"We have been slammed," said SongDoor president, Tony Zotta. "This year we are offering multiple free opportunities for songwriters to get exposure for their music: YouTube video embeds, cdbaby links and inclusion in an active Twitter feed. The economy has forced a lot of folks to shelve their PR efforts, so the chance to get some free PR is pretty appealing. Our inbox is overflowing with requests."
SongDoor has also developed a new division, Songwriter Services, for the DIY promoter. Current offerings include song evaluations, music media mailing lists, website design and cd art. "The idea is to provide songwriters with a one-stop resource to promote their music," says Zotta. "You can get your songs evaluated to make sure they're in the best shape possible. Then you can send your CD to music journalists in hopes of getting it reviewed - without having to spend a couple of weeks to compile the mailing list. The reviewer can direct people to your website, where you sell your CDs, which have well-designed covers that sell. We are doing this on a break-even basis, so the prices are quite reasonable. People still need to sell their music but just don't have a lot to spend on promoting it. We get that, and we want to be the go-to place where people know they can get sound advice, free promotion on our site and some great tools to get their music heard." A series of how-to e-books will soon be added to the services lineup.
In addition to the services, the SongDoor competition itself garners worldwide recognition for its winners. Entrants are eligible to win the Grand Award, valued at approximately USD $7,951 in music merchandise and services, including a single-song publishing contract with Hard Twist Music-BMI (owned by mega-hit songwriter Bill Shore), a full-band private session demo at 16 Ton Studios, a one-year full-access membership to SongU.com, a copy of MasterWriter 2.0 songwriting software, a suite of songwriting software from Tanager Audioworks, a Primo MoB membership to Broadjam, a #1 Membership to songsinc.com and an autographed copy of Amazon.com's best-selling songwriting book, "Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting:
"Between the free PR services for songwriters and the entry fee for the competition (which has remained at $10 since 2006), we are delivering a tremendous value to the songwriting community," explains Zotta. "No one loses when they enter SongDoor; every single person who makes the effort to enter gets a free 45-day unlimited-access trial to Songu.com and free digital keyboard/chording software, whether they win or not." No special membership or signup is required, and anyone 18 or older may enter.
SongDoor has helped to launch a number of careers: last year's Grand Award winner, Ryan Martinez, just announced that he has been chosen to write at the upcoming ASCAP convention with monster-writer Desmond Childs (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi). Previous winner Anthony Snape made the college tour circuit this year, and has just released a new single, "Say So." More than three dozen former SongDoor winners have gone on to get label and/or publishing deals, tours and opening gigs for major artists.
A new judge joins the SongDoor panel this year: Bill Shore, who owns Hard Twist Music/BMI and is also providing the single-song publishing contract for this year's Grand Award winner. Bill's songs have resulted in over 40 million sales; he has had over 200 songs recorded by artists such as Porter Waggoner, Garth Brooks, Charley Pride, Chris LeDoux, Vern Gosdin, Moe Bandy, Helen Cornelius, Stealing Angels, and many other major and independent artists. He has also received multiple BMI Million Performance Achievement Citations and BMI awards. Judges Joe Beck, Jason Blume, Dennis Winters, Nancy Moran and Steve Avedis are with SongDoor again this year.
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The SongDoor International Songwriting Competition is an annual event, open to amateur and professional songwriters worldwide. Entries are accepted online or by mail from April 15 through November 15. The entry fee is $10. Songs may be entered in six different categories: Christian, Country, Pop, Rock/Alt, Soft Rock and Instrumental. Entries are accepted online or by mail through November 15, 2011. Judges include seasoned music industry producers, artists and engineers who have worked with such artists as Britney Spears, Neil Young, Keith Urban, Cheap Trick, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Buffett, Garth Brooks, The Fray, Train, Vince Gill and a host of others. For complete information, visit: www.songdoor.com.