4 Reasons A Music Publisher Won’t Meet With You (And 1 Thing You Can Do To Change That)

For many songwriters (and possibly you), trying to get a publisher meeting is like trying to get a date with a supermodel.  You know they exist, you cyber-stalk them as best you can… but you can’t find one who will give you the time of day.

Why is it so dang hard to get a publisher meeting?

Here are 4 reasons a publisher won’t meet with you- and one thing you can do to change that.

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1. Knock, knock… Math.

Publishers simply don’t have enough time to meet with every songwriter who wants some of their time.  Math just dictates that there aren’t enough hours in the workday for every “quick 15 minute meeting” that is asked of them.

Unfortunately, publishers just can’t get to everyone.

Oh, and math also says that the vast majority of songwriters just aren’t good enough to solve the publisher’s problems.  The odds are actually better that you’ll either be needy or crazy and add to their problems.

2. You made a bad (personal) 1st impression.

Maybe the publisher met you out at an event… or the grocery store… and you gave off a creepy vibe when you shoved your CD into her cart alongside her avocados.  Or maybe you reached out through social media and she saw that post where you ranted about how much radio sucks and the songs suck and the artists suck.  Now the publisher has no desire to give you a 2nd chance to make a worse impression.

Yes, unpleasant people might still have a great song.  But a publisher is looking for something more valuable than just one great song.  She’s looking for a great songwriter she can have hits with for years to come.

If the publisher doesn’t like being around you for 5 minutes, she’s sure not excited about being around you for 5 years.

3. You made a bad (musical) 1st impression.

Let’s say a publisher was out at the Bluebird Cafe or The Listening Room to hear one of his writers, and you were in the early round.  If your songs just aren’t exciting to him (too slow, too cliche, too boring, whatever), he’s not going to be in a hurry to sit down with you for a half-hour.

There’s just not a compelling business interest for him to NOT meet with someone else so he CAN meet with you.  After all, publishers know writers tend to play their best stuff out.  So if that’s your best, he doesn’t need to hear any more- at least not until after you’ve worked on your craft for a few more years.

4. The publisher doesn’t know you exist.

Literally.  How can a publisher agree to meet with you if you’ve never stepped into her awareness?  If you and your songs never leave your bedroom in Boise, that publisher meeting is simply NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.  You have to get over your fear or whatever and DO SOMETHING.

Or maybe you’re ready to do something, but you just don’t know the steps to take.  How do you approach a real-deal music publisher in a way that gets his or her attention in a positive way?  Do you have to belong to some sort of private club?  Is there a secret handshake?

Let me introduce you to a legit music publisher.

If you’re ready to connect with a publisher, I have a path for YOU and YOUR great song to get to a real, legit, successful music publisher.

On Thursday, December 14, I’m having the next round of Songwriting Pro’s “Play For A Publisher.” Our guest is John Ozier of ole Music.  John has had his hand in a bunch of hits, but the deadline to submit your song is coming up quickly!  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS GREAT OPPORTUNITY.

God Bless and Enjoy the Journey,

Brent 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.

7 thoughts on “4 Reasons A Music Publisher Won’t Meet With You (And 1 Thing You Can Do To Change That)”

  1. Hi Brent
    I am so excited that another Play for a Publisher event is coming around.
    I would like to check, if i may be so bold as to ask – is it worthwhile pitching songs that are lyrics only?
    Will a publisher seriously consider a songs penned words only or will it feel more like wasting his/her time as its not a full production (melody, mixing, mastering, production seriously lacking)?
    I ask in all sincerity, knowing that at some point, I guess, you yourself would have asked this same question in your career.
    So looking forward to taking this opportunity to push forward with my career.
    Many thanks for your time and efforts and John’s, in organising this event again.
    Cheers
    Sonya

    1. Hey, Sonya! That’s a great question. Honestly, I don’t think it would be a good investment to enter only lyrics. The chances of anyone’s lyrics-only being so amazing that it will make it into the top 10 is very, very remote. Every song in the top 10 is strong (lyrically and melodically) every time, and I just don’t see a lyric making it. Sorry. But thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify.

  2. Hi, I am in the Royal Canadian Air Force and have always been a songwriter and musician. I have over 200 songs written and just put them on Youtube under Mary Arlene Basker (my name James MacDonald is too common). I write for me, my family and friends but have always thought if someone could get one of my songs, they would have a big hit. I have no interest in performing anymore myself, just like to write and record demos in my little home studio.

  3. Hey there Mr. Baxter!
    What’s the norm on what people send you when they enter? Demos? Or do they send the good ol’ YouTube version of themselves singing at home? Thanks again!

  4. So when you listen to the songs do you know the name of the songwriter(s) or is it anonymous at that stage? If a songwriter submits several songs, do you know if you may be actually choosing several songs by the same songwriter(s) and is it allowed for a songwriter to have several songs selected to be presented to the publisher?

    1. Hi, Bill. When I listen through to all the songs, I do it without looking up the songwriters. And, yes, I’ve sometimes had writers with more than one song in the top 10.

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