How can you make sure your heirs and successors are able to manage your books and copyright licensing after your death? What aspects do you need to think about in terms of your author estate? Michael La Ronn explains this important topic in clear terms.
In the intro, more quotes from the DOJ vs PRH hearing [The Hotsheet]; Direct by Kathryn Judge; Chokepoint Capitalism Kickstarter by Cory Doctorow and Rebecca Giblin; Soldiers of God, an ARKANE Short Story [Available now from CreativePennBooks.com; or preorder on the other stores for 29 Aug.]
Today’s show is sponsored by Draft2Digital, where you can get free ebook formatting, free distribution to multiple stores, and a host of other benefits. Get your free Author Marketing Guide at draft2digital.com/penn
Michael La Ronn is the author of over 80 books across science fiction, fantasy, and self-help books for authors, including The Author Estate Handbook: How to Organize Your Affairs and Leave a Legacy, and The Author Heir Handbook: How to Manage an Author Estate.
You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.
- Coming to terms with our mortality
- How planning your estate is an act of love
- The importance of a living will as well as a last will
- Figuring out how much time and effort an heir wants to put into the writing business
- Managing passwords for your successor
- Should authors think of selling their IP before they die?
You can find Michael La Ronn at AuthorLevelUp.com and on Twitter @MichaelLaRonn
Transcript of Interview with Michael La Ronn
Joanna: Michael La Ronn is the author of over 80 books across science fiction, fantasy, and self-help books for authors, including The Author Estate Handbook: How to Organize Your Affairs and Leave a Legacy, and The Author Heir Handbook: How to Manage an Author Estate, which we’re talking about today. Welcome back to the show, Michael.
Michael: Hi, Joanna. Great to be back.
Joanna: This is such an interesting topic. You’ve been on the show several times before, so we’re going to just jump straight into it today.
Why did you want to write about this topic of estates and heirs — basically death — and how does your professional and personal background play into that?
Michael: Yes, I have this morbid fascination with death…
Joanna: Me too!
Michael: This is something I’ve been thinking about in the back of my head that has woken me up a few times in the middle of the night. And I didn’t know what to do about what would happen if I suffered an untimely death.
I think a lot of authors have this problem, and I think a lot of authors react the same way as I do, or I did, which was just to go back to bed and forget about it and continue to bury your head in the sand.
I had a wake-up call in 2021. I lost a grandfather to old age. And when he passed away, he passed away like a gangster. I don’t know how else to say it, he left such a clean estate. He had a will that had everything cleanly outlined.
He told everyone before he passed that he didn’t want to be a burden to the family, and he was true to his word. And everything with his estate was settled in like 6 months, which, if you’ve ever had someone pass away, you know that that is blazing fast to have everything settled.
I was in such admiration and awe of how my grandfather did that and, ultimately, how kind he was to be so organized. I started thinking to myself, ‘How could I do the same thing with my own business and my own writing?’ Because there’s a big difference, my grandfather was born in the Great Depression and he never owned a computer, never had an email account. So, in many respects, things were a lot easier for him.
When I look at my own career and my own self and my own things that I have going on in the 21st century, I realized that dying like he did is a phenomenal challenge. And so, I realized that I had to do it.
I have a unique background in that I’m an executive at a global insurance company and I’ve made my living helping businesses prepare for disasters. And I also went to law school. I’m not an attorney but I have a legal education, so, I’m not afraid of the legal side of things.
So, I thought, ‘I’m going to go on my journey to figure out how I’m going to do this for myself. And I’m going to write a book and try to help other people through it as well.’
Joanna: A couple of things there, when you said your grandfather died like a gangster, I was thinking in like a hail of bullets outside…
Michael: Oh, yeah. It’s an American idiom I guess you could say.
Joanna: In my mind, that’s a hell of a way to go. But you said he died of old age, so, I guess it wasn’t so dramatic. And also that he said he didn’t want to be a burden, and I think a lot of us feel that way. I definitely feel that way.
My mum is so organized in this. My mum is still alive, in fact, she’s off gallivanting the world at the moment. But every time she leaves her flat, she tidies everything and cleans everything and puts all her paperwork on her desk in case she never comes back again. She’s already pre-paid for her funeral and all this stuff.
So, we talk about this, and I know that a lot of people don’t have that in their family.
Before we get into the details, let’s just tackle the emotional side of this. Like you said, you woke up in the middle of the night, you have a daughter, obviously, you have family. If people are feeling like, ‘Oh, this is too emotional, too difficult. My family doesn’t talk about death, my partner doesn’t talk about death.’
