My ex-partner lives in LA, California and I live in Madrid, Spain. Two years ago, we decided to write a book of our story. We announced it on Facebook and other social sites. Four months ago, he broke the relationship and I decided to write the book alone (including nothing of what he had written) and I plan to publish it on Amazon.com . Also, we had decided the cover pic -of both of us- taken with his camera. We never signed a contract or agreements. The only proof I have are the WhatsApp texts and the emails that we shared to discuss the book.

My questions are: Will I be in trouble if I publish our story? if so, changing the names would be enough? Is there any advice you can offer me about legal issues?

  • Hi Ai Hikari, and welcome. (1) At a minimum, for this to be answerable you need to tell us where you are located, as laws vary by jurisdiction. (Country, state/province or similar.) (2) The people here are predominantly writers, not legal experts, and any answers given are likely to reflect such a focus. (3) We prefer specific questions that can be answered, not just discussed, and where answers can be judged on how well they answer the question. Asking for "any advice" comes precariously close to not meeting that criteria (but then again I'm not a legal expert).
    – user
    Sep 1, 2018 at 11:26
  • I'm putting your question on hold temporarily until we at least know where you are located; you should Edit the question to include that information as well as any other information requested in comments. If you edit the question while it is "on hold", which it will be for several days, it will automatically be entered into our reopen review queue for review by our experienced community members.
    – user
    Sep 1, 2018 at 11:26
  • I made some changes. Is it clear enough now?
    – Ai Hikari
    Sep 2, 2018 at 9:19
  • 1
    The question has been reopened.
    – user
    Sep 3, 2018 at 6:58

1 Answer 1


You own your own biography.

That said, if any of what you write about others could reasonably be construed to be defamatory or libelous by your local laws, you might well consider changing names - moreover, one can argue that common decency / etiquette would strongly suggest doing so regardless of legal exposures, unless you are a public figure in which case no such standard obtains.

I think your greatest legal exposure is probably the use of a photographic image for which you most likely don't have a signed model release from the other party - that seems inherently problematic to me.

That said, I am not a lawyer, I do not play one on television, I have no legal standing upon which to base this advice beyond my own experience as a technical author, graphic designer, occasional photographer, and illustrator: moreover, my knowledge of applicable laws is United States centric but not exclusive.

So - I think you're mostly good-to-go, but... if after you look into the laws around these two issues in your locality, you find you are in any doubt at all: then do not hesitate - consult an attorney.

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