When I first asked my tax preparer in 2009 what things were considered tax-deductible for a writer, she suggested keeping a list of everything I bought related to my writing business. I didn’t realize until this year how helpful that could be in creating a budget for my writing.
All I had to do was look over my list of expenses for the previous year, break it down into four different categories (office supplies, set-up expenses, book creation expenses, and marketing expenses), figure out what other expenses I was going to incur, add up the cost, and I had an idea of how much I would need to run my business.
Now if you are like me, you can’t afford to be spending thousands of dollars a year, and you might be limited by just how much you can spend. My limit was about $500 this year. It’s doable but not suggestible. I only managed because of editorial services I provided at the beginning of the year. (Not offering any longer due to lack of focus with kids yelling in the background. I might pick it up again once the kids go to school, who knows.)
But back to creating a budget for your business plan. Start with stating how much you have to spend, and then look at your list and figure out what cannot be ignored. Belatedly I realize I could have done without the ISBN’s that I bought this year (I should have waited a year or two) and focused on other aspects of my set-up expenses. There are others that would disagree. It all depends on your business goals. Below is a break-down of all the categories I use.
Office supplies include:
•Paper: notebooks, loose leaf paper, printer paper, notepads, journals index cards, sticky notes, etc
•White boards, cork boards
•toner, pens, pencils, markers, dry erase markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
•mail: envelopes, stamps, boxes, etc
•book keeping system, computer programs
Setup expenses include:
•Business license (check your local regulations for business setup)
•copyright and registration
•trade name registration and trade marking your business name
•Doing Business As bank account
•Setting up a LLC or Corporation
•ISBNs, EAN Bookland Code, SAN
Book creation expenses include:
•setup fees with printer
•typesetting or interior layout
•DIY book creation
Marketing expenses include:
•domain name and hosting
•copies of books your books you buy
I love comments, so if you have anything to add, please comment below. If you have any questions, please ask.
The Writer’s Business Plan: Building a Production Schedule
The Writer’s Business Plan: The Marketing Plan
The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals