Have A Repertoire Or A Collection Of Great Songs 
  Get Material From Experienced Talented Songwriters. 

Take The Time To Listen, Listen And Listen Again To Your Material. Be Your Worst Critic, Choose Songs With Strong Lyrics And Good Hooks That Are Easy To Remember. 
Record Your Songs During Pre-production Rehearsals And Live Performances
  Even A Simple Cassette Recording On A Boom Box May Reveal Weak Performances, And Weak Parts Of Your Songs.
Have All Of The Musical And Vocal Parts Of Your Songs Worked Out
  Your Vocal Leads, Harmony Arrangements, Instrumental Solos, Intros, Interludes, Verses Choruses, Bridges, Vamps, Outros, & Reprises.
If You Are Using A MPC, Or A Computer For Sequencing, .. Prepare All Sequenced Material And Or Drum Loops Before The Session.
  Rehearse, And Rehearse, With The Sequenced Or Pre-tracked Material Until You Know It Thoroughly. 
If You Plan To Use A Click Track Or A Drum Loop With Your Performance For Recording, Make Sure That Your Drummer Can Play To A Click Track, Or A Loop Track
  Make Sure That He Or She Feels Comfortable Playing To It, And Can Hear The Track Adequately To Lock To It. Practice Ahead Of Time To Get It Tight. Slow The Tempo Down First So The Drummer Can Feel The Pulse And The Movement Of The Click, Then Gradually Speed It Up To The Performance Tempo. 
Rehearse, Prepare And Record More Songs Than You Plan To Keep For Your CD. You'll Never Know What Songs Will Sound Strong On The Final Tape
  If You Plan To Have A Ten Song CD, Prepare And Record Twelve Songs Just In Case. However, Don't Prepare Twenty Songs, You Will Burn Yourself Out unnecessarily.) Keep Some Songs In The Can. 
Take Care Of Your Body Before, During And After Your Sessions
  Eat Well, Get Enough Sleep, And Keep Your Ears Rested And Clear. Don't Listen To Music To Loud, Or Have Your Monitors Up To Loud. Be Very Careful With The Volume Level Of In-Ear Monitors Or Headsets.
Make Sure That The Studio Or The Recording Venue Is A Comfortable And Relaxed Place To Work, Rehearse And Record In. Accessible For Transportation, Telephone/Fax  Service, Etc
Plan A Final Rehearsal In The Studio Or The Recording Venue If Your Budget Supports It
  This Gives Everyone A Better Feel For The Room, And Helps The Recording Engineer To Prepare In Regards To The Set Up For Your Actual Recording Session.
Be Early For The Rehearsals And Recording Sessions.
  At Some Studios The Clock Starts Running At Your Booked Start Time. Your Running Time Begins Whether You Are There Or Not. Also Find Out About Their Studio Policies Concerning Bookings And Cancellations Prior To Your Session. You May Have To Send A Retainer To Secure Your Time, And You May Have To Pay An Hourly Fee If You Cancel The Session At The Last Minute.