Last month, I talked about keeping track of your income. It’s now time to look at your expenses.
The expenses you have may vary depending on whether you are self-publishing or are traditionally published. In general, your expenses could include:
- Workshops and conferences
- Editing and manuscript assessment
- Equipment such as computer purchases
- Professional support – graphic design, accounting fees, virtual assistant etc
- Book promotions – advertising, bookmarks, banners
- Books that count as being part of your professional library – the rules are not clear here, so be prepared to justify book purchases if needed
- Purchasing printed copies of your own books to onsell
- Postage and envelopes
- Parking at conferences and events
As discussed in my last post, the easiest way to keep track of your income is with accounting software or a spreadsheet. You can use the same method to keep track of your expenses.
With any of your expenses, be sure to keep a copy of your receipt, especially if paying with cash. This way you can match these up to any expenses you have so you can claim them at tax time. Sometimes it can be helpful to write notes on the receipts so you can remember what they were for. For example if you park at a conference, you could write what the conference was on the receipt. This can also help if you are asked to justify any purchases.
Keeping track of your expenses is just as important as keeping track of your income. By keeping track of both of these, you will know if you are making any money as an author or not.