ROYALTY REFUSAL? A Charity Gets RUDE After I Try to Fulfill an Author’s Last Wish

ROYALTY REFUSAL? A Charity Gets RUDE After I Try to Fulfill an Author’s Last Wish

I have written about this topic before but we recently experienced this scenario again – and it’s an interesting story.

At, we have published more than 10,000 titles over the past 20 years. Having that many authors means we are notified several times per year by family members who are reporting that one of our authors has passed.

We have a beneficiary clause in our contract so we always know to whom the author intended to bequeath their book rights and future royalties. And, courts have recognized our contract as a valid indicator of an author’s wishes when an author has not specifically mentioned their book(s) in their will.

Last Spring, we were notified by an author’s widow of his passing. She knew he had left the rights to his book, and his future royalties, to a charity that cares for homeless animals.

I contacted the charity in March, explaining the situation, and giving them instructions on how to receive the outstanding royalties, and how to access the author’s account.

Fast forward to this week. Another relative of the author contacted me, asking about the royalties. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual for someone to contact us to try to get an author’s royalties when that person has no business contacting us, nor receiving those royalties or rights. Uncles, cousins, and even friends and neighbors of authors who have passed have tried to convince us over the years that the author “gave” them the book rights and royalties. Uh huh.

That is exactly why we have a beneficiary clause in our contract. The person listed there can immediately have access to the author’s account, and can immediately receive unpaid royalties. One quick look at the author’s contract is all we need before responding to those (greedy) people who are trying to get something that does not belong to them.

I have a form response I send to them. It simply states, “You are not listed as the beneficiary in our author’s contract.” If they try to argue, I ignore their subsequent emails. If that’s the first we’re hearing of the author’s passing, I immediately contact the real beneficiary to get things switched over.

So, back to the charity. When I received the email from that relative, I realized we’d never heard back from that charity so I emailed them again. A received a very curt response from an administrative person telling me to never contact them again.


Of course, I DID contact her again, explaining that this was not a scam. I included a copy of the author’s contract, which showed their organization as the beneficiary.

She wrote me back, once again telling me not to contact them.

And, of course, I DID write back once again, saying that we are pet lovers, too, and that we really wanted to ensure the unpaid royalties went toward taking care of the animals at that facility because that was the author’s wish.

She wrote back, saying they’re not interested.

I hated to be snarky (actually, I didn’t hate it that much) but I had to tell her that this actually wasn’t her decision. I told her we needed to be contacted by a director of the non-profit with an official note of refusal regarding the gift. I then casually mentioned the amount of unpaid royalties they were giving up.

The dollar signs did the trick! She wrote back, asking what they needed to do to move forward with accepting the gift.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you plan to leave your book and future royalties to an organization of any kind, please contact them first to see if they’re interested. Get their acceptance in writing, and give a copy to your publisher. Doing so can save a lot of time and effort for others after you depart.


Do NOT Bequeath Your Book’s Copyright to a Third Party Without Obtaining Permission First!

When An Author Dies, The Vultures Will Rise!

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

PUBLISHER PONZI SCHEMES! Are You Owed Past-due Royalties? Here’s Where They Spent Your Money!

My Publisher Owes Me Thousands in Royalties! What Can I Do???

Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.

About The Author


Angela Hoy is the publisher of, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), (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. - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday. - 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. - "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.


BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!



Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!

Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE




HowMaster: The Writer's Guide to Beautiful Word Crafting

Author Linda M. Gigliotti draws from years of practice as a private
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writing that pulls readers into their book. She explains with instruction
and samples of published works how to craft writing that come to life in the reader's mind.

HowMaster is a wise choice for the writer who wants to weave words around the reader’s heart.

Author Linda M. Gigliotti draws from years of practice as a private
writing tutor in the guidebook that teaches writers how to format visceral
writing that pulls readers into their book. She explains with instruction
and samples of published works how to craft writing that come to life in the reader's mind.

Read more here:


The Working Parent's Guide To Homeschooling

Dissatisfaction with public and private schools continues to grow, and with more and more acceptance of homeschoolers at colleges and universities, now is the time to encourage all those who are ready and willing, that they are able and qualified to teach their children, even and especially if they must continue working. The Working Parent’s Guide to Homeschooling answers questions such as, “How can I work and homeschool?” by showing the reader how to find what works for them.

Read more here:

5 Responses to "ROYALTY REFUSAL? A Charity Gets RUDE After I Try to Fulfill an Author’s Last Wish"

  1. Chief  November 20, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    I continue to thank God for picking as my publisher. It is because of people like YOU Angela, my personal ArcAngel….that the world stays righted. Going above and beyond is a lifestyle choice for you.
    And I’m proud to know you!

    ….((is that enough schmoozing yet?…..I have just a tad bit more I could lay on, but it might get drippy….:) )). Seriously though, I’ve learned SO MUCH about writing, publishing and the “ins and outs” of YOUR WORLD as a publisher that you have made me smart about things I never would have otherwise been engaged in. Thanks for taking the time. Seriously.
    Other publishers just do what they can to rake in the cash, then do minimal stuff to keep it going. your blogs, newsletters, personal notes etc have been an inspiration.

    “Alive Day” is on the cusp of announcing publicly who the celebrities are that have been picked. We’re in final negotiations with agents and should go into full production very soon. Amazing what I’ve learned from that entire stream of goo called “Hollywood”. Two years of just legal stuff along with screen play re-writing etc.and we are FINALLY THERE!
    I’ll make sure you are one of the first to know.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of  November 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      We can’t wait to see which actors are chosen for the leading roles! We are honored to have published your book, Chief!!! 🙂

      Six Days to Zeus: Alive Day (Based on a True Story)
      This book is about a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Military who spent 30 years as an Intelligence Officer conducting the most classified and dangerous Operations from the Cold War in Berlin to today. This story is about the consequences of that career as a Covert Operations Agent.

  2. Anonymous  November 17, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Like you have nothing else to do with your time! I admire your tenacity to try and do the right (legal) thing. I’m hoping that your injuries have healed from the fall. best wishes!

  3. wljrk  November 15, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Angela, you most certainly went far ‘above and beyond’ with these folks!

    I am utterly amazed that a charity would be so rude to someone who was just trying to fulfill a legal obligation. If mentioning the $$ amount is what it finally took to move the wheels forward, I question the operating ethics of that charity. It also makes me wonder about (some) charities, in general.

    Unfortunately, I can relate to what happened to you.
    I had a very negative incident with a charity in Minnesota. It only takes one such incident to end all giving to it, or places like it.

  4. writerleenda  November 15, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Howly smokes I would have had fun with that one. First I would have tried a couple times with Ms. Stupido at the desk. Then on to the head office where I would mention those dollar signs. If they fail to bandade my fury then I tell them I am going to give their outfit some much needed free publicity.

    Oh I feel a nice juicy Italian cussword coming on.