Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Your Legacy as an Indie

It's the second Wednesday of the month and even though the day is half-way done and over with, I thought I should still do my post for Indie Life today.

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? 


  1. Hmm, this is definitely something that should be thought about. We'd all like to think our books will live on for centuries, but that only happens to a very few. But I definitely wouldn't want everything to just stop. We never know what might happen!

  2. It's something we should think about and plan for. I was just thinking that myself...

    1. I've been thinking about it a lot lately and thought how hard it would be for the hubby to do/access anything if something were to happen to me.

  3. There's actually a really good series on estate planning for writers that Kristine Rusch is doing at

    Writing books creates messy estates, apparently. I'm not far enough in my career to worry about it yet, but I know it's something I'll have to deal with eventually.

    I didn't know Larsson's family was getting his money against his wishes. I guess that just shows how important it is to plan ahead, no matter how much it sucks to think about.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thanks for the link! I don't know if I'm ready (or have the time) to go all out at this point, but at least keeping my account info handy in a secure place will surely help!

      And yes, apparently they were estranged and since the law couldn't honor his will, it went to his father/brother.

  4. Great advice. I've been thinking about this myself.

    Hugs and chocolate,

    1. XOXO. It's a such a downer topic, but it something we should all think about!

  5. Thanks for this post, Claudia. I can't say I've thought much about it, but it would be prudent to. Have a great month!


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