what does a music publisher actually do? A question that many beginner songwriters doesn't know how to answer...
Well, they do know that these music industry people publish songs. Strictly spoken, the publisher is a company who owns the copyrights of your songs.
He or she is the one who issue licenses to radio stations and TV companies to give them permission to play your songs and do the performing on TV programs. Also, a publisher collects your royalties trough his membership of the copyright society.
In the UK, PRS-MCPS and in the US, ASCAP- BMI and others.
For the pure songwriter this is his exclusive domain to target.
And...your package must look impressive. Your demo must look and sound professional.
our promotion letter must be typed and printed.
The case of your CD must have a J-card that slips in your CD case. Put some art work on the card and create a logo. So, be creative, as usually.
Your CD must be properly labeled and on every piece of your package stand your contact info. Address,phone number,mobile number,e-mail address and your website info if you have one.
If a piece get lost in the music publisher his office,and if your name and address are added, they can easily track and recognize them as yours. Don't forget to include the lyric sheets in your package, each paper with your name + address on it.
Before sending any submissions, find out first what kind of style of music that company want to receive. You have no idea how many times the music-publisher and record companies get the wrong kind of music. So, do some research before sending anything. Otherwise it's a waste time and money.
Before the record deal, You need a music publishing deal first. This because record labels never accepting songs that are not published . But, some record labels are having a music publishing branch too, so they could shoot two ducks at the same time. A music publisher, and a record label..So..If you have both deals (lucky you) then this record label will release a record for your.
When a publishing contract..is offered..
Make sure that you read the contract carefully, from start to end. Make sure that the contract state when the date it expires . Let's say after six month or so. If the music publisher has found in time a record company that will bring out your songs,then you can negotiate the contract and sign an other one with better conditions.
If he doesn't find you a record deal in that time , you can try your luck with another publishing company. Otherwise you can wait for the rest of your life, and still waiting for a deal.
A music contract mostly means a lot of money, so don't sign to quickly. If you can't figure out yourself how much you will get( some music industry contracts are difficult to read), ask a lawyer-solicitor for advice before signing any documents,paper...
In the US , publishing contracts or other contracts are difficult to read. Before signing a contract with a US company, ask advice to someone who knows the US contracts well.
I know it's a hard thing to do, when you get an offer not to sign immediately.That's the horrifying truth for many songwriters and artist who get their first contract. Not to sign but to read it carefully and ask for legal advice.
Some songwriters who get their first offer are willing to sign with both hands immediately ( and some really have done). Some times they signing their soul and their good money away.
That's why you have to look out for the pitfalls in contract.
Never sign a contract with a percentage lower than 50%. After all, it's all about the money, isn't it?
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