How To Write A Popular Song - online manual

A non-technical how-to-do it system for the aspiring song writer.

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The sum of 5 cents (or 10 per cent.) was, and in some cases still is, the usual amount of royalty offered in con­tracts upon each copy sold at regular rates as above de­scribed. During the past few years this was equitable enough, and the publisher of "popular" music was able to pay it. Recently, however, competition has become so keen that wholesale prices have dropped. The expenses in con­nection with the placing of compositions before the public and their general promotion, in many cases involving noth­ing short of absolutely forcing their popularity, now con­stitute so much heavier an item of cost that no honest publisher can afford to pay five cents a copy on composi­tions taken on royalty.
It is far more satisfactory, therefore, and adds much to the peace of mind of both author and composer to accept a royalty of 3 cents per copy, or even less.
Statements of royalty are usually rendered every three or six months. These periods are not calculated from the date of the publication of the composition, but are computed from January the 1st of each year, thus,—the 1st of April, July, October and January, on quarterly statements; and the 1st of July and January on half-yearly statements.
In placing compositions on royalty with publishers a transfer of or sole right to the copyright of the composition is invariably demanded by the publisher. Occasionally the composition is bought outright by the publisher. Where this arrangement obtains, the author and composer are re­quired to sign a bill of sale or an assignment paper. In this they release all their right, title and interest in the said composition to the publisher or purchaser. A composition offered in this way to a publisher does not command any great amount of money, for the reason that all untried Mss.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III