There are all kinds of quotes regarding running races. Here are some examples:
“Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.” -Steve Prefontaine
“The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit; but the greatest of these is Spirit.” -Ken Doherty
“Let us lay aside every weight and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
Trust me, you need patience to work in the music industry!
I believe creating a track record of success in the music industry requires stamina, strength, skill, spirit, and patience. These attributes are something you really want to consider when you are pitching your songs to a publishing company.
Although there are all kinds publishing company configurations out there, I have observed that there are frequently two basic types of publishing companies.
Type #1: A company opens and at the head of the company is an experienced industry leader who has run a great race previously, has a successful track record for his/her efforts and is finally, finally getting the investment backing and opportunity they have worked for years to create. These companies have the magic mix of ingredients required to create a successful publishing company. They have the investment funding, enthusiasm, vision, a track record of experience, and deep rooted relationships. I am always thrilled when I see those ingredients mixed together, as it is so good for the songwriters they sign! A songwriter signed to this company is on the fast track and is positioned with the greatest opportunity to succeed.
Type #2: Then, there are those new companies that open with a lot of finances and enthusiasm and not much else. Finances and enthusiasm are important and a requirement for any publishing company. However, without experienced leadership, finances and enthusiasm usually fizzle in the face of real publishing challenges and those ingredients alone do not create a successful publishing company. These types of companies usually last three years or less. They close due to the lack of real industry knowledge and the relationships required to succeed. The end result for the songwriter who signed with them is that frequently their songs are tied up for several years, the company no longer exists, no one is working their catalog, and they are running in circles for years with little to show for their efforts. Sometimes the songs written during those years are gone forever without the right kind of contract.
A successful publishing is something that happens over time and under the guidance of experienced leadership with a track record of success that has often come at a sacrifice and has taken years to acquire.
If someone wants to sign your songs to their company, ask questions like:
What is the track record of the leadership?
How long have they personally worked in the music industry?
Have they worked in publishing previously or were they a successful leader in a different industry?
Does the contract contain a reasonable reversion clause?
How do you get your songs back if the company closes?
GSC desires for you to run this race and to WIN! I trust this information will be of service to someone today who is looking at a contract and trying to make that very important decision of whether to sign or not to sign?
Be EQUIPPED with knowledge and information.
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