Once you determine the need for permission (meaning your use doesn't qualify as Fair Use, and the work is not in the Public Domain or licensed for public use), don't be afraid to ask. Get organized and follow these steps:
You will need all of this information in order to determine who holds copyright for the work.
The rights holder may be the original author or creator of the work, the publisher, or the creator's heirs. Many large rights owners, such as publishers and movie studios, post their rights clearance process on their websites.
First, look for copyright notice on the work, which usually looks like this: Copyright © 2014, John Doe. You may also be able to identify rights owners by searching the records of the U.S. Copyright Office or the database of the Copyright Clearance Center. (In the case of multiple owners, authors or creators you only need to secure the permission from one of the copyright holders.)
There are no hard and fast rules for requesting permission, but it is generally a good idea to include the following information in your request:
A printed letter or an email is okay.
If you are not successful in securing permission on your own, you may wish to consult one of the copyright licensing services, such as Copyright Clearance Center, for assistance. These services may be fee-based and you may be expected to pay to license the work for your purpose.