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I’m in the process of writing my first book in Spanish. My questions are in regard of, how to approach another author asking permission to quote him?

What if an author I wanted to quote do not want his book to be quoted on my book? You see, the theme of my book is quite controversial and I think some authors may not be willing to be quoted. I heard something about “fair use” when quoting, do this apply here? What did you suggest?


Hi Adermin,

Congratulations on writing your book!  Fair use is not as clear cut as some might think.  If the author expresses that they do not want to be quoted, I wouldn't quote them.  More information on fair use and quoting other sources is at the link below.

You can also draft a letter that you send to each author you want to quote in your book.  State your name, the title of your book and the subject of your book.  Tell the author the specific quote you'd like to use in the book, how the quote will be referenced or used in your book and when you expect the book to be published.  Then I'd ask the author to sign the bottom of the letter (or a form) if they approve of you using the quote.  

Include a self-addressed stamped envelope in the envelope that you send to the author requesting their permission to quote them.  If the author is unavailable, you can send a letter to the author's publisher or publicist.

If you do not hear from the author or their representative and you feel the quote is needed for your book, you might want to contact an attorney and run the item passed them.

I'd work to get the author's approval most of all.

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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