How should we approach this topic on the emotional level?
Michael: It’s tough because you have to come to terms with your mortality. And for a lot of us, I wouldn’t say the biggest part but a very important part of our legacy is our books.
For me, it’s extremely important to me to be a good father and good husband and make sure that I’m leaving behind a world that’s a little bit better than I found it.
My books are an important part of that because they continue to help people every day, and I know that that will also be an income stream for my family. And I think that, if you are struggling to have that conversation, I think you have to have the conversation, there’s never a good time. But the good thing is that it’s never too late and it’s never too early.
Joanna: I was going to say, ‘It is too late if you’re dead.’
Michael: Yeah, if you’re dead. But if you’re breathing, if you’re fogging up a mirror, it’s not too late. I think that’s a good thing.
Joanna: Absolutely. And, in fact, I think probably the COVID-19 pandemic has given almost an excuse to be able to talk about it because like you mentioned an untimely death. You’re younger than me, I’m in my late 40s, but I certainly don’t expect to be popping off for a while.
But we do plan these things just in case because you never know whether it’s a pandemic or an accident or something else that comes out the blue, having this stuff set up early.
There’s enough to deal with when someone dies, emotionally, to have to bother with a whole load of business stuff.
It’s an act of love to sort this stuff out, right?
Michael: Absolutely, and it’s an act of kindness and it’s an act of empathy. Because I think a lot of people can relate to what I’m about to say, and that is that you put your heart and soul into your writing, and your spouse, or whoever is going to take over things when you’re gone, probably has no idea what you do every day. At least certainly not at the micro level.
They might know you write books, they know you publish those books, but when it comes to the day-to-day tactical stuff, they don’t know.
And just imagine how stressed out an heir would be if…not if but when. If you’re a wide author, they’re going to have to log into all your dashboards to figure out what’s going on. They’re going to have to, if you’re doing pay-per-click advertising, they’re going to have to learn that. There’s all sorts of things they have to learn.
And so, you have to have some empathy for what you’re about to put them through and have the conversation. Because for some heirs, that might be more than they want to bear.
Joanna: Absolutely. Right, we’ll come back to that.
But, obviously, when people are making it in terms of a will, we’re not going to go into everything but there’s some paperwork that should at least be in place.
And like you said, these things can get locked up for a long time and there can be fights over it and family members can fall out over the potential of these things.
So, there’s lots of things to put in a will, isn’t there? And also, what happens in America or where you know about, if you don’t have a will.
In the UK, for example, sometimes the government can take more than one would like them to.
Michael: Yes, in the UK in particular it’s kind of crazy. I think sometimes stuff can pass on to the Crown if you don’t have a will. I did some research on the UK when I was writing this book.
What happens when you don’t have a will in the United States is that the state will determine what happens to your property.
I think we can all agree that that is a terrible idea. The reason you draft a will is that you get that control over who gets what. And that includes the copyrights to your book.
What can end up happening is some unfortunate scenarios where your copyrights could be divided up amongst your heirs in ways that you didn’t intend.
The most important thing is to make sure you keep your copyrights together so they can be managed together. You can have some really unintended consequences, particularly if you’ve got an estate attorney or a court that doesn’t understand copyright.
Joanna: And then I just also wanted to mention, totally practical, if you’ve got pensions, 401ks. Here they’re called…we also have ISAs, you have IRAs. There’s this form you have to fill in on all of these different platforms that says who gets your money, basically, if you die.
If you do all this stuff privately, like I do, like many of us authors do, then you want to make sure you fill those forms in.
Michael: Yes, fill those forms in and keep them up to date, that’s critical. And you mentioned a will, Joanna, another thing that is just as important is a living will. So, when people think of wills, they think of your last will, which is what happens to your property and everything when you die.
But equally as important, if not more important, is your living will, which is what happens if you were to end up in a vegetative state or you were in a coma or you can’t make decisions for yourself. That gives a trusted person the ability to make those decisions on your behalf.
We refer to that here, in the United States, as a power of attorney, that’s something that you can get, but also what happens if you end up in a state where you’re in a coma and the chances of you making it are almost none? What do you want that person to do, do you want them to pull the plug or do you want them to keep you on life support in the off chance that you do make it?
These are tough conversations but these are things that can be settled really quickly with an attorney. And once you do them, you don’t have to worry about them anymore.
