Publishing your inspirational songs doesn't take a lot of work, but it does take knowledge. First of all, make sure your song expresses something that will inspire people who hear it. Getting your Christian songs published will give you the uplifting feeling of sharing your message with others.
Copyright the songs you want to publish. This protects you from having them stolen by less-than-reputable companies who receive your submissions. To copyright a Christian song, simply contact the U.S. Copyright Office to send in an application. You will be required to pay a fee, but you will own the rights to the song for 28 years.
Locate a reputable publisher of inspirational music, such as Solid Walnut Publishing and EMI Music Group. Submitting your songs to publishers takes patience, as it can take several months to receive a response.
Negotiate with any publishing companies that contact you after receiving your submission. If more than one company expresses interest, you will have additional leverage in finding the best outlet for distributing your Christian songs. Try to set your sights high and consider all offers rather than committing to the first company that expresses interest in your song.
Sign a contract with the publisher giving them the rights to publish and perform your written Christian songs. After choosing which publisher is the right one for you, you will need to sign documents giving rights to your work to the publisher. The stipulations to these agreements vary from publisher to publisher. For instance, some publishers will publish your song, but give you the rights back after a certain amount of time. Other times, you sell the complete rights to the work for a lump sum. You may need a lawyer to help you decide which solution is right for you.
Copyright your song through the U.S. Copyright Office.
Find a suitable artist to perform your song after it is copyrighted. Ordinarily this is the responsibility of a publishing company, but when you are publishing your song independently the task is yours to undertake. Ask around at your church or another Christian group to see if any members have the talent to perform and help you market your song. Create a contract with a potential performer to give them a fair share of profits made by selling the performed song. A lawyer may be necessary for this part of the process.
Record the song and have singles made on CDs and digital copies. To do this you must locate and select a suitable recording studio. Recording studios charge fees for usage, but it's worth it to get a professional-sounding demo of your song.
Market your song by sharing the downloads online and handing out the CDs. You don't have to give the music away for free, but doing so heightens the chances of getting exposure. Alternatively you can sell cheap downloads of your song on various self-publishing platforms such as Amazon's Createspace, Lulu and Myspace Music. Uploading the songs to these platforms automatically publishes them for the world to enjoy.
Consult a lawyer before entering, signing or creating any contracts. Without a trained legal eye to guide you, you can slip-up accidentally and make mistakes that cost you time, money and credibility.
Tips and warnings
- Consult a lawyer before entering, signing or creating any contracts. Without a trained legal eye to guide you, you can slip-up accidentally and make mistakes that cost you time, money and credibility.