There's literally "hundreds" of publishers willing to buy songs.
If you want to attract a few, just send in some SR's (sound recordings of the songs) to the Library of Congress for copyright... then you'll get junk-mail from several publishers on the Left Coast (California).
A word of caution though....
99 percent of paid songwriters are poor and insignificant.
******Your best bet is to write it, record it, copyright the material, publish it, register the songs with ASCAP or BMI, then release it yourself on CD.******
Why, you ask?
Because, as an unknown songwriter, nobody's gonna give you Jack $hit until you prove yourself. Publishers will give you a measly couple of hundred bucks and then make millions on the sweat of your efforts.
That's the business... it sucks.
A friend of a friend wrote the song "Material Girl" and sold it for $1,500.00. Madonna made a fortune on that song, but the writer sold it for chickenfeed. Once you sell it... it's gone.
By following the above listed steps, you'd totally OWN the songs you write, and anybody who wants to record them would have to ask for permission to record the song... either directly from you (the publisher) or from the Harry Fox Agency.
That would allow you to make 7.1 cents for every copy sold.
Lets say, for instance, that a top name act records your song. For every million copies that they sell, that means $70,000.00 in your bank account.
If they sell 10 million copies, you get $700,000.00 (minus taxes, of course)... but that's a helluva lot better than the measly pittance that an established publisher will give you.
Yes, it involves a lot more time, money, and work to do it that way. But if your friend is a good songwriter, it's worth the effort.
I'm going to release my first CD in the next week or two. One of the songs was written with a specific artist in mind, and would definitely be a huge hit for him... especially now that he just switched labels and hasn't had a "biggie" in a few years now.
(Sorry, I can't reveal who he is at this point)
I would gladly give permission to ANY well-known artist or band to record ANY of my material.... except for Britney Spears, of course. What that bitch did to "Satisfaction" is a crime.
Hey Buck: Make sure you let us know how to sample your work! I'd love to hear some of it...
And Randy, I'm afraid B62's knows his shit pretty well. I've taken marketing classes, talked to corporate and copyright lawyers and the verdict in every instance was the same: Unless your friend just happens to be Neil Young's long-lost cousin's son (or something along those lines), he's going to have a real tough time getting his music heard by anyone who has both pull and a will to cut him a fair deal.
Some of my sources (Jimmy Webb being one) have mentioned that if you are prolific and confident of the quality of your future songs (i.e. not a one-hit wonder), you might "give" away the first one to a major artist. By give away, I basically mean, let yourself be screwed over, ripped off and basically robbed.
The advantages are two-fold: by being "generous" in your offer to publishers and/or producers and/or artists, you significantly increase your chances of getting through the front door. From a publisher's standpoint, there's nothing worse than a no-name songwriter who probably doesn't write half as well as he thinks he does insisting on keeping all his rights to his not-yet-proven songs. Give the exec the possibility of a gold-mine of a deal (for him) and he might lend you his multi-billion dollar ear. (Be savvy, though. You don't want to come across as being desperate).
Secondly, should the song be recorded - even if it doesn't make the hot-100, it will jam your foot in the door, making your next pitch that much easier.
Chances are, you won't make any good money on the first songs, but you'll have one hell of a good addition to your bio if you can head-line it saying "From the songwriter of 'OOps! I did it again'".
And stay cool-headed about that example. Anyone who writes a million-copies-sold single is going to get VIP pitching at every major-label table. If you want to live off it, pitch the sellable stuff first. The nobel-prize for literature-winning numbers can come after you've paid your month's rent.
The ideal scenario would have the songwriter interpreting his own stuff, since his is an endangered breed in today's market. But the final suggestion would be to do some research in local scenes and find a struggling-yet-could-be-the-next-thing performer. If you can put a top-20 song in the hands of a solid singer, chances are, two careers will be made at once. I've seen it happen!
Of course, as always, it all comes down to the material. It has to be above-par songwriting. If it is, the rest is just a question of time.
Tell your pal to be flexible at first. The cash will come once he's proven his worth. Keep essential rights, such as copyright, but be open as far as the rest goes. Either that, or just be patient. Hey. If the song's as good as 'born in the USA' it will get the attention it deserves eventually, as will its writer.