I posted this on my Patreon and thought people here would find it useful.
So I have a book that just came out with ancient hymns in it (see here) and it occurred to me that many people may not know how this works.
Once I find a hymn or quote I want to use, I look up the publisher and email them with the information of what I want to include (the hymn, the full citation of the book or article, including page number) and information about my book (title, publisher, rights, distribution, approximate cost). Then starts the waiting game. Sometimes it takes a few days, a month and some take years to get back to me. Yes, years. (I’m still waiting on some in fact).
Now, once I hear back, I can get different kinds of responses:
- Got permission. It’s free. Just send us a copy of the book and cite everything completely. Sometimes, they’ll even give me a template to use for citations. So, literally cut and paste, just add the page number. (and no, you can’t abbreviate citations. Full citation for each hymn)
- You may have permission if you send us money. $50 USD
- You may have permission if you send us money. $200 USD
- You may have permission if you send us money even though you asked for only 6 to 12 lines. $198 USD (Yes, this happened)
- You may have permission to translate and include one hymn if you pay us. $350 USD (Yes, this happened too and I said no)
And I must include the books in the bibliography as well.
So if the hymn is in German or French, I have to ask permission from either the author or the publisher to translate it and include it in my book. If it is already translated into English, I ask permission from the author/translator or publisher to include it in my book. Sometimes, they will ask for a copy of the book in exchange which I am more than happy to provide.
If it is in hieroglyphs then I ask someone who knows hieroglyphs to translate it for me in exchange for a book copy or monetary compensation. If I knew hieroglyphs, then I could just translate it myself. (But I digress…)
So I hope this helped to clear up any issues about what I include in my books as far as content or footnotes.
Thank you to all the authors, translators and publishers who kindly gave me permission to include their works in my books.