The gospel music industry is unique in that it revolves around Christian values, but it functions much like the pop and country music industries. If you want to sell gospel music you've written, you'll need to network with industry professionals, record demos and submit your songs to music publishers.
Record professional demos of your songs with experienced musicians. Hire session players and vocalists with a background in gospel. Consider demoing your songs in Nashville, Tenn. The home of the gospel music industry, Nashville offers a professional songwriter a wealth of musician and production talent.
Register your songs with the U.S. Copyright Office online or by standard mail. Submit MP3s of your music, fill out the application and pay the registration fee. The online registration fee is $35 and the standard registration fee is $65.
Network with gospel music industry professionals by joining organizations such as the Gospel Music Association (GMA), communicating with professionals on forums at websites such as Singing News, and attending gospel music conventions and concerts. Share your music with anyone willing to listen, as you never know who will open a door for you.
Submit your demos to gospel music publishers. You can find lists of music publishers in the index of books such as the "Songwriter's Market" series and at the Gospel Music Association's website. Be sure to submit songs that reflect the values common in gospel music.
Negotiate contracts with publishers interested in your music. Hire a lawyer and have him examine the contract to make sure you're getting a fair deal.
- "2010 Songwriter's Market: Where & How to Market Your Songs"; Editors of Writer's Digest Books; 2009
- U.S. Copyright Office: Fees
James Gilmore has written professionally since 2005. Since then, he has written and proofread obituaries for "The Press & Sun-Bulletin" in Binghamton, N.Y., press releases for "Goals, Seminars and Consultants" and articles for Made Man and various other websites. He writes a good deal of music-related content and holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ithaca College.