Here are five ways to catch a publisher’s attention with your music. These techniques will really increase your chances of succeeding with a publisher IF you write a great song.
Write strong up-tempo songs. They always need more. It is much easier to get a great up-tempo song cut than it is to get a great ballad cut. So, writing a great up-tempo song makes the publisher’s job easier. Making their job easier makes you more attractive to a publisher.
You’ve got the song. So, you’ve been writing and put together a nice collection of songs; And you’re ready for that next step, finding a publisher. That person who believes in your writing and has the connections to make things happen. Here are 3 common mistakes that can kill your chances of working with a music publisher:
Pitching your songs. It means playing songs for publishers, artists or record label people in hopes of getting them to record or help you get a song recorded and it is one of the most important steps of being in the music industry as a writer – otherwise your songs without being pitched basically means nothing – yet, pitching is one of the areas where songwriters make the most mistakes. And, those mistakes can be costly. Sometimes the cost can be losing all your credibility as a writer while maybe your songs are actually pretty good, but you’ve already ruined your reputation by making these simple mistakes. You don’t get too many chances to make a good impression before you are put on the “burned bridge” list. Here are some of the important dos and don’ts to remember when you pitch songs.
As the music economy continues to move toward a streaming based model, people are drifting rapidly toward the idea that music should be free. I think it’s vital to remind ourselves (And our friends) from time to time WHY it is important to pay for music:
For my song to get out to the public, I have to demo it. A conservative estimate of the cost of that demo is $800. I make approximately 9 cents per sale of the song. So, I need 8,888 people to buy the song before I even cover the cost of my demo.
Most songwriters I know have a lot of people who have helped them get to whatever level of success they are enjoying – even if it is simply being able to write regularly. Here’s my list. I’m guessing many of you have similar lists.
This is one of the questions I get all the time. People will say, “I called COMPASS and they never called me back. Why are they so rude?” Or, “I went to five publishers and none of them would listen to my music”. Or I even get Facebook messages from people I don’t know saying “Here are links to three of my songs – listen to them and let me know what you think.” All of those questions or statements reveal a lack of knowledge of the way the music business works. And that is precisely why the people involved aren’t giving their time to the people making requests.
One of the most common questions people ask me is “Do you think I have what it takes to do this?” They are usually referring to their music. In reality, the current quality of their music is not the primary factor in answering that question.
When I got my first writing deal, I didn’t have any songs that my publisher wanted to pitch. And, none of the songs I brought in ever got cut. Zero. I got signed on potential. My publisher told me that he signed me because:
The line between pro songwriters and aspiring pro songwriters is primarily a line of thought. Pro songwriters learn to think differently as they write. That different line of thinking usually involves a series of questions that they keep asking as they write. Those questions cause the song to be more commercial than it would have been without them. Here are some of primary questions a pro asks while songwriting.
Music History is filled with great songwriting collaborations. John Lennon-Paul McCartney, Elton John-Bernie Taupin, Mick Jagger-Keith Richards, and the list goes on. Two heads can truly be better than one when writing a song, but only if it’s the right match! And finding that right match can seem impossible at times. Over the years I have written with many artist, producers, and writers; some went great and spawned multiple hits while others were a dud. Here are some of the qualities I look for in a co-writer.
I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked this question literary from everyone, family and friends to fellow musicians! And, the answer is ever changing. More and more writers and artists are finding creative ways to get paid for their music. I’ll start off with the simple answers and move on to some of the more creative ways people are finding.
You've spent a lot of time songwriting, brainstorming production ideas and many hours in the studio recording your babies (aka your songs). You think the work is finally over, but you're far from the finish line. It has just begun, and now it's time to prepare for your successful release. You've worked hard on the creative side of your music, but the only way to make music your career is to have a strategy and business plan in place. I'm going to give a few tips that will help with a successful release as an indie artist. These are all the things I've learned from mentors along my journey to releasing my albums and EPs. We'll start with promotion and the truth is, it begins months before a single hit the airwaves or internet. This is a long thought out process that goes past the isolation rooms and mixing boards.
It seems like so many songwriters and in general a huge number of people in music industry have egos that are out of whack in one direction or the other. I personally take these egos as syndromes some people have and treat them as if they are sick. Not only me but I think most people in professional music industry do the same, even the same people who have such huge egos. Even they don’t like others to show them their ego and attitude! Run through this list every now and then to make sure you are staying cantered.
It is important as a record producer to understand that each situation is unique, and the relationship between the record producer and the artist varies greatly depending on the arrangement between the parties as well as the genre of music. Producers have traditionally been paid for their services as employees or as independent contractors, and their contributions to the creation of the sound recording in the studio are generally deemed to be a work-for-hire under the copyright law. As such, the copyright in the sound recordings is owned by the artist or the record label.
So, we all had heard about the so called "X-Factors" in entertainment industry. But what are people's concern when they mention this whole x-factor? Well, first of all we have to see which part of entertainment we're talking about. Are we looking for stardom in music? Or as an actor? Or as a social media influencer? Or maybe anything else? All of this industry have a lot of requirements in common but certain qualities must be emphasized in each of the sub-industries in entertainment in order to make one as "star". Here we are going to have a breakdown of the most common must-have qualities.
In this day of the smart phone, people believe that they can take photographs by simply pointing & clicking. If you want to take pictures of your food, please use your smart phone. A smart phone is great for making phone calls or tracking your daily schedule, but it is horrible for capturing those precious moments in your life for a professional use, especially for the ones in entertainment industry. You may be able to get a good picture with your smart phone, but it will look nothing like a portrait from a professional. Photography is an art form. Don’t trust your smart phone.
Here are some ideas for gaining fans for your music without giving it away.
Get involved with social media. If you want to sell 500,000 songs, the best way to do it is to have 2,000,000 friends. Your friends won’t always buy your music. Connect with people on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Follow them and ask them for their support for your page and your posts. Investing in other people and their careers will encourage them to do the same for you. Comment back to anyone who comments about you. The more you interact, the more friends you get.
You have just written your latest best song and you are asking yourself “What’s next? Should I do a full expensive version of this song or a simple piano/vocal demo?” This is often one of the most important questions a songwriter can ask themselves in this game. Getting this step right can often determine whether an artist records or passes on your song. Here are some guidelines I’ve used to help me successfully navigate the song demo waters.
So, you’ve written a great song and you want to record an amazing demo to present it to the world. But there are certain things you need to know and follow before, during and after writing your demos. Believe it or not, the presentation of the demo sometimes can be even more important the content of the demo itself!! You can have a great demo and a bad presentation can make music supervisors and producers to don’t take it seriously, or opposite, you can have an “okay” demo but a good presentation and attract the attentions towards what you had done. Here are things I have learned in a 15-year career and more than 3,000 demos.
Copyright Protection. Under copyright laws, copyright (literally, the right to make and sell copies) automatically vests in the creator the moment the expression of an idea is "fixed in a tangible medium" (in other words, the moment you write it down, type it or record it on tape). With respect to music specifically, a copyright in the musical composition owned by the songwriter and a sound recording copyright in the sound of the recording owned by the recording artist (but usually transferred to the record company when a record deal is signed). It is important to remember that you own the copyright in your work the moment you write it down or record it, and you can only transfer those rights by signing a written agreement to transfer them. Therefore, you must be wary of any agreement you are asked to sign.
I’ve been asked hundreds of times “Why are staff writers hesitant to write with writers who don’t have a writing deal?”. The short answer is that the people who have gone before you have ruined it for you. Here are the most significant reasons signed writers hesitate to write with unsigned writers.
The basics of Copyright law are simple. Armed with some simple principles, you can understand just what is covered and what isn't, and hopefully save yourself potential trouble and money. It’s great for any songwriter or any other art creator to know their rights on copyrights or at least to have a trusted lawyer or publishing company to protect their rights for them.
Win the battle in your own mind first. Surround yourself with family and friends who share a similar vision and avoid those who have a negative attitude. Before you win the fierce battle with your competitors, make sure you've won battle with your own mind to persist no matter what it takes. When I left Kansas, friends told me I was just a church organist and not a Vegas singer. After nine years, I had sung and played every room in Reno, Tahoe, and most in Vegas. When I left to go to LA to write, musician friends said, "you're just a musician, you'll never make it as a writer." Now, 100 cuts later I don't hear much from them.
This is a question I've seen many artists; especially new ones are struggling to find the answer. Some love to release a song each few days and some believe only in "perfection" and they don't hesitate to work even a year or two on just one single track before releasing it. But the main question is that how often to release songs and albums to be active enough yet not to be a spammer! Well, when it comes to such topic, there's no right or wrong and it's really up to the personal mindset for indie artists or the managers of label for signed artists. And here is my personal opinion based on my 15 years of experience.
Just like most other jobs and careers, making a living from writing songs and being a professional in music industry requires a huge amount of sacrifices and more importantly it requires consistency. If you're anything like me, and the rest of 99.9% percent of other musicians, you'd fail for at least a couple of years! But the key here is not to give up. Not to be stubborn, taking no as an answer is okay here but don't "go home"!
Music publishing deals with the ownership and exploitation of copyrighted music. Through music publishing, copyrighted work is sold for use in areas such as radio, performances, movies, TV, record sales, and streaming. Publishing provides a variety of avenues for an artist to earn a living while working in the music industry. Live performances, club appearances, autograph sessions, and speaking engagements can get you a one-time check, but publishing your music can result in continuous payment for years — based on the popularity of your music. Ever wondered how some of these older artists are still able to buy homes and cars, and make investments without newly-released music? Then you should learn as much as possible about music publishing.