EXCEL FOR AUTHOR EXPENSE & INCOME
During the month of April, we are blogging about “Tips and Tools” for writers. This is such an important topic, we’ll be blogging about it again in November under “Writing Resources”. We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions too. Please leave your comments below.
GET ORGANIZED NOW
You may be a newbie writer drowning in the muddle of author platforms, social media, chapter hooks, and wide or not wide. It can be overwhelming. Regardless of where you are in your writing career, there’s no better time than 2020 to get your finances organized. From online spreadsheet templates to high dollar accounting software, there are many options available. As a newbie writer, I began with several books on KDP and tracked my business with a simple Excel Spreadsheet.
First, I recommend that you:
- Open a separate author checking account.
- Only use your author debit card or a designated credit card for expenses related to your writing business.
Don’t be tempted to charge anything on your author card that cannot be expensed. When you set up payments for book sales from KDP, Ingram, etc., and Square (if you plan to have booths at book fairs and take credit cards), have all of the royalties and payments come directly to your author checking account. All of your income will be posted right there on your bank statement, which you can easily make copies for your CPA or transfer to an income spreadsheet.
Second, set up a spreadsheet for expenses, a check register, where you will record checks you have written, cash disbursements and credit card charges all relating to your author business. Across the top list the Categories, for example:
|Date||Ck #||Off Sup|| Workshop
|Travel Exp||Research Reference||Professional Fees/Dues||Mrktng|
Those sticky notes, writing pens, spirals, and copy paper are office supplies. Don’t forget about the printer ink cartridges. That trip you took to the beach to get a feel for the setting of your next series can be counted as author expense under research and travel. You can set up sub-categories by working titles or series title. That little ad you placed in your local newspaper announcing your newest release is marketing expense, and maybe you bought the newspaper editor’s lunch. Log that under public relations. There are many different ways to set up your expense categories. Check with your CPA to make sure you have the right categories for your particular situation.
In the meantime, stay safe and happy writing!