Death and the Pre-Published Author

I don’t know how I wound up talking about death last week. It’s not a topic that’s front and center on anybody’s mind in a pandem–


Well, anyway, the topic turned to estate planning for unpublished and indie writers.

Don’t get me wrong. I get the general idea. It’s just that once I finish figuring out where the–hypothetical–money should go, I hit a brick wall. Do I know anyone who can take my work from blips on a hard drive to finished product? Anyone who would want to?

Estate planning guides were recommended. Some of them are pretty detailed. Let’s gather the following paperwork…

But then, there’s that wall. Where does all that paperwork go?

Ideally, it would be someone who already has some idea of what they’re doing. Asking my next of kin to agree on anything would be a long-shot. And asking them to manage my creative estate? Every bit as ridiculous as asking them to personally embalm me.

You can get out the yellow pages and find a reasonable embalmer at a reasonable price.

But someone to manage un-published, or indie-published work? For work that has no existing income? Well shoot.

Now, the most convenient solution would be to just go ahead and live forever.

The second most convenient solution is probably to have a specialty business that does it. You’d write the financing and authority into your will, and then–in the event of your death–the files would be transferred to someone who knows what they’re doing.

A business that knows how to deal with dead authors and their families.

Anybody know of one?

I can’t decide whether it would be the best possible branch of estate planning, or the worst. On the one hand, you’d get to make a real difference in peoples’ lives… uhm… or afterlives. something. On the other, not only is Mildred in mourning for her dead husband, she’s absolutely convinced that the sexy blonde in Chapter Six is Lillian Thompson from Kiwanis, and would therefore like the pivotal character removed.

So, thoughts? (I’m just passing them on. Not… you know… passing on.)

Do you have a plan, or does your writing just turn into a “hobby” when you die?


  1. Reply

    Hobby for now. Funny enough, I prepaid my final arrangements last week and my living will. You’ve given me food for thought when i redo my other paperwork.

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