Publishing Deals in 2019

So, you've put all the work in - you've spent countless hours, days, years, decades riding the ups and downs of the writing process. Now, you're ready to show your music to the world - well, maybe not the world - but at least let the gatekeepers of the industry lend an ear. 

First off - We suggest to go straight to your circle of friends and connections that you've made along the way. Surely, whether they be fellow-genre lovers that you've met on Instagram or students you knew during your studying at a music university - make use of the people you've met along the way you have asked for your music. Give it to them first. If you don't receive a publishing company, a&r or label contact, then I'm sure you'll at least receive some constructive criticism or some form of a lesson.

Music Publishing.jpgBefore we delve any deeper - do we all really know what a publishing deal is? "A music publishing deal is an agreement between artists and publishing companies. The company can claim your work, in exchange for promoting it. Publishing companies control several aspects of your work such as performing acts rights, mechanical rights, and synchronization. In addition, publishers can also be pro-active in that they can build links with music directors, other performers, and try to convince these people to play or perform the artist’s songs. A publishing contract is a legal contract between a publisher and a writer, so it is basically about promoting the song itself (record labels are about the promotion of sound recordings). However, a publisher is not involved in the recording of music. If you sign with a publisher or publishing company, no one is promising to give you money to record your music and no one is going to release it for you."

So, we suggest researching the closest music publishing companies within your vicinity - that way, if and when they write back to your outreach, they'll be able to meet with you without too many scheduling complications. 

Typically you can find contacts on either the social media or the websites of publishing companies that are accepting submissions. When submitting music to publishers, be clear and be sure to submit only your best work in the professional format that it should be in, i.e. many companies that accept submissions prefer streaming links as opposed to downloads. Do your research. 

If you don't hear back - take it easy. We suggest waiting at least another year, unless you so happen to cross paths with the company again on accident - to just give a bit of time and let them respond when they can. We welcome you to do what you feel is best - but do take into consideration the art of reasonable distance and patience in business decisions. Take into consideration the constant state of a company. 

Keep growing your industry connections. Let people know that you're a songwriter. Attend songwriting, producer and publishing workshops. You'll be amazed at how many steps you can skip with being confident and putting yourself out there!