Songwriting : LUSENET : 3D Audio's Music Business Forum (SSS Temp) : One Thread

Songwriting questions or observations.

-- Lynn Fuston (, February 22, 1998


I've got a few songs (three) that i want to submit to producers. What does a "marketing package" for a songwriter consist of?

If a song is liked do I have to give up a portion of the copyright or no?

I've got "this business music" but its too technical. How do I get paid for having a song released to company?

Howard (again)

-- Gregory Howard (, February 24, 1998.

Boy those are big questions.

Simple Answers..The simplest pitch package is just lyrics and a tape with guitar/piano and vocal. It just depends on how fancy of a tape you want to pitch. (big production or just simple)

If a company (a publisher) wants your song you would ASSIGN the copyright to them. Without diving in to copyright law, you just assign them those rights to exploit your song to make them and you money. Unfortunately getting in depth in the details of this assignment is a technical thing. One I have been studying for a year now. Paid? the basics are from airplay and record sales.

I would keep reading or sit and talk to someone in the know. Its a big thing.

-- Kevin Perry (, February 25, 1998.

>>Package to Producers<< >>Copyrights and Publishing<<


I've talked with some producers (and publishers) who really want nothing more than a simple version of the song with piano/vocal and or guitar/voc; and I've talked with a few that want it submitted as close to release quality as possible... I think it all depends on the individual and who you are pitching it too. Whenever I present anything to anybody, be it my own material or my clients', I always opt for the most professional presentation I can. I've always been under the impression that people only take you as seriously as you take yourself, so even if I'm submitting for one of my clients who has no interest in being a signed artist but is looking at the publishing /songwriter end of things, we still present it as a finished album (graphics, continuity, mastered, arranged and produced, etc.) This is just my opinion. I'm sure that there are others out there who would disagree, but I do know for a fact that the slicker the presentation, the greater the chance for attention. Keep in mind one very important thing matter how slick the presentation (or how rough) having a great song or songs to pitch is what really matters. As far as copyrights, if you've been offered a publishing deal, generally, you give temporary rights to the publisher and grant them permission to pitch the song, meaning, essentially, that they own the rights (not the song itself) for a set period of time; this gives them the security that they won't spend hours, days, months, pitching a song only to find out that someone else is also shopping the same material. The length of this "ownership" period varies from contract to contract, I've seen it as little as 6 months and as long as 3 years.

You, the songwriter, gets paid if the song makes any revenue. You get what is called the writer's share, meaning that you get 50% of what the publisher gets. Again, this varies from deal to deal. You get paid through one of the performing rights societies (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) of which you must belong. As far as permanently giving up the copyright itself? Unless it's a "buy out" deal (which I would shy away from unless the numbers are REALLY attractive) you would keep the ownership of the song. There have been some instances where an artist who wants to do your song may want their name to appear as one of the writers, whether they actually wrote anything or not... this is where you have some decisions to make.. as always, money talks. I suppose that if Madonna wanted one of my songs, but the only way she would use it is if she shared a writer's credit, I'd probably let it happen, because her album sales are so ridiculously high and it would make you LOTS of revenue; not too mention notoriety. Just a number of thoughts....


-- Donny Thompson (, March 01, 1998.

What's the best way to find fresh songs on the web? I am looking for songs for an established artist that I will be producing in the upcoming months. We are just starting the song search, and I thought someone here might have some songs that I would consider. We are looking for gospel songs that are specifically applicable to children. A kids album, OK? But not with kids singing on it, just an album for them to listen to. Any ideas? Any songs?


-- Lynn Fuston (, March 12, 1998.

Hi Lynn. If you're looking for songs, a good idea might be to post on a classified specifically set aside for songwriters. Try and while you're at it, take a look at the site, The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource. It might help your clients and yourself. An ad in the newsletter might even be worth your while (though I'd suggest you look around first).

Good luck!


-- Jodi Krangle (, February 26, 1999.

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