Monday, February 24, 2020

Yet More on Author Wills and Estates

Since there’s no such thing as too much information on the business side of publishing, here are more links on author wills and estates. 


ESTATE PLANNING FOR WRITERS, COPYRIGHT AND INVENTORIES:


AUTHOR ESTATES AND WILLS:


ON AUTHOR WILLS AND PRINCE:


NEIL GAIMAN ON WILLS WITH AN AUTHOR WILL TEMPLATE : 


PREPARING FOR A MAJOR AUTHOR EMERGENCY, LEGAL ELEMENTS:



Monday, February 17, 2020

Author Wills

When my mom died, one of her final caring gifts to the family was a huge folder filled with absolutely everything we would need to go forward with her cremation, memorial service, and the probating and closing of her estate.  

She had even written a rough draft of her obituary and the hymns and Bible verses she wanted at her service so we knew we were giving her the send off she wanted.  

Most of us with families already have our wills in order, but, as a writer, do you have a plan for your books after you die? 

Have you included instructions about your writing in your will? Or have you filled out an addenda to your will containing details about your writing? 

Some things you may want to consider are 

What do you want to happen to your books and "name" after you die. 

Do you want others to write books using your name? 

Do you want someone to finish whatever books you didn't finish? 

Do you want books you wrote years ago to be pulled out and sold? 

Do you want your notes and drafts sold or given to a university or a collector? 

Do you want someone to maintain your promotions (website, etc.) while your books are in print?

Do you want a special executor just for your writing? Most established authors name their literary agent or literary lawyer as special executor to their writing estate because writing is so specialized that people not in the business haven't a clue. 

Here's a really excellent blog on the subject by Neil Gaiman which includes a PDF form that writers can use to explain their wishes on their works.


If you already have a will, I’d use this form as an addenda to your will since it revokes previous wills.  As Gaiman said, talk to your lawyer.

And while you are doing all this, remember what my mom did for us and build a large folder that includes copies of all your publishing contracts, website contracts, passwords, and all the other things you need to manage your professional career.  And keep your files in order, too, to save your family from having to sort through the useless junk to find the important things. 

Monday, February 10, 2020

How to Create Your Own Audiobook

Audio books are rising rapidly in popularity, and self-published authors and those who have kept their audio rights with publishers are now entering the field with their own audiobooks.  
If you are interested in this market, I suggest this excellent article by Jordan Dane to get you started.


Monday, February 3, 2020

The Yen and Yang of Worldbuilding

One of the fun things about worldbuilding for a fantasy or paranormal novel is that you can take bits and pieces of religions and mythologies to build your own world.  Popular writers like Kevin Hearne have had confrontations between their main character and the gods of Greece, the Norse, and the Celts as well as demons, angels, werewolves, and vampires.  

This mix and match can be as much fun as an a la carte desert tray.  

However, and this is a big one, you must include the light/good and the dark/evil elements of these choices so that the playing field isn’t ridiculously one-sided.

One of the most common mistakes I see is the use of only the dark/evil part of a pantheon or religion.

A recent young adult novel I read had Judeo-Christian demons invading this world with only a small number of magical humans to fight them.  The two most powerful humans were a couple of ten-year-old boys.  

I kept expecting some force from the light to make its appearance to help give these kids and the human race a chance, but none appeared.   Any major victory without help is ridiculous and unbelievable.

Consider the show SUPERNATURAL.  The universe in this series has both angels and demons in play.  The angels, for the most part, are “big dicks,” but a few offer some assistance in the constant struggle against demons and other monsters.  Sam and Dean, even though ridiculously skilled, have more than themselves in this struggle.  They are also adept at creating alliances with the dark side like the King of Hell when they face something that threatens both good and evil

As writers we must stack the odds against our heroes so that their victories are sweet and hard fought, but we can’t make the mistake of making that victory ridiculous by offering no help from the the light side.