Scoring a record deal with Warner Brothers Records is a big step in a recording artist's career. Warner Bros. Records claims on its website to be "the most successful record label in history." If you want a shot at joining the likes of Madonna, Frank Sinatra, R.E.M. and Green Day, you'll need to send a demo CD to Warner. The record label doesn't accept unsolicited demo CDs, so you'll need a professional with connections to Warner to submit it for you.
Find and establish a relationship with a music professional with ties to Warner Bros. Records, such as a manager, publisher or attorney. Use social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook to find connections.
Build a presentation that includes your demo CD, your bio, press clippings and your portrait. Include any other information that reflects your professional experience in the music industry as it might appeal to Warner. Get letters of reference from key musicians and industry leaders, especially those involved with Warner. Demonstrate your skills in live performances, studio, music writing and the media. List where and when you've performed. Provide video and audio excerpts of broadcast and Web interviews you've done. Describe how you use social media like YouTube, Facebook in your music career. Summarize licensing deals you may have.
Work with your manager, publisher or attorney to craft an effective cover letter. Show your success, your potential and why you are a good fit with Warner Bros. Make every word count. Have your representative submit your proposal to the proper Warner executive.
Once your proposal is in, the waiting game starts. Your representative must know how to follow up -- and when. No news may be good news. Or not. Your representative may receive a confirmation, a "no thanks" or nothing at all. Rely on your representative. Resist the temptation to call, write or email directly. When you hear "no," try to get feedback so that your next pitch will be better.
- Make sure your demo reflects your best material -- not all your material. Submit four to six tracks. Label your demo CD with your name, your rep and email. Know the Warner demo rules for what to send and where to send. Keep a record of what everyone tells you about your presentation and adjust for next time.
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.