Wow I just noticed a bump in my following list to 55 of y'all. A big hop in numbers since January 2013. Welcome to all just joining me on my regularly scheduled station.
Tuesday's Tumbling Term for indie authors is Business.
1. an occupation, profession, or trade: His business is poultry farming.
2. the purchase and sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit.
3. a person, partnership, or corporation engaged in commerce, manufacturing, or a service; profit-seeking enterprise or concern.
4. volume of trade; patronage: Most of the store's business comes from local families.
5. a building or site where commercial work is carried on, as a factory, store, or office; place of work: His business is on the corner of Broadway and Elm Street.
I'm am constantly surprised that writers don't realize they are a business. They write every free moment they can, even for years,and publish their work. Sure it might be pleasurable to them, but if they publish they are a business too.
Even if a writer publishes their work for free, it's still a business. Yep, that's right. Although in the true nature of the world you should try to make a profit. There are expenses related to creating that manuscript. It's a tax deduction even if you do not make a profit.
For some, it's a marketing ploy to give away copies of their books to...
- Get people to read a newbie author. They may offer the first of a series of books for free and charge on an increasing scale for each subsequent book.
- They will limited the amount of time or copies. I did this with The Author Business. I offered this guide for free, but only the first 2,000 copies. After I reached that number, I charged $0.99. They may even host giveaways on their or other sites.
- The author is unsure what the value of their book. OMG if this is the reason, take a look at what your competition is doing.
- Ultimately, to build readership.
The Amazon KDP Select program is making a killing by this option. They select certain books of published works within their program and offer it free for a couple days during this period. This will also be a deduction. But if memory serves, payment is calculated by the number of downloads from their library so you could actually make money. It's been a while since I looked at this program.
Either way, whether you make money or not publishing your books...you are a business. When you are just starting out as a self employed author, you probably used your Social Security number. That's fine. That's how many small businesses start out. You didn't have a huge outlay of cash to set up a company. Maybe you published one book to test the publishing waters of indie publishing.
Once the monies start rolling in, this could take a long time or as little as 30 days, so much so, you might have to hire an assistant. That's when doing business is a little bit trickier. You still could be a sole proprietary business based on your Social Security number. In the years I've spent doing tax preparation, I've seen companies with upwards of twenty employees and millions of dollars in income operate this way. But it gets riskier and every accountants nightmare.
Another line of thought is to formed a LLC or S Corp. Yes you will be paid a salary, but you will also be protecting yourself from lawsuits. Yes even writers get sued. Dan Brown spent YEARS in court over Da Vinci Code. Your salary is yours, but the corporation pays all the bills.