Okay, you know the drill. You email a music biz professional, and you wait for a reply. And you wait. And you wait. And then you say bad words and wait some more. Man, I’ve been there, too- and it just stinks.
You’re left to wonder why Publisher X isn’t getting back to you, and your imagination goes to work. And songwriters can have some pretty active imaginations!
“She hates me.”
“He’s a blankety-blank-blank jerk!”
“The world is against me.”
“They stole my song and deleted my email!!!”
Honestly, the truth is probably nowhere near that nefarious. Let’s take a look at some of the more likely culprits:
They never opened your email.
Maybe they have a “no unsolicited email” policy for legal and time-waste reasons, so they don’t open any email from unknown writers. Or maybe they have an assistant who cleans out any emails that don’t look legit. Or maybe he’s just so busy that he just never has time to get to emails from unknown senders. That’s why cold emails have such a low response rate.
An unknown sender putting “HERE’S A #$%ING HIT FOR KEITH URBAN” or “Million Dollar Idea!” or “I have lots of hits for you!” just screams “unprofessional.” Or maybe you tell your whole life story in the body of the email. Why would a busy pro want to waste his or her time? Even if the song is good, why deal with an unprofessional when you can get plenty of great songs from trusted professionals?
You’re creepy or scary.
If your email somehow gets opened, but you come across as creepy or scary, forget it. If you complain about how other folks have stolen your songs, you look like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Delete. If you ask him how his 3-year-old’s birthday party went at Chucky Cheese- AND HE DOESN’T KNOW YOU- he’s filing you in the “Read this in case I disappear” folder. If you tell her you’re about to lose your house if you don’t “sell a song” right now, she doesn’t want to be the one to send you over the edge. Remember:
You want to be the solution to an industry pro’s problems- you don’t want to add to them.
Your song just wasn’t that good.
Maybe your song is awful, but they don’t want to tell you that. (Who likes to say that? Especially when you might show up in their parking lot with a van and a bottle of chloroform?) But they also don’t want to give you false hope and invite more awful songs (which will make them want to use the chloroform on themselves.) Or maybe it wasn’t bad, but it just isn’t great or great for the album/artist in question, and they’re just busy.
It happens. Maybe they wanted to take a second listen later and forgot. Or maybe they did listen and just forgot to respond. Or maybe they forwarded it for someone else’s opinion, and it got lost in the inbox. Hey, humanity happens.
I hope that helps set your mind at ease- at least a little bit. In a future post, I’ll share an email success story or two. Hang in there!
Pro songwriters know how to act professionally. And if YOU want to become a pro, you need to think like a pro, too. In my FREE e-book, “THINK LIKE A PRO SONGWRITER,” I not only reveal several of the mindsets which separate the pro songwriter from the amateur, but also…
- How to get on a music publisher’s radar
- How the pros know who is looking for songs
- Six simple ways to make your songs more commercial
- And more!
God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,
Brent Baxter is a hit songwriter with cuts by Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, Lady Antebellum, Joe Nichols, Gord Bamford, Ruthie Collins, Ray Stevens, and more. He’s written a top 5 hit in the US and a #1 in Canada… so far.