How FAST you get your record deal, often depends on the STEPS you've taken - and the TYPE buy soundcloud plays of deal you're after. It's useful to know the PROS, CONS, and what you're in for.

I signed my first major record deal as an independent songwriter and producer in 2009 - a 4-year international producer's license - only 7-DAYS after submitting my first demo.

BUT - it took me years of preparation BEFORE that, to get that result - and I had e specific objective in mind.

Here are some things to consider:

1. Boost your profile and credibility as an unsigned artist

Try out for smaller opportunities first - a single on a compilation CD, synchronization deals for a soundtrack, placement in film or advertising - or opening live for big acts. This way you'll have some evidence suggesting that you could succeed, to include on your bio when submitting demo's to major record companies, and broaden your possibilities.

2. Understand the difference between MAJOR and INDIE

A major record deal signing might get you in the headlines, and on the world stage - but will be significantly harder to get - competition is tough at the top and requirements, very unforgiving - you'll have to be one of a select few, worldwide.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take in pursuit of such a deal, to get you within closer range, with a better shot at it. Make sure you understand the PROS and CONS, though.

Major deals require exclusive rights to you as an artist, for the company signing you - often signed for long terms like 4 or 5 years, or multiple albums. The rules and requirements can be very one-sided depending whom you sign with, in favor of the company, and if you are not a top seller on the world charts, you're not likely to make much income from albums sales.

The record company sponsors their resources for such deal, and therefore have the first right to your income, applying it as they deem fit - before paying you any royalties. It's not uncommon for artists to receive between 2% & 8% only of profit as a first-time newly signed artist - in exchange for fame and a fan club - meaning you'll have to resort to shows, for making your living. As you become more in demand, you might be able to negotiate better terms.

An Indie Deal on the other hand (Independent signing, with a lesser-known record label or professional studio) can offer you better, shorter terms, sometimes with less risk (but not always) - and offer you more artistic freedom and expression - provided the label or studio is any good. Some of them require you to partially fund your campaign though, for a greater share of the returns, but also more risk.

An Indie deal can be useful though in using that label or studio's contacts and track record, as a stepping stone for pursuing or negotiating your Major deal later. Some Indie Labels are quite successful on their own though, and earn their artists enough money and publicity in certain select cases, that they never opt for a Major -, but it all depends on your goals, preferences and wants as an artist.

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