Using real names in a non fiction book
Asked Sep 24, 2009, 06:55 PM
I have written a non fiction memoir in which I use real names and real events. Everything I have stated in the book is true. I have signed a contract with a publishing company and my book is currently being edited and printed. At the request of a friend who read my book and wondered if I could be held liable for using real names, I decided to write to the editor of the publishing company and ask. Their response was that I should use fictional names to avoid a potential lawsuit. I do not want to do that, nor do I feel there is anything contained in my book that would be considered untrue, slanderous, or even controversial. The editor went on to say that the printing of my book is nearly completed and for me to change names at this point would cost me money. There was nothing in the contract that related to this subject and I feel that I am being wrongly treated if the publisher expects me to change people's names at this point at a cost to me. What are the laws regarding this, and is it mandatory that I use fictional names in place of real names?