Monday, May 28, 2012
5 Steps to Getting Your Music Published
This may seem like a silly step. But it is actually the most important one. It’s also the hardest one to get right.
Writing a great song is more than just a nice poem you wrote and kind of hummed a melody to. It’s more than just copying the latest worship hit with some similar “worship-ish” words.
A great song that will be published has to be hit material. It has to have melody that soars. It has to have a hook, or three! It has to have words that speak, and not just rhyme.
Now there is no definition or exact recipe for the perfect hit song that publishers will drool over. This is where time, practice, and finding some ears that will give you good constructive criticism come in.
But let’s say for the sake of blog space, you have some great songs and think they need to get in front of a publisher’s ears.
The next step is to get them to the publisher.
Step 2. Identify Publishers that have Published Similar Styles
Time for some investigative work. Who does your song sound like? The bad news here is, if it doesn’t sound like anybody at all, this might make it tough to get published.
The key is to find a publisher who has a track record with that kind of song. This is key to success. You don’t want to walk into any meeting in Nashville just hoping they are the right ears for your songs. It’s a waste of everyone’s time.
If you’re making a trip, another good stop is your BMI or ASCAP rep. They can listen and see if your songs might be good for a contact of theirs. I had a writer we worked with last year stop in at BMI one day, and found himself at EMI later in the day showing a publisher his songs.
But having appointments is a good thing. There are lots of stories about chance meetings, and walking in off the street to find success on Music Row. But there are many more stories of success through good planning and strategic meetings.
3. Plan a trip to Nashville
If you are writing Christian music, there is really no other choice. Yes, there are many other Christian music publishers outside of Nashville, but the Christian music industry is squarely located here. Nashville is known as the music publishing capital of the world. Music City don’t you know.
While in Nashville you can also see lots of different kind of music live, visit studios, and maybe your favorite Christian music production company! ;)
4. Knock on Doors, Go to Lunch, Have Coffee
Then it’s just a matter of getting feedback from the many meetings you will have over lunch, coffee, at offices, and elsewhere.
Warning: Every trip may not lead to getting published. Remember, it’s OK to lose the battle to win the war. It’s all about iron sharpening iron. It took me repeated trips to Nashville for God to refine what I was doing for His plan (no matter how hard I resisted and thought I was failing!)
Here’s the hardest part. You’ll need to keep doing this for your career.
Write great songs. Find the right contacts. Come to town. Have meetings. Repeat.
Welcome to the life of, if not a published songwriter, at least one working at it!
Have a great week!
Eric Copeland is a songwriter, producer, and president of Creative Soul in Nashville, TN. For more information check out http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com
Get the new FREE E-Book “Getting Started in Christian Music” at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com
- Eric Copeland
- Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at http://www.CreativeSoulOnline.com