Q&A Pitching to Music Publishers

I have found some of the writers of (hit Country group) tunes. Their publishers are listed with ASCAP. Would it be common practice to contact the publisher of that writer in hopes that they could publish and pitch another tune to the band?

Good work. You’re on the right track. However, sending the songs to publishers, though not a bad idea on the face of it, just puts you another step from the mark. If you pitch to a publisher it should be the publishing company of the writers in the group. This puts them in a position of being a direct financial participant in the publishing income from their recording and that’s a BIG incentive for them. When it comes from an “outside” publisher the group won’t participate in that income at all. In some cases, ownership of the publishing may make the difference between an album cut and a single (from which they’ll make a lot more performance income).

That approach could work but you should also pitch to their A&R representative at their record company, to their producer and manager. At that point you stand a chance, assuming they’re crazy about the song, to keep some of that publishing income (along with your writers share) yourself. The manager, however, since he participates (usually 20% +) in ALL the group’s income, will be motivated to have the group’s publishing company own it. The old adage applies here always “Follow the money!”

Find more practical info in Johns Book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. Buy it here!

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