With the number of available publishing deals shrinking (along with royalty income), with more and more artists writing their own songs in “camps,” and with home recording getting better and cheaper… do songwriters still need publishers?
Well… the short answer is… it depends.
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Here’s why you DON’T need a publisher.
1. You aren’t trying to get other artists to record your songs.
You write for yourself, family and friends. You aren’t actively pursuing commercial success. If it somehow happens… whatever. But you aren’t chasing it. Or you’re the artist and record your own songs.
2. You have your own pitch relationships.
You can get meetings with artists, A&R reps, and/or music producers. Even if you can’t get meetings, you can at least email them songs- and you KNOW they’ll listen. Or you are your own (signed) artist and write for yourself. The point is, you can get your songs to someone who can say “yes.”
3. You’re self-funded.
You can cover your own demo expenses. And you are in a financial situation that allows you the flexibility to write a lot. In other words, you don’t need an advance (or draw) from a publisher.
4. You can do your own publishing administration.
You either outsource your publishing admin, or you’re able to do the business side yourself. You know how to copyright, register, and license your songs that do get cut.
5. You have your own cowriter relationships.
Publishers often help hook their writers up with high-level cowriters- or even artists. If your networking and people skills are strong enough, you can do this yourself.
So there you go. Five reasons you might not need a publisher. Sound like you? Awesome! But if not…
You might need a publisher… when your songs are good enough.
But how do you connect with a legitimate music publisher? Well, you’re in luck- I have a great opportunity coming up for you. On Monday, March 27, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is Chris Oglesby of BMG Chrysalis! That’s right… he’s back! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY!
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.