Getting started

The various resources listed below will be helpful to songwriters and artists as they apply the suggestions offered in the book, “How to Get Somewhere in the Music Business from Nowhere with Nothing,” We have been extremely selective here, listing only those services and individuals we know personally and feel confident recommending


The Critique Boutique is a place on YouTube where music publisher and author, Mary Dawson offers FREE and PROFESSIONAL feedback on your original songs. Each segment will feature one song and songwriter. This is a chance to have your original compositions heard by thousands of people. Let us hear from YOU.

There is no fee or charge to be considered for a segment of The Critique Boutique, but you must submit the following:

Submission Guidelines

Agreement Letter

Click here to go to the Critique Boutique.


CQK Critiquing Service

Here’s how to use the CQK critiquing service:

The cost is $25 for one song, $40 for two songs and $50 for three song critiques. Please submit the songs on a demo cassette/CD with typed lyric sheets and send along with your check or money order to:

CQK Music Group
2221 Justin Rd., Suite 119-142
Flower Mound, TX 75028

Please make sure your name, address and phone number are on your lyric sheets and cassette/CD.
We will review the material (it usually takes less than 2 weeks) and then will call you to set up a time for a telephone appointment where you can call a CQK Music professional consultatnt and discuss the song in detail. If a song has merit, or if it can be brought up to standard with a well planned re-write, we are pleased to refer the song and the writer to other contacts we have within the industry who may be able to place the song for publication.
Please be advised and understand that the song critiquing service is completely separate from our music publishing. The fee is strictly to cover the time required to evaluate songs and to offer consultation to the writer by phone. We hope to hear from many of you!

Texola Music Critiquing Service

Critiques are rendered by Texola Music Producer and Publisher, Beverly Houston.  Co-founder and past 3-term President of the Dallas Songwriters Association, Houston is also an adjunct Professor of Songwriting at Collin County Community College.


Bill Pere and the Connecticut Songwriting Academy

Bill is one of today’s most sought-after songwriting mentors, workshop presenters, and song critiquers. He travels coast to coast and is committed to helping artists create the best possible songs and achieve their goals.


The Songwriters Studio – Steve Cooper, producer

Specializing in Country, Folk, Americana and Christian Contemporary songs


The Songwriters Studio is dedicated to helping beginning and aspiring songwriters create professional demos of their songs at very reasonable prices. More information on Steve and The Songwriters Studio can be found in chapter 3 of How to Get Somewhere in the Music Business from Nowhere with Nothing.

Gathering Stones Productions – Peter Moon, producer

Specializing in Pop, Rock, R&B songs


Peter Moon is a gifted songwriter, emerging artist and producer. He is destined for greatness, so he may not be available long as a producer for aspiring songwriters.

The   Bakery – Fred “Gat” Gattis, producer

Specializing in Rap and Hip Hop Songs


Fred is a very creative Rap and Hip Hop writer and producer. If you have Rap or Hip Hop songs to demo, give Fred a call.


The purchase of recording equipment for your own home studio is something to be considered carefully. Eager writers and artists often fail to research their options thoroughly before heading for the retail store where the incredible array of magical equipment often results in their purchasing far more than necessary—especially as a beginner. When they get it all home, they don’t know how to use it or interpret the manuals. Below are our recommendations for pre-purchase consultation as well as after-purchase translation of instructions. A small consultation fee on the front end usually results in significant savings at the point of purchase. Following are consultants who are time-tested friends and experts in this field:

Gathering Stones Productions – Peter Moon, consultant


Producer, Peter Moon, also offers consultation services for home studio design.


Five Finger Productions – John Kenward, consultant

John Kenward is a dear friend of many years who is a genius at interpreting manuals – especially those written in high tech by someone whose English is their second language.


Preston Entertainment – Dell Johnson, consultant

If you have ever tuned into our radio show, I Write the Songs, you will have heard the behind-the-scene skills of Dell Johnson who has served as our engineer for almost ten years. Dell is a master at mastering computer and recording equipment.


Dee Ann Nelson, Forte Vocal Studios

Recently named as one of the “Whose Who of Vocal Coaches”, Dee Ann Nelson is quickly becoming one of the most well-known vocal coaches and vocal producers in the industry. After its inception in 2001, Dee Ann’s company, Forte Vocal Studios, spread to include artist development and vocal demo production. Forte has offices in both Dallas and Nashville.


Rachel James, Damascus D&P

Damascus D&P specializes in photography, graphic design, web design, and other media.


Sarah Marshall Consulting

Sarah Marshall’s gifts as a career strategist for artists, musicians and songwriters are covered in chapter 8 of the book. Unique Shticks are Sarah’s specialty. For more information on Sarah and her services, visit