“My friends gave me verbal permission to include them in my book. Can they sue me later?”

“My friends gave me verbal permission to include them in my book. Can they sue me later?”

Q –

Hi Angela,

I’ve read several articles on WritersWeekly about writing about real people. I know it’s dangerous.

Three of my characters are based directly on real, living people. All three have read my novel, and given me permission to represent them as I have. I’ve referred to “Business and Legal Forms for Authors and Self-Publishers” by Tad Crawford and cannot find a release form that applies to this situation.

If I write a letter for my publisher stating these people consent to my representing them in my novel and release me from any legal action, including their signature, would this suffice?


A –

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. That said…

You’ll need to obtain written, notarized releases from each of them. You never know what money might do to people, even family and friends. If your book sells well, and if you have not protected yourself and your  publisher, you just might find yourself embroiled in an expensive lawsuit.

There’s a sample release RIGHT HERE.

I encourage you to review that, and to consult with your attorney.

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One Response to "“My friends gave me verbal permission to include them in my book. Can they sue me later?”"

  1. wmba dams  December 13, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Anybody can sue anyone for anything in the USA. Make sure it is in writing and notarized. But see a lawyer first to make sure what is signed does the job of protecting you.