Thomas Alleyne School, has been a professional writer for over 10 y

AN AUTHOR is following in the footsteps of Radiohead by using the internet to sell his product.

Music journalist Sean McManus, who grew up in the Shephall area of Stevenage and went to Thomas Alleyne School, has been a professional writer for over 10 years and has published books about technology and music during that time.

Now he is publishing his own book on the internet.

The book, called University of Death, is a satire of the music industry, highlighting the difficulties of new bands trying to succeed in a competitive market.

Sean draws on his experience as a music journalist to paint a complete picture of the industry, from the board room to the stage and from the studio to the record fair.

In the novel, a music label tries to con listeners by secretly selling computer-generated music using hidden software on PCs. It also features a fictional rock band, also called University of Death, who have an actual My Space page - www.myspace.com/universityofdeath

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In addition it explores how fans relate to their favourite bands, how businesses use technology to manipulate consumers and what would happen if the music industry disappeared overnight.

Sean said: "It's a much more immediate way of getting the book out. It may not reach the same audiences as using a conventional publisher, but at least this way I have control over the process. It also fits the topical subject of the book, mirroring what's happening in the music industry with artists like Prince and Radiohead self-publishing their own material.

"There are so many fantastic bands out there who are struggling to find an audience. The music industry dominates the media and any available media channels, making it very difficult for young bands to succeed."

The book is not available in shops, but interested readers should go to www.universityofdeath.co.uk where you can download the first two chapters for free before ordering a hard copy of the 380-page book.

However, each book ordered through www.universityofdeath.co.uk is printed on demand, making it an environmentally friendly initiative as only those copies ordered by customers will ever be printed.

mySpace page...University of Death