Publishing Music: You’ve finished writing that perfect song, and you’ve put all the finishing touches on it. You know it’s going to be a hit! The problem is, you’re just a songwriter (and not a publisher). How are you going to publish your new song? Will it ever see the light of day, or is it going to sit in that folder on your hard drive? Or you can submit your song to a publisher and give it the chance it deserves!
The most common publishing deal involves musicians who are both songwriters and recording artists. If you are going to distribute your original song, it’s a good idea to make sure you publish that song as well, especially with a publisher.
It can be challenging to secure a publishing deal of any kind, especially if you’re new to it. However, pull that file out of your computer folder because we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about publishing a song. If you’re wondering, “how do I publish a song?” we’ve got you covered.
Publishing Music: Why Do You Need to Publish Your Song?
Think of it as a book. Authors have to go through publishers to get their works to the public. (It’s challenging to have a successful book when you attempt to publish your work independently.) Without a publisher, it’ll be challenging to generate significant sales and royalties.
Suppose you are already a recording artist and you’ve written a song. In that case, it’s easy to get your recording out there (just work with a music distributor), but how do you register and monetize your composition? And suppose you’re solely a songwriter (and not a recording artist). You’re going to need a publishing company to publish your song. This way, if it is ever recorded or performed by another artist, you are covered and compensated.
What Does a Song Publisher Do?
A publisher plays an essential role in song distribution. A songwriter assigns a composition to a publisher, and the publisher makes sure that the song is monetized worldwide. The publisher ensures that the song gets the proper copyrights and that the songwriter gets their royalties. The publisher protects the copyright and makes sure that copyright laws are enforced.
Publishing Music: Should You Self-Publish Your Song?
Going back to books again, authors now often self-publish. One of the benefits of self-publishing is that you get to keep all of the rights and sometimes all of the sales. However, although it’s possible to self-publish your song, we don’t advise it. Self-publishing songs is time-intensive and requires specific knowledge and understanding of the music industry, domestic and international. You’d be responsible for all administrative work, calculating any royalties, drafting licensing agreements, tracking cue sheets, global performance rights registrations, and more. Plus, you’ll be in charge of all of the marketing. Unless you love that sort of stuff, it’s easier to go with an already-established publisher.
Publishers usually keep around 50% of the income generated by any songs that they publish. This may seem like a steep percentage, but remember that you’ll keep 100% of the writer’s royalties. Publishers do most of the work for you, and you’ll most likely see more money with just that 50% of gross earnings than you would if you attempted to self-publish.
How to Find a Publisher
There are thousands of music publishers, both major and independent. You can find a publisher by searching the Music Publishers Association of the United States. If you have never published a song before, it might be best to approach a smaller publishing company. When considering smaller publishing companies, make sure you do your research and assess their credibility. Most legitimate publishing companies do not do things like solicit songwriters, run ads, or require songwriters to pay for demos. You shouldn’t be paying any advance fees or submission costs with a publisher.
Few publishers are also music distributors. By signing on with this type of full-service company, you’ll receive both publish and distribution services for your songs and recordings. One of these companies, Sugo Music Group, is a respected global music distribution and publishing company. They’ve been around for 35 years and have the experience to get your recordings and songs distributed worldwide.
“How to publish my song” is a question that a lot of people ask. Here are some tips and tricks for publishing your first song.
How to Pitch Your Song
It’s important to have a recording on hand if you’re going to pitch your song to any publisher. Your recording should be up to industry standards. You can undoubtedly send unsolicited copies of your recording to publishers, but that’s not usually very effective. Your best chance for getting a publisher to listen to your recording is to do a little networking and research. See below.
Publishing Music: Reap the Rewards
Once you’ve signed a publishing deal with a publishing company, there’s not much else you need to do. The publisher will make sure that your song gets registered with performance rights organizations worldwide and possibly recorded by other artists (and placed on the radio, shows, or movies). Once it’s placed, you’ll start receiving royalties!
So what are you waiting for? Dust off that song and make your move! You’ll soon be reaping the rewards of being a published composer.