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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love this time of year. March is when we get our free money from the ALCS. Free money? Oh, yes! However, from the many comments I’ve seen on social media, not everyone understands their ALCS statement. Many simply look at how much they’re getting and then file it ready for their tax return. But having a clearer understanding of what you’re receiving the money for may help ensure you claim everything to which you’re entitled.
What is ALCS?
The Authors Licensing and Collecting Society collects money generated by secondary rights from various sources and then distributes it to writers. When you sell an article or a short story to a magazine, you sell a primary right – a right to publish your work, for which you should be paid. But once a piece of your writing has been published, there are legitimate ways in which it can be scanned or photocopied. Organisations and business pay for this legitimate right to copy your work.