Singing Evangelist / Blog

Gibson Hill Music

we want to give you information about publishing, recording, copyrights, distribution and so much more! We hope and pray that this information will be of service to you. Gibson Hill Music is a publishing house dedicated to music ministry. We are a small company with a big vision…to help you as an artist to become as effective as you can be, by opening doors between writers and singers of Christian music. Completing a song is an accomplishment in itself. But if you want that song to be enjoyed by other people, if you want it to be recorded and become an effective tool of ministry, your work is just beginning! Somewhere along the line, in the process of getting your songs to the public, your creations have to be published. When you finish writing a song it becomes a product-a property that you own. People in the music industry refer to that property as a “copyright.” (Copyright law automatically protects Songs. Still it is important to understand when and how they are protected and, the difference between copyright notification and registration.) All of the copyrights you own comprise your “catalog.” You control the publishing rights to all the songs in your catalog, until you choose to sign a contract giving the publishing to someone else. When you sign a publishing contract, you are assigning your copyright to the publisher. Ethical publishers don’t ask you to “sell” your songs outright, rather you license the rights to the song to the publisher for a specified period of time. The publisher “administers” the copyright during that period. You’ll sometimes hear of a publisher acquiring whole catalogs, which he then tries to exploit. He tries to get the songs recorded, printed and used in various ways, and guards them against infringement. Even though a song is your creation, the publisher controls the copyright once you have given him your publishing. He does a lot of legwork and paperwork for you, and uses his contacts and business savvy to your (and his) advantage. He may choose to help you re-demo your song to make it sound more professional. He may even offer you a small cash advance at the time the publishing contract is signed. Because the publisher invests time and money in the song (because he believes in the potential of the song), you split with him the royalties the song earns, usually 50/50. Actually you can consider it as two pies. One pie represents 100% of the writer's share and the other pie represents 100% of the Publisher's share. Some songwriters (if not most these days) choose to publish their own songs and “pitch them” directly to recording artists or their producers or their managers. However, publishing is a complicated and sophisticated process. Many songwriters feel that the business negotiations and follow up work of publishing take too much time away from the songwriting and demo projects, and they prefer to let an experienced publisher represent their songs for them. Publishers can be excellent contacts for songwriters. Publishers build a reputation within the music industry. Some publishers specialize in certain types of music, while others look for crossover potential in songs, so they can peak the interest many different kinds of artists in the same song(s).