Music Publisher – Finding a Music Publisher

Finding a publisher to help you and your music career

Music Publishers: A music publisher (or publishing company) is responsible for ensuring that songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially. Getting yourself published as a singer is important for your future success in the music industry.

Therefore deciding who you want to publish your music is a difficult decision. Quite often if you are at the level of having management, they will usually advise and source a publisher for you.

Essentially you only need a music publisher when you have written your own songs, so if you are still in the early stages in your music career a music publisher may not be necessary.

Although a songwriter can certainly handle their own publishing, a good publishing company can be extremely helpful. However finding the right music publisher can be tricky, so below are some helpful tips on how to go about getting a publisher.

Create a demo

Send your demo to publishers

Creating a demo would be your first move. This simply means, getting some of your material put into a hard copy that you can then distribute.

It’s essential that these demos are of a high quality because they’re likely to be the material you send to publishers. The demo acts as the band’s or singer’s CV, so make sure it is well recorded and that it represents you well.

Hot Tip: A publisher can help your songs get used commercially or you help you get signed.

A good publisher that believes in your music should be proactive and well connected to get your music to the right people. The good thing is that a publisher will only get paid on what money (royalties) they collect.

Send your demo directly to publishers

This is when Google becomes a useful tool; searching publishers may not be as easy as you would originally think. A wise thing to do is to search published artists of the same genre as you and find out who they’re published by.

Once you’ve found a group of publishers you’re interested in it’s best to contact them to find out what format they want your demo to be in and who to send it to etc.

Warning: Like artist management, signing to a publisher is a two way process, you may want to work with them but they might not necessarily want to work with you.

For a publisher to want to work with you they are most likely going to want to see income streams already coming in or a strong indication that they are likely to. So either they will want to see music sales so they can collect money straight away or see the potential in your music, without this they are unlikely to sign you.

Finding music publishers – network

It’s intimidating, it takes a lot of confidence, but it’s a priceless way of spending your time. As a singer it’s so important that people know who you are, you need to talk to everyone about who you are, what you sing and so on. Some of the best ways to network are by:

  • Going to events where there could be publishers.
  • If you know someone important in the industry is going to be somewhere, make sure you’re there too.
  • Making music with other artists, they might get published and be able to give you a contact.

It’s important to remember that the publisher will be doing a lot of jobs on your behalf though and that will come at a cost. They will receive a percentage of your royalties, so be sure you are ready for a music publisher before you sign into a contract with one.


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