How To Sell Christian Songs

If you’ve written a song based on faith and want to make money from it, here’s how to sell Christian songs!

The income stream from Christian songs includes radio airplay on Christian stations, CD sales through Christian bookstores; CD sales through secular stores like Walmart; CD sales at live events, downloads directly from your own ministry website; and sales through Amazon.com, iTunes and other websites.

It may also include income from the use of your song in Christian movies, cable television and network television; use in product ads, publishing music books, royalties from churches that use your song in plays or worship, foreign materials for all of the above … the list goes on and is long. If your song wins radio airplay you will receive royalties from SESAC, BMI or ASCAP.

To get the stream flowing you have to decide whether you want a music publisher to handle your song and take advantage of the copyright or whether you prefer to keep a higher percentage through self-publishing.

Next, you’ll need to either have a demo recording (aka “demo”) made to present your songs to Christian music publishers, producers and record companies, a major recording made or have a limited release CD after ‘ to do that includes your song (s) about your self-publishing efforts.

A single master or a limited release CD can also double as a demo but is more expensive. This step will cost money but if your song is good enough to sell, it is a necessary investment that you will make later.

Most songwriters write lyrics and music. If you only have lyrics written so far you’ll need to have melody and chords created for your lyric because music industry professionals don’t read words, they’re listening to demos. Most demo services will write music for a fee under a “work for hire” agreement that allows you to reserve all rights.

Note that you can’t sell a song entirely for cash to anyone, anywhere, that’s not legal because of laws passed years ago. Songwriters were taking advantage many years ago from song publishers who would pay hungry songwriters a few dollars for a song and then make millions, so Congress intervened. The cash flow comes from mechanical royalties and airplay. If you self-publish you will get cash from downloads, sales of your CDs, and other sources listed above.

These days you can assign your publishing rights but you can’t sell the entire copyright or your songwriting share of the rights.

That covers the basics of How to Sell Your Christian Songs. Whether you use the royalties and cash proceeds to support yourself, fuel your ministry or donate to a good cause is something you must consider and pray about.

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