NOTE: These are suggestions only, and should be viewed that way. Please contact a tax professional in your area, for income, expense and tax advice.
This will be a quick overview. If you wish to read the detailed posts, please feel free to check the archives under Writer Biz. They’re all there.
The first item we discussed was record keeping. By now all of you should have some type of system in place for tracking Income, Expenses, and Writing Time.
This will help you take your writing seriously and give it the proper place in your to-do-list hierarchy.
Income. Income is money you make from writing. Whether it’s paid in the form of an advance or royalty, it’s still income. Thus taxable. While you’re enjoying your new found riches, keep an eye on your royalty statements. Mistakes happen. People are human. It’s your responsibility to address them, and deal with your publisher in a professional manner.
Expenses. An expense is money that you spend on things to run your business. And you have to be realistic about what your expenses are. The most common are office supplies, advertising. There are also writing classes, and conferences with editors and agents. There are others, but again, you’ll need to consult a tax professional in your area to be sure of is deductible and what isn’t, or check out the IRS website for more information.
Writing Time. If you want to write for a living, you need to know how much time you spend at it. No matter the job, most people know what hours they work, and when they don’t. Why wouldn’t you? The four big reasons to keep track of your writing are – Professionals do it, Production, Taxes, and Motivation.
This covers Record Keeping. Tomorrow, the marketing plan refresher.