Selling Songs - Selling Lyrics

How Do I Sell My Songs?
Songwriting Tips by Molly-Ann Leikin

Songwriters always ask me, "how do I sell my songs? Can you show me how to sell my songs? Please help me sell and market my songs."

Other than having your work downloaded online, in the traditional, main-stream, high-rolling contemporary music business, songwriters don't sell their songs. Instead, you make money when your songs are recorded and released on CD's, then performed on the air. You always own your writer's share of them.

When CD's of your work are released for sale, you and your publisher are paid a royalty of 9.2 cents per copy sold. When this money is collected, your publisher sends you royalty checks each quarter for what is known as mechanical income. Usually the songwriter and the music publisher share mechanical royalties 50/50.

However, most of the money earned by songwriters comes from paid performances on the radio and on TV. Here's how that works: performing rights societies, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, plus their affiliates all over the world, keep track of when and where your songs are broadcast. As an example, each time your songs are sung on TV during prime time on a major network in the US, that performance is worth about $2500.00. The performing rights societies all over the world send you royalty checks each quarter based on the number of paid performances logged in their regular sampling.

Paid performances of your songs are logged everywhere in the world except Russia and China, which do not honor the copyright. But the rest of the countries do, and it's always exciting to go to the mailbox and find a royalty statement, plus a nice, fat, surprise check, showing your songs have been sung and performed on the radio and TV in places you never dreamed of.

So remember - you don't sell your songs. Ever. You get your songs published, then recorded, and then you receive royalties for the rest of your life, plus seventy years, which is the length of the international copyright.

A number one pop song earns $300,000 a week, every week it's number one, plus $300,000 a year every year thereafter, for your whole life plus seventy years. Pretty nice payday?

If you want more information about how to make that happen for you as a composer/lyricist/singer/songwriter, I'll be glad to set up a personal consultation. View my Services here.

© 2015 Molly-Ann Leikin

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Molly-Ann Leikin is an award-winning professional songwriter for hire offering song critiques.

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