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Writing Books/Permission for writing excerts from other books


Dear Rhonda,
This is Abid Ali, from Kolkata(India), I wish to write a book on self development and success. In this regard, I just want to know that what is the procedure of taking permission for writing excerpts in my book from other classical books, like, from Shakespear to Wayne Dyer. I need only one or two quotations from each books of two or three lines. Do I need to take permission for that? If yes, then can you please tell me that what is the correct procedure of that. Do I need to take permission from writer and publisher, both. What if the book is very old and author is not living in this material world.
Thanking you,

Abid Ali

Hi Abid,

CONGRATULATIONS on working on your book!  

Generally if you quote 1-2 sentences from a book and fully cite the source in the book -AND- in a reference section at the back of the book, you will be fine.  

1) Many people cite sources in the reference section at the back of their book using the MLA or APA style:

2) Within the body of the article you can mention the title of the book and the author's name directly before or after the quote.

All the best!  

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Rhonda Campbell


I can answer questions on how to get published in magazines and newspapers; how to market your own books; how to earn a living writing; how to write press releases; how to find a good editor; how to edit your own books; finding a good printer; finding a good book illustrator; doing your taxes as a freelance writer. Questions I can't answer include specifics around working with a print on demand publisher


I have 36 years of experience as a writer (fiction and non-fiction). I am a book reviewer with Nielsen Media. I am a newspaper columnist and a reporter. I am a former radio station host and I am the editor of a literary newsletter, The Book Lover's Haven. I am also the author of more than 10 books.

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The Trenton Times Philadelphia Trend Sisters in Style Essence Magazine The Pittsburgh Quarterly Obsidian II, etc.

I have taken numerous writing courses on book, proposal and grant writing as well as marketing and promotion

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