My Relative Died. Can I Have Their Book Republished Elsewhere?

My Relative Died. Can I Have Their Book Republished Elsewhere?
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Hi Angela,

I may have already asked this of you…I don’t remember!!! If I have please excuse the repeat. My son self-published several Christian books with (I think) Lulu and Amazon carries them. On June 24, my son died suddenly from a heart attack. My question is…is there some way I can get copies of his books made through your company,

Several people, churches, etc. have asked to purchase his books and I’d like to be able to have the books myself to sell them. Is this possible? Is it even ethical? I don’t mind selling thru Amazon, but I want his wife and child to get the royalties, etc.

Thanks so much for your time!!


Dear Sue,

I am so sorry you lost your son and my heart hurts for you, my friend. 🙁

I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. Please ask your attorney specific questions about copyrights and beneficiaries.

Only the recipient of your son’s copyrights (his heir) can republish the book elsewhere. That is likely his wife and/or child. Of course, you can ask her for written permission (you will need a legal release) to republish his books. And, yes, if you obtain that (or if she contacts us directly), we’ll be happy to do that and it would qualify for a discount since it was previously published elsewhere.

But, if you just want to buy copies and you don’t want anything changed, it would be easiest to simply purchase copies from the current publisher, provided they’re still selling them, of course. There is no need to republish the book all over again. Almost all POD publishers offer authors (or whoever is controlling the author’s book and/or author account) discounts when they buy copies of their own books.

Your daughter-in-law should contact the current publisher about assigning future royalties to his heir(s). She may be required to provide a copy of the death certificate, as well as other legal paperwork proving she’s the rightful heir to his copyrights (and, thus, future royalties).

At, our contract has a beneficiary clause. When one of our authors passes away, we automatically contact their beneficiary, and switch the author account (and future royalty payments) to them so that there is no delay in payments, and no need to wait for the probate process.

I’m right here if you have any other questions.

And, I’m sending big healing hugs and prayers your way,



When Authors Die-What Happens To Their Books? By Angela Hoy
Who Gets Your Book(s) When You Die? – Yet Another Case of Heirs Fighting Over an Author’s Copyrights
Never, Ever Assume You Can Use a Deceased Person’s Work
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