Joanna: I care about that very much. We did those, Jonathan and I, and also if we were in an accident together, then who makes the next decision.
And, to me, that’s almost more important. Because here in the UK, if you don’t have a power of attorney, the doctor can override your spouse.
This is a really important…and we have two, one is health and one is finance. So, you can give someone health jurisdiction over, say, if you get dementia or something, and then the money one is separate.
Again, these are all difficult conversations. But it is far worse for someone, for your partner who loves you, or your children, or whoever, to deal with these questions, if something happens.
None of us will expect it to happen, right? Maybe your granddad did because he was late in life…
Michael: Yes. No one knows when their time, ultimately, is going to come. And another thing that’s important to point out is do this now while you’re in good health. Because if you’re in poor health, it’s going to be a lot harder to make these decisions.
You can take a few steps at a time, you don’t have to do it all tomorrow. That’s the beauty of it. Estate planning is a lifelong journey. And as long as you take those steps at some point, it’s important.
Joanna: And actually I think it’s a bit like learning about publishing or whatever, when you do it, when you’re just starting out, if you have a very simple setup, it’s much easier to get started with a simple will and then, over time, as it gets more complicated, you can sort that out.
I’m looking at maybe doing a trust or something like that at some point.
Let’s just take a step back and start with this, something simple. An author has a few books up on the stores, not a lot of revenue, so, they might even feel like, ‘What is the point of even putting this in a letter?’ or whatever.
What should the author with a basic business do?
Michael: They should do the same thing that any author would do, which, in my opinion, the first thing is to have that conversation with the heir and figure out at what level and how much resources and time and energy your heir wants to put into the writing business.
That will, ultimately, dictate how you plan.
Because there are going to be a lot of heirs who just say, ‘I just want the money. I just want to make sure the money is available,’ and that’s going to guide your decisions. If the heir wants to play a more active role in the business, then that’s going to dictate maybe some of the other things that you might want to help them do.
Once you’ve had that conversation, there’s just a few things that I would think about.
The first thing is making sure that they have access to all your passwords.
So, passwords to your email accounts, passwords to your book retailer accounts, and we can talk about passwords here in a little bit.
And then also making sure that you call your bank and figure out what happens to your bank account when you die.
When you die, your bank will freeze your assets. And depending on how you have your bank account set up, and it could vary depending on which country you live in, there are some steps you can take to make sure that your bank doesn’t freeze your account so that your heirs will continue to have access to the money and it won’t get hung up, essentially.
That’s another thing that I would do if I had just a few books and just wanted to make sure that they were available for the heirs and that the heirs could continue getting the money. And then, at that point, really the ball is in the heir’s court.
The books continue to be available, they continue to be for sale, they continue to make the money. And if the heir wants to do more with that, great, if they want to just ride out the sales until they drop down then that’s just how it goes.
Ultimately, I’m just trying to really impose on the importance of making sure you understand what the heir wants.
Because I think we have a tendency, as authors, to think about what we want and what’s best for the book. But if you don’t think about your heir, then you have a mismatch, and that can cause issues as well.
Joanna: Okay, a few things to come back on.
First of all, that bank account.
So, you said your bank account will be frozen. Now, I’ve heard that before as well, like, when my great auntie died, that’s what happened. She was a single woman, a private individual. So, I compare that to me, and probably you, where I’m married, so, my husband, we have a joint bank account, a joint personal bank account.
So, if I died, then my husband, that’s still his bank account too. And then my company bank account is in the name of a UK limited company with directors. So, that’s not my personal bank account, that is the company’s bank account. I don’t imagine that would be frozen either. Again, I’m just a director, that’s not my personal account.
When you talk about that, is that actually what happens or what would happen in your situation as well?
Michael: The way you described it, it was fantastic, Joanna. So, it depends on how, like I said, you set your bank account up. In the case of a married joint bank account, here, in the United States, basically it depends on which state you live in, but there are two different types.
There’s a joint bank account with rights of survivorship, which means that, if I die, then my wife automatically gets everything in the account.
And it says she has full access to it.
There’s also joint tenancy. What essentially happens there is, when you die, your assets in the bank account get frozen and they get passed on according to how your will is written. You have to know what kind of bank account you have because that can make a big difference.
Now, if you’ve done the right thing and you’ve opened up a bank account in the name of your business, then it’s worth having a conversation with your attorney to figure out what the succession looks like. Because if you’ve got a proper succession plan, then that will help you get around this issue as well.
