Keeping track of your income can be a challenge for authors, however it is important so we can declare any income at tax time.
We can receive income from a number of sources including:
- Sales of books – this can be sales directly from the author, online via sites such as Amazon, and royalties from your publisher
- Workshops and speaking – these could include school visits, author appearances at libraries and bookshops, workshops that you run, workshops where you are invited as a presenter, conferences,
- Articles and blog posts – any other writing that you may do that you get paid for
There are a number of ways you can keep track of your income. Work out what works the best for you so you can keep your records up to date. If you need to, talk with a bookkeeper or accountant.
- Invoice/receipt book – you can purchase these from any newsagent. Make up some stickers with your details so you don’t have to write them on every invoice or receipt. You can fill these out with sales of books as well as workshops and speaking engagements. When you write out an invoice to be paid at a later date, mark on the invoice the date it was paid.
- Spreadsheet – you can create a spreadsheet in a program such as Microsoft Excel, or even in Google Drive, and record any income.
- Bookkeeping software – you could invest in some bookkeeping software to keep track of your income. This software is designed to keep track of your income and expenses, however it may be more than you’re looking for when you are starting out. I will look more at bookkeeping software in a future post.
Whatever method you choose to use to keep track of your income, be as accurate as you can. the main things you need to record when you are keeping track of your income are:
- Date money was received
- What the money was for
- How much you received
- Method of payment – eg cash, PayPal, direct deposit into your bank account
This way you will be able to reconcile your income at the end of the month, quarter or year, ready to report when you do your end of year taxes. You will also be able to keep track of your income for you own curiosity.
Money will come in at different times, and if you are recording it accurately, you will be able to track when you are likely to receive income and this can help you with future planning and budgeting. More on this at a later date.