What is FLSW and what does FLSW do?
Established in 2013, FLSW offers a variety of services to professional and aspiring songwriters. FLSW is dedicated to protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music. The Florida Songwriters Association (FLSW) consists of songwriters from all genres of music, amateur and professional, who are committed to protecting the rights and future of the profession of songwriting and to educate, elevate and celebrate. Whether your goal is personal expression or to make a living in the music industry, knowing how to write, or recognize a well-crafted song is key to your success.
How do I join?
First, take a look at our Membership page, determine which membership level is right for you, and choose your method of payment. Options are to use PayPal (our preferred method) or to send in a bank check or money order, along with a letter containing your full legal name, address, date of birth, phone number, and desired membership level. Once payment is received, we will email you a Terms of Service and Membership Agreement for you to sign and return (the signature page) back to us. After that, we will send your login info and Voila! You’re ready to go!
Are there any alternative methods of submitting payment for membership?
Yes, you may mail a bank check or money order (personal checks are NOT accepted) through the U.S. Postal Service; please note that membership will be made active upon receiving payment and signed documents.
How does the One-on-One Mentoring session work?
The majority of mentoring sessions are done over Skype. If you are unable to access Skype, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with “One-on-One Mentoring Issues” in the subject line. Leave a brief description of your problem in the email, and we will come up with a way to resolve your issue.
I’ve noticed that I can submit payment through PayPal, what is PayPal?
PayPal is a secured, third-party monetary transaction company that encrypts your sensitive financial information so the only person who can see it is you. This allows for a safer, more secured way to accept payment from our songwriters.
How do I submit my songs for the song evaluations?
A member will submit their songs through Dropbox, a free, file-sharing service. You must become a member in order to submit your songs. After uploading your song into your Dropbox folder, you will then send us an email with your lyrics and notifying us of your submission. Our Dropbox name is ——-
How do I upgrade my membership?
Members may upgrade their memberships at any time during their membership period. Simply send an email request to email@example.com with your name, current membership level, and desired membership level. We will then invoice you the difference in dues between the two membership levels. If you joined by using our alternative payment method, then simply send us your request (with name, current and desired membership levels) and payment via any postal service.
How much does it cost to be a member and why?
FLSW Diamond membership costs $200 per year* (12 months from the date you join) and Lifetime membership for a one-time cost of $2,500.00. FLSW membership is inclusive of all FLSW services including 12 song evaluations, Exclusive access to our Members Only page filled with resource files on industry questions, interviews/podcasts with industry professionals (as they become available), etc. Studio and sponsor discounts (TBD), Free Song Evaluations (limited to 7/yr.), One-on-One Mentoring Sessions (limited to 3/yr.), Exclusive free access to all FLSW events, Exclusive free access to the FLSW Annual Songwriting Competition
* A monthly payment plan is also available with a 1-year commitment at $20/month.
What are the benefits if I don’t live in Florida?
Many FLSW services are available online including pitch opportunities, song evaluations, connecting with a mentor via skype and live webcast workshops.
I write lyrics only – can you put a melody to it?
We have plenty of members who don’t play an instrument but they “play the ballpoint pen”. FLSW membership is a great resource to connect with other songwriters for collaborating and co-writing. FLSW is not an organization that “puts melodies” to words or poems. We encourage you to find a co-writer to help you with the musical portion of your song. However, we do offer lyric-only critique through our Song Evaluation service.
Can you set me up with co-writers or how do I meet them?
FLSW does not set up co-writer appointments, however, many FLSW members will find co-writers through our various local upcoming workshops, our forums, and our special events. In your own hometown, seek out co-writers from music stores/teachers, music venues, churches and your recording studios. You can search the directory for other members who may be interested in co-writing, as well as their genre and what instruments they play. You can find the membership directory under the “Membership” tab on our website. Helpful hint in finding a great co-writer is listing what kind of writer you are and what kind of music you write on your Member Page.
I write poems – can you turn them into songs?
Though songs are often written from the inspiration of poems, the poem format usually does not make for a great song because of the differences in structure between poems and “commercial” songs. If songwriting is your goal, FLSW teaches you the structural difference between the vital art forms of poetry and songs. Usually, a poem that has been converted into a song is not considered “marketable” for commercial purposes within the music industry. Listen closely to your favorite songs, study song lyrics, familiarize yourself with that kind of song structure, and apply this to your writing in order to make it easier to put music to your lyrics.
I have several songs I want to sell; can you help me?
