Publishing Questions

Songwriting, songwriters, etc

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toolowd
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Publishing Questions

Post by toolowd » Mon Jan 30, 2006 7:44 pm

After some efforts on my own to send publishers my material I do have at least one publisher who has expressed interest in a country tune my songwriting partner and I wrote. I should mention that although the interest wasn't a result of a Taxi listing I've certainly received good feedback and information from Taxi screeners and this forum which has helped to improve my tunes. I'm new to the publishing game and I'm trying to read as much as I can and not get taken advantage of. If anyone has experience in this area or is even familiar through reading books about it, I appreciate any responses to these questions: 1. I have a contract in hand. I understand that a music/entertainment attorney is the best way to review this properly. I also know that the Songwriter's guild will review contracts as a service if you join. Has anyone joined this association and can it actually take the place of having an attorney look over the contract?2. Is the offer of an "advance" a sign of the sincerity of a publisher to get your song recorded and sold? We were offered virtually nothing, but we are also completely unknown so I wondered if that was the norm for unknown writers like us or if that could be a sign that something is not quite right about the publisher. 3. This particular publisher claims to have a market outside of the US and makes it clear that the intent is to try to make sales outside the US. Is that odd/strange or is it pretty normal for a smaller publisher? Is that a bad thing or could it actually be a good thing? 4. Anyone have good luck/bad luck signing with a small-time publisher? Any horror-stories or success stories you might like to share? 5. Will the song be a huge success in Europe and be re-recorded by David Hasselhoff who will generate so many Royalties that I will be able to quite my 9-5 job and be a full-time songwriter? Sorry, that was more of a rhetorical question 6. Are any of these questions not appropriate for this forum?Again thank you for any advice/feedback/experiences you can share. -Dan

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by zink » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:38 pm

Hey Dan,1.Dont sign anything without a lawyer-YOUR lawyer- looking over it. Make sure it's someone who specializes in these matters. I'm unsure about the SongWriter's guild people looking over it (maybe someone else would know), but a few hundred dollars spent now is much better than getting ripped off later!!!!2.Upfront money doesn't seem to be the norm, but you could ask for it...Perhaps a recouperable fee (one in which the publisher will recoup upfront money before he starts paying you your portion of the licensing fees-good luck pulling that off, though).3.That really depends on so many things. For example, if your doing, say, funk music, outside US could be great, since there is a huge foreign porn industry, and you could get nice royalties in Japan and some European countries...just a thought. I'm sure Matto could help you here (with the foreign thing, not the porn thing).5.YES you will be a huge success!!! Infact, David Hasselhoff's people just announced this new country tune he's about to record. Says it's it gonna be huge!!!!6.You bet!!!7.What happened to 4? Hope this helpsZink

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by mani » Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:42 am

Don't bother with the Songwriter's Guild. There're all sorts of scandals and stuff going on there the last few years. They're a shady bunch.

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by matto » Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:34 am

Quote:I'm sure Matto could help you here (with the foreign thing, not the porn thing).You have no idea... Dan,have the contract reviewed (and explained to you) by a qualified entertainment attorney. Once you understand all the various clauses, you can then make a descision on whether it's the right thing for you at this particular point in your career.It's not uncommon for a small publisher not to pay any advances; it doesn't mean they can't do a good job for you. Most small publishers specialize on something, be it film/tv, particular genres, foreign territories...so that's not at all uncommon. A small company consisting of a handful of people or less simply can't stay on top of the whole wide world of music publishing.If they do not intend to pitch the song stateside, you may be able to negotiate a deal whereby you retain US rights and just give them overseas rights or even the rights to the specific territories the are intending to pitch in...although this could be tough.I've had great success with small publishers, although it's been in the film and tv world. It really comes down to a company's connections. If the company consist of just one extremely well connected, shrewd and hard working individual, it can be very successful. Of course not every small publisher is like that...Chances that you'd be able to make a living off just one song are extremely small, obviously, although it has happened...Good luck!matto

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by toolowd » Tue Jan 31, 2006 8:46 pm

Matto/Mani/Zink - Thank you all for your responses. This is extremely helpful information. It is sounding like these guys are pretty standard for a small publisher. I'm going to get with a lawyer and go over all the fine details and make the decision. It's funny how there is so much anticipation/excitement about getting a publisher interested and then all of the sudden it's happening and we have to switch gears from the creative to business. It's worth the trouble not matter what but I'll be excited to see how it all plays out. Thanks again for your help! -Dan

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by zink » Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:43 pm

Good Luck,Let us know how it turns out!!!

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by matto » Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:44 am

Quote:It's funny how there is so much anticipation/excitement about getting a publisher interested and then all of the sudden it's happening and we have to switch gears from the creative to business. It's worth the trouble not matter what but I'll be excited to see how it all plays out. It's a BIG step. When you think about it, it means that a complete stranger believes in your song so much that they think they could make money with it. That's huge.Even if you ultimately don't take the deal, or the publisher ends up being unsuccessful with it, it's still objective proof that you're on your way to success.That's something to be proud of.matto

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by nomiyah » Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:54 am

Keep us posted, Dan. Congratulations.

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by toolowd » Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:10 pm

Quote:When you think about it, it means that a complete stranger believes in your song so much that they think they could make money with it. That's huge.Even if you ultimately don't take the deal, or the publisher ends up being unsuccessful with it, it's still objective proof that you're on your way to success.That's something to be proud of.Gee- you sure know how to boost someone's confidence matto! That is a really cool way to look at it. By the way, I finally rented Mr. & Mrs. Smith and I remembered you had a tune in it and I specifically listened for your song and watched for you in the credits. I thought that was really cool and something to be proud of so great work!Quote:Keep us posted, Dan. Congratulations.Thanks again and I will make sure to keep everyone updated. -Dan

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Re: Publishing Questions

Post by edteja » Wed May 03, 2006 11:28 am

Any update Dan???
"In the future, when we finally get over racism, bigotry, and everyone is purple, red, and brown ... then we'll have to hate people for who they truly are."--George Carlin

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