It is important to understand that most publishers try to publish music by known composers because the music has a better chance of succeeding in the marketplace. If you are new at the business of writing you should be prepared for rejection and rejection and more rejection!
Our standard rejection notice reads:
"THE EDITORS OF LAKE STATE PUBLICATIONS APPRECIATED THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER YOUR WORK. WE'RE SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT IT DOES NOT FIT OUR NEEDS BUT THANK YOU FOR SENDING IT TO US."
This can mean a variety of things:
Your music is great but we are not publishing music for handbell, band, or etc. this year.
We already have three arrangements of that tune. (competes with music already in print)
You didn't include a good performance tape. (it didn't sound good to us)
The piece you submitted is not in public domain and we are not able to get the rights to publish it.
A 2500 measure piece is too expensive to produce and probably wouldn't sell well. (too long)
We can't read your manuscript. (hard to produce)
Your original piece is nice, but any original music by an unknown writer needs to be grrrrreat! to attract buyers.
12 tone doesn't work well for kids and directors generally don't like to teach it. (not appropriate)
The piece is very nice but it doesn't fit our series'.
The chords do not fit the melody and we can tell that the piece is not avant guard. (technical problems)
etc. etc. etc.
If you plan to submit music for publication, follow these guide lines:
- Submit the complete score with parts.
- Neatness is important.
- When preparing your score, be sure you know where titles, dynamics, tempos, etc. go and make sure they are represented correctly in your manuscript. See our music notation instructions for preparing manuscript .
- Proper stem direction is important.
- Always submit a tape with the best performance you can get. Computer performances are not as good as live performances.
- Never submit a piece that is not your best work. Always put your best foot forward.
- If the publisher you are sending music to uses a series approach, you need to know the score format, instrument ranges, and general specifications for the series.
- Never intentionally submit a title that has a double meaning, or otherwise misrepresents a piece. If we publish it and find later that something is wrong with your title, it is possible that your royalty account will be charged and the piece will be taken out of print. You will not be asked to write again and you may very well damage your reputation.
- Submit more than one piece. It shows the publisher that you are a serious composer.