Using a Publisher
Define your genre and stick to it.
Since publishers look for new material based on genre, it's better for you to focus your songwriting in a single genre; you can also cross over to other genres later.
Create a demo.
This is the CD comprising of your promo copy; this is usually a compilation of your best songs and probably an instrumental, it might not be more than 2 or 3 tracks.
Submit your music to publishers directly.
Look for song titles and writers in your genre, find out who publishes them, and research how you can submit your songs. Call the publisher to confirm who you should send your music to, and in what format. Usually, its way simple, now that we have bloggers around, contact them, make sure you follow the steps giving to you and your music will be online in no time.
Network within the music industry.
This is so important that if you don't live in, or near a city where people can make a living with songs (a 'music centre'), then you should seriously consider moving. E.g. we all know
Lagos to be the “music center” of this country, though we now have some other areas like , Port-Harcourt etc. but if you’re sure you want to make a living out of music, you should consider moving to a music city. Ibadan
- Attend industry functions
- Hang out wherever the 'movers and shakers' in your industry and genre hang out (you can attend battle night Monday at koko lounge if you’re an upcoming rapper, life house on the island if you’re more of highlife and soul)
- Join relevant associations, if any.
- Be assertive yet polite when meeting key people in the industry; remember that they are probably bombarded by pushy starving artistes every day.
- Co-write songs with both published and unpublished artistes (you never know when someone you've worked with will introduce you to their publisher, now or later)
Record your songs onto CDs and sell them at shows, through your website, or and/or through a third-party website.
Make your songs available for downloading (at whatever cost you deem appropriate). You can do this through your own website or through a third-party website. A simple personal site doesn't present many difficulties, however, if you would like to create something more refined, like establish an online store - that would demand more knowledge and efforts. At some of the platforms you can sell not only sheet music but also the rights for its performance.
- If you're self-publishing, consider using an online music distributor so that you are able to sell your songs on music stores where your fans usually buy their music.