After about a year of meeting every month or two, he said, "I think it's time for you to meet with some publishers." I was thrilled. And nervous. Here's the breakdown of what happened after I walked out of his office that afternoon:
1. He gave me a list of 8 different publishers (including phone numbers) who he thought would have interest in the songs I was writing. He also gave me permission to use his name, which definitely helped legitimize my reason for calling.
2. I got meetings with 4 of the publishers. They either listened with interest, asked me to just leave the CD and told me they'd call me (which they didn't), consistently skipped to the next song every 30 seconds (I think I played a song that only had gibberish words instead of lyrics, so I can't blame her), or just wanted to chat.
3. I got multiple meetings with 2 of the publishers, getting feedback and constructive criticism on my songs. I would consistently drop by the two publishers' offices every couple of weeks, and would write songs specifically with the intention of taking them to the meetings.
4. Ultimately, I only continued meeting consistently with one publisher. Thankfully, that was the one publisher that I ended up signing with, over a year after this process began.
The actual process of meeting consistently with a publisher is called "courting," and it's fairly similar to dating someone until the proposal. It looked and felt a lot like an internship of sorts, where I had many of the same opportunities that the publisher's signed writers had.
Though I felt like I was ready the day I walked out of the P.R.O.'s office with a list of eight publishers, I knew the day I signed my publishing deal that it was worth going through the year-long process. I was a better writer because of it. For more on what a publisher does, read my previous post here.