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A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Why Won’t A Music Publisher Respond To My Email?

Tips & Resources by Brent Baxter, Pro Songwriter on May 30, 2018

Okay, you know the drill.  You email a music publisher, and you wait for a reply.  And you wait.  And you wait.  And then you say bad words and wait some more.  Man, I've been there, too- and it just stinks.

You're left to wonder why Publisher X isn't getting back to you, and your imagination goes to work.  And songwriters can have some pretty active imaginations!

     "She hates me."

     "He's a blankety-blank-blank jerk!"

     "The world is against me."

     "They stole my song and deleted my email!!!"

Honestly, the truth is probably nowhere near that nefarious.  Let's take a look at some of the more likely culprits:

The publisher never opened your email.

Maybe the publisher has a "no unsolicited email" policy for legal and waste-of-time reasons, so they don't open any email from unknown writers.  Or maybe they have an assistant who cleans out any emails that don't look legit.  Or maybe he's just so busy that he just never has time to get to emails from unknown senders.  That's why cold emails have such a low response rate.

You're unprofessional.

An unknown sender putting "HERE'S A #$%ING HIT FOR KEITH URBAN" or "Million Dollar Idea!" or "I have lots of hits for you!" just screams "unprofessional."  Or maybe you tell your whole life story in the body of the email.  Why would a busy pro want to waste his or her time reading so much from a complete stranger?  Even if the song is good, why deal with an unprofessional when you can get plenty of great songs from trusted professionals?

You're creepy or scary.

If your email somehow gets opened, but you come across as crazy or a stalker, forget it.  If you complain about how other folks have stolen your songs, you look like a lawsuit waiting to happen.  Delete.  If you ask him how his 3-year-old's birthday party went at Chuck E. Cheese- AND HE DOESN'T KNOW YOU- he's filing you in the "Read this in case I disappear" folder.  If you tell her you're about to lose your house if you don't "sell a song" right now, she doesn't want to be the one to send you over the edge.  Remember:

You want to be the solution to an industry pro's problems- you don't want to add to them.

Your song just wasn't that good.

Maybe your song is awful, but they don't want to tell you that. (Who likes to say that?  Especially when you might show up in their parking lot with a van and a bottle of chloroform?)  But they also don't want to give you false hope and invite more awful songs (which will make them want to use the chloroform on themselves.)  Or maybe your song wasn't bad, but it just isn't great or great for the album/artist in question, and they're just busy.

The publisher simply forgot.

It happens.  Maybe they wanted to take a second listen later and forgot.  Or maybe they did listen and just forgot to respond.  Or maybe they forwarded it for someone else's opinion, and it got lost in the inbox.  Hey, humanity happens.

So what do you do about this? Well, stop being creepy and unprofessional, for one thing. Not being creepy is ALWAYS a good option. And here's another good option: be there when the publisher listens and get their feedback immediately. Easier said than done, right? Well... maybe not.

On June 19, I'm hosting Songwriting Pro's quarterly "Play For A Publisher" event with hit music publisher, Tim Hunze of Parallel Music in Nashville, TN. Tim has worked with several #1 hit songwriters, and he's landed many, many songs with major artists. This is YOUR opportunity to connect face-to-face with a hit music publisher, have him hear YOUR song, and get immediate feedback! And since it's an online event, it doesn't matter where in the world you live. But the deadline to enter your song is May 31.


Hunze P4P

God bless,


PS- Thanks for stopping by Frettie! I appreciate it. As a matter of fact, I want to give you a special little something just for your visit. It's my FREE ebook "Think Like A Pro Songwriter," and it reveals valuable I-learned-it-the-hard-way-so-you-don't-have-to tips to help you succeed at the art, craft and business of songwriting. You can download it at

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