“I want to publish the lyrics from an old song but the rights holder hasn’t responded to me. What can I do?”

“I want to publish the lyrics from an old song but the rights holder hasn’t responded to me. What can I do?”

Q – 

I want to include some words from the old song by Shirley Ellis in a short story I’m ready to publish as part of a collection. I’ve emailed ASCAP, and Sony, who owns the publishing rights, for permission and no one has gotten back to me in the past four weeks. Any advice on next steps?


A – 

All you can do is ping them again (and maybe again). It’s not unusual for large copyright holders to take forever to respond to requests. And, it’s likely they’ll charge you several hundred dollars or more to use the lyrics.

Another alternative is this:
Can I Publish Song Lyrics? No, But, Here’s What You Can Do…

Brian Whiddon
Managing Editor – WritersWeekly.com
Operations Manager – BookLocker.com


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Angela Hoy is not only publisher of WritersWeekly.com, she's also co-owner of self-publishing services firm BookLocker.com and works directly with each author.

That's right, you work directly with the owner of BookLocker. No revolving customer service reps, no layers of bureaucracy to navigate, and absolutely no outsourcing to low-paying overseas call centers. We don't use call centers or telemarketing at all. You will never be shuffled from one "customer service rep" to another because we don't have any of those.
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Since we are selective about which books we publish, we are able to work with every author one-on-one. In the past 18 years, BookLocker has published more than 9,000 titles.

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BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy

Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!

BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.

QUERY LETTERS THAT WORKED! Real Queries That Landed $2K+ Writing Assignments

Peek over the shoulders of highly successful freelance writers to see how they earn thousands per article! The query letter is the key!
In these pages, you'll find real query letters that landed real assignments for national magazines, websites, and corporations.

Also includes:

  • Abbi Perrets' form letter that brings in $30,000-$45,000 annually
  • Sample phone query from Christine Greeley
  • The Six Golden Rules of Queries and Submissions...and How I Broke Them! by Bob Freiday
  • Your Rights As a "Freelancer"
  • and ANGELA HOY'S SECRET for finding ongoing freelance work from companies that have a stable of freelancers, yet never run ads for them!

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