Life Insurance and Literary Archives

career indie author

career indie author introduction

This week’s episode is short but important, particularly the section on literary archives. I have many sections of it written, but here and there you’ll find small sections that needed to be filled in. This is one of those.

3. Life Insurance

So long as we’re talking about money and death, another question that you should consider is life insurance.

Some people should have life insurance. If you’re single, the answer is most likely no. If you’re married and have children, you should consider providing for them if you’re attacked by a fan or suffer a fatal mishap while on a book tour.

While insurance companies tout whole life policies as an investment tool, it would be less expensive to simply take out a term policy. A policy costing a couple hundred dollars a year could provide a six-figure return, removing one major source of concern in the event of your death.

4. Archives

Could a university want your archives? You might be surprised.

Once the province of great historical figures, universities have opened the doors to lesser-known authors who have created noteworthy works in certain genres, explored new areas in non-fiction, or maintained longstanding ties to their alma mater.

* At the University of Texas at Austin, the Harry Ransom Center worked to acquire a wide range of archives and papers from 20th century writers, artists, poets, and dramatists. Many major figures are represented in whole or in part, but they also have the papers of once-popular writers such as Kathleen Winsor and Leon Uris, TV writers such as Lee Blessing (“Picket Fences,” “Homicide”), and hypertext fiction pioneer Michael Joyce.

* Over his long career, Lev Raphael has published more than 25 books, including memoirs, mysteries, literary fiction, essays, historical fiction, and literary criticism. He is an Edith Wharton scholar and has written about the children of Holocaust survivors. His papers, present and future, were acquired by Michigan State University, where he attended and now teaches.

* If you write in a particular genre, there might be a place for you, too. Brown University created a Thriller Writers Archive in 2012. If you write science-fiction/fantasy, the Science Fiction Writers of America maintains a list of libraries with archives in that field, such as Science Fiction Collection at the California State University, the Bud Foote Science Fiction Collection at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the SFWA Collection at Northern Illinois University. Their page of advice to SF/F authors on keeping their archives apply to writers in other fields as well. The University of Minnesota’s Sherlock Holmes collection contains not only materials by Arthur Conan Doyle, but by other writers as well, and acquires Holmes-related memorabilia as well.