Can I add quotes from other authors in my book, mentioning their names. E.g. I want to mention quotes by authors like Franz Kafka, Michael Crichton, George Orwell before some of my chapters.

Can I do it legally, or I need to take some permission? I am mentioning the author name.

2 Answers 2


As long as you keep the excerpt brief, put the remark in quotes and cite the author, it's fine. This falls under the heading of "fair use." People do this from time to time in everyday conversation as well. "As Descartes would say, 'I think therefore I am.'" If anything, an author would be flattered to be quoted.

As cloudchaser pointed out, you probably need permission if you were using the quote for "promotional" purposes such as advertising. That falls outside for "fair use."


Citing a sentence or two from another work inside a novel is not copyright infringement. Only if you want to cite a longer passage, or if you want to use even a brief citation on the cover or in advertising, should you ask the copyright holder.

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