Music Publishing is the owning of song copyrights. If you write a song, you are automatically considered the legal owner of that creation, and therefore, you are also the publisher. You will eventually have to file your song with the Register of Copyrights to protect your rights, but you are legally deemed the owner/publisher as soon as you create the song. (Dale Kawashima for Taxi)
There are actually two halves in eevery publishing dollar, The Writer's Share and the Publisher's Share. As an unsigned individual, you own both unless you sign a publishing or co-publishing deal. For a cash advance from a music publisher you can give up some rights. Once that happens, the song publisher will plug in your songs to artists of TV/Movie shoes. They do not get money unless the song is used. So here is how it works..........
Your songwritting skills need to be devolped to an advanced level before a publisher feels that they can secure a deal with you and a record company and/or the artist. If the publisher feels you have the skills or have great potiential you will most likely be offered a publishing deal or get hired on to write for the company.
Most offers are made as a co-publishing deal, fifty percent of your publishing rights go to the publisher and empower the publisher to collect all royalties earned from your song, to include the writer's share of the royalties. Once your advance has been recouped, the publisher would pay you 75 percent of all additional royalties collected. Your writers share, 50% of all gross plus your remaining half of the publisher's share. 25% of the gross. The publisher would then keep 25% of the gross (www.taxi.com)
You will usually be offered a one year deal from the publisher with an option to renew your contract for up to 2 plus years. If you are currently unsigned, you might recieve an advance of $10,000.00 to $40,000.00 as a Publishing Development Deal. This is for developing high quality demo cds with your new equipment and to knock off so some of the living expenses until you can fend for yourself.
If you are a songwriter who is not an artist and does not have a bonifide track record, expect the advance in the $20,000.00 to $30,000 price range, unless your songs are already placed with the established acts, then it is raised for the potential aspect of the deal.
You already own the right to the song so unless you get the song cut, there really is not a need to start your own self publishing company. Theoretically, it is better to another company administer your publishing when you have your own company. That way, they can assist you in disseminating the money that is generated by the song.