Creative Manager for Catch This Music – Writers Ink.
Shawn Bowling, born and raised in Lynchburg, VA has been a fixture on Music Row for many years. His deep passion for songwriting and the Nashville music scene has earned him a great deal of recognition and respect within the music community.
Before joining CTM Writers Ink, he served as Membership Manager and Song Evaluations Director for the worlds largest not-for-profit songwriters organization, NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International).
His background also includes time at GAC (Great American Country) television network and a run as on-air radio talent, Johnny Rockstar on nationally syndicated radio show, “Total Axxess”.
Bowling has mentored thousands of writers and helped several secure publishing deals. He has been a featured lecturer for songwriting students from Berklee College of Music, Belmont University and Nashville State Community College.
Shawn oversees the current roster of CTM Writer’s Ink writers including Grammy-winner Marcus Hummon (God Bless the Broken Road- Rascal Flatts, Born to Fly- Sara Evans) Chris Roberts, Autumn McEntire and former Big Machine Recording artist Ella Mae Bowen.
Have you ever thought: “Wow I think I have a really good song. If only I could get a legitimate publisher to listen?”
Through GSC’s affordable Publisher Online Pitch service you can have your song or songs heard by a reputable publisher from wherever in the world you live and without the expensive cost of travel.
One of the most important elements of this service is that you will be connecting with a publisher, creating a relationship with this publisher and learning the pitching process professional songwriters utilize every day.
Here are the details!
At GSC we always want you to know the real journey of a song from the pen to the publisher. With that in mind we want you to be aware of these facts.
1. Paying to Pitch a Song: GSC wants you to know that professional songwriters do not pay to have their songs heard by a publisher. Professional songwriters have worked years at developing their songwriting craft and earning the respect of the publishing community which earns them the opportunity to have their songs heard.
2. The Demo: GSC wants you to know…If you had a publishing deal and was a staff writer for the featured publisher, this publisher would hear your songs every day in their most simple form of a guitar vocal or keyboard vocal. If you were pitching your songs to a producer, artist, manager etc then you will need fully produced and well produced demo’s for these types of pitches.
3. The Listening Process: GSC wants you to know…Often, when a publisher is listening for songs for a project or artist, they can usually tell if it is a song they would be interested in for that project in less than 30 seconds. Through the POP event the publisher will be listening through the first verse and chorus in its entirety. However, in the future should you pitch a song to a publisher in their office and they turn your song off after only the first half of the first verse, we want you to know that is a normal part of the process.
4. Pitch Ready Songs: The reality is that some of your songs may not be ready for pitching to a publisher. However, there is much to be learned through the pitching process.
5. The Follow Up: If the publisher should take your song for consideration, we will be excited with you and it does happen! Below is the GSC recommended follow up process. Correct follow up is essential for success.
a. If your song is taken by the publisher you will be provided with the publishers contact email address for follow up.
b. If you do not hear from the publisher within 5 to 7 business days of them taking your song. We recommend you email the publisher, thank them for participating in the GSC POP program, thank them for their interest in your song and list the TITLE of the song as a reminder and ask if they should need anything further.
c. If you do not hear from the publisher within three weeks, make a phone call to the publisher office. You will most likely be leaving a message. If so, just leave your name, contact number and that you are following up on your song and list the title.
d. If the publisher does not return your call, do not call again. Simply send a physical thank you card, thanking them for their interest, recognizing that they are a busy industry professional and that you hope to have the opportunity to play them more songs in the future.
At GSC we know it would be disappointing to have your song taken by a publisher and then not hear from them. Unfortunately, this process is part of the song pitching process. Thoughtful and professional follow up is essential to success and is appreciated by busy, overworked publishers. They won’t forget your professionalism. Sometimes you may not hear from the publisher who took your song for months and then out of the blue, when they are ready and working on the project, you get the call. Many times I have kept a member’s song for over a year and then gave them a call for the just right opportunity. Songs will often be pitched over and over again for years before they land on just the right project.