Self-Publishing Music: How to Publish Your Own Songs

Self-publishing your music provides a slew of benefits over traditional publishing. You are under no obligation to share your copyrights with anybody, and you are not bound by any publishing agreements. You retain total ownership over your work throughout this process. It is not, however, appropriate for everyone in every situation. You must commit your time and energy to do all of the duties that a publisher would execute on your behalf. However, if you’re ready to take on this challenge, here’s how to get started.

What does self-publishing mean?

Self-publishing implies that you’re not only registered as a writer as well as set up a body to act as your publisher. While self-publishing your music, you hold every one of the rights, IP, publisher’s credit, and musician’s credit. You get every one of the royalties and full control of the compositional copyright. Yet, thus, you need to take on each of the obligations of a publisher also.

Why do you need to self-publish your music?

Music publishing relates to the commercialization of musical compositions, not to sound recordings. Along these lines, this data is relevant to musicians, not to recording artists — even though on the off chance that you both compose and perform, self-publishing can be very relevant.

To comprehend the reason why musicians really should have their music published, how about we take a look at how compositional royalties are distributed: normally, half of the royalties for composition are accorded to the author, and half are agreed to the publisher. That is known as an author’s and publisher’s share. The author’s share always belongs to the artists, while the publisher’s portion is for the most part divided between the musician and their publisher as per the publishing deal.

Thus, on the off chance that you’re just enlisted with your PRO as an author (and don’t have a publishing deal set up), you’re getting just half of your compositional royalties. By self-publishing, you can get to that 50% and get the full royalties that you’re expected.

Self-Publishing Your Music: A Step-by-Step Guide.

When you self-publish your music, you are simultaneously acting as both an artist and a publisher. Because you are the only owner of your Intellectual Property (IP), you have entire discretion over how your compositions are used and are entitled to any royalties associated with your part of the documents, if you are a self-published author.

This is excellent, but in order to reap the full rewards, more work must be put in. The following steps should be followed if you still want to self-publish a song or album of your own music.

Step 1: Confirm That Your Music Has Not Been Published Previously.

You may have unknowingly opted for publishing services if you’ve previously dealt with a distributor.

Step 2: Create an account with a PRO.

Your songs must be appropriately registered with a performing rights organization such as ASCAP, SESAC, or BMI to be eligible for royalties. PROs depend on the information you supply to decide who and how much they must pay.

Step 3: Become a member of the MLC.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is in charge of keeping the world’s most complete database of music composition copyrights and their owners, which is accessible to the public. Additionally, they collect mechanical royalties from digital music streaming services and distribute such royalties to copyright holders in accordance with the ownership claims asserted by the copyright holders to the appropriate parties.

It is possible to rest certain that you will get all of the royalties that are due to you if you join up with them. To be able to collect the digital audio and mechanical royalties that are owed to you, you must first “Connect to Collect” and become a member of the Music Licensing Corporation (MLC).

Step 4: It’s time to start promoting.

Following completion of those procedures, you will be eligible to begin earning your publisher’s share, which will be in addition to your writer’s share. You are now in the position of a publisher, and you must fulfill your tasks.

If your publisher is involved in networking, duties like determining sync arrangements for television and movies, registering copyrights, arranging license agreements, and other similar chores are often completed. When you publish your work on your own, you should know how to license your music and be totally accountable for it. 


Self-publishing necessitates the registration of your work with a Performance Rights Organization(PRO) in order to control them, but the process does not have to end there. In order to take things to the next level, consider becoming a publisher and starting your own self-publishing music company! You will be able to do all your tasks on your own and then subcontract your services to other artists. 

We hope your doubts regarding self-publishing music are clear. Write in the comment how did you like this post? You can also pick how to start a record label for yourself. 

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