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Blondie Clayton

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7- Tips Authors Can Do Now In Case of Death
by Blondie Clayton   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, August 19, 2010
Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2010

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It took losing an author to death, leaving a husband that didn't know what to do with all she had started, to wake me up.

I dedicate this article to an author loss to Cancer two years ago. Her name was Brendane Phillips. She was in the middle of  launching her book: What Must I Do to Escape the Bird Flu when death claimed her life. She had just ordered 3000 books, completed her Amazon Bestseller campaign, and had been interviewed on numerous radio shows. It was a shock to us and her husband.

Death has no age limit. If you, as an author have built a thriving book writing business, or have published and are promoting your many works, make a plan that includes someone carrying on, or finishing what you started.

This is a subject that very few want to think of, or talk about. It is inevitable, that our end result of living in this physical body is death. How many unexpected deaths have happened around you in the last six months to a year? If you have had none, keep living, it will happen.

It is the kind of thing you keep putting off, but we made it a point to force the issue because it is what it is. Death comes unexpected. It is not a favorite subject in conversations, unless someone has suffered a loss.

You rarely hear talks like, “Here are my after death plan.” People are more likely to talk about their life insurance policy but if you are the CEO of a small company, there maybe a good chance no one knows the details of what you are doing, have done.

My husband and I travel a lot together. Just before our last trip, it occurred to me that though our children knew we were in business, they would be unfamiliar to handle what we might have left behind. So we sat down and created a document, detailing not only my books by title, but directions for clients re-orders, sites that were money making, etc. The more I wrote, the more needed to be written. I had no idea just how much our family would need to know to direct our business affairs at our death.

Now we can add anything else that we think of as time goes on. I feel much relieved. I have even shared with one of our sons and my sister-in-law where to find these papers, along with providing them a key to our office.

I don’t expect to die any time soon, but if it happens, I know that my family will not be left confused about what to do with our business and clients.

Here are some thoughts we put together. Hope this starting point will help your family to have one less situation to deal with in the event, death comes unexpected:

1.    List your published books and where they are posted and any information that would be needed to transfer funds, or to get into your account

2.    If you have a web site and your family want to continue, they will need e-mails, password, whose hosting it, the cost, whether it is an automatic deduction, etc.

3.    Let them know your book maybe posted on the net but that is not an indication of book sales. This is to help them avoid wasting money on frivolous lawsuits

4.    Provide the name of the publishers, phone numbers, just in case you have a book ready to be released.

5.    If you are working with independent editors, or others you have doing some work for you and you have a payment arrangement, make note of that, with phone numbers to contact.

6.    In case you are scheduled for upcoming interviews, etc, make sure a contact number is in your calendar

7.    Create a document giving your next of kin the rights to sell your books and speak on behalf of your works in progress.

Remember, your book idea doesn’t stop after death. People may still want to purchase copies but if those left behind don’t know what you know, those orders will not be filled and added to your estate. The one you designate may not be you, but at least what you started in sales can continue.

   More on the up side of life at


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