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Phase 8: Balancing The Books

You wrote a book.


Published that book.


Marketed that book.


Now it's time to balance the books!


Excel is my program of choice to track my day-to-day expenses and income. Nothing overly-complicated, though I love me a good macro every now and then.


I use TurboTax each year to bring all aspects of my financial life together around tax time, but I never wait that long to ensure I've got the ledger fully filled out.


EXPENSES


Out-of-pocket expenses include:

  • Business licence - the annual licence fee for Lost Art Productions.

  • Membership fees - I belong to the Inspired Fiction Writers Association (IFWA) in Calgary and the Writers Guild of Alberta.

  • Copyright submission - I use CopyrightsNow to submit to the Library of Congress.

  • Website services - I build and maintain my own sites using Wix. It's easy.

  • Adobe Create Cloud - annual fee for these expensive, yet cherished, programs.

  • Microsoft 365 - also expensive, also cherished.

  • IngramSpark - set up fees; often there are valuable coupons on NaNoWriMo.

  • Author copies - nice to have on hand, and they're at cost, so I get these from Amazon.

  • Short story competition entry fees - yep, I write those and submit to contests.

  • Courses - I took a nifty LinkedIn course called "Writing: The Craft of Story".


INCOME


I get regular payments from all the platforms upon which my books currently sell:

  • Amazon / Kindle - from all countries where Amazon makes my book available, handily converted into CAD for me.

  • Indigo / Kobo

  • Barnes & Noble

I also include ancillary income such as revenue from Lost Art Productions which includes photography and video-based services.


TAXES


You've got to pay the piper at the end of the day, so it's useful to keep a running track of both sides of the ledger to ensure you've set aside an appropriate amount to give to the feds.


BANKING


I currently use my regular chequing account as the destination for these deposits, but once I build up a nest of cash in there I'll likely isolate these amounts (for easier accounting) into a separate account.


TIME


I've found it's easier, cleaner, and ultimately more satisfying to have a disciplined approach to tracking the money flowing through this part of my life.


Money is like blood. Without it, we die. And watching it leave us really hurts.


I find that by mid-afternoon my powers of concentration have morphed from the creative surge of the early a.m. into a more regimented, organizational mindset. Thus, I take care of the numbers in the afternoon or evening.


And managing my time properly, knowing the numbers add up and the books are balanced, allows my dream-mind the breathing space it needs to play What If? again.


And the power of What If? should never be underestimated!


It leads to a new book. New adventures. New readers.


Keep your creativity off-balance to ward off complacency.


Keep your books balanced to ward off the tax man!


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