Make Poetry Pay

The latest article in my Business of Writing series in Writing Magazine.

The poet Robert Graves once claimed, “There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money.”

Generating an income from our writing can be challenging, but for poets, it can be even more so. However, that’s not to say poetry can’t play a profitable part in your writing business. It can, if you take the right approach.

This means getting involved with poetry-based activities, such as undertaking readings, doing school visits, running workshops and teaching, besides any poetry you may write.

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Don’t Mess With The IRS!

Don’t let the IRS take a third of your self-published royalties. Simon Whaley takes you step-by-step through the IRS tax interview process.

No business likes giving away 30% of its income when it doesn’t have to, and that applies to your writing business too. If you’ve opened your first self-published royalty statement to discover 30% of your income has been withheld, you need to act now to stop it happening in the future.

It’s all down to the American Inland Revenue Service (IRS), which requires American companies to withhold 30% of any income earned through them by non-US citizens. 

Most of us who self-publish do so via an American-based organisation, such as Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, or Draft2Digital. This means they all have to adhere to IRS regulations. Unless you’ve told these organisations to the contrary, they assume you owe the IRS tax on this royalty income that you’ve earned.

Writing Magazine – Sept 2020

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Proposing Prose

Writing Magazine – August 2020

Securing a non-fiction book contract means having a business plan. Simon Whaley reveals what to put into your next book proposal

Do you have an idea for a great non-fiction book and want to secure a traditional publishing deal? Then what you need is a business plan. 

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Office Locations

Virginia Woolf famously called for a ‘room of her own’ in which to write. Simon Whaley chats to three wordsmiths about where they work and why.

A year ago, the Royal Society for Literature released the results of a survey in which 80% of writers said they needed a room of their own in which to work. Entitled A Room of My Own, it also highlighted that 78% of respondents who weren’t currently writers, but planned a writing career, also felt having a dedicated room in which to work was important.

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A Pride of Barbers

This week’s issue of The People’s Friend (30th May 2020) contains my article about a fascinating organisation: The Lions Barber Collective. It was set up by barber, Tom Chapman, after …

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A Bigger Platform

Should self-published authors go exclusively Amazon, or dip their toes into the wider world of Kobo, Apple and more? Simon Whaley explores the pros and cons.

Writing Magazine – June 2020

Ask any self-published author which ebook platform they sell their books on, and most will say Amazon. It’s easy to understand why. In the UK and USA, Amazon is the dominant player in the ebook market.

But when we upload our text onto the Amazon platform, there’s a decision to be made. Should we enrol in their exclusive KDP Select scheme? It’s an important business decision to make, because it can have far-reaching implications.

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You’ve Got Mail

The Business of Writing – You’ve Got Mail

What makes a good author email newsletter? Two authors tell Simon Whaley how they keep in regular touch with their readers.

You’ve Got Mail – Writing Magazine – May 2020

Mailing lists. Every author should have one. Why? Because once we have our readers’ email addresses, we control how and when we communicate directly with them. We’re not reliant upon a traditional publisher’s marketing strategy, or another company’s platform, like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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You Can Bank On It

The Business of Writing – You Can Bank On It

Has your writing business come of age? Simon Whaley looks at when to get a business bank account.

We all remember our first time. It was 1989, I was 18, and I couldn’t believe what I was holding in my hands. (It was a postal order for £3.50, in case you were wondering.)

Writing Magazine – April 2020

That was the payment for my first published piece – a word search puzzle. Little did I know then how that would be the first of many, many more payments.

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Successful Signings

The February 2020 issue of Writing Magazine is out now, and my Business of Writing column looks at how writers can organise their own booksignings in WHSmiths.

Successful Signings – Writing Magazine – February 2020

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Sustainable Snowdonia

Issue 185 of The People’s Friend Special has just hit the newsstands, and it contains my feature on the Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth, Wales.

It really is one of those places that you have to visit for yourself, to get a greater understanding of what they do there. I was fortunate to visit back in June, when they were open to prospective post-graduates, who were looking to expanding their knowledge of sustainable building. Many of the potential post-graduates already had a degree in architecture, and were looking to augment their knowledge with gaining a greater understanding of how to make our buildings more sustainable for the future.

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