Self-Publishing FAQ: Four Questions Answered

Throughout the month of July I discussed topics that often come up for self-publishing authors.  Without an experienced agent, many self-publishing authors find that it’s tough to get the answers to their questions about rights and permissions.  The July series was designed to help answer some of the questions you may have and to direct you to other sites where you can get more information on each topic.  If you missed the series, here is an overview of the topics I discussed and links to more information.

Parts of My Book are True, Can It Still Be Fiction?

Many authors aren’t sure whether to label their work as fiction or non-fiction, a novel or memoir. It is important that writers understand the differences between the two in order to avoid legal issues. The main message is this: if it’s not 100% true, it’s not non-fiction and readers need to be aware that at least parts of the book are fictitious.

Can My Non-Fiction Book be Considered Libelous?

Libelous statements are published statements that are false and damaging. They can be made against people or products. For someone to have a case against you, the statement must be three things: untrue, damaging, and knowingly false. Public officials and public figures must also prove malice.

Can I Use Images From the Internet in My Book?

Many self-publishing authors aren’t sure whether or not they can use internet images in their books. The same copyright laws apply to images found on the internet as any other images. Most of them are protected by copyrights and require permission to use.

Can I Use Song Lyrics in My Book?

The Fair Use rule does not apply to song lyrics. You need permission unless you are only using a song title or if the lyrics are in the public domain. You will also need permission to play recorded music in your book trailer.

For more information on these topics, you can click on the title to visit the original post, which includes links to additional resources. Also, if you have questions about self-publishing, comment below and I will try address them in future posts.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at

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