Getting Permission to Use Reviews, Blurbs and Likenesses

by | Feb 2, 2023 | Book Marketing Basics

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On a recent minisode of our podcast for authors we covered permissions.

We know, permissions aren’t fun or sexy – but they’re necessary, so stick with us.

Any time you’re using someone else’s words, praise, input or inspiration there are right and wrong ways to go about it.

We had an author come to us recently that has this fantastic historical fiction title based on a well-known band from the 70s, but he neglected to factor in permissions, and some of the band members are still alive – so now he’s dealing with that – and believe me, it’s not fun.

Yes, that’s an extreme example, but a more common one that’s relevant to a lot of you is Amazon’s relatively new A+ Content feature.

A lot of authors want to use it to showcase reviews, blurbs, or awards, but we caution against that in most cases because Amazon takes these claims very seriously. Be prepared to back up your claims, and be even more prepared to not make Amazon think too hard about it – when in doubt they’ll ding you for it, they may even pull your book.

So just know reviews, blurbs and likenesses are a big element of keeping your business of being an author on the up and up. And when in doubt, consult with a literary attorney. I assure you their consulting fee is worth it in the long run.

So take a listen to the full episode just below, it’s less than 10 minutes long, and may save you some headaches in what we hope will be a long career in publishing!

Full-length episodes from our podcast for authors go live every other Thursday. You can stream episodes from our website, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Plus, you’ll want to follow us on your preferred podcast platform in order to catch our helpful (and often comical) minisodes that go live every other Friday.

The minisodes are a grab bag of topics that include industry rants, publishing predictions and breaking news, basic (yet critical) business advice for authors, and more!

Do you have suggestions for future episodes?

We would love to hear from you in the comments section!

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