Do I Need Permission to Feature Local Businesses in My Novel?

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Angela,

First off, I love your newsletter. It’s very informative.

I have a question about using local businesses in a fictional book.

My manuscript is a humorous mystery and uses some of the local haunts in (my city). I don’t say anything bad about any of them.

It’s mainly the characters going to places like (a local restaurant), which is considered a local original. I explain why. Also, (a local diner). Everyone in the area where my heroine lives would know this place. They would also know that the bathroom is decorated with (a well-known cartoon character) accessories. This is mentioned in my manuscript. One character also works at a local charity, mentioned by name.

Is it okay to use them as long as I don’t show them in a bad light? Or, should I get them to sign something? If so, what?

Kathryn


You should:

1. Provide copies of the pages in the book that feature each business to the respective business owner.

2. Ask their permission to use their business in your book (they will, of course, say yes).

3. And, then use the conversion as an opportunity to ask them to sell your books at their business on a consignment basis.

Click HERE for more on selling books on consignment.

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