[If you want to help Robert Anton Wilson's family, you should consider buying the new editions of his work put out by the RAW Trust.
I have in the last few years bought new books from the New Falcon publishing house of RAW's work, and I assumed that my purchases provided royalties to RAW's relatives. Well, not so much. When I recently asked his daughter and literary executor Christina Pearson about the matter, she gave me a statement which I quote by permission. -- The Management]
I am utterly disgusted with the publishing industry, and am looking forward for Hilaritas Press, LLC to develop a very different approach to publishing. Here’s why.
Before RAW died, he was very concerned about making sure that his work would continue to help his children, meaning me, my brother Graham, and my sister Alexandra. Especially my brother Graham, who has suffered severely from severe schizophrenia since my younger sister’s brutal death in 1976. He also dreamed of his estate supporting three causes close to his heart: Hospice of Santa Cruz, the Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), and Amnesty International.
One of RAW’s great sadnesses in life was that his work never really reached a very wide audience, and thus never gave him the ability to provide for us as he really wanted to. If it had (reached a larger audience), perhaps he would not have had such terrible financial stressors that plagued him right up until a few weeks before he died, and he might have been able to actually buy a home for he and Arlen (that was her dream), instead of always renting.
When I was very young, I remember him having to writing a bad check to put food on the table; he cried - it crushed him. We all cried. But we ate. It was such a relief to him when he began to actually be able to support himself and his family, but know this: in his best year ever (during the late 90’s) he actually brought home about $45,000. And this was AFTER he had raised four kids and supported a mostly stay-at-home wife for 40 years. Never was he wealthy, never was he “in the money.” Instead though, he was so grateful to simply be able to write, and mostly pay his bills. Writing was his burning passion, his life. And my mom was “his muse.”
During the year before his death, I had many conversations with him about his writings, his hopes, and sorrows. I promised RAW that I would work to protect his legacy and keep his work circulating to ever larger circles if at all possible. Thank goodness Rasa has been a constant support for this whole project; otherwise we would not be here today, starting to finally publish RAW’s works and eventually be able to spread the income received from them as he wished.
Here’s the bare fact: During his life he never received more than between 5-10% of the sale price of a book published by a printing label. (Dell, Harper Collins, New Falcon, Ronin, Random House, Etc.) Pretty pathetic, if I say so myself. To discover that the publishers benefitted so much more from his creative genius than he ever did literally makes me ill; (I must withhold my comments… !!! ) It could have improved his later years so very much.
Someday I do hope to write about our lives growing up in the House of RAW; it was incredibly textured, often mind expanding, sometimes dangerous, always challenging, now and then hilarious, and has formed in large part the being I am today.
— Christina Pearson, March 1, 2016