publishing music

James McFadyen

New Member
I haven't got a lot of time to spare, but here goes -

1) come up with a name! If you're operating as a sole trader you do not need to register it with Companies House, that's only for Ltd Companies and such with a board of directors! ut you should check to see if the name you have picked isn't already in use as a court battle may follow.

2) Publishing other Composers music means that you have to (or should) draw up short contracts about royalty payments. You will have to join the PRS and MCPS, but you won't be able to join them right away, there are certain stipulations for joining them. There are several avenues, but the one's that will probably aply to you will be a) you'll have to have a catalgoue of 15 published works under you company (for PRS). b) A recording, radio or TV broatcast has been made (for MCPS). There are other avenues to join, to see them, go to

3) In terms of fees, composers usually get 10% royalty on each sale of their sheet music- which is absoultely crap and no composer worth his salt should put up with this. but, be that as it may, that is the way it goes! One of the incentives for Composers to send their scores to you is to offer a higher royalty percentage. PRS and MCPS royalities tend to be on a 50-50% split between the Publisher and Composer (after the PRS or MCPS have taken their share).

4) Have you got the right tools? Cubase is pants for Score-Writing! If you haven't got Finale or Sibelius, you'll be putting out less than adequate stuff. Logic is a bit better than Cubase, but is not Publisher Standard! Sibelius is quick and easy - trust me typesetting a long laborious task, especially when it comes to the nitty-gritty of lining up dynamics and things, and formatting the score, and don't even get me started on Part Extraction! The next thing to consider is, are you any good at typesetting? It really is an art in it's own right. If you haven't done much, it will take you much longer to get to grips with, the more you do, the faster you'll become!! You can pay people to typeset for you, externally, I would be happy to offer you a good price for doing your typesetting with UNMATCHED print quality that you simply cannot get from other small publishers! :lol: Print quality; Don't use an Inkjet, at the very least, a cheep laser printer and a standard photocopier! Use good, strong 100gm paper, bright white, but the expensive stuff! It's well worth it.

Anyhow, there's lots more, but someone else can expand on these and put in more (there are lots more) I'm already late! :lol:


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