Sample Permissions Letter
Editor’s note: This sample letter can be used as a starting point when requesting permission—from authors, publishers, or other rights holders—to reprint their copyrighted material into your new work. Two caveats: (1) It is not necessary to request permission if you are within fair use guidelines, and (2) most publishers will ask you to sign their legal form and will not agree to sign your letter; this is normal. For more background on this, visit:
If your work is fairly complex, or this letter raises more questions than it answers, then you should talk to your publisher. If you’re self-publishing, seek an attorney; this is not professional legal advice.
[Use letterhead; if you have none, put your address and contact information at the top]
[Copyright Holder Name]
[Copyright Holder Address]
Dear [Copyright Holder Name],
I am requesting permission to reprint [# of words / # of poetry lines / illustrations] from the following work:
Title of the work:
Year of publication:
A copy of the material I would like to use is enclosed [or pasted below, or attached].
I would like to include the above material as part of the following book that I am preparing:
Title of work:
Print run (if applicable):
[If you are not requesting permission for a book, then identify the format, e.g., physical or digital audio, CD or DVD, online/website use, app, etc, and still detail the publisher/distributor, release date, and price.]
I request non-exclusive world rights to use this material in my work, in all languages and for all editions and formats, including digital/electronic. These rights will in no way restrict republication of the material in any other form by you or by others authorized by you.
If you agree with the terms as described above, please sign and return the letter to me, specifying any credit line, fees, or other conditions you require. Your signing of this letter confirms that you own the copyright to the above described material. If you do not currently hold the rights, I would appreciate any information that can help me contact the rights holder.
I would be very grateful for your permission. If you require any additional information, do not hesitate to contact me at the address and number above.
The above request is approved on the understanding that full credit will be given to the source.
[include a signing area, with spaces for signature, name and title, company/affiliation, and date]