Permission Costs
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Does anyone know roughly what it costs for permission to use a few lines from a song? I want to use about four lines from a song in my novel, two lines in one chapter, two different lines in a later chapter. I feel the lyrics really add to the story, otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Taking into account I've never been published, I believe a publisher will not be willing to pay the license fee. I wonder if it is within reason to pay for it myself. Anyone know the cost? It's a pop song from a few years back by Bon Jovi.

  • Thanks for the info! I'm using "Wanted Dead or Alive" - but decided to cut the lyrics.....the scene was clear enough without them.


    But.....I did discover my love for karaoke was going to cost me a lot of money. So, I'm sure glad I read your post :)


    I had written a couple of bar scenes with lyrics.....but there's only one (Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody) that's important to the I'll be cutting some ABBA, Chris Isaak, etc.


  • Thanks for the info, Marita. I've gotten further with this question since my original post. In fact, I've gotten the paperwork I need to complete for the Bon Jovi song. The problem is the questions are geared to a publisher. I wanted to get permission on my own so a publisher wasn't scared to take on my book because of my use of the song lyrics. Also, I thought I might be able to get a "better" deal if I said I hadn't even started looking for a publisher. Unfortunately, they sent me the normal paperwork, which includes all sorts of questions and asks for the page containing the lyrics plus the page before and after the lyrics. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. It's their business.

    If only I could meet Jon Bon Jovi in an elevator and ask him to personally grant me permission for a mere $5.00!

    Marita, here is the info for Bon Jovi's songs: Click on ACE/Repertory to look up specific song titles. I had to contact Lacey Chemsak (email [email protected]). She's the one who sent me the forms.

    Good luck.

    Out of curiosity, which Bon Jovi song do you quote. I quote "Superman Tonight."

    Just remembered I read your query yesterday. Did you quote "Wanted Dead or Alive" and "Killer Queen?"