Many authors like to include testimonials and quotes from other authors, credible sources and people of influence in their book. Some of these come directly from the source, such as a personal testimonial for the book. Others come from famous quotes by another person that did not give you specific permission to include in your book. How do you handle both situations?
A testimonial is a short quote from someone that has personally reviewed your manuscript and wrote a positive statement about the book. These comments are excellent tools to use either in your book, on your cover, website or marketing materials to encourage other people to read your book. It’s “social proof” for the reader and gives them confidence that the book is worth reading. It’s a good idea to get as many testimonials as possible.
If you are quoting someone in your book that you do not know, it’s important that you understand the method for doing so. Using anyone’s copyrighted material is not allowed unless use the quote is written exactly as it appears elsewhere. For example, I quote Zig Ziglar frequently. One his most popular quotes is, “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.” In order for me to use it in my book or any other publication, I need to have the quote in quotation marks and give full credit to the author. Bottom line, anything you use in your work from someone else needs to be credited.
I went a step further for my first book. I had a quote in “Winning In Life Now” from someone that had passed away. His quote was taken from his website and I wrote it verbatim giving him full credit but I also contacted the company to get their approval to include it in my book. Technically, I did not need to go to that level of assurance but I didn’t want to have anyone come back at a later time asking to have that quote removed. Better to be safe than sorry!
It’s up to you what level you go to in getting approvals for your book but no matter what, always remember…if you didn’t say it originally, give full credit to the person who did.