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Archive for the ‘Financial Tips for Indie Authors’ Category

 Maybe it seems a little early to start thinking about doing your taxes, but it’s been my experience that the sooner you get on it, the less stressful it can be. Thankfully there are people and web sites out there to help us slot all those numbers in the correct places on the correct forms and keep us from having to visit with a friendly IRS agent because we’ve gotten “creative” with the numbers. Here are 7 links to help you understand how to do your taxes:

Read the rest of 7 Links To Help Every Writer With Taxes.

This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

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Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

How often have you overspent on a “deal” that was guaranteed to help increase your income, but left you broke instead? How many times have you lacked the funds necessary to buy that eBook that could teach you ways to improve your marketing strategy?

If you’re like most Independent Authors, myself included, the times for either scenario are many. So what can you do to safe-guard against those ups and downs in your finances and take control of your spending?

Read the rest.

This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

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Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

The saying goes, “A fool and his money are soon parted.” I’ve lived that saying for a long time, unfortunately, so when I saw The Money Book by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D’Agnese I wondered what sage (unusable) advice I would find between the covers. I wondered if it was going to be another Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book that promises to give you secrets to accumulating wealth, but never delivers.

To be honest, I first picked it up because I liked the cover (remember the 8-second rule?). I decided to take a look inside when I realized they were speaking specifically to people like myself, a part-timer trying to make enough to eventually go freelance.

Read the rest.
This blog, The Road to Writing, will be discontinued Dec. 31, 2011. If you would like to continue receiving great tips and inspirational posts please remember to subscribe to my new blog by RSS or email for LOL Mondays, Spirit Wednesdays and Toolbox Saturdays.

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If you don’t already know how important having an ebook is, then perhaps you want to check out this post: Ebook Buyers: Can You Afford To Lose Them?

For the rest of you, I’d like to make a quick suggestion: don’t stop with ebooks.

On the Enneagram my husband is a 7 and I am a 9. We like to joke that he’s the idea man, but I’m the one who makes those ideas come to life. So, when my idea man suggested I put my latest book, Simply Prayer (also on Nook and Kindle), out as an audio book, I jumped on it. (It didn’t hurt that I know at least one person who prefers audio books because she’s so busy.)

A little research helped me find not only how to produce my own audio book for free, but also who I could list it with (distribution is still a major factor in making money!).

Here’s what I learned so far:

  1. Author Tim Hampton suggested in an interview on Self Publishing Coach using CDbaby.com because “CDbaby also makes my work avaliable at itunes, emusic and more…”

  2. There is free software available to create your audio book called Audacity.

  3. There are tutorials like Create An Audio Book With Audacity & Audiobook Cutter and Create and Sell an Audio Book Using These 5 Simple Steps by Shelley Hitz.

  4. Don’t expect the print version of your book to make sense to a listener. You may need to script your book, especially if it contains long web site addresses or footnotes.

I’ve only just begun working on putting together a Simply Prayer audio book, so I’ll be adding more information as I go. In the meantime, I would love to hear from anyone who has thought about doing an audio book or has already made that journey. What tips or questions do you have?

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Death and taxes, the two unavoidables in life. Thankfully there are people and web sites out there to help us slot all those numbers in the correct places on the correct forms and keep us from having to visit with a friendly IRS agent because we’ve gotten “creative” with the numbers. Here are 7 links to help you understand how to do your taxes:

  1. The IRS — this one seems rather obvious. It’s their forms, their rules, so it makes sense to check out their site for answers to our questions.

  2. Tax Advice for Writers by Bonnie Lee — simple to read and easy to understand with a great section on hobby-loss information

  3. A Fool And Her Money — depending on when you’ve started getting your tax-related material together, The Money Book may be more helpful for next year’s tax season, but it’s a resource worth investing in

  4. Tax Tips for Writers a guest post by Jessica Monday — more information on what can be used as a deduction including what can happen when you sell your house

  5. Tax Tips for Writers Freelance Income Reporting by Rachel Campbell — includes information on deductions and what forms writers need to fill out

  6. Tax Tips for Freelancers by Julian Block — a short, but excellent article on bad-debts that can’t be deducted

  7. Taxes and The Writer by Daniel Steven — information on accounting methods, types of income and forms, as well as another list of deductions

Doing taxes can be frightening and overwhelming, not to mention disappointing if you have to pay instead of getting a nice refund, but it’s unavoidable on The Road to Writing.

