Writing Books/First Book


Ms. Richards:

I'm confused (I think) about copyright and how it may impact a book I'm writing.

I'm more than prepared to cite and footnote other authors whose works I find valuable as part of the topics I'm writing about - and indeed I very much want to cite them.

What I don't know is whether I also have to secure their permission before citing/footnoting their works, and, if I do, how I go about securing such permission.

Are there standard forms that are used for that purpose?

I realize you're busy but any aid or guidance you could give me on this matter would be much appreciated.

Thank you.

Steve Erie


I'm going to point you toward some resources---not being a lawyer, I don't want to give legal advice. I often refer to a book I keep on my desk: Permission & Libel Handbook: A Step-by-step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers by Lloyd Jassin, I've used a lot, but haven't looked up that exact question. There are several other books (just search for that one on Amazon, and they will pop up as alternte selections.

If you end up needing forms to request permissions, we have those at www.authorsmart.com as what we call an author template/planner. Not trying to sell you stuff---it just so happens that we launched these products this week... so I know where to find permissions forms! :)

This is a sticky area. Suggest you research it on your own via books and internet---then, consult a copyright lawyer---it will be worth the investment--especially if you go prepared with info and specific questions.

I hope that helps even a little! Please keep me posted on your progress.

Write on,

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Gail Richards


I can help you use your intellectual capital---you know---that NON-FICTION "book you've been meaning to write" out of your head and out into the world by answering questions about the publishing process and what your options are.


I work with numerous authors as well as other book professionals in this arena. In addition, I create tools for authors to use as they work through the process. Detailed information is available on my website, http://www.authorsmart.com

eWomenPublishingNetwork - member and service provider eWomenNetwork, Colorado Springs - leadership team National Association of Women Writers - member Colorado Springs Customer Service Association

BA Dartmouth College, 1984

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