I'm on the second revision of a novel in which the main
character is deep into music and often uses the lyrics to communicate what she's trying to say.
Right now she's quoting about 16 songs--more than 1/2 by known artists. I know it's the author's job to secure permissions. The question is would it make you, the agent, or an editor reject the manuscript out of hand? (Years behind the editor's desk tells me what a pain this could be.)
One of Miss Snark's colleagues still has footprints on her posterior from trying to secure copyright permissions for rock lyrics. She had a done deal, an editor twitching feverishly on the hook for the book, all that remained was to secure clearances.
Well you won't be reading that book any time soon. Clearances were not only not forthcoming, there was much hullaballoo, screeching and yelling about even asking.
Out right rejection..no. Very very cautious consideration..yes. Plus, they don't just say ok. They say Ok, show me the money.
And, it's hard to get permissions unless the book is sold, and it's hard to sell a book unless you have permissions.
Miss Snark can dig up enough problems selling things without adding to the list by including lyrics.