I want to quote a poem from another author in my book. I contacted a publisher that has the piece in one of their books. They’re quoting me hundreds of dollars to reproduce the text in my book. But, there are countless websites that have already republished this exact poem.
It’s not in the public domain. What should I do?
First, please know that just because something is posted anywhere and everywhere online doesn’t mean most or all of those websites are NOT committing copyright infringement. In fact, they probably ARE violating copyright law.
However, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of a publisher trying to earn a few bucks on something they may not actually own the rights to.
Here’s the problem:
If they don’t own the rights, and even if you pay them, republishing the text without permission of the actual copyright holder means you’ve committed copyright infringement.
I researched the poem you sent to me and there are indeed countless websites that have reproduced, both as text, and in graphics (memes). It’s a really nice poem and I can see why people like it so much. However, that doesn’t excuse what appears to be rampant copyright infringement. I doubt all of the websites I found paid hundreds to publish that poem.
Your best bet is to contact the author directly. If she is deceased, research online to find her family. THEY should be benefitting from this transaction; not a greedy publisher who is charging people for “reprints” even if that entity may not (and probably does not) own exclusive rights to the piece.
- Just Because Something is “Old” Does NOT Mean You Can Publish It!
- JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON THE INTERNET DOESN’T MEAN PEOPLE CAN USE IT FOR FREE!
- Online Resources for Catching Copyright Infringement
- Does Copyright Infringment Affect Resale Value? Heck, Yeah!
- Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism…or BOTH?
- Get your book copyrighted for only $99
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts
and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor,
which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!
7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition
At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.
And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!
Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!
Read more here: