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Jim Cox Report: July 2018

Dear Publisher Folk, Friends & Family:

This month I want to discuss (and provide informational resources for) the concept of a literary estate and the role of a literary executor.

The literary estate of a deceased author consists mainly of the copyright and other intellectual property rights of published works, including film, translation rights, original manuscripts of published work, unpublished or partially completed work, and papers of intrinsic literary interest such as correspondence or personal diaries and records.

A literary executor is a person acting on behalf of beneficiaries (e.g. family members, a designated charity, a research library or archive) under the author's will. The executor is responsible for entering into contracts with publishers, collecting royalties, maintaining copyrights, and (where appropriate) arranging for the deposit of letters.

It should be noted that will can appoint different executors to deal with different parts of the estate. A literary executor would be someone who is specifically designated to deal with (and only with) the deceased's literary effects assests.

Since the literary estate is a legacy to the author's heirs, the management of it in financial terms is a responsibility of trust. The position of literary executor extends beyond the monetary aspect, though: appointment to such a position, perhaps informally, is often a matter of the author's choice during his or her lifetime.

If a sympathetic and understanding friend is in the position of literary executor, there can be conflict: what is to be managed is not just a portfolio of intellectual property but a posthumous reputation. Wishes of the deceased author may have been clearly expressed but are not always respected. Family members often express strong feelings about privacy of the dead.

The above (taken from Wikipedia) is a good legal definition of what a literary estate is and the role of a literary executor.

Here is a link to on-line informational and other resources that are thematically relevant to literary executors:

Every author, especially those who make their living with what they write, should have a designated literary executor that will manage their literary estate to the maximum benefit of their heirs -- and their literary legacy.

Now on to reviews of new books with particular relevance and interest for authors and publishers:

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Writing Flash
Fred D. White
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610353175, $14.95, PB, 150pp,

Fred D. White received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. He has taught courses in writing and literature in Minnesota and, since 1980, at Santa Clara University in Northern California, where he is now Professor of English, Emeritus. In 1996 White received the Louis and Dorina Brutocao Award for Teaching Excellence. White has published several books on writing, as well as dozens of stories, essays, poems, and plays. He lives with his wife in Rancho Cordoba, California.

In "Writing Flash: How to Craft and Publish Flash Fiction for a Booming Market" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to create a fast and informative guide to developing writing skills and a career in one of fictionís most challenging genres -- Flash Fiction, which is the art of the ultra-short story.

"Writing Flash" takes the aspiring writer thorough the steps necessary for compressing a story to its most essential elements and make their writing vigorous, evocative, and full of emotion.

"Writing Flash" also provides an in-depth introduction to a fascinating genre, complete with exercises to develop and strengthen your flash-writing techniques.

"Writing Flash" presents a complete and thoroughly 'user friendly' guide to the writing techniques and creative possibilities of writing flash fiction, plus tips on publishing and marketing flash fiction to build a writing career.

White also shows how the writing techniques of flash fiction are invaluable tools for any kind of writing, including writing novels and longer short fiction.

Critique: "Writing Flash: How to Craft and Publish Flash Fiction for a Booming Market" is a unique and ground-breaking instructional guide and reference that deserves to be a part of every aspiring author's personal 'how to' collection who wants to establish a flexible, varied and successful career as a published writer. "Writing Flash" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to both community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections as well.

Finally -- Here is "The Midwest Book Review Postage Stamp Hall Of Fame & Appreciation" roster of well-wishers and supporters. These are the generous folk who decided to say 'thank you' and 'support the cause' that is the Midwest Book Review by donating postage stamps this past month:

Greg Payan
Alex Wilson
Laima Howell
Dawn L. Davis -- "Falling"
Zoe Bowers -- "Otter in My Tub"
P. I. Barrington -- "The Brede Chronicles"
Daniel A. Miller -- "The Gifts of Acceptance"
Mark W. Shaw -- "Courage in the Face of Evil"
Maurice A. Williams -- "Questioning Evolution"
Howard Schrager -- "King Maximo and the Number Knights"
Old Time Music
Packard Island Publishing
J. Gridley -- Gresham & Doyle
Joseph Brient -- Commonwealth Publishing
Barbara C. Wall -- The Barrett Company
Elizabeth Waldman Frazier -- Waldmania!

In lieu of (or in addition to!) postage stamp donations, we also accept PayPal gifts of support to our postage stamp fund for what we try to accomplish in behalf of the small press community. Simply log onto your PayPal account and direct your kindness (in any amount and at your discretion) to the Midwest Book Review at:

SupportMBR [at]

(The @ is replaced by "[at]" in the above email address, in an attempt to avoid email-harvesting spambots.)

If you have postage stamps to donate, or if you have a book you'd like considered for review, then send those postage stamps (always appreciated, never required), or a published copy of that book (no galleys, uncorrected proofs, or Advance Reading Copies), accompanied by a cover letter and some form of publicity release to my attention at the address below.

All of the previous issues of the "Jim Cox Report" are archived on the Midwest Book Review website at If you'd like to receive the "Jim Cox Report" directly (and for free), just send me an email asking to be signed up for it.

So until next time -- goodbye, good luck, and good reading!

Jim Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI, 53575

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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