The (Real) Sound of Music – “Ca Ching!”

So you’re a talented songwriter and damn it, you deserve a big publishing deal! Now, if only a well-connected, successful, efficient music publisher would listen to your music with the same enthusiasm in which you created it, it’d be a done deal! You’d be set!

So, how-oh-how do you get to that music publisher so he or she can offer you the deal you have worked so hard for and that you most certainly deserve? How do you find that person that will share in your passion that transcends into your music, who really understands each song, who will do everything he or she can to sell and/or license those songs over and over again?

Well, think back for a minute to all of the networking events you’ve attended; to the places where you wrote those songs for countless hours; to the pitch meetings you landed; to those encouraging meetings you held with your manager. Now, think of the one thing each of those places or events had in common → you!

Your publisher is your greatest untapped resource and quite likely, it is you! Who better knows your music? Who better can you entrust it with? Who better to really work hard for the money? Who better to run your business, than you? Likely, nobody!

Upon inspection, you would find that many, if not most successful songwriters in any large publishing company are, more times than not, persons that first became successful music publishers on their own. They simply learned, some for the sake of survival, how to pitch their music; how to develop and manage their catalog; how to secure and protect their copyrights; how to build not only a business plan, but a business team and; how to create a presence or ‘buzz’ for themselves in the infamous ‘industry.’ And, once they had done so and in turn, established for themselves an operable entity, they then also stood in a much greater position to enter into a coventure relationship with a larger, more productive and more lucrative company.

Taking this strategic and time-tested approach to building your career can prove invaluable! It is simply reasonable and not only common but, common sense, that a large publishing company is much more likely to coventure with an established, smaller company than it is to bring on a beginning writer where they would have to assume a greater risk and the consequent burden of making the relationship successful.

Also, you may wish to keep in mind that most publishing deals nowadays are co-publishing deals whereby the writer receives 100% of the writer’s share of income and also a portion of the publisher’s monies. Does this sound like a deal that favors the writer? Well that’s only because it does! Maybe not such a terrible idea after all, this be-your-own-publisher idea, eh!?

If you’re still finding this to be a daunting task and need inspiration, just read the biographies of songwriting legends like Carole King and Jerry Leiber who followed a similar path. You’ll see that it may be more fiction than fact that days existed where songwriters worked in isolation, tapping their foot to the beat of their own drummer while their songs were being shopped all over town. Rather, an aggressive, strategic and well-thought out approach that is focused on shaping those musically-inclined dreams into reality is not only time-tested, but reasonably, provides more probable results.

Are there any guarantees? Well of course not! You don’t need anyone to tell you that. However, while common sense is sometimes not all that common; common sense here will tell you that creating your own publishing company and working hard to develop not only its operations but, its value, stands a much better chance of tendering you the riches and success you seek than does waiting for someone to show up at your door and offer it to you. Don’t get me wrong. . . it can happen; but I might rather choose the former approach . . .at least until someone comes a-knockin’!

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 at 6:41 pm and is filed under Business & Corporate Law, Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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