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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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!