You are here:

Writing Books/Illustrations under "Fair Use"?


Hello again Liz.

Larsen & Pomada (and other writers on the subject of book proposals) recommend including all proposed illustrations. What they don't indicate, is whether doing this comes under "Fair Use".

Is a writer expected to secure permissions (and pay for them) even in advance of a book that--let's face it--may never see a shelf?

Dan O'Hanlon

Dear Dan:

Unfortunately you've hit the nail on the head.  The author is usually contractually bound to get all permissions for artwork and excerpts.  If the permission costs money, then yes, you get to pay for it.  However, there are many sources of public domain artwork that are free for your use.  Check it out on the internet.

If the artwork is not public domain and the artist wants payment for its use, see if you can secure permission and negotiate to pay for the use when the book sells to a publisher.  At least then you can pay the fee out of your advance.

Liz Aleshire

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Liz Aleshire


What is a book proposal and why do I need one? Do I need a book proposal for both nonfiction and fiction books? How do I write a book proposal? What are the required components of a book proposal? What is an overview? What is a synopsis? How do I find out what other books are available on my topic so I can make my book different? How do I pitch to an agent/publisher? What's a query letter? What's a 30-second commercial?


I am the author of four nonfiction books: Private Lives of Ministers' Wives (with Rev. Sherry Taylor,New Horizon Press, New Jersey, 1991)and currently working on a second edition; Bugs: Stingers, Suckers, Sweeties, Swingers (a FRanklin Watts Frist Book, Chicago, 1993); The Confident Collector Identification and Price Guid to Quilts (with Kathleen Barach, Avon Books, NY, 1992); and, Official Price Guide to Quilts 2nd edition(with Kathleen Barach, Random House, NY, 2003.) I've taught How to Write the Book Proposal for the past ten years at the week long International Women's Writing Guild annual summer conference, and, at the Manchester Community College Continuing Education program. I've taught in many local continuing education programs in central Connecticut. Five authors have sold books using my methods for writing the book proposal. I have spoken at the Big Apple Conference, an IWWG event held in NYC; both Connecticut chapters of the Romance Writer's of America other writing conferences

Internation Women's Writing Guild, past associate member American Society of Journalists and Authors

Books for New Horizon Press. NJ; Franklin Watts (Now Scolastic)Danbury, CT; Avon Books, NYC; and, Random House, NYC

B.A in Economics from the University of Connecticut

Past/Present clients
Carren Strock, author Married Women Who Love Women; Doris Larson, travel writer, Ohio; MaryLou Streznewsi author Gifted Grownups.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]