I’d love to hear from all of you. Besides checking with a good tax accountant, what other tips do you have for doing taxes?

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I’ve been thinking about moving into a full-time freelance/independent author career a lot recently. The question that keeps coming up, though, is, “am I willing to give my all?” Being self-employed means independence — at a price. That price can be financial security. Being your own boss can be great, but unless you’re ready to face what it takes to be independently employed, you might be better off sticking with your day job for a while.

So what does it take? Planning. You don’t necessarily need to be debt free, according to Michelle Goodman, author of My So Called Freelance Life, but you do need a plan or you’ll spend your time hopping from one unsatisfying gig to another rather than living your dream. Michelle’s common sense, down-to-earth advice is to forget writing down lofty ideas and “think tangible, realistic, bite-size pieces.” Having a goal to write the next bestseller is a great ambition, but how are you going to get there? That’s your plan.

For instance, my goal is to become fully self-employed by a certain date. To get to that goal I’ve written down three steps: 1) finish my WsIP, 2) submit articles to Constant Content and other freelance web sites, and 3) monetize my blog once I move it to its new domain. I will break down each of those steps into monthly, weekly and daily steps. After writing those down, its only a matter of working my plan… and perhaps rewarding myself for a job well-done. Although accomplishing a goal should be its own reward, it never hurts to dangle a carrot in front of yourself. (I plan on going out for a nice lobster dinner. 🙂 )

Beyond setting down a series of steps on how you will reach your ultimate writing goal, you’ll need to assess your financial status. One of the best resources I’ve found in helping you figure out just what your financial state looks like is The Money Book. It’s a no-nonsense approach to looking at past financial blunders and realizing there is a better way to handle your money — a way that includes saving for those inevitable emergencies on a fluctuating income.

If you’re over your head in debt, you may need to keep your day job while working on becoming a full-time independent author. J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly took his steps into the world of self-employment in stages, cutting back the time he spent at the box factory a little at a time after all his debt, except his mortgage, was paid off. At the moment, that’s my plan as well: pay off everything except the largest debts before leaping into being a full-time freelance/independent author.

Living your dream is possible, but having a solid plan before you drop the safety net can mean the difference between succes and failure on The Road to Writing.

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I am not an early adopter. I love gadgets, but I like to wait until most of the bugs have been worked out. Then I wait a little longer until I’m sure it’s a tool I’m really going to use and not a toy I’ll toss aside in a couple of months. So I was really excited about finally buying an eReader last month.

Alas, my excitement was short lived upon discovering my new gadget couldn’t read several of my previously downloaded books. No problem, I thought. I’d just convert them with this nifty software I’d read about.

Wrong! Until that moment I had little understanding just how DRMs affected me personally. Suddenly I’m faced with undesirable choices: a) pay for yet another eBook version, b) read it on my laptop only, c) learn to strip the DRMs from my eBooks, d) forget the whole thing. While b and d are the simplest solutions, I am actually hovering between paying what I considerate an exorbitant amount for an eBook and learning how to “pirate” my own books for my own personal use, which brings me to my topic: eBook pricing.

Traditional publishers have missed the boat when it comes to eBook pricing. In fact, many aren’t even on the loading dock. As JA Konrath points out in his post “Ebook Pricing,” customers want to pay less for eBooks than they would for a hard copy. It’s always made sense to me as a customer, but as a business person/Independent Author I wondered if it was wise to price an eBook low. If Konrath’s numbers are to be believed, however, the lower the price, the better the sales, the more money you can pocket.

With so many eBook avenues opening up to Independent Authors from Amazon’s Digital Text Platform for Kindle to Barnes and Noble’s new PubIt! pricing for high sale volume seems the better choice on The Road to Writing.

Author generated links:
April Hamilton’s post “Avast Ye Lubbers and Hear Ye Me Pirates” on eBook piracy tells of an honest woman pushed into piracy.

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