cj Sez: I’ve always known that I’m happiest when I learn something new every day. It’s the reason I take a college class every now and then. And it’s the reason I join writer groups and attend the occasional writers’ conferences.
The following is an updated post from my archives—when I learned that I needed to think about preserving my “literary estate.” Hmmm, I thought. What a concept: As a published writer, I have a literary estate, meager though it may currently be. Wow.
Today, I learned I was wrong when I thought that the estate lawyer who drew up my will and trust documents was all I needed.
Not so, Grasshopper. Copyright protection requires an attorney familiar with the subject. It’s a legal specialty. I need a copyright, publishing, and media lawyer.
files … physical paper documents in file folders in addition to digital copies that I keep on a flash drive in a safe deposit box. I have a folder of contracts, correspondence, and pertinent information about the publisher (my agent, if I ever get one will be added), and the stories/books—are they still in print and who has the rights. In my case, I have requested my rights be returned.
I keep a file of works-in-progress and completed but unpublished manuscripts. I also keep a paper copy of all my passwords so that they’re accessible to my executor/trix. All of these things are notated and updated in pencil as they change until I can no longer read my scratch on the paper. Then I have to retype the thing.
Perhaps, it’s the OCD in me. Perhaps. But it’s more likely because in my B.R. jobs (Before Retired), I absolutely had to be able to put my hand on a document within short minutes when the boss asked for it. I always filed my daily work documents in their appropriate folders before I left for the day. I'm not quite that dedicated now that I'm retired, but I do try.
There is a bit more I need to do for my literary estate . . . like finding an attorney in this town who knows what to do with copyrights in estates
Susan DeFreitas (@manzanitafire), an award-winning author, editor, and book coach, writes about the all-important story opening on Jane Friedman’s blog: https://www.janefriedman.com/the-secret-ingredient-of-successful-openings/
That’s it for today’s post. You-all guys keep on keeping on, and I’ll try to do the same.
P.S. The Haunted Bookshop has signed paperback copies of my books in stock. TO ORDER my author-graphed books or any book of your choice on-line from a favorite, indie bookstore, contact The Haunted Bookshop here: https://www.thehauntedbookshopmobile.com/contact-us
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