The Business of Writing

Simon Whaley's Resource For Writers

What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead

Nobody likes to think about dying, but have you considered what might happen to your writing business after you’re dead? Don’t forget, everything you write is protected by copyright for another 70 years after your demise. That’s 70 years when others could make use of your intellectual property rights.

But would they know that? Where would they go to look for information about your writing business? I keep all of my information in a database in my computer … which is password protected. Which is no use to anyone when I’m dead.

The solution could lie with fellow Writing Magazine columnist Tarja Moles, who has just self-published a book entitled: What To Do With My Business After I’m Dead. Here’s how the idea came about.

“I was quite unwell last spring,” Tarja explains, “and it brought up a question: How would my loved ones know what to do with everything if something were to happen to me? I realised that I needed to write down what would need to be done so that my personal affairs could be dealt with, and the idea for the book “Gone But Not Forgotten – What to Do after I’m Dead” (www.lusciousbooks.co.uk/gone-but-not-forgotten) was born. While developing this concept, it became clear that a separate notebook for business matters was needed.”

As with all book ideas, Tarja researched the market first. “I searched online, including looking into the titles available on Amazon, but was only able to find an American notebook that dealt with personal matters. This was not entirely suitable for the British context and didn’t give enough space e.g. to write down details about your funeral arrangements. Furthermore, it didn’t cover the business aspect sufficiently. I subsequently had numerous discussions about these ideas with other people, including freelance writers and other small-business owners. I received a lot of positive feedback and so the process of creating these notebooks started.”

So is Tarja using her own advice? “I’m in the process of writing everything down at the moment (I only received my own copy of “What to do with my business after I’m dead” the other day!), but I have previously recorded important details in various notebooks and pieces of paper. And, of course, I’ve told my husband where I store them (several times because he doesn’t pay attention!)”

As you can see, Tarja also self-publishes a wide range of other books under her Luscious Books and Cloudberry Imprint, which means her creative business is getting bigger by the day – more to leave behind after she’s dead! 

“Luscious Books publishes non-fiction titles relating to craft and hobbies, puzzle books, cookbooks for special diets and various notebooks and journals,” she explains. “Its fiction imprint Cloudberry (www.cloudberrybooks.co.uk) publishes commercial and contemporary fiction.”

Some of the recent publications include Suzanne High’s “100 Assorted Word Puzzles” (www.lusciousbooks.co.uk/suzanne-high) and David Hough’s guide “A Route Map to Novel Writing Success: How to Write a Novel Using the Waypoint Method” (www.lusciousbooks.co.uk/david-hough). 

“If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, there are plenty of colouring books, activity books and notebooks to choose from,” Tarja suggests. “And there’s still time to make your own origami advent calendar (www.lusciousbooks.co.uk/origami-books)!”

So if you sat down and thought about all of your writing, the chances are you’d find there’s quite a bit to leave to your loved ones … and a lot about your writing business that they don’t know. And who knows? Perhaps your next idea could turn into another book idea, just like this one did for Tarja.

Good luck!

2 Comments

  1. I can see it would be a good idea to leave some indication that there’s the potential to earn money from our copyright and whether there’s a particular person we’d like to benefit from that.

What are your thoughts?

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