Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


6 Comments

Taxes & Writing on my!

Good morning, it’s already the 6th day of the year, wow times flying. If you’re an author then you’ll want to read this post, and even if you’re not and you file taxes, take a few minutes to check this out.

Here’s a list of expenses that you can claim as a published author if you have royalties to claim as income.

Expenses:

Writing program expenses (Ex. Word, Powerpoint, Scrivener, etc.)

Subscription Fees (Ex. Writing Magazines, Writing Site fees, etc.)

Dues (Ex. Romance Writers Associations, Writing Associations, etc.)

Computers/Laptops/Printers

Pens/Pencils/Paper/Journals/Notebooks

Postage (Used to mail books, letters to editors, etc.)

Advertising

Swag expenses

Book Signing expenses

Labor paid to a writing assistant

Editing fees/Cover Design Fees

Website design fees/Domain fees

These are just some of the expenses that some authors forget when they sit down to do their taxes.

Now remember to make sure you get all of the 1099 forms from all the places where you sold books this year. I always print a summary of sales report on all of the sites my books are on, that way I don’t leave out anything.

If you have any questions as you prepare to do your return, email me and I’ll help. Check out my accounting website for more information at http://hurtsbusiness.wix.com/hurtsbusiness

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Advertisements


Leave a comment

As I Ponder 2012…

I thought this picture would be a refreshing change. Everything here is starting to look drab and dull. Winter can do that you know. I can hear the birds chirping this morning as I make my post. I love it. Well, on to the new year.

As I ponder the past year I wonder, what did I accomplish? What did I want to accomplish but didn’t? Well, let’s see. When 2012 started I had only played with the idea of publishing some of my manuscripts. Now six of them are a reality. That’s exciting to me. Wow, I published six books in 2012, should’ve been seven, but that’s water under the perpetual bridge so to speak.

My ship didn’t come in, meaning I didn’t win the lottery or sell a million books, so today I have to come back to my accounting office and start the busiest time of the year for an accountant. I love this time of year. Weird, I know, but that’s just me. I love it when it’s busy and I don’t have time to think about the things I haven’t done.

I am thankful for a healthy, happy family. It’s wonderful to have friends that care, family that is close and all of you. That’s another thing that changed in 2012. I became a social media junkie. Yep, that’s right, me, ‘Ms I don’t do social media’. 🙂 Well you all know how that turned out. Here I am blogging, tweeting, facebooking, and any other site I can get on. Funny how publishing a book can change your life and publishing six in one year really changes things.

Well, I hope you all have a prosperous year.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you in 2013!
rosemedium_3876917514


3 Comments

Self Publishing: Do or Don’t?

I’ve read several posts lately regarding the decision whether to go traditional publisher or do it yourself. It’s a hard question to answer without some investigating your options. That’s what I did before I published my books. Here’s my findings and remember, this is just my experiences and opinions.

When I first decided to publish my books I sent a query letter to a traditional publisher. Well, after several months I didn’t receive a response and I was really wanting to the book out. So, being the person I am, I started looking into other options. I didn’t know a lot about self publishing, but soon I was immersed in the how-to’s. It was an interesting concept. What really impressed me was the royalty rates versus traditional rates.

One of the issues was that in traditional publishing you have someone doing book promos for you and the self publishing market you do it yourself. Being an accountant by trade I wasn’t sure about this. But with more in depth investigating I realized I could do this. Thank goodness my assistant is in college and she is very with working computer magic.

The funny thing is that it was easier than I had ever imagined. I was not a social media butterfly, so easing me into that part of the marketing was extremely funny to my assistant. The first time I received a follower on Twitter I was like, really, someone I don’t even know followed me. She just laughed and rolled her eyes. Since then it’s been crazy. I blog, I tweet and I have my books on every website I can find. My accounting office has turned into publishing central.

We even design our own covers and have gotten some real good reviews on them. I have gotten a couple of calls from traditional publishers wanting me to sign with them. That’s been gratifying but the only thing is some of them want me to pay for their services. I asked one the other day and they are a big publisher, what are you going to do to market my book? Guess what, I was doing the same exact thing they were going to do, and paying thousands less than they wanted to do it.

