Administration vs. Co-Publishing

We are publishing administrators and are partial to publishing administration as opposed to co-publishing. There are only a few situations for which we feel co-publishing is a better option.

    OWNERSHIP

    The primary advantage is that you are not transferring equity (partial or total ownership) in your songs to a third party. You are retaining all ownership and control for yourself.

    CONTROL

    You don’t have to worry about your song ending up in a kitty litter commercial or an X-rated video, unless you have approved it.

    FLEXIBILITY

    If you don’t like your administrator, you can fire them and hire a new one. Your rights are portable. This terminability tends to make administrators more responsive to your concerns.

    SPLITS

    Because you are not building advances and banking functions into your publishing deal, you will ordinarily get a bigger share of the income than you would receive in a co-publishing deal.

    OWNERSHIP

    Most likely a major multi-national corporation will co-own and totally control the rights to your song. Do you really want to have a multi-national corporation as your business partner?

    LITTLE FLEXIBILITY

    You are usually stuck with your co-publisher for the life of your copyrights, or for at least for a very long period of time.

    BANKING FUNCTION

    Major corporations that give you large publishing advances are “betting” that you will earn more money than they are giving you up front. And in fact, if they didn’t win lots of these “bets”, they’d go out of business. By taking large up-front advances, you are “betting” against yourself. (You think you’ll earn less money than the corporation thinks you will. And they’re professional bettors.)

    SPLITS

    Here are the main components to what a co-publisher must charge you for their services:

    1.  The cost and profit on the actual administration work;
    2.  The interest cost of advancing you the money;
    3.  The cost of recovering unrecouped advances given to other writers who failed to earn back what they were given.

    TAXES AND COMMISSIONS

    Accepting a lump-sum advance as opposed to receiving royalties as earned may have adverse and/or accelerating tax and commission consequences.