Which Part Of His Her Music Belongs To The Singer-Songwriter How To Sell Rock Songs

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How To Sell Rock Songs

If you’ve written a rock song and want to make an income from it, here’s how to sell your rock song!

Multiple ways to earn

Turn on the radio, walk through a department store, watch TV. Rock songs that earn income are seemingly everywhere! Just some of these sources of income for your song include:

  • Downloads directly from your website

  • Downloads through 2nd party sites like iTunes.

  • CD sales by distributors

  • Selling CDs at live events

  • Film royalties

  • Cable TV royalties

  • Airplay royalties from rock radio stations

  • ASCAP/BMI/SESAC income from live band licenses

  • Mechanical royalties on cover versions

  • Overseas royalties

  • Advertising usage fees

So you wrote a rock song, what now?

What do you need to do to sell your rock tune? The first decision you will have to make is whether you will self-publish and keep 100% of the royalties from your song or whether you will allow your song to be represented by a publishing company and let them handle the promotion and/or licensing and collection paperwork.

Next, you’ll need to make a demo recording (also known as a “demo”) to pitch your song to rock music publishers, producers, and record labels, or, if you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to hire a producer to do a master recording or make a CD at a label limited containing your song(s).

A master can double as your demo but the cost is much higher. If you can afford it and definitely intend to exploit the copyright yourself, this may be the best investment.

If you only have words, no melody, because you don’t write music then you will have to write melody and chords. You can’t get around it; The only “industry people” who review lyrics are known as “song sharks” and they will gladly take your money but they have a terrible reputation in the legitimate music world. They will never get you a hit and worse, your song will forever be tainted by your relationship with them. Almost all demo services will write music for a fee under a “work for hire” agreement that allows you to retain all rights.

Selling your song for cash, bad idea

You’re reading this to find out how to sell your song, right? Unfortunately, songwriting may be a high-cash business, but it’s not fast. It is illegal to sell songs outright to anyone, not even music publishers. Especially from music publishers! Why? Because back in the 1940s and 1950s, struggling songwriters were starving and selling their songs for ridiculously small amounts, in some cases as little as ten or fifteen dollars. The songwriters who bought them made millions while the songwriters continued to starve.

To remedy this injustice Congress passed laws that prevented the outright sale of a song and ultimately resulted in songwriters enjoying the multiple payment streams they now enjoy. Music publishers these days have completely cleaned up their act. Their business is now designed around being more of a mentor and agent for songwriters with both parties sharing in the money the song makes.

Yes, you can assign your publishing rights and take advantage of the income streams available, but you cannot sell all of your copyrights or your songwriting portion of the rights.

It covers the basics of how to sell your rock songs. I hope this gets you on the road to making a professional demo, signing your song with a music publisher that makes it huge for you and you enjoy royalties from your efforts for years to come!

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