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Once you publish book, start bookkeeping

As an author, Bookkeepingwhen you think of bookkeeping, the first thought that probably comes to your mind is how you organize all of your books on the limited number of shelves you have in your house. As a published author, you’ll want to think about bookkeeping a little differently, though.

Bookkeeping involves maintaining the financial records of a business. Since you’re a business now, you’ll need to keep track of income derived from your book sales.

Such bookkeeping is fairly easy. You’ll have to keep track of all revenues – any money you make from book sales (online or at a events), speaking fees, etc. – and of all expenses – any money you must spend related to your business, a computer, printer, ink, paper, pens, gas for traveling to a writers conference where you sell your books, etc. Ideally, your revenues will outpace your limited expenses.

Using accounting software to keep track of your revenues and expenses is a good idea and other than the short learning curve for the program, actually will make bookkeeping easy. Most office supply stores have inexpensive software such as Quick Books that can be used (You also can subscribe to it online.).

To ensure your bookkeeping remains easy, immediately enter any revenues and expenses into your accounts ledger (kept on your software program). Don’t leave it to memory or let receipts pile up so that you wonder what the expense was for. Speaking of receipts, always keep them, even after you’ve entered them in your ledger. Lastly, never make business-related expenses from your personal account.

As you bring in revenues, be sure to set aside a portion of them for paying taxes. If a sole proprietor, you will need to pay self-employment tax, which is your contribution to Social Security and Medicare. Exactly how much you will need to set aside depends on your revenues, but plan on paying about 10-20 percent of your revenue to Uncle Sam and your state.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


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