With guest author Atlanta Jackson
When one thinks of, say, Harrods, they have a specific brand and image in mind. Surely writers can’t also have a brand?
This isn’t true. Think of Alan Sugar or Steve Jobs – I’m sure you have ideas about them. Entrepreneurs also need a brand. To brand your novel or series or you as a writer means to give the audience an Idea of what they can expect. Think about how you are representing yourself, or your writing: the cover design, title, series title, shops or sites you sell in or on, everything you do and say. All these factors influence the way the audience thinks about you and your books; your brand lets them know what to expect when they pick up one of your novels.
Nina Amir on The Book Designer (http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/07/6-branding-tips-for-writers-and-authors/) agrees that authors need to brand and insists it is something that should be included in early success planning. The article, entitled 6 Branding Tips for Writers and Authors, is well worth a read.
Independent Publishers – do they really need to keep accounts?
The second a self-published author makes a penny from the sale of one of their books it is considered income by the HMRC. Thus it is vital current, up-to-date and accurate accounts are kept. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. A simple cash-flow table could suffice. You may find it can also help you with budgeting.
A simple example: Jan Feb Mar
Cash flow in: Royalties £100 £50 £125
Cash flow out: Book Covers £50
(UK): If you earn less than £81,000 (at time of writing), you can enter your details on a cash basis (this includes payment from cheques, EFT etc, not just cash), making filling out the tax return so much less complicated. Sorry, don’t know the details of tax returns for other countries.
How can I motivate myself?
To motivate yourself, remember what you are working towards. This could be anything from simply finishing a single novel and seeing your hard work published, to being a bestselling author. Anything worth doing takes time and energy; writing a novel takes determination, commitment and can sometimes seem like the toughest thing in the world. Seeing your book out there for readers to enjoy far outweighs any discomfort if only you can stay positive and get it done.
Do I need an ITIN number. I’ve heard it’s complicated to get one?
Good news. Things have got simpler. You no longer need an ITIN or EIN number if you want to stop/reduce Withholding Tax (provided your country has a tax treaty with the US). Update the tax information on KDP or Createspace. You are now asked to provide a non-U.S identification number which (for the UK) can be your National Insurance Number or your UTR (Unique Tax Payers Reference number). Have just filled the form in myself and can’t believe how easy it is, when I was expecting trips to London and lots of waiting.