Friday, September 23, 2011

Blogs, Business, and Books

I realize many of my readers do not know me from Adam other than what I blog, tweet, post, or facebook and that's okay. This is what all this stuff is about. It's a selling tool, yes, but its is a basic way of meeting new people.

In today's society it is acceptable to "meet" people, sell to potential customers, and help other people virtually. For example, did you know I spent fifteen years of my life building a rather lucrative international business and marketing consulting firm? I may have mentioned bits and pieces about it over the past few years.


If you are a member of the AOL Books and Writer's Forum, like many of my followers are, then you've seen me pop in and out over twenty years. I feel fortunate that this site has grown and survived over the year through multiple transitions when so many have fallen by the wayside. It's here if you want to pop in and meet authors and readers.

Even Blogger has changed several times since its birth.I've had several blogs over the years on various topics including being an author...like now, I have this writing blog and also a ministry blog. But like forums and social media sites, its a way to connect with people you may never actually meet.

I found a couple of interesting retweets or is it chirps on twitter yesterday. One really struck my fancy since this is my year of trying new things via the internet.
I jumped on the S.H.I.N.E blogging challenge, 100 blogs for the last 100 days of the year. To join click here. Can  you believe there is only 100 days left in 2011? The year zoomed by. Today is the start of S.H.I.N.E so this is blog #1.  A lot of interesting marketing and publishing tidbits on Julie Issac's Writing Spirit site so I invite you to take a look.

Through this site I reconnected with an old author acquaintance that I had not spoken to in a long time, Bob Mayer. He is one of my favorite military/sci fi and nonfiction authors. I met him at a writer's conference way back in 2000. In the video interview link I listened to what he had to say...like me he has now gone indie! He bought back the rights to over forty of his titles and republished them. In this I applaud him. I haven't bought back my nonfiction rights, yet.  That's my project for 2012. I've spent a year researching and testing the indie market, and my research is almost complete. No, I do not jump without looking first.

While he was promoting one of his nonfiction courses in business operation as an author. A kernel was born. Don't you just love when that happens? With my experience with business and marketing, who better to talk about the business end of being an indie author, other than Bob, than moi? Haven't I always said XYZ is a fabulous chef, mechanic, HVAC repair person, but they don't know squat about running a business? 75-80% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. It made my consulting firm grow by leaps and bounds. To help businesses start and continue on the right foot AND be an author at the same time is a match made in heaven.
Et Voila! I put together a small business pamphlet for American indie authors on the business aspects of being an indie auuthor. "The Business Author: A Practical Guide to the Business of Being a Self-Published Author." No, you say. I don't run a business...I just write books. But you sell them too. Uncle Sam wants you! He is holding out his hand with his greedy fingers twitching, saying "Gimme!" Yes, you are an author and a sole proprietor business. If you were a standard published author you would receive a 10-99 for income earned over the year from your agent or publisher and an itemtimized statement of expenses. But this covers the indie author without representation.

These are cold, hard facts. If you live in the U.S. of A, the government wants their share of your earnings. This pamphlet does not cover marketing or how to write your book. There are plenty of resources for this type of thing on the shelves and web. And almost nothing about the running and implementing the writing business. This covers the financial part of being an indie author...the taxes, the income, the deduction, and the accounting. Your responsibilites as a tax paying citizen. I always talk about the hats we wear in life. As an indie author, this is another one. I hear you groaning out there. What another one? Yep, make it the red one with the white band and blue feather.

I figured if you were bold enough to self-published your book and rake in a higher royalty rate, you might also do your own taxes. It's one of those things nobody talks about and they should. This covers the basics of accounting and financing facts about running a business. Like it or not, if you sell books, you are in business and tax season is right around the corner. If you've been an indie author for over a year, you know what I'm talking about. It can be a major headache!

So what's the bottom line? This pamphlet is a free download at http://www.smashwords.com/. Get it today here. It's a short e-read at 3K. Don't be caught with your pants down April 15th.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

2 comments:

Plumber lawrenceville said...

Simply want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is simply great and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

J.L. Murphey said...

Lawrenceville Plumber,
Thank you doesn't seem strong enough. I put a RSS link on my page so people can grab my blog without permission. You don't have to assume, I am an expert, albeit retired. I have had many a entrepreneur ventures and joint ventures over the years, and continue now as an author.