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Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting/Publishers that accept unsolicited materials?

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Question
Dear Sir,

Most publishers said they don’t accept unsolicited materials, but some publishers said they would.

If the norm is not receiving unsolicited materials, then should you still send your songs to the few other publishers? Is it a good opportunity or a waste of time?

Thank you

Answer
Robert:

It is true that the norm is for most publishers, especially the successful ones, to not accept unsolicited material.   Those that do are usually small start-ups with little track record, or scams where they really just want you to use their demo services.

Before sending to any publisher,  you should do full due diligence and check them out thoroughly.
What success have they had?  What artists can they get your material to that are right for your song?  Most importantly, with any reputable publisher, are they prepared to cover all up-front costs, with absolutely no cost to you for anything (they'll recoup their costs later if, but only if,  any money is made). Are they registered with the better business bureau and are their any complaints against them? Is there a reversion clause whereby if nothing happens within 12-24 months, all rights revert back to you?  

Beware of the companies that claim to get your song to the 'right' people' but only if you pay them for having a new demo made.  That is a common scam.

Generally, you'll find that there is little advantage in trying to get placements with relatively unknown publishers.   They can't do any more for you than you can do for yourself. There are always some exceptions, but overall,  the value of a publisher lies with the contacts and track record that they have.

If you truly want to pitch your songs to a third party,  work on establishing a relationship with a reputable, well known publisher who only accepts material by request.  Find out who the gatekeepers are, ask what they are looking for, and when you have a song that truly fits their requirements,  get permission to send it.

Each potential relationship has its own pros and cons, and it is up to you to get the facts you need to make the decision that seems right for you.   Pitching songs costs time and money that you could otherwise be investing in yourself,  so choose wisely.

Good luck,  

Musical Composition, Theory and Songwriting

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Bill Pere

Expertise

Can answer questions on : Technical aspects of lyric and music compostion; How to give and receive objective critique; Arranging and production; Concrete vs abstract imagery; Use of metaphor; Rhyme techniques; Song Structure; Collaboration; Songwriter Associations; Promotion; Guitar technique; Music Business;

Experience

Grammy-Award-winning songwriter; President of the Connecticut Songwriters Association and Director of the Connecticut Songwriting Academy; Named one of the Top 50 Innovators and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry in 2008 by Music Connection Magazine; Author of "Songcrafters' Coloring Book:The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting." Named Independent Artist of the Year,by the 2003 national Independent Music Conference; 30 years as a professional singer-songwriter; 16 original CD's released;
Have had songs placed on other artists' CD's. Twice named Connecticut Songwriter of the Year.
20 years as Executive Director of the LUNCH Ensemble. Have attended more than 200 presentations by top industry professionals and have critiqued thousands of songs. Have written and produced dozens of stage plays and hundreds of concert events; Have coached hundreds of aspiring songwriters, and collaborated with several award winning writers. Have written commissioned songs as an Official Connecticut State Troubadour. Music Director of youth choirs and music camps.

Organizations
Connecticut Songwriters Association (President); LUNCH Ensemble (Local United Network to Combat Hunger -- Exec, Director); CMEA (Connecticut Music Educators Association); Folk Alliance; Association For Psychological Type; Songsalive; WE R Indie; Creative Songwriting Academy;

Publications
Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Succesful Songwriting Songwriters Market (2001, 2002); Connecticut Songsmith; Contemporary Songwriter Magazine; Songwriters Musepaper;
Songcrafter's Coloring Book;   Strategies for Teaching Guitar;

Education/Credentials
Masters Degree Molecular Biology; Certified MBTI Practitioner (Myers Briggs Type Indicator); Connecticut Secondary Public School Teaching Certificate; Author: "Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting"

Awards and Honors
2012 Grammy; Named one of the Top 50 Innovators and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry in 2008 by Music Connection Magazine; Independent Artist of the Year, (2003 national Indie Conference); Official Connecticut State Troubadour, appointed by CT Commission on the Arts, 1995 ; 1982 and 1992 CT Songwriter of the Year; 2000 Award for 20 years of Outstanding Service to Songwriters;
2002 CSA Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education through Music; Numerous awards for outstanding community outreach through music; 1997 Citation from Connecticut Legislature for exemplary dedication to community outreach through music. 1995 Renaissance Award for multiple music achievements in a single year.   Invited Presenter and Mentor at various Music Conventions

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