Self-publishing is easier than ever for all creative industries, and none more so than the music industry. There are a ton of options for publishing your own music these days, and most are pretty simple. But if you think it’s just as simple as knowing how to upload your music to Spotify, you’ve got another thing coming.
There’s a number of factors you need to keep in mind before you even go to publish if you want to make sure you make a profit.
Ask Yourself: Why Are You Self-Publishing?
Before jumping into self-publishing, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Self-publishing gives you a lot of control over your work, both in terms of how it’s distributed and especially what the content can be.
However, keep in mind that self-publishing comes with a lot more responsibility, and it can sometimes be an uphill struggle.
If your expectation is to immediately blow up on TikTok and make millions in “easy money”, it’s probably better to rethink the idea.
Register With a PRO
A Performance Rights Organization (PRO) is a necessity for self-publishing. At least, if you plan to get paid.
You can register with a PRO as both a writer and a publisher, and you should definitely do both if you plan to self-publish. Each “side” of the registration allows you to benefit from 50% of the royalties for your music.
Just keep in mind that while you should register as both a publisher and a writer, you should not try to register with more than one organization. Registering with ASCAP, BMI, or one of the less common PROs will get you all the benefits, and trying to register with more than one will be a headache for you later.
Sign Up With the MLC
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) acts as both a database of copyrighted materials and way to automatically get paid your royalties. The MLC works hand in hand with your PRO to make sure you get paid, and the ownership of your music is documented and easy to find.
Be Ready to Work Hard
Remember that responsibility we talked about earlier? Make sure you’re committed to following up on that.
Self-publishing give you full control over your work…and none of the safety nets that a traditional publisher would provide. The only resources at your disposal are your own and those willing to help you directly.
The biggest thing you need to take personal responsibility for here is promotion. You’re not going to have a huge corporation’s marketing budget to back up your work.
This means that in addition to the hard work you need to put into composing and
recording your music, you need to be ready to spend a lot of time on marketing
yourself and your work, networking, and shilling yourself at every opportunity. Tyga lyrics for captions help to expose your thoughts at that moment.
Also keep in mind that if you want to create a physical release for your new EP, that’s going to be even more work. Logistics becomes a big issue when it comes to producing and shipping any physical work as opposed to just using digital distribution.
Unless you’re doing a very small, exclusive run of the physical discs it can cost a shocking amount of money to get your work into the hands of your new fans.
Become Known as A Person First, Artist Second
People buy an artist or a brand much more often than they buy art. If you’re well-known and have cultivated a big personality outside of your work, you’re more likely to succeed on sheer brand recognition.
The best way to build an audience, as many say, is to already have one. Never underestimate the power of diversifying your portfolio of work and getting known in as many circles as possible.
Be Prepared to Fail
Not every project is a success, and that’s a sad fact of life. Hard work and talent is important, but succeeding in the music industry is as much a feature of who you know as what you can do.
Without a large publishing company or a famous face to promote your work, it’s going to take a lot of luck to really get your name out there and get big.
It’s important to brace yourself for the idea that the project you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into might not reach as many ears as you’d hoped it would.
If that happens, the only thing for it is to pick yourself up and try it over again.
On the bright side, this is another advantage of self-publishing: a lack of outside expectations. Without a major publisher breathing down your neck, you’re free to fail in peace and try again on your own terms.
On the other hand, here’s no guaranteed profit up front either, like the signing bonuses you get for signing on with a major publisher. Your success is truly in your own hands.