What are the exact steps for requesting permission to quote and attribute a quote of one sentence to one paragraph in length for a novel? I am self-publishing and on a limited budget.

  • 1
    This looks like it's answered by How can I get permission to translate and republish a book?, even though you would be using the original source differently. (If it doesn't answer your question, you should edit.)
    – Laurel
    Jan 5, 2022 at 3:50
  • I would be surprised if one sentence to one paragraph doesn't fall under "fair use". (But I am not a lawyer.)
    – user54131
    Jan 5, 2022 at 20:56

1 Answer 1


There are no standard "exact steps". You can ask the copyright holder by amny method that you please. The holder can ignore this, say no, or refer you to some other person. Or the holw can say yes under whatever conditions the holder chooses.

Many authors delegate such matters to agents. Some get their publisher to handle such matters. In either case, if you write directly to the author you should be referred to the proper person or office.

There is no standard information to provide. If your question is too general, the holder may ask for details, or may simply ignore the request, which has the same effect as an answer of "No". I would suggest indicating as exactly as possible the content you wish to quote, and how you intend to use it.

In some cases the publisher holds the copyright, although this is less common than it once was. If that is the case, the publisher would be the one to ask for approval.

The holder may impose conditions, such as a specific attribution statement, or a fee. The holder could also insist on a shorter quote, or a different one. If permission is refused, or offered under conditioins the asker dislikes, the asker can consider if fair use might apply.

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