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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 17

Ka-Ching: How Your Song Makes Money

In This Chapter

Predicting the future potential of your song

Selecting your PRO

Making money at retail

Getting up to speed, digitally speaking

Using your song to sell a product

Taking your songwriting talents to the movies

If you’ve written a song and either you or someone else wants to record it, you’re now at the point in the songwriting process where you may just get paid for all your hard work and effort. In this chapter, we introduce you to ways of getting paid and some important organizations you need to know about — the ones that handle the royalties. We also discuss how your song can find opportunities in commercials and movies.

Forecasting Financials

Most of us write songs because we love to. Songwriting helps us express our deepest feelings and allows us to share them with the world. It’s nice to know, however, that there can be a pot of gold at the rainbow’s end, that we’re not writing songs only for our mental health — we’re earning a living at it!

Sources of income

The major sources of income for a songwriter are as follows:

Performance royalties: The performing rights organization that the songwriter and publisher are affiliated with, such as American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), or Society of European Stage Authors & Composers (SESAC), calculates this sum every time his songs are played — whether through radio, television, movie theaters, or anywhere else in public, ...

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