So you say you can’t find anyone to publish your songs. Well, if you don’t mind doing a little work, you can publish your own songs. Do you know what that means? In my previous article I mentioned that when a publisher publishes your song he/she will split the proceeds with you. Normally that’s a 50/50 split. What happens though when you publish your own songs? Yes, you split the profits with……uh….no one but yourself. You get to keep 100 percent. Both publishers and writers share. So you see, there is an advantage in publishing your own songs. But where do you begin?
I’m going to assume that you already joined a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI or SESAC). So then, what you need to do is set up your own publishing company. Take a moment and think of a good creative name. Ok, it may take a little longer but that’s what you need to do. Then check to make sure it’s available. Your Performing Rights Organization should be able to tell you if it is. So now you need to think about your business structure, (Sole Proprietorship, Corporation, etc.). From experience, a Sole Proprietorship is the easiest. Now being a sole proprietorship, if you decide to use a name other than your legal name you will need to file a “Doing Business As” (D/B/A) certificate. This is done through your county clerk’s office. Oh yeah, by the way, there will be a small fee. But honestly it’s not much at all. You can check that out with your county clerk’s office. You should also check for any other legal requirements at your county clerk’s office. Once you have obtained your “Doing Business As” certificate you’re good to go. It would be a good idea to set up a business banking account under your music publisher’s name.
So you see, it really isn’t that hard at all. It just takes a little work. The hard part is performing all the functions of a music publisher. Now that’s another story. Basically if you are starting out and do not have many contacts, then seek out a good publisher. This way you can concentrate on your writing while the publisher handles all the other things. But if you are interested in doing your own thing from top to bottom, then by all means, start thinking about that creative name and go start your publishing company.