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Submitting manuscripts for music publishers

While I'm primarily a conductor I do enjoy writing choral compositions when I have time and really want to have something published one day.  Can anyone give advice for the best way to go about it?  For reference what I really do these days is submit unsolicitated manuscripts and just hope.  I do have a personal website..does anyone know how to upload PDF's to their website to make available music for purchase?
on December 6, 2015 8:37pm
Barbara Harlow, the editor of Santa Barbara Music Publishing, publishes a booklet called
How to get your Choral Composition Published.  The relevant page of the SBMP 
web site is here.  It is very savvy.  
My advice: have a good recording to offer, and show that you understand how your
piece will suit the publisher's catalog.  Meanwhile, send your music to conductors
you know, particularly if any of them happen to edit a choral series with a publisher.
Enter your pieces in contests; I have had good luck publishing pieces that have
gained recognizable acclaim this way.  The purpose of publishing is not to make
money - hardly anyone does. The purpose of publishing is to convince people
to offer you commissions.  In the long term, you may be better off self-publishing;
it takes more effort, but you get to control the results, take a bigger cut of the pie,
and establish personal relationships with your customers.  Having some pieces 
published by significant publishers may make people take your self-published
pieces more seriously.
Brian Holmes
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on December 7, 2015 5:33am
You can always submit your work to a puibisher - make sure your score is in Finale or a pdf of that. Some publishers allow you to submit eletronically throuigh e-mail, check their websites. You are not supposed to submit a work to more than one publisher at a time. Publishers greatly vary as to thier response time - can be a month, 6 months, a year or in many cases, never.
It is pretty difficult to get accepted, however persisitance is the key.Important is to look at their catalogue and see if your work would be a compliment - eg. If they have 3 versions of "O Come All Ye Faithful" They aren't interested in another one, if they publish Popular music, they aren't interested in Sacred etc.
But self publishing is definitly becoming a good option. There are sites like Sheet Music Plus that allow you to publish your own works on their site. Also, you are able to keep more of the royalties - %40-60 rather than the %10 of most print publishers. My own opinion is that print publishing is on the wane, with the avalibility of the internet. Other tips:
Have  a youtube channel of your pieces, lint to your website etc. Ask choirs to perform your music so you can record it. Send your music to choirs and conductors you like etc.
on December 7, 2015 6:09am
Brian's advice is very good. For self-publishing, I'd recommend checking out Swirly Music ( You can publish anything classical (in the broadest sense), but choral music, both sacred and secular, is turning out to be the mainstay of the catalog. All scores can be perused completely on the bwebsite, and choral works can be made availabke as download as well as printed ocatavos.
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