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Now that the recording is done, where do you go?  Even though you have all the right mixes together and everything is placed in the correct place, there are still other things to put into the right area before you are able to completely finish your CD.  Knowing what to do after the recording can help you to move in the right direction towards a successful CD.  

The first thing that you want to do after you have completed your CD is to send it to the copyright office.  This will stop others from stealing your music and will allow you to keep a track record of what you have put together.  Typically, you will need to fill out a copyright sheet for the office as well as send a copy of your CD with the copyright fee.  This will last for a certain number of years before you need to re-register your copy.  

After this step, you can set up a variety of different ways to keep your music licensed and registered.  One of the options to look into is ASCAP or BMI.  Both of these areas keep track of music that is composed by individuals.  If these musical pieces are ever performed, the area will send a performance fee for the music that is composed.  If your CD isn't finished yet, you should consider registering with either one of these groups for musician rights and you should make sure that you send them all music that you have done so that a track record can be kept.  

The third area that should be considered is royalties for others using your music.  For instance, if someone hears your song and wants to use it on their own compilation recording, you will want to get royalty rights.  There are certain businesses, such as Harry Fox, that keep track of your music as a publishing license, and allow you to gain royalty fees for every CD that is sold on someone else's compilation.  

Along these lines are different licensing options that are being used.  Typically, these will become an important factor if your music is used for something like a television show or for a band.  Every time someone uses your song for mixed media, they become responsible for paying you a mechanical licensing fee as well as a royalty fee.  This means that you still own copyright to the music, but are allowing them to 'lease' the song for their own purposes.  Typically, ASCAP or BMI can help you to keep track of your CD songs that are played in other places, as long as it is registered through them and the individual goes through this company in order to get the proper requests completed for the music.  

After this point of registration, you have options of how you want to proceed with preparing your music, dependent on what you need.  With the growth of technology, are two main ways in which you can approach your CD sales.  The first is through the Internet and the second is through physical distribution.  The physical distribution can include publishing areas such as on demand printing as well as online portals or physical areas that are able to support the music that is moving through their area.

If you move into digital distribution, you can look into several areas that consolidate sales.  This is typically done through a space such as CD Baby, SnoCap or IODA.  Both of these will take your CD music, turn it into MP3s and distribute it to online spaces and jukeboxes that will play them.  All you will need to do is register your CD or your music through this area for a small fee, and allow the portal to handle the rest for you.  

No matter what type of music you are piecing together and no matter what your intent is for use, you should always consider the options for legalities and claims.  In the long run, this will help you to not only approach your CD as a product that you are selling, but will also provide you with more options for getting your music into the public eye.

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