I hate to be the lawyerly person here and say, ‘It depends,’ and, ‘you need to talk to an attorney about it,’ but you really do need to talk to an attorney because, depending on where you live, depending on what your financial situation is, it could look a little bit different.
I talk about this in The Author Estate Handbook, there are different types of bank accounts and different things that you can do to get around this issue. And it’s an important one to solve because all the money that’s in your bank account right now is all the money that’s in your bank account right now.
But if your bank account happens to get closed, then, suddenly, your retailers are not going to have anywhere to deposit your future royalties. So, you have to think about that too.
Joanna: That’s a good call. And again, if I died separately to Jonathan, everything would be fine. Well, obviously, not but, if we went together, then I see a gap in my business succession plan, as you mentioned there. So, that’s a good one.
Let’s come on to passwords. This is an absolute nightmare, even as a living person. I mean, it really is.
A few years ago, we moved on to Dropbox for our file system and we use 1Password.
There are lots of different password managers now.
What are your thoughts on this? You also have a resource, don’t you?
Michael: Yes, I highly recommend a password manager. And the reason for that is there are a lot of people who use the same password on all your sites. One, that’s a security issue.
Because, if you get hacked, they’re going to have access to all of your information. But two, the reason I recommend password managers is because they give you secure passwords, you enjoy very good security, but then you can also use them as an estate-managing tool.
What I do is I use 1Password too, Joanna, and what I do is I actually have all of my accounts organized by what I want my heir to do with them when I die.
So, accounts that get cancelled, they go into one category. Accounts that they need to make sure that they maintain go into another category. That can be a wonderful way to help you get organized.
The best tool though, the best feature that they offer is they offer an Emergency Access feature. For example, if you happen to get locked out of your password manager, 1Password, LastPass, they all offer this.
Essentially, what they do is you can designate a trusted contact and then that contact will automatically get access into your vault. And they’ll have access to all of your passwords. So, imagine an untimely death, your spouse can just basically get into 1Password, get access to all your passwords, and never have to worry about it. Which is critical.
The other thing about passwords that I want people to think about — because this is a particularly dangerous thing that can wreck your estate — is two-factor authentication.
Joanna: I was going to mention this. The fact that you need a phone…
Michael: I bet a lot of people listening to this have gotten that one-time passcode on their phones and never thought once about what would happen if their phone got disconnected. Because if you can’t get that passcode, your heirs can’t get into your account even if they have your username and password.
So, this is a danger that you have to plan for. I have a whole chapter in the book, I talk about two-factor authentication. Because it’s a little techy, it’s a very technical thing, but be careful.
At a minimum, I would just make sure that you let your heirs know under no circumstances should they disconnect your phone line after you die until they’ve had a chance to change all your phone numbers over. Because that will be a huge huge problem in the future.
Joanna: Yes, and you’re totally right. Jonathan and I have talked about this as well. Because there’s so many things now, there’s face recognition. And like you say, the two-factor thing and the numbers have all changed and the devices have all changed. It’s hard enough to keep track of when it is your own stuff, isn’t it?
I do have a letter that I did a while back but I haven’t updated it for a while, and a whole load of the things that I use have changed. Even as we speak, as we record this, I’ve recently put my Shopify store up, creativepennbooks.com, and, so, I’ve stopped using payhip.com but I haven’t yet canceled it because I’m still sort of in a cut over period type of thing.
Our businesses change over time, don’t they? We take on new tools, we get rid of old tools.
It’s almost like we need this list for ourselves because the business goes bigger and bigger and bigger, doesn’t it, over time?
Michael: It does. I mentioned that I have a resource, it’s included in The Author Estate Handbook, and it’s an organizer, it’s basically Excel organizer that you can fill in the blanks.
Emergency contacts, listing all your social media accounts, listing all your email addresses, passwords, all the critical things that you can think of helps you just get organized and corral everything. Because that’s what this is like, it’s like corralling cats who don’t want to be corralled.
Being organized, that’s the hardest part of estate management because you can come up with the will relatively easily, you just gotta hire an attorney and they’ll help you with it, but it’s the organization part. Your attorney is not going to help you with that. Getting organized, I think, is the hardest part.
Being able to have a resource where you and your heirs can find everything in one place, that’s something to aspire to and a very critical tool. But yeah, there’s a lot. And I would recommend reviewing it at least once a year.
Whatever tool you decide to use, but whatever methods you use, review once a year or when you have a major life change. Because as you pointed out, things change all the time in publishing, especially with our businesses.
