A good book always comes into our lives at the right time”
5+ Financial Tips for Self-Publishers
Having a good financial plan is indispensable when it comes to embarking on your self-publishing journey. After all, this action can potentially make or break your entire future writing career. So don’t underestimate how essential it is to keep detailed records of all your expenses. From paying your taxes to making sure you earn enough to maintain your current lifestyle before leaving your full-time job.
Being a self-publisher, like all business endeavors, can lead to great rewards, but it also carries a lot of risk. Especially when it comes to money. Your money.
Today’s financial uncertainty, normal income fluctuation and tax complications are enough to drive anyone crazy to undertake any business endeavor. But with these financial tips in mind, you can embark on the journey of becoming a self-publisher with confidence.
Let’s get started!
Tip 1 – Write, Write, Write And Be Realistic
Let’s be clear about one thing, writing and publishing one book won’t make you rich. The most successful self-publishers have to write numerous books before they can live off their income, if they ever do… so plan on this being a long journey before you can live off your royalties.
Tip 2 – This Is A Business, Too!
Whether you see it or not, when you want to become a self-publisher, you’re also running your own startup. The tips that apply to new business owners and new business founders apply to you as well.
Your tax situation won’t be much different than those who work as employees. You will have to pay taxes and will be simultaneously your own employer and the only employee in your business “responsible for securing the income”, doing the work, paying the expenses and paying the taxes. It can be overwhelming, so be prepared.
TIP 3 – Establish A Budget
One of the most important tips for self-publishers just starting out, and for any new business owner, is to establish a budget before relying on self-publishing as the only source of income. If you have a full-time job, keep writing in your spare time until the royalties from your book sales equal the salary you currently receive from your full-time work.
Remember that building a business, distributing products, or promoting services can be a race to the bottom, so getting ready is getting ahead. Thinking about having more than six months of emergency cash will ensure our survival.
The lower our overhead and the more limited our unnecessary expenses, the more chance we have of reaching the goal of living off our royalties.
Develop your emergency plan in case an eventuality occurs.
Keep financial stress at bay with cash savings of over $5,000, so you can focus on what matters most: writing, writing, writing and self-publishing.
TIP 4 – Price Your Work Appropriately
Even if it’s your first book, it’s worth over 99 cents. I’m sure! This is not about offering a bargain. It’s about offering value.
Understand exactly what that value is and put the right price. To get a better idea of what your work brings to the world:
Look at similar books on the subject you’re writing.
Make a note of how much they cost.
Read them and determine how valuable your book is, for example; in order to get 70% royalties on self-publishing your eBook with Amazon’s KDP, you must set a price between $2.99 and $9.99.
TIP 5 – Market Your Work
Writing something, publishing it and waiting for the money to start coming in on its own is a fantasy. Depending on the subject you’ve written about, you will have a good reception, but in general, you will have to go out and promote your book.
You can do this for free through Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, among other social media that will help you… you can also hold workshops and seminars in person about your book.
“Don’t spend more money on advertising than you earn from that book’s royalties each month”. A good book, generates an organic traction, otherwise it’s a waste of money. Focus first on creating a solid audience and then build a simple marketing strategy with paid ads when you are already seeing royalties from your book.
TIP 6 – Keeping Your Self-Publishing Business Going
“You have to spend money to make money.”
Ask for help when needed or learn to delegate… At first, you will probably have to do everything on your own, however, you will eventually come to the point where you’ll need outside expertise to make more money as well. Getting help can improve the quality of your work and to have their books professionally edited. Think like your future potential buyer.
TIP 7 – Taxes for Self-Employed
When you work for an employer, taxes are automatically deducted from your paychecks and having the opportunity to get some of that money back when you file your taxes next year. However, once you become fully self-employed, do you not have any taxes deducted from your earnings but at the end of the year, you actually pay more in taxes than you did as an employee because your employer was paying half of your taxes.
This is called the self-employment tax, and definitely you must be prepared for it when you file with the IRS.
The best way to minimize your self-employment taxes is to be thoughtful with your tax-deductible business expenses. Keep track of every dollar you spend each day.
From mileage to a meeting related to your self-publishing work or your work from home office? Those are deductibles. You can deduct the cost of services and space as well.
All of these things can provide major tax savings, as long as they’re legitimate. It’s recommended that you work closely with an accountant.
Tip 8 – Be Aware of Local Taxes As Well
Carefully read about any taxes you might be subjected to based on where you’re doing business (for example: if you live in a state with income taxes, some cities or municipalities also have their own local taxes). Have a good accountant by your side who will be up to date on all of this information as well.