So, I guess with me, I’ve had a good experience with self publishing. I won’t say that I’ll never go with a traditional publisher, but for now I’m happy with doing it myself. I have been talking with a small publishing company that is interested, but that will be later on. At least with self publishing I can get it out there now, not next year.

Hope this helps you if you’re trying to decide. As always great writing and May God bless you!


3 Comments

Tax Season over tomorrow!!!

Well, another tax season is coming to a close. As I sit here in my office putting the finishing touches on yet another procrastinators return I wonder “why do I do this every year?” I guess because I love accounting. There is something about working with numbers and solving problems that just pulls me in. I do wish the IRS would get a handle on how they want to handle Accountants. They are constantly changing things and every year my tax books get thicker and thicker. It can get a little hectic around the office.

I guess that’s why I’m enjoying writing so much. I get to lose myself in another world for a little while every day. Well almost every day. Sometimes I can’t wait to get lost in another person’s life. I will be sitting at my desk figuring out plots and what will happen next. It’s so sad the life and mind (or lack of) of a writer. We are always churning out a story from everything we see. I can see someone on the street that is intriguing and BAM! a story comes to mind. I know, I have a problem, but if it publishes and sells books…

I hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday evening, or what’s left of it. Tomorrow it is back to school for my son. He has been out on Fall break. Man that clock is going to be terrible sounding at six in the morning. Oh well, life goes on. Good writing and My God Bless you tonight!


2 Comments

Publishing in today’s world…

It has been an interesting ride since publishing my first novel. I had always said I would never do social media. Well, guess again. I now tweet, blog, and do most of all the social media networks except Facebook. I do have a Facebook page for one of my books, but it is handled by my editor. Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is great, but just a little too social.

When I first decided to publish my books I played with the idea of a traditional publisher. I spoke with a couple and they said well send in your manuscript and we will let you know. Well if you have ever done this it is a long wait for the let you know part. After doing a lot of research on traditional publishing, I decided against that route. As I researched I discovered a lot of things I did not care for.

One of the things that bothered me was the royalties. They wanted to pay me just a fraction of what I would be charging for the book. One publisher said we can offer you 5% royalties on all books sold and the highest offer was 25%. I sat there doing the math and decided that was not happening. When you work hard on your novel and it is like part of you, why would you give a publisher 75%.

Well, then I discovered self publishing. I smiled at the thought of the tables turning in the other direction. With self publishing I had control of my own work. I could control where it went and how. I have not regretted that decision yet. I have been approached by several publishers wanting to get my already published books in their market. One even offered to take my books to new heights for the nice round figure of $3000. After I put my jaw back in place, I nicely told him thanks but no thanks. He wanted to put them where they already were at.

I know with traditional publishing you get the whole media, advertising, and all with it. But in reality, they wanted to put my books where they already were. Now you do have some wonderful Indie publishing companies that are not out to drain you of your profits. I may decide to go with one of those for some of my future work, just to see where it leads. Who knows.

This is not a post to discourage or persuade anyone from anything. I just wanted to give my experiences. As always, good writing and God Bless!

 


1 Comment

Accounting & Book Sales…

You are excited, you sold a book, you sold many books, you’re making money. Now what? Well, if you have read my profile you know I’m an Accountant by day and by night during tax season. (Grinning broadly). I want to give some advice and I want to make it clear I’m not telling you how to run your publishing business, but this is advice to help you have a good experience.

I was talking with a friend the other day and she was giddy with delight because she’d sold several of her newly published book. She was adding it in her mind and grinning broadly. I was excited for her because I’ve felt the same feeling and it is a good one. But then as her Accountant I had to bring up the inevitable which is royalty tax. Well, she looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, I hadn’t thought of that. What do I need to do?”

Well, the fact is, those wonderful sales are actually taxable income. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I do want to help you get ahead of the game. Make sure that you save some of those royalty dollars to cover the taxes at the end of the year. But, don’t forget to save all those expenses that you have incurred along the way. Some of those expenses are: publishing software, advertising, fees paid for pictures used for covers or trailers, fees paid to reviewers or editors, and the list goes on.

I want to help my new cyber friends (and I do consider you friends). So here is some free advice. Don’t forget that you will have to pay taxes on those royalties, but don’t forget the expenses that go along with them. If you keep yourself on level ground, then when tax time comes around, you won’t get a horrible surprise. I see it happen every year.