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Don't let #Doubt extinguish your #Sparks. Find the #Sparks you need to ignite your stories, dreams, and life.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Organization Tip: Expense and Earning Logs #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


PLEASE NOTE: I am not a tax pro. This post isn't really about taxes but keeping track of your expenses and earnings. 

With the start of a new tax year, it’s time for you to implement a good strategy to keep track of all of your expenses and earnings. This is a great way to keep you in your budget as well as organized. Even if you don't make enough for taxes, you will want to keep track of your expenses and earnings, as you never know when you'll need the info.

I have a red binder next to my desk with sheets of lined paper where I can jot down every expense, big and small, as well as my earnings, including sales and service fees I make.

In that same binder is an envelope where I store receipts.

For online receipts that I receive through email, I put them in a folder in my inbox. You can print them as they come and keep the emails for backups.
I also use PayPal for all of my writing expenses and for my editing service fees. PayPal is a great way to keep track of what you spend and earn, because PayPal does the work for you. You can use it to double-check your logs and as another source of proof if you lose the receipt email.

When it comes to expenses and tax deductions, keep a careful record of everything. No matter how small.

Here are the things I’ve put in my expense log:

-      Book event table costs
-      Books bought for events
-      Book event SWAG
-      Copyright application fees
-      Business cards, bookmarks, postcards
-      Author banner
-      Formatting fees
-      Illustrator fees
-      Editor fees
-      Website renewal fees
-      Postage/shipping supplies for mailing books (Make sure you use Media Mail)
-      eGift cards and giveaway items
-      Ads paid for
-      Award contest fees
-      Book easels for my table at events
-      Money lock box for events
-      Rolling cart for events
-      Desk and bookcases
-      Computer/laptop/devices
-      Printer ink and paper
-      Notebooks and pens
-      Internet costs
-      Mileage/Gas for traveling to events                                                                                

Anything and everything you spend as a writer/author should be added to your expense log. I like to divide my expenses into months and calculate each month’s expense. Then I add those numbers together to figure out the total amount I’ve spent. I do this throughout the year.

By doing these things, you will be able to handle your budget better and be ready for taxes.

QUESTION: How do you keep track of your expenses and earnings?

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Bactine for Rejections (IWSG)

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: When my mom and I were looking for reviewers for her new picture book Pea Soup Disaster, we were disheartened to see that nearly all of the book bloggers stated they don't accept self-published picture books. That left very few for us to contact. It was because of this that my mom and I decided to start reviewing picture books on her blog. We want to review traditionally published as well as self-published books, because we know firsthand that not all who self-publish skimp on the details. And we know there are many talented self-published authors out there with great books. Do you have a picture book you'd like us to review? Check out our Review Policy.



When you get rejection, don’t let it bring you down. Yes, it can feel very personal, but it’s not a personal attack. Change how you view rejections and how you take them.

Instead of seeing a rejection, see a badge of honor. All writers get them. Collect rejections like merit badges. The more you have is a testament of how much you’ve tried and how much your dream means to you.

The more rejections you get, the closer you are to an acceptance. Each one is a stepping stone. Visualize yourself standing on that rejection and leaping off it. The next stone you step on may be another rejection or it may be an acceptance. Follow those stones to your dream. It may be a short path, or it may be a winding one. The point is, all paths lead to something. You must stay on that path to get there, so keep hopping from stone to stone, rejection to rejection.

When you get a rejection, change how you react. Don’t mope. Reward yourself. Not for being rejected but for having the courage to send out a query or manuscript in the first place…and for having the courage to accept the rejection.

Go to the movies or rent a movie. Heck, pop a bottle of wine, but make sure you’re toasting your bravery for taking the next step as a writer, not drowning your sorrows.

When you get a rejection for a partial or full manuscript, give yourself a bigger reward. No, give yourself an AWARD. Many writers never get a partial or full request. Do you have a collection? Add a new item to your collection.

Then when you get that acceptance, when you get that contract, celebrate even more. Go out to dinner, throw a party, buy a memento to represent your story, do something to mark the milestone.

After all, those stepping stones of rejections lead to milestones of acceptances.



By Corrina Austin

Everyone needs their own special corner...

It’s 1969 and ten-year-old Davy is in a predicament. With two weeks remaining of the summer holidays, he’s expelled from the public pool for sneaking into the deep end and almost drowning. How will he break the news to his hard-working single mother? She’s at the diner all day, Davy has no friends, and he’s too young to stay by himself.

The answer lies in his rescuer, mysterious thirteen-year-old Ellis Wynn. Visiting her Grammy for the summer, Ellis offers to babysit Davy. She teaches him about “corners”–forgotten or neglected areas fixed up special. Together, the kids tackle several “corners” and Davy learns what it means to bring joy to others.

Davy begins to wonder, though. Why does Ellis want to be his friend? Why doesn’t she ever smile? And is Davy just one of Ellis’ “corners?”

Book Details:
Juvenile Fiction - Boys & Men / Fiction - Coming of Age 
$10.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 136 pages
 $3.99 EBook available in all formats

Buy Links:

QUESTION: How do you deal with rejections?


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