We were contacted this week by an individual who stated they knew one of our BookLocker.com authors had recently passed. He then demanded to know “who was profiting” from the sale of the book now.
Turns out that firm wanted us to hand over the author’s family’s contact information because they wanted to republish the author’s books at their company (for a fee, of course). And, here’s the kicker. He offered to “share the profits” with us! What a shmuck!
Second, how dare that person demand to know who’s profiting from the books written by a deceased author…someone who did not even know that individual? Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened.
The only thing I can figure is this company is scouring online obituaries for the word “author,” and then contacting
the family about “keeping the legacy alive,” thus using the family’s grief to prey on them for money.
The fact is, any ethical publisher is going to keep the books in print for a period of time, especially if the books
are selling. Some bottom feeders may make the families of authors think the book will be quickly ripped off the market because the author died. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Just like some bottom feeders scour Amazon for “new” books by self-published authors, and then try to convince them to pay that firm even MORE money to re-release their book through that company, this type of scum in the industry should be avoided at all costs. They really have hit a new low.
Incidentally, we knew this author had recently passed, looked up his beneficiary in his contract, contacted that
person, and immediately transferred his author account and rights (and future royalties) to that person. No court
orders needed. That’s why we have a beneficiary clause in our contract. And, of course, if any bottom feeder scammer
contacts us about that person’s family, we’ll protect that family from them as best we can.
How BookLocker Has Remained Profitable for 18 Years…when so many others have failed
BookLocker’s Packages and Prices
When An Author Dies, The Vultures Will Rise!
POD POACHERS! When Bottom Feeders Lure Authors Away from Their Existing Contracts, and Charge Thousands More!
You Shouldn’t Be Surprised When Bottom Feeders Change Their Contracts
Where Are These Cheeseball Bottom Feeders Coming From?
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
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Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
There are other unscrupulous publishers out there with a similar ‘go after the family’ plot. A friend recently contacted me about an author’s daughter who wants to bring her father’s books back into print. An established publisher quoted her a figure of $10,000 to republish each (not all of them). I suspect this publisher will also treat them as traditionally published books, which would mean that she’d never recover those huge charges with 10-15% royalties.
I told him that was absurd, that she could self-publish those books as facsimiles for essentially nothing or for a few hundred dollars she could OCR them and create new editions. And this reminds me, I need to get back to him to discover what she is doing.
Angela, I like your idea of a beneficiary clause in the author contact. All too many wills leave that out and, as a result, the literary rights fall under the residuals clause. That’s how John Steinbeck’s own children lost control of his literary estate. When he died, those rights fell as residuals to his third wife. On her death, they fell to her children not his. The result has been a long series of horrors, culminating in this.
I got to know Gail Steinbeck, wife of Steinbeck’s son Tom, during an earlier stage of this dispute when we were both involved in a legal action. She’d temporarily regained control of the estate and was trying to protect his legacy. These losses must hurt her greatly and they drive home an important point. If you have a literary estate, make sure it will pass to those you trust. You don’t want it to be left to the vagaries of probate.
At the time when I was reading and filling out your contract, I remember that the beneficiary clause impressed me. One more out of hundreds of reasons to sign with BookLocker. Cheers!
My lover sold my soul at the crossroads for immortality. Rather cheaply, too.
So, one step closer to publication with no ambulance-chasing lawyers on the horizon, ever.
Mayhap I should’ve traded for the virtue of patience, as I seem to possess so very little.
Closer, always closer, yet never close enough.
One day soon, m’lady . . .
Thank you for the article; some people, like doubt, are parasites.
Hi, Angela, It’s not just authors. Those ghouls are everywhere. I was amazed at what crawled out of the woodwork after my wife died. One bank–a household name–hassled me for months over an account that turned out to have ten cents left in it.
It’s despicable when someone dies and one of the survivor’s first thoughts is, “Where’s the $$$?! Gimme the $$$!!”
Hi Anglea, I’ve been a follower/subsciber of yours for the past couple of decades and have seen you write about all sorts of scams, but I’ve never seen one like this. There are a lot of creative criminally minded people out there.
Yes, it’s absolutely disgusting. And, the demanding, rude tone of the email was unbelievable!!!