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Publishing deals are for grown ups!

Previously, we explored how a song with a "visceral response" can be what brings together a publisher-writer partnership - one that will last for years to come!

After the song has lit the heart on fire, the head takes over and more practical considerations take center stage for publishers like….how many songs does this writer have in the tank, how deep is the catalog? How much “development” time will be needed?

Sooner’s community of publishers had some thoughts on this topic that I would like to discuss today.

With decades of publishing experience, Steve Bloch responded this way…

Publishers may approach this a little differently whether or not they are spending their own money. For a smaller independent (like yours truly), I have to consider many other factors on a deeper, more personal level.

…does his/her family support his vision? Is his home-life stable or volatile?

….Is he/she in it for the long-haul?

…Can he/she sustain, financially and emotionally, the “wait” for success.

...How’s the work ethic? Is he/she in this for the right reasons?

...Can we communicate honestly and effectively?

...Is he/she willing to grow and be willing to receive feedback?

…Do his/her personal habits (lifestyle) support a career or impede it?

…Last, can we authentically align ourselves, ethically and creatively with each other’s professional ambitions and vision for the future?

…In short, are we a good fit?

Antoinette Olesen, writer, publisher and former A&R added:

…Is this person loyal?

…Can they be grateful and return the favor?

….Like the song “Humble and Kind” says…When you get where you're going, don't forget to turn back around and help the next one in line…or is it all about “me”!

I was at a meeting with Michael Knox, Jason Aldean’s publisher yesterday. I heard much of the same thing. According to Michael (paraphrased)...

….While record labels just seem to want artists with millions of Tiktok views; for me it’s much more personal. I like to “find” great artists at the beginning. I want to be on the journey with them for the long haul. Like Michael Tyler. I met him as a teenager and helped him get his first cuts in his twenties.

The publisher-writer connection can be where you find deep friendships and family-style feelings. As you can tell, it’s not a numbers game for many publishers.

As writers we need to know how to communicate honestly, be persistent, humble and loyal in order for our relationships to be successful. These are very grown up skills!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please leave a comment below!

Nancy Deckant, CEO

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