Asking for permission to use a copyrighted work involves several steps:
Keep in mind that what you are getting from the copyright owner may not be a perpetual license, but a license to use a work in a particular situation, possibly for a limited amount of time. Should you wish to repeat this use, or change the conditions under which you will use the work, you may need to request permission again.
The copyright owner is entirely within his/her rights to ask you for a fee or to say no. These fees may or may not be negotiable.
The key to making a good request is being explicit and precise.