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Publishing Your Music

In thinking of the first step towards getting someone to record their song, some inexperienced songwriters are content with giving up the publishing rights of their songs to a music publisher. However, this isn't necessarily so.

Music publishing is not like book publishing. Getting your song published only means that you've given up your publishing rights to your song, and in which half of the royalties go to a publisher. The other half of the royalties still remains yours. But be aware that there may be fees which you may have to pay back to the publisher. That is, if they pitched out money for demos or other items which may have been included in the signed contract. As with this and other issues, it's important to read the contract when signing on with a music publisher.

Many songwriters, like yourself, have signed their song publishing rights away, only to find out they have been sold to another company that shows little to no interest in them. In many instances, companies (or people with a lot of money) buy several smaller publishing companies, resulting in them owning a huge catalog of songs. In these situations it's all about prestige and the sheer numbers of songs in a publishing catalog. Don't just be a feather in someone's cap, protect your songwriting rights, and don't give away your publishing rights for life.

If you are new to music publishing, try to find a company that protects you, as a songwriter. Typically, if a publisher doesn't pay for the cost of a songwriter demo and has none of his own money tied up in your song, then the publishing contract should only last for one year. In this scenario, if the publisher doesn't get an Artist on a Major Label to record and release your song, then the publishing rights should revert back to you. But if he does get a cut, then he has the publishing for life and you both make money.

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