FLSW publishing division Digital 1 Music Publishing operates as a broker for the selling of your songs. Instead songs earn royalties after they are recorded. FLSW membership can be a tool for obtaining legitimate publishing agreement from Digital 1 Music Publishing. Digital 1 Music Publishing are interested in songs that provide an income stream through royalties. Your song will not have a substantial income stream unless it has been recorded by a major artist and has received radio airplay. Once your song is earning an income, a publisher may be interested in your song or perhaps your entire catalog of songs, and then this would require a contractual agreement.
How do I get my songs published?
Getting your songs published through a successful publishing company is a process; a series of steps that requires knowledge and preparation. Focus on writing the best songs you can, getting better at your craft, learn all you can about the music business, and plug yourself into the songwriting and music industry community. Due to legal issues, publishers cannot take unsolicited material, material from someone they don’t know or that they didn’t request. Publishers do have their own staff writers and the only other sources that they will take songs from are known or legitimate sources like FLSW. The first steps simplified would be to: 1) Join FLSW 2) Join one of the performing rights organizations (ASCAP/BMI/SESAC) 3) Invest in music business books that deal with publishing to get acquainted with how it works. Publishers will require complete songs (words and music). Make certain that when you get an opportunity to play your song for a publisher, your song is complete and competitive in the marketplace.
Can you pitch my material or get my songs to an artist?
FLSW is not a song pitching company but our Publishing department can get your songs to artists, however, many of our members’ songs are presented on a quarterly basis to major publishers and A&R label representatives through our FLSW Song Evaluation service. Your FLSW membership legally allows us to listen to your song, play your song and promote your song if your song is ready to go to market.
I want to be an artist – how do I get started?
FLSW has artist-writers as members. Some get an artist deal because of the exposure we offer to them and their music. Keep in mind, however, that we are song-focused. Writer development and artist development are two different approaches to the music business. Becoming an artist involves a lot of networking with both industry professionals and other fellow artists. Many of our members are performing artist focused and join to take advantage of our services to help them strengthen their writing. After all, it all begins with a song!
Should I copyright my song and how do I do it?
Many professional songwriters don’t copyright songs until they begin earning income. The reason is both cost and time involved. Non-professionals often copyright their songs due to fear of infringement (their songs being stolen). Again, this can be expensive, but if it makes you feel comfortable, you can always exercise that option by visiting www.copyright.gov.
Should I join a Performing Rights Organization (PRO), when, and which one (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC)?
The primary role of a PRO is to collect and distribute performance royalties on your behalf. Each PRO also has “membership representatives” that assist with songwriters and composers who are trying to become professionals. Once you have competitive songs that may begin earning income, you will want to examine the PROs and each of their contracts. They are each a little different and which one is best for a particular writer depends on that writer.
I am writing songs that are as good, or better than what I hear on the radio. Can you set me up with a publisher?
There are a lot of great songs out there and songwriting is incredibly competitive. Digital 1 Music Publishing and Publishers are looking for types of songs that they don’t already have in their catalog, or songs already earning income. Many top publishers are not looking for songs at all—they are looking for songwriters. The more that you utilize our services such as song evaluations and pitch to publisher workshops you will be able to get multiple opinions. If your songs stand out consistently, they will be regularly recommended to our publishing department for consideration. The more you utilize your FLSW services and stay on our radar and the radar of those music industry members who work with us, the more likely you are to EARN a fruitful publisher meeting.
Do I need to professionally demo my songs?
For anything FLSW related, unless otherwise specified, a clean guitar-vocal or piano-vocal is what we encourage because a writer is more apt to rewrite or tweak a song if he/she hasn’t invested hundreds of dollars into a demo. You should always seek multiple opinions on the song via evaluations, etc. before considering investing in a full-band demo to determine whether the song is competitive enough to warrant the expense. Professional songwriters don’t demo every song they write and the ones they do demo are the ones they know their publishers will want to pitch. Great songs are going to stand out regardless of the demo.
I know if I could just get in a room with Professional Songwriter X, I could hold my own and write a hit song. How do I get in touch with him/her and get the co-write?
While it would be a great learning experience for you, getting co-writes with professionals is not easy. It takes time, networking, writing at the top of your game and exposure. Most hit writers found their co-writers before any of them had hits. Co-writing is like dating. There has to be some chemistry to really produce a good product. It is important to make relationships with potential co-writers before getting in a room to write. It is important to find people who you click with and write great songs with.
What is the process for updating payment information on my account?
To update payment information for automatic monthly installments on your account, please call FLSW at 321-422-2366. If there are outstanding payments on the account, the member will not have access to their profile or any FLSW service until that payment is fulfilled. For any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.