For many first time self-published authors, including disclaimers may not seem like a top priority. However, the purpose of including disclaimers for books is that it serves to protect the author against the possibility of a lawsuit. A disclaimer can also act as a way to showcase the author’s credentials or lack thereof in a certain field, and it denies responsibility for any outcomes resulting from the reader’s subsequent actions after reading the book.
What is a Book Disclaimer?
These are official statements releasing the publisher (you) of any legal responsibility for the contents of the book. They’re intended to limit liability for the use of something, like a product or service.
For writers, this means disclaimers would limit liability from your published words, whether in books, websites, and/or blogs.
Do I Need to Add a Disclaimer For My Book?
It depends. Including a disclaimer is optional. For fiction books, it’s not necessary. However, for nonfiction books, which is mainly what dietitians write, you should include a book disclaimer.
Nonfiction books are works that are based on true, actual events and facts & numbers. A book disclaimer is designed to provide you with additional legal protection, if needed.
A disclaimer is harmless to include. It makes sense to use one. In many cases, it’s best practice to include a disclaimer.
Where to Place Disclaimers for Books
Typically, disclaimers for books are placed on the copyright page. However, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the placement of these disclaimer statements. They are most commonly found at the bottom of the copyright page, after all the actual copyright and printing information.
How to Write a Disclaimer for Books [Nonfiction]
Disclaimers should be creative. No need for all that legal jargon in the disclaimer. Have fun with it. The more creative and interesting the disclaimer is written, the more likely it will be read.
Use these three tips when creating your own disclaimer for books:
- Be creative. Highlight your voice and showcase your personality.
- Keep it short. A disclaimer should be short & sweet. A disclaimer length of a few lines up to a paragraph is appropriate.
- Adjust based on your book type/genre. (i.e., health & wellness, food & nutrition, fitness & exercise)
Examples of Disclaimers for Books
Before we dive into the examples of disclaimers for book, I want to emphasize that I am not a lawyer, and by sharing these examples with you I am not suggesting you copy/paste them into your book. Be creative and edit/revise a statement below that you find to be a good fit for your book. Be sure to consult with attorney if you have questions about the type of disclaimer to use in your book.
For self-help or nonfiction type books that are health-related, this is a common type of disclaimer used:
“The information and advice contained in this book are based upon the research and the personal and professional experiences of the author. They are not intended as a substitute for consulting with a healthcare professional. The publisher and author are not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations, or procedures discussed in this book. All matters pertaining to your physical health should be supervised by a healthcare professional.”
Here are some other disclaimers that have been used in nonfiction books:
- This book does not replace the advice of a medical professional. Consult your physician before making any changes to your diet or regular health plan.
- The information provided within this book is for general informational and educational purposes only. The author makes no representations or warranties, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or related graphics contained in this book for any purpose. Any use of this information is at your own risk.
- The information in this book was correct at the time of publication, but the author does not assume any liability for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions.
- The information in this book is true and complete to the best of the author’s knowledge. Any advice or recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author or publisher. The author and publisher disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information.
- The medical information in this book is not advice and should not be treated as such. Do not substitute this information for the medical advice of physicians. The information is general and intended to better inform readers of their health care. Always consult your doctor for your individual needs. Consult a physician for matters relating to your health and any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
- The author of this book disclaims liability for any loss or damage suffered by any person as a result of the information or content in this book. The information in this book is for educational purposes only. Consult a physician before performing any exercise program. It is your responsibility to evaluate your own medical and physical condition, or that of your clients, and to independently determine whether to perform, use or adapt any of the information or content in this book. Any exercise program may result in injury. By voluntarily undertaking any exercise displayed in this book, you assume the risk of any resulting injury.
- Although the author has made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author does not assume and hereby disclaims 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 book is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
- 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.
In summary, if you are writing a nonfiction book, it’s best practice to include some sort of disclaimer on your copyright page. You can decide how write your own, flip through some books on your bookshelf to view other disclaimers from similar books, or you can opt to modify one of the above statements that best aligns with your book.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified lawyer for all legal opinions on your specific situation as it relates to adding disclaimers to your self-published book.