“How can I ensure my books stay in print after I die?”

“How can I ensure my books stay in print after I die?”

Q – 

Angela,

I’m giving thought to what happens to my writings after I enter heaven’s Stargate. I have a Living Trust but, inside that, I have minimal directives about my writings. The problem is: I want my books to last forever in print.

So, I’ll need a Literary Trustee who knows this publishing business after I pass on. Not only that, he or she will need to live forever. (Just kidding!) I’m sure this isn’t the first surfacing of such a noisome subject.

Trouble comes this way when I ask…who among my dull acquaintances, relatives, and friends are suitable? Frankly none of them knows publishing, and anyway, are swamped just making a living and supporting a family.

I’ve done lots of google search links on what a literary trustee does so I could write a book on the subject. But, there’s nothing on where to find a literary trustee who is in the business, other than having a literary agent who might do it.

Your comments and suggestions? Book-burning not an option!

R.


A –

I see your books are self-published. As you know, many publishing services firms charge an annual fee to keep a book in print. Also, your publisher could go out of business some day, or sell the assets to another. There are lots of unknowns so, yes, you need someone who is willing to work to keep your books in print, regardless what happens.

I, myself, would put a trusted relative in charge of your copyrights after you depart this world. I have done that. I have a living trust as well for my “big” assets, but my copyrights are all passing to my daughter in my will because I know she will keep the books in print after I leave (and, she’ll get the royalties for doing so).

I hope that she will some day put her daughter in charge of my copyrights, and so on. But, I’ll be long gone by then and, if a future heir wants to kill my books, there’s nothing I can do about that. And, other than setting up a fund to pay a firm to keep  your book in print for decades, neither can you. If you don’t have any relatives to do it for you, and if you’re flush with cash, and willing to set aside a few thousand dollars, I recommend hiring an attorney to handle your literary assets after you depart this world.

 

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