KWL Director Mark Lefebvre interviews bestselling author M.L. Buchman (“Matt”) about his non-fiction title specifically targeted for writers and other creators, Estate Planning for Authors: Your Final Letter (and why you need to write it now), a step by step guide on how authors can make sure their legacy remains profitable for decades for their heirs after they are gone.
During the interview, Mark and Matt discuss:
- The approximate 120 titles that Matt has written (about half full length books, the other half short stories) in the past several years
- The 20 “sweet romance” versions of his romance titles that were re-drafted to remove the adult situations and adult words for a more “wholesome” audience. Described as: “This “Sweet Version” is the exact same story as the original, with no foul language and the bedroom door—even when there isn’t one—tastefully closed.”
- How Kristine Kathryn Rusch, after hearing Matt state that he couldn’t write short, commissioned him to write a short story for an anthology she was editing (Fiction River: Christmas Ghosts) – showing the power that a good editor can have a pulling excellence out of a writer
- The way that the short fiction Matt writes can help funnel readers into the various series novels he has written
- The free short stories that Matt posts to his website for free on the 15th of every month (called “the Ides of Matt”) and how he uses that to earn money (both the individual short stories available on all retailer websites as well as in compendium editions later on)
- How Matt’s book on estate planning came out of the fact that his wife and child were terrified about how they might manage his IP should something happen to him
- A will might control who gets what, but it doesn’t usually include instructions on how to manager that person’s IP (Intellectual property)
- The examples of estates that were not necessarily handled well as well as examples of estates that were managed spectacularly (how Priscilla Presley turned a near-bankrupt Elvis estate into a multi billion dollar legacy
- The 14 page letter that explains, “in English” (ie, explaining publishing industry concepts that most non-publishing people don’t understand) how to manage the various elements of an estate, particular one that includes assets from an author publishing digitally
- How this process and the “final letter” works not only for writers, but for anybody who has an IP that can be passed along to heirs
After the interview, Mark reiterates the importance of thinking about the future and about the long term and reminds authors the importance of putting a plan in place to ensure that their heirs are equipped to properly manage their IP when they are no longer around. He then reminds writers of the forthcoming NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and encourages writers to take advantage of such “global” activities where writers can mutually support and cheer one another on to get that first draft of a novel written in a 30 day period.