The legal disclaimer examples for books shown below are given as a guideline so that you can become familiar with the legalities of book publishing. Since I’m not an attorney, make sure to consult with one before you publish any book disclaimer statements.
Now, while fiction books require very little in the way of legal disclaimers, nonfiction books are a completely different story.
Depending on your book’s topic, you may be writing in areas that are subject to strict regulatory guidelines for disclosure and you’ll therefore need to engage the services of an attorney in order to create book disclaimers that minimize the chances of being sued by those regulatory agencies.
For example, if you created a system that allows you to lose 20 lbs. in 30 days, you’ve used this system successfully on yourself plus 20 other clients and you have the testimonials to back that up, the FTC will still not allow you to claim that those results are typical and achievable by the average reader.
The same applies to investment advice and SEC regulations on disclosure.
Just make sure that you hire an attorney to craft your nonfiction book disclaimer statements so that you’re well protected.
Book Disclaimer Examples for Fiction and Nonfiction Titles
Legal disclaimers for fiction books are quite straightforward. All you need to establish is that any similarities to people and events is purely coincidental. This can be achieved with a disclaimer that is short and to the point (see first example below).
However, legal disclaimers for nonfiction books are much more involved, depending on your subject.
For instance, books on investment matters will need to abide by SEC disclosure rules and books that promote a specific set of results (e.g. Lose X lbs. in Y time), will have to abide by FTC disclaimers of typicality that require you to disclose average or expected results, as well as the FTC guides concerning the use of endorsements of testimonials.
With these caveats out of the way, let’s look at some disclaimer examples:
Example of a Legal Disclaimer for a Fiction Book
This is a work of fiction. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Example of a Legal Disclaimer for a Nonfiction Book on Health (e.g. weight loss, illness management, alternative medicine, etc.)
The publisher and the author are providing this book and its contents on an “as is” basis and make no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to this book or its contents. The publisher and the author disclaim all such representations and warranties, including but not limited to warranties of healthcare for a particular purpose. In addition, the publisher and the author assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any other inconsistencies herein.
The content of this book is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. You understand that this book is not intended as a substitute for consultation with a licensed practitioner. Please consult with your own physician or healthcare specialist regarding the suggestions and recommendations made in this book. The use of this book implies your acceptance of this disclaimer.
The publisher and the author make no guarantees concerning the level of success you may experience by following the advice and strategies contained in this book, and you accept the risk that results will differ for each individual. The testimonials and examples provided in this book show exceptional results, which may not apply to the average reader, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that you will achieve the same or similar results.
Example of a Legal Disclaimer for a Nonfiction Book on Fitness
The publisher and the author strongly recommend that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. The author is not a licensed healthcare care provider and represents that they have no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.
You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge the publisher and the author from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of the contents of this book.
The publisher and the author advise you to take full responsibility for your safety and know your limits. Before practicing the skills described in this book, be sure that your equipment is well maintained and do not take risks beyond your level of experience, aptitude, training, and comfort level.
Example of a Legal Disclaimer for a Nonfiction Book on Money (e.g. money management, investment, debt management, etc.)
The information provided in this book is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a source of advice or credit analysis with respect to the material presented. The information and/or documents contained in this book do not constitute legal or financial advice and should never be used without first consulting with a financial professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs.
The publisher and the author do not make any guarantee or other promise as to any results that may be obtained from using the content of this book. You should never make any investment decision without first consulting with your own financial advisor and conducting your own research and due diligence. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the publisher and the author disclaim any and all liability in the event any information, commentary, analysis, opinions, advice and/or recommendations contained in this book prove to be inaccurate, incomplete or unreliable, or result in any investment or other losses.
Content contained or made available through this book is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice or investment advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed. The publisher and the author are providing this book and its contents on an “as is” basis. Your use of the information in this book is at your own risk.
Example of a Legal Disclaimer for a Nonfiction Book on Psychology (e.g. psychology, relationships, self-help, etc.)
Although the publisher and the author have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time and while this publication is designed to provide accurate information in regard to the subject matter covered, the publisher and the author assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any other inconsistencies herein and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
This publication is meant as a source of valuable information for the reader, however it is not meant as a substitute for direct expert assistance. If such level of assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
Now you have a good idea about the role that legal disclaimers play in the book trade.
This is an area where it’s better to be safe than sorry – if your distribution and promotion are limited and your book doesn’t reach a wide audience, your risk will be somewhat mitigated.
But if your book takes off in the market and reaches wide distribution (hurray!), you’ll need to be protected and the cost of an attorney early on in the publishing process will be an investment worth making.
If you enjoyed this article and are in the process of publishing a nonfiction book, be sure to check out my free nonfiction success guide, drawn from years of experience editing books for bestselling authors (including a New York Times bestseller) and ghostwriting for CEOs and politicians. Simply click here to get instant access.
Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or a specific need that I can help you address – I operate an author services firm that specializes in helping entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners who want to publish books as a calling card for prospects, to establish their status as an expert or to just to generate additional leads for their businesses.
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Bennett R. Coles is an award-winning author of six books published through Harper Collins (New York) and Titan Publishing Group (London). He is also the publisher at Promontory Press, editor for multiple bestselling authors (including a NY Times bestseller), ghostwriter for CEOs and politicians and the founder of Cascadia Author Services, a boutique full-service firm that specializes in premium author services specifically designed for busy professionals. Our end-to-end services include writer coaching, ghostwriting, editing, proofing, cover design, book layout, eBook production, printing, distribution and marketing.