Many songwriters move to Nashville in hopes of getting a songwriting publishing deal. However, they often don’t understand what a publishing deal entails, the different types of deals and pros and cons of publishing deals. In this video, I explain two types of publishing deals, the pros and cons and share great resources to learn more about publishing deals.

I tell the songwriters I work with to hold on to their publishing for as long as possible. Although it is great to get paid to write, ideally you want to own as much of your catalog as possible. When you are signed to a publishing deal, you have the benefit of publishers plugging your song to artists, movies, and TV shows, in an effort to get placements.

Two types of deals:

Artist – An artist that is signed to a label or looking for a label deal and is writing music for their project.
Staff Writer – A songwriter who is not trying to become an artist. They are hoping to get cuts from other artists.
Pros and Cons:

Publishing companies pay you to write by offering you a “draw.”
Having a deal can provide validation to others in the industry and you have access to the publishing companies relationships.
You have a staff of other working on your behalf.

Publishing companies are essentially offering you a loan. Therefore, if you get dropped, they remain the owner of your songs until they recoup their money.
You’re not the only writer. Publishing companies tend to focus on what is generating income.
You’re on a timetable to make money. It’s important to remember this is a business. The publishing company is investing in you in an effort to make money.
My key piece of advice is to develop your craft and remain the owner of your songs as long as possible so you can sign the best deal, get paid to write and have access to the company’s relationships.