Quoting Melody…


Melody owns the copyrights to her work, but her publishers hold the licensing rights. Any communication about permission to quote must come from the publisher, not Melody.  Below are some rules of thumb:

To quote Melody on your website, you don’t need written permission from the publisher if the quote is 1 – 3 sentences long and correctly attributed to Melody Beattie.  Her name should appear immediately before or after the quote and the quotation should be inside quotation marks or italicized.  If possible, mention the title of the book where Melody’s quotation first appeared,  but naming the source book is optional on websites. Please check the source material anyway to make sure that Melody is the correct source for that quotation and to ensure the quote is accurate.

If you want to use more than three sentences on a website, either pare down the size of the intended quotation (preferable) or contact the publisher and obtain written permission.

If you want to use Melody’s quote in a magazine article or book manuscript, please keep the quote’s length within fair-use guidelines (usually 1 – 3 sentences but that depends …);  use quotation marks or italicize the quote; and include Melody’s full name (Melody Beattie) immediately next to the quote. Please fact-check to make sure the quotation is accurately quoted and originated with Melody, and not someone else.

For book manuscripts and some magazine articles, also include a full attribution In the  bibliography, including  author’s name, book or article title, publishing house, city of publisher’s location, and year published work was first released. Bibliographies appear at the end of the manuscript although some writers insert footnotes in the text.  Some writers include bibliographies at the end of magazine articles, especially when writing for medical or scientific journals or magazines.

For non-commercial, educational use including content in seminars, speeches, classroom settings or handouts at educational events, copyright laws tend to be more permissive.

Some publishers may require a one-time permissions fee to quote their authors in your book.

Because copyright law has changed so much over the years, even attorneys can struggle with its correct interpretation.

Check the publisher’s website. They may have their permissions guidelines published there or list a contact person for permission to quote their authors and other copyright information. Play it safe. Be a pro.  Follow their guidelines.

Respect all authors and yourself by getting it right when you write.