The Music Project: How to Self-Publish Without a Label

October 18, 2011

By Refel Rushing

It is a good time in history to be creative. Not too long ago, getting your writing or music published was a difficult process that involved finding a label or publisher to accept the work and vouch for it. Many very talented people have never been able to publish their work, or have had to wait decades because they did not know the right person, or because the timing was simply off.

Self-publication by no means guarantees success, but being able get their work out there in the first place has allowed many creative individuals to get the credit that they deserve. Though there are many ways to get your music self-published, these are some of the most basic steps.

It is a good idea to start out by joining ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) or BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.). Both of these companies can provide you with an easy way to set up licensing rights and receive future royalties from those who may use your music. You will probably also want to acquire a DBA license; although some sources indicate the need to become incorporated, this is rarely necessary, especially this early in the process.

After the legal requirements have been taken care of, the next step is of course creating your music, if you have not already. There are studios all over the world that are available on a rental basis. Thanks to advancing technology, it is not uncommon for budding musicians to create a makeshift studio in their home and record music there.

Once you have acquired the pertinent licenses, created your music, and made an appropriate number of copies of your record, then it is time to promote yourself. You have to be a good self-promoter if you intend to make money off any type of self-published work. Be ready to upload your music to sites like YouTube and seek out a fan base through social media websites. The more you can get your name out there, the better.

Getting published today is easier than ever before. The negative side of this is that there is far more competition. The positive side, however, is that you have an opportunity to promote yourself and present your talent to an unlimited number of fans on a daily basis. This is just one more way that the Internet has broadened our horizons.

Refel Rushing is currently in the process of recording his first music CD. Refel Rushing was born and raised in the South. He lives on a ranch in Texas, where he is also completing a do-it-yourself building project.


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