Friday, March 9, 2012
The Business of Writing
You’re a writer. Congratulations on pursuing your dream! I’m a writer—and a numbers geek. After twenty-five years of working in financial positions all over the United States, I opened my bookkeeping service, Moore Bookkeeping, to allow myself more freedom with my time. I wrote THE BUSINESS OF WRITING to help writers feel confident in the money side of their writing careers.
I realized from my own experience and the experience of other writers I know that the number one question a writer asks after starting to live the dream is this—what do I do about the money?
Right now, you’re in one of 3 places:
• You’re getting started and aren’t making a lot of money yet.
• You’ve been writing and are making some money.
• You’ve been writing and are making more money than you ever imagined.
So what to do?
Even if you hire out your financial work, you need to know what’s happening with your money. There are too many horror stories about people entrusting their finances to an “expert” only to find themselves mismanaged, robbed or flat broke. You don’t want to be that writer, and I don’t want you to be that writer.
So, along with all of the other information in the book, I’d like to share with you my Top Ten Financial Do’s for Writers.
1. Pay your bills on time.
2. Keep every receipt.
3. Before you start your business, consult an accountant familiar with this industry.
4. Create your Money Journal and stay organized.
5. Decide exactly what you’d like your business to accomplish and visualize what it looks like when it’s successful. Begin planning for that day.
6. Use a cash flow spreadsheet and update it at least monthly to be sure where your company stands.
7. Start a new Money Journal with each new tax year. (You may ultimately decide to enter every check into your computerized accounting system. If so, you’ll record the details on your Income and Expense Worksheets broken down by month into your program, being sure to add one more column—check number.)
8. Use your Money Journal to gather information, but transfer the information to an accounting program or hire someone to do it for you.
9. Hire a CPA to do your income taxes. The benefits will far outweigh the costs.
10. Accept that good bookkeeping is what holds the long-term success of your dream together, and a little time spent each month will pay big dividends at tax time.
Debra Moore is a romantic suspense author with an accounting background. Check out her informative book, The Business of Writing, for sale at Amazon for $3.99. Or visit her websites, www.readmoore.com and www.moorebookkeeping.com