I've been thinking a lot about my own mortality lately (I know, morbid, right?), as well as the longevity of my books. What happens when I'm gone? Will my books continue to sell since I'm self-published, or will my business close shop, so to speak? What happens to my royalties?
I decided that as an indie author, it is worth considering, as I don't have a big 10 publisher, lawyer, or agent to take care of these things if something were ever to happen to me. I mean, it's not like the notion is unheard of. When V.C. Andrews passed away, her family decided to hire a ghost writer to complete her unfinished stories, with the royalties going back into the Andrew's estate. And what about Stieg Larsson, whose Millennium Series became published after his death, with his estate and royalties going to his father and brother (which supposedly was not in his will and was against his wishes).
So how do we, as indie authors protect ourselves from a situation like Larsson's?
For starters, I plan to jot all my account information (Amazon, B&N, iTunes, etc.) and passwords and save them in a safe place, either in a lock box at home or safety security box at the bank. That way, my husband (or whoever is named in my will upon my death) can have access everything and can continue (or not) to keep my books published and keep the royalties rolling in.
What about my books and or unfinished manuscripts? I'm thankful I've already been using Dropbox as a back-up for all my work. This information, as well as my computer log-in info will be stored along with all my book account info.
Whether you're an author or not, it should always be a good idea to keep all your personal info and banking passwords in one place (safely secured, of course), to make things easier in the event something happens. We never think anything will ever happen to us and often make excuses for not putting our personal affairs in order until it's too late.
What have you done to protect your legacy after you've gone?