Thursday, February 25, 2010

What my Accountant Said

You know all those tax deductions for writers I wrote about in my last blog? Well, I carefully gathered all my documentation of my expenses and submitted them along with an explanatory note, the hot cover of my upcoming book, and my regular tax stuff. Ring, Ring! It's my accountant, the one I had to get after we inherited stocks, and I could no longer figure out our taxes. To give him credit, he has saved us much money over the years. Very gently, he says, "Miss Lynn (did I mention we live in the South?") about these writing expenses. Now you aren't trying to earn your living this way because there is a difference between a hobby and a real business, you know." I assured him I had a book coming out in April and would someday have royalties, maybe even enough to cover those $1,700 in expenses. The wheels turn. I know he is thinking, "Poor lady paid someone to print her book, and now she has all these losses." I say, "Really, I write four or five hours a day, and it's taken me five years to get this book printed by a real publisher." He mullls that over. "Tell you what, why don't we claim these expenses next year against any royalties you might get." Okay, didn't know you could do that. And that's why he is the accountant, and I am an author--maybe.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Whoooo Dat?

Now I really do have to retire the joke about Hell freezing over when the Saints win the Super Bowl. It was worth the sacrifice. What a terrific win. Well, if the Saints can win the Super Bowl, I should be able to get another book contract if I work as hard as they did. When Goals for a Sinner comes out on April 23rd, I am sure people will look at the cover and say, "Who dat?"

Sunday, February 7, 2010

So, here I am waiting for the Super Bowl to start. It seems Hell has frozen over up north and it's mighty cold in Louisiana, too. I predict and hope for a Saints win. After all, the Saints were my inspiration for the fictional Sinners football team in Goals for a Sinner. And no, Connor Riley is not modeled after Jeremy Shockey since I wrote this book in 2004, but he could certainly play the part.

What to do while the day creeps slowly towards 5:30 p.m.? Not being one to waste time, I am organizing my taxes (and blogging). Having just totaled up my "business expenses" as a writer, I am appalled to find I spent $1,700 simply getting this one book into print and haven't earned a cent on it yet. Looks like a big write-off to me. How on earth did I spend so much? I started off by attending a conference where I got three requests for full manuscripts. No one took the book, but I did meet a friend who urged me to try The Wild Rose Press. They took the book and assigned a great editor, Cindy Davis, at no cost to me, but did urge me to blog and set up a web site. Lynn Lamousin built a beautiful site for me at a very reasonable cost. I simply didn't know I had to buy an url and other mysterious things I still don't understand. Then, the Oriental Trading Company catalog arrived and had the perfect promotional item: the flaming foam football. I bought 200. Of course, I had to order labels to stick on them and postcards with my book cover and release information from some very nice people in India. Yes, Miss, it is very, very easy to design your own postcard. We will help you. And they did.

Not included in the above, two celebratory dinners. The first was held appropriately in an Indian restaurant where we ordered extra nand, an appetizer, the main course, and even the beautiful white chocolate lotus blossom filled with mango cream desset. The tab came to $100 for three people, not unreasonable really. When I signed the second contract for the sequel, my husband and I went to Olive Garden and spent a modest $40. I sure hope I can earn $2,000 on this book to assuage my guilt. One thing I can say, I am ready for the release-still three months away. Let's see, it's two p.m. Still, three and a half hours before game time. What else can I do. Oh yeah! I can write.