A&R and Manager Advice

How to Contact Music Publishers

How to Contact Music Publishers

Are you a songwriter looking to get your music heard? Pitching your songs to music publishers can be a daunting task, especially if you're just starting out and don't know where to begin. That's where we step in! In this guide by Lyric Assistant, we will dissect the process of contacting music publishers, making it easy to understand and carry out.

Understanding Music Publishers

Before you dive into contacting music publishers, it's crucial to understand their role in the music industry. Music publishers have a broad scope of responsibilities, including:

  • Discovering and nurturing talent
  • Marketing songs and artists
  • Administering royalties
  • Negotiating licenses

Steps to Contact Music Publishers

Getting in touch with music publishers involves a systematic process that, when followed correctly, can dramatically boost your chances of success.

1. Prepare Your Portfolio

Your initial contact with a publisher should include a sampler of your best songs. Ensure your music is professionally recorded and make a digital portfolio.

2. Do Your Research

Identify music publishers who have a track record with the genre of your music.

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

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3. Write a Professional Query Letter

Your query letter should be concise, showcasing your achievements and attaching your portfolio.

4. Follow Up

If you don't hear back after a while, send a polite follow-up mail.

Mistakes to Avoid When Contacting Music Publishers

Avoid mistakes like contacting without a complete portfolio, neglecting the follow-up process, and ignoring the importance of a professional query letter.

How to Contact Music Publishers Example:

Imagine singer-songwriter Bob, who writes fantastic folk music. He shortlists publishers who specialize in folk, creates a portfolio featuring his best tracks, and drafts a compelling query letter outlining his experience and style. After sending the initial email, he patiently waits for a few weeks before following up.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a music publisher?

A music publisher is an entity that deals with the business side of music creation. They are responsible for ensuring that songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. This includes securing copyright permissions, licensing rights, distributing royalties, and promoting the music to various markets.

Why should I contact a music publisher?

Contacting a music publisher can be beneficial if you are a songwriter or composer looking to get your music commercially utilized and ensure that you receive proper royalties. Publishers have the connections and knowledge to effectively market your work and navigate the legal complexities of the music industry.

How do I find the right publisher for my music?

To find the right publisher, you should research and identify those that specialize in your genre of music or have a proven track record of working with similar artists. Attending industry events, networking, and using online directories can help you compile a list of potential publishers to approach.

What should I include in my initial contact with a publisher?

Your initial contact should include a brief and professional introduction of yourself, a succinct description of your music, and why you think it would be a good fit for their publishing catalog. Do not forget to include samples of your music and any previous successes or notable performances.

Is it necessary to have a complete album before contacting a publisher?

No, it is not necessary to have a complete album. Publishers often look for individual songs that have potential for commercial success. Having a few polished and professionally recorded tracks can be enough to garner interest.

Can I contact multiple publishers at once?

Yes, you can and should contact multiple publishers at once to increase your chances of finding the right fit. However, make sure to personalize each interaction to show genuine interest in working with each specific publisher.

Should I expect to pay a publisher to consider my music?

No, reputable publishers do not charge songwriters for considering their music. Beware of any publishers asking for money upfront as this is not standard industry practice.

How do I protect my music before sending it to a publisher?

You can protect your music by ensuring it is properly copyrighted. You can register your work with the copyright office in your jurisdiction, which will give you legal standing in case of infringement before sharing your music with publishers.

What is a typical response time after contacting a music publisher?

Response times can vary widely depending on the publisher's volume of queries. It can range from a few weeks to several months. It's important to remain patient and avoid sending multiple follow-up messages in a short time span.

Can I submit unsolicited material to music publishers?

Some publishers accept unsolicited material, while others do not. You should check their submission guidelines on their website or contact them to inquire about their policy before sending your music unsolicited.

What should I do if my music is rejected by a publisher?

Rejection is a natural part of the process. Use any feedback provided to improve your work, and don't be discouraged. Continue to refine your music, build your portfolio, and reach out to other publishers. Perseverance is key in the music industry.

What are the signs of a reputable music publisher?

Reputable publishers have a professional website, clear submission guidelines, a roster of successful artists, and transparent business practices. They should also have positive testimonials or references and be associated with music industry organizations.

How do publishers typically promote the music they represent?

Publishers promote music through their industry connections, including placements in film, television, commercials, video games, and other media. They also work with recording artists, record labels, and live venues to promote songwriters and their compositions.

Will a music publisher own the rights to my songs?

A music publisher will typically require some rights to your songs in order to promote and license them effectively. However, the specific rights and terms are negotiated in the publishing contract. It is important to understand and agree with these terms before signing.

Is it advisable to have legal representation when dealing with publishers?

Yes, it is advisable to have legal representation, preferably a lawyer who specializes in music industry contracts. They can help review and negotiate terms to ensure that your interests are protected.

What if I'm already signed with a label, can I still work with a publisher?

Yes, you can still work with a publisher if you're signed with a label, as the two can complement each other. The label typically handles the recording, production, and distribution of your music, while the publisher manages the rights and licensing for compositions.

What's the difference between a music publisher and a record label?

A music publisher focuses on the rights and usage of songs and compositions, ensuring that songwriters and composers are paid for their work. A record label focuses on the recording, promotion, distribution, and sometimes the branding of artists and their music.

Can independent artists benefit from working with music publishers?

Yes, independent artists can benefit from working with publishers, as they can help to get their songs into the hands of artists who can give them wider exposure, as well as securing licensing deals that an independent artist might not be able to secure on their own.

What royalties can I expect from working with a music publisher?

Royalties vary but can include mechanical royalties from physical and digital sales, performance royalties from airplay and live performances, and synchronization fees from music used in film, TV, advertisements, and other media. The publisher collects these royalties on your behalf and you receive a percentage as per your contract terms.

Is there a standard contract with publishers or do terms vary widely?

Terms can vary widely between publishers and deals. There are common clauses, but each contract should be negotiated to suit the individual circumstances of the songwriter or composer and the publisher. Always review contracts thoroughly and seek legal advice before signing.

What is a 'single song agreement' with a music publisher?

A 'single song agreement' is a contract between a songwriter and a publisher where the publisher is given the rights to promote and license one particular song, not the songwriter's entire catalog. This can be a good option for songwriters to test the waters with a publisher without committing all their work.

The journey towards getting your music published might feel overwhelming. However, with the right steps and a little patience, you can make your mark in the industry! For more guidance on songwriting and music industry insights, explore other articles on Lyric Assistant. If you've found this helpful, don't forget to share this guide with other budding songwriters to help them in their journey too!

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

Music Industry Insider 2024: The Ultimate Contact Handbook

Unlock the key to your music career. This game-changing resource puts over 3,000 of the most influential music industry contacts at your fingertips.

Connect directly with the top A&Rs, Music Managers, Producers, Record Labels & Booking Agents who can elevate your music to new heights. With all the content information you need, including email addresses and phone numbers. Don't just dream of success, make it a reality.

Embrace Music Industry Insider and open doors to limitless opportunities in your music journey.

trustpilot 1

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About Toni Mercia

Toni Mercia is a Grammy award-winning songwriter and the founder of Lyric Assistant. With over 15 years of experience in the music industry, Toni has written hit songs for some of the biggest names in music. She has a passion for helping aspiring songwriters unlock their creativity and take their craft to the next level. Through Lyric Assistant, Toni has created a tool that empowers songwriters to make great lyrics and turn their musical dreams into reality.

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