Joanna: A good time might be the end of the tax year. I’ve just been through my accounts, and you’re looking at your profit and loss or you’re looking at your bank statements and you’re going, ‘What is that monthly payment? Do I still need to make that one?’ Because there’s so many of these subscription programs now that we use that it’s good to sort of review that.
This is a great conversation. I’m finding it useful, I think lots of people are finding it useful.
But the other thing you mentioned there was, ‘What does your heir want?’ I already know; Jonathan worked in my business for a couple of years, my husband worked in the business, and he wasn’t interested. He loves reading but he’s not interested in running a publishing company, he’s gone back to work in pharmaceuticals.
Even if it’s just me who dies, let alone both of us at the same time, then I know he doesn’t want to run the business.
And we are happily child-free, but my siblings, I have lots of siblings, they don’t want to run a publishing business either.
So, what I have on my letter is ‘Try and sell my whole business. Try and sell my copyrights and my website and everything.’
Because I don’t think anyone’s going to run it.’ So, that’s me really putting myself in their perspective. As much as it pains me, I actually think that’s probably the best thing. What do you think about that?
Michael: It’s tough. And it’s especially tough when you don’t have someone who is going to continue or who wants to continue the business.
In most cases, knowing what I know about copyright, it’s hard to recommend selling your copyright. But I think, in certain circumstances like this one, maybe it makes sense.
The hard part is that there are no good answers right now. I don’t even know, if I passed away, I don’t even know who I would sell my copyrights to, if I wanted to do it. I do think that there’s a potential, I think the landscape is going to look differently or it’s going to look different in the future.
I’ve heard of some people also either like licensing or bequeathing their copyrights to universities and non-profits as well. That’s something that I’ve heard people do too.
Joanna: Although that can really be a terrible. James Michener a few years ago. James Michener is a dead historical writer, wrote epics. I love his book The Source and it was not in Kindle edition, it must have been 2014, I was like, ‘Right, I need to get this out in Kindle.’
I tried to track down his estate, and it turned out to be his old university, as you say. I thought, ‘I’d be great to get permission to publish this book from James Michener.’
Anyway, they said, ‘Oh, whoever it was, a big publisher, ‘we have licensed it to them.’ I emailed them back and said, ‘But it’s not being published,and I am a fan, and it is not in Kindle.’
Michener wrote books that are thousands of pages, super super huge books, door stoppers. And so, I’m like, ‘Then this is not a great management of your estate that is owned by this university.’ So, even if you leave it to so-called prestigious whoever, they’re not necessarily going to manage it in the way that we would like.
It’s interesting because, at the moment, we’re hearing Bob Dylan, in 2020, sold all of his back lists for an undisclosed sum. Lots of musicians are selling their back lists.
Obviously, Dylan’s closer to officially getting old than you and I are, but selling it now he has got the money, and also his family, presumably, can make the most of it now, as opposed to fighting over it later.
Do you think this is something that could emerge in the indie-author market?
We could have this kind of thing where, when an author dies who’s well known in the indie arena, we have some kind of process where we could sell or express interest in their IP?
Michael: Possibly. But I think it comes with some cautionary words. I think the musicians that are doing it, I think they’re doing it for the reasons that make the most sense for them. I do think though that they could be setting a bad example for other creatives and artists in that copyright is best licensed.
You have to remember that you can make money from your copyrights for your life plus 70 years, and even beyond that. If you can find somebody in your family that is willing to take that on, that’s great. But if you can’t, then I understand.
I also think that there’s some market opportunities here. I think, one, for authors that are fairly successful, I do think that there is a market for being able to hire an estate manager that takes care of the day-to-day operations.
You just pay them a percentage of sales and they manage the operations. And then the only thing the heir has to do is just monitor the estate manager.
There are some people that are doing that today but I think that it’s hard because it’s difficult to grant access to your book retailers and stuff without giving access to your bank account info.
So, I think, if that problem could get solved, then I do think that there is a market for people who could become estate managers and help families with this particular problem.
I also think that, if you pick your favorite dead author, James Michener’s side, you’re probably able to read their books because a traditional publisher continued distributing them after their death.
There is a potential opportunity for a company that could serve kind of like a traditional publisher but for when you die.
Their sole purpose would be to work with heirs. Heirs would license the rights to your books to this company, not sell but they would license the rights to this company for distribution, the company would keep the books in print, keep them discoverable, take care of any issues that come up with retailers, take a cut of the sales, and then pass the proceeds onto the heirs.
