September 15, 2014

What Happens to a Book When an Author Dies?


by Toni Leland

Death and taxes – inevitable, but how many authors think about what will happen to their work after they’re gone? 

As authors, we control our characters’ lives: when they grow, when they fail, when they fall in love, or when they die. But most of us need a reminder that the future will come, whether we like it or not, sooner or later (hopefully, later).


Estate Planning for Authors provides just the guidebook we need to prepare for and face up to those inevitabilities. Written by attorney and author Gin Jones, I found this book to be just what I needed to help me make decisions about things like my copyrights, what to do with unfinished work when I pass, and how and when to consult with a professional. 

The book contains more than simple advice to seek an attorney and draw up a will – Jones discusses the ramifications of dying without a will, and includes examples that are, quite frankly, frightening. She interviews and quotes well-known authors, and cites actual cases where an author’s will didn’t measure up when the time came to disperse assets.

I strongly recommend that ANY writer read Estate Planning for Authors and make a plan accordingly. We work too hard on our stories and articles and poetry and research to have those vestiges of ourselves discarded, or worse – abused.