Monday, September 9, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--"Fair Use" when Using Quotations--September 9, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
September 9, 2013
Update: What a busy week this has been! Finished a 409-page editing job and learned how to send it to the publisher camera ready. Also finished editing a 328-page biblical novel for a writer who is entering it in a contest. Plus finished editing a children’s musical, and proofreading a 224-page book titled The Power of God’s Names by Tony Evans. What a great book. I recommend you buy a copy when it comes out in a few months….The Arizona Republic published my article on suicide last week: “Suicide: One Death, Many Victims.” Because it appeared in a secular publication and used at least one Scripture verse, I can enter it in the Amy Foundation contest. … Notes from Sunday’s sermon: “Yesterday no longer has a hold on you, and you don’t have to worry about what’s going to happen tomorrow, as His mercies are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness.”
Thought for the Day: Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths, He will provide us with strong shoes (Alexander McClaren).
Laugh for the Day: 65% of the men in this country are on medication for mental illness.
That's scary. It means 35% are running around untreated.
Reader’s Question: What is meant by “fair use” when you want to use a quotation?
Answer: Usually "fair use"—meaning you can use it without requesting permission—is under 100 words. However, it depends on the length of the quotation and the length of your manuscript. For example, if you were using 100 words in your 250-word devotional, that wouldn't be fair use. Also, if you were using a writer's entire 250-word devotional in your book, it wouldn't be fair use. One editor said at a conference I attended that you could use 100 words from a 100-page book, 200 words from a 200-page book, etc. When John Wiley & Sons published two of my books, the editor said I could use up to 300 words without permission. When writing my "Freedom of Letting Go" book, I had to be careful on the number of quotations I used from one publisher as they charged $50 each—no matter the length of the quotation.
I have a form letter I use to request permissions, and also a form on which I keep track of the quotations—numbering each one, listing the name and address of the publisher, the date I wrote, the date I received permission, any charge and the date paid, and if they requested a copy of the book, the date I sent it.
I keep a copy of this form in case the book goes out of print and I resell it. This was the case of a six-chapter book I sold in the middle 70s titled Winning Souls Through the Sunday School. When it went out of print, I divided it into 52 devotions and sold it as Teacher Tune-Ups. Because it was a different book, I had to request permissions again.
If you’re quoting from a government publication, you don’t have to get permission, but you do have to use a credit line.
The rules are different, however, with music. You can’t quote more than one line of a song (that isn’t in public domain) without getting permission and often, with contemporary songs especially, it may be difficult to obtain. You can use the title, though, or paraphrase the words.
 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"

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