If the company was ethical and they did things correctly, I think that that would be a very elegant way to solve this problem. And I think that there would be a really big opportunity because I don’t think enough prominent self-published authors have died yet for this to really be on people’s radar.
Joanna: Yes, and it is interesting because, of course, this does exist and it’s called an agent. This is what agents do.
A lot of agencies started when the original agent took on a friend’s book, and then the agency grew into a business. And then the original agent died and then the agency continues. And many of the agencies make a lot of money from dead authors.
And I actually went to a rights licensing conference once, and I think they were talking about Enid Blyton or one of the dead authors whose books just keeps making money. I think it was Enid Blyton because her signature is trademarked, the actual her handwritten signature is also a trademark. And that still goes on books.
Stuff like that was really interesting. And they were actually saying how much easier it is to license dead authors because the author is not around to say what they want out of the situation.
So, I think you’re right.
We need an agency for dead indie authors.
Or we need the estate management, or whatever it is. But you and I know, and everyone listening, we know that most indie authors don’t make enough money to make it worthwhile to take a cut of, let’s say, 15%. Therefore, like you said, it’s only big-name indie authors who could kind of get away with that, and then we’re back to where we were.
But what I was thinking was, if there was almost a brokerage for this kind of thing…and then you see someone, if you can buy up some mistake, you can actually grow into a bigger business rather than each individual sort of focusing on their own stuff.
I think there’s a lot of opportunity here. But does anyone want to run it?
Michael: Yes. Definitely, you have to have a law background because you might be in court a lot because heirs get into fights and those sorts of things. And there’s the other piece of it as well, and it’s something I think we have a responsibility to educate our heirs on is avoiding scams.
Anytime you start selling IP, I think that’s a vulture market, you have to be really careful. Especially if you’re not a big-name author because you can end up selling your copyrights for pennies on the dollar. And the amount that you sell for could be a pittance, compared to what your heirs could make if they were educated and were able to run just a few basic things themselves.
How blockchain could help with estate management.
Joanna: This is also why I’m excited about the potential of blockchain technology because I see how it could work where, let’s say, there is a registration chain, of which I’m actually interviewing someone after this about, a registration chain, and then a distribution chain. And the great thing about smart contracts on a blockchain is they automatically execute.
If you could program into some master smart contract, how things should happen once you’re dead, then that could be a way to deal with all of this without having to do all the stuff that we have to do now because in web 2 you have to log into all these things and you have to move things around, bank accounts and stuff.
Whereas with blockchain and smart contracts, this could be more easily done. But unfortunately, I think we’re probably at least a decade away from that being more of a reality.
Michael: Yeah, we’re early here. I think in 10 to 15, 20 years, I think the landscape will be much different. I think we’ll be having a lot different conversations around estate planning and, hopefully, to your point, smart contracts and different things will allow authors to make this a lot simpler than it is now.
Because, ultimately, that’s the most important thing we have to do is we have to simplify things for our heirs.
And it’s not easy to do that right now, in today’s environment. But, hopefully, that day is coming.
Joanna: In the meantime, everyone, let’s at least stay alive another decade.
Michael: Yes, stay alive…no, not another decade, let’s stay alive forever, then this goes away.
Joanna: Well, then we have a whole different conversation about environmental and ethical problems around staying alive forever. But that is a sci-fi, a lot of sci-fi novels in there, and that’s another conversation.
Tell us where can people find the books and everything you do online.
Michael: My home base is authorlevelup.com.
If you’re interested in grabbing The Author Estate Handbook you can find that at authorlevelup.com/estatehandbook. That book, basically, is I tried to write as nitty-gritty and comprehensive of a book on this topic as I could. It holds your hand, goes through all the different elements of a writing business that you should think about and helping you get organized.
I also wrote another book called The Author Heir Handbook. That book is a plain English explanation of author businesses for your heirs. So, you can pick up both books, one for you, one for your heir. They’re both available in ebook, paperback, hardcover, large print, and audio wherever you get your books.
Joanna: I have them in the ebook, I’m going to go get paperbacks and put a copy with my letter in my drawer.
Michael: Oh, thank you. It’s an easy thing to do, just slip it in your safe deposit box with the letter, so, easy for your heir to follow.
Joanna: There we go, nice one. Excellent. Fantastic. Well, thanks so much for your time, Michael, that was great.
Michael: Thank you, Joanna. Great to be here.
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Author: Joanna Penn