The Business of #Writing: Everything Else!

This is it! Post #5! The last post in this week’s “mini-series” of posts where I discuss my 2013 writing expenses and ponder what worked, what didn’t, and what I might change this year. All week, I’ve been encouraging new writers to ask questions, experienced writers to share their own thoughts and knowledge, and readers to either ignore and forgive (if they find this shop talk really boring) or join in! At the end of each post, I’ve included questions for everyone.

So for Friday I saved the Big One – the last of my 2013 Top Ten Expenses AND the one that, as a percentage, dwarfed all of the others. What was it? I call it “Everything Else” and it took up almost 31% of my expenses last year. Whoa. So what the heck is included in that monstrous chimera category? Well, lots of things, obviously. But this series of posts has to end at some point before you all get really sick of me talking about this stuff so I’ll just quickly hit a few of them and then wrap this series up.

Giveaway Expenses

I already mentioned that I give away print copies of my books. Well, I also give away eGift Certificates to bookstores of the winner’s choice. This allows me to open up my contests to international participants. Truth be told, most people pick Amazon. I hope they use the certificate to buy my books or someone else’s, but it’s their prize. I think of the opportunity to win prizes as a thank you to everyone who helps me spread the word about whatever it is I’m trying to spread the word about (usually a new release or a new cover).

Workshops and Conference Recordings

I took a self-publishing class from Author EMS and ordered a bunch of recordings from RWA’s national conference.

MY THOUGHTS? When I was a practicing attorney, we were always encouraged to take “CLE” classes – continuing legal education. Authors should take continuing education classes too – CAE for all of us! 😀 Also: don’t try to take an online class during a Yahoo Groups redesign. (Grr…)

Holiday Gifts

Who did I send a gift to? My agent and my editor. We have nice, professional relationships and I believe in saying thank you. In my previous career, December was always a fun month. Lots of small tokens of appreciation coming in and going out. And there’s the fact that, though we haven’t had many lunches or dinners, my agent and editor always pick up the tab when we do. They deserve some end-of-year cheer.

Charitable Contributions

This is actually one expense I wish was higher. I really admire writers that combine philanthropy and writing. Something for me to think about in the future, but for 2014 I’ll probably just concentrate on keeping my head above water and continue giving when I can. (Who did I give to in 2013? The Red Cross and Special Olympics).

Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and Donations to Other Cool “Causes”

[Again, I need to remind everyone that my posts are discussing writing expenses generally, not deductible expenses specifically. Make a list of your expenses, gather your receipts, and talk to your tax advisor about whether any of them are deductible. I cannot give tax advice, but I can’t imagine costs like this are deductible. Strictly speaking, they’re not even expenses. They’re donations.]

In 2013, I donated to the Online Etymology Dictionary and to the Museum of Science Fiction.

Research and/or Translation Assistance

Those of you who’ve read the Noon Onyx series know that I’m fond of Latin phrases and idioms. I have a Latin tutor who helps make sure I’m using them the way I want to. (This doesn’t always mean the interpretations I give in the book are accurate. I’ve changed some of them to fit the story and note that in the acknowledgements.) Here are my favorite ones from each book:

Jill Archer's Dark Light of DayDARK LIGHT OF DAY

Lucem in tenebras ferimus.

Into the darkness, we bring light.

Jill Archer's Fiery Edge of SteelFIERY EDGE OF STEEL

Virtute non armis fido.

Courage over weapons; cats over sanity.

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover artWHITE HEART OF JUSTICE

Volo tecum vivere . . . Recuso mori sine te!

I want to live with you . . . And I refuse to die without you!

LESSON? Use less Latin? Kidding. Having liberally sprinkled Dark Light of Day with Latin phrases, I could hardly leave them out of subsequent books, and I’ve very much enjoyed working with Joan, the woman who helps me translate these phrases. But my next project likely won’t have any Latin.

Service Charges, Taxes, and Professional Fees

Ah, from love, death, and Latin to taxes. 😀

By now you are all probably eyeing the clock wondering when happy hour starts. So, really, can you think of a worse topic to be discussing on a Friday afternoon then this one? So, very quickly, here’s the deal:

I had some bank charges; everyone who banks does. I paid some personal property taxes as a result of structuring my writing business as an LLC. And I paid my accountant, which brings us back to the beginning (as good stories always do) when I said Monday:

Every spring I begin the tedious process of collecting all of my expense receipts so that I can send a packet of information to my accountant…

LESSONS? While no one loves paying taxes, I don’t regret forming the LLC. My accountant deserves to be paid for her work and I’m definitely going to talk to my bank about lowering some of my service charges.

I spent money on other things in 2013 but these were the ones I thought were worth considering, discussing, and sharing.

Now it’s your turn:

Did I miss anything?

Other expenses that you may have had that I didn’t:

  • Photographer’s fee
  • Independent editing fee
  • Proofreading fee
  • Formatter’s fee
  • Cover artist’s fee
  • Copyright registration fee
  • Legal fees
  • ISBN costs

Were you impacted by the Yahoo Groups redesign? What do you think of Yahoo Groups now?

Do you have a favorite charity? Have you ever contributed to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo projects? If so, which ones?

Have any fun Latin phrases to share?

Thank you to everyone who commented, shared their thoughts and experiences, or answered my questions. You are all fantastic! Best wishes for a terrific weekend!



The Business of #Writing: Books and Writer’s Groups

This is day #4 of my week-long “mini-series” of posts where I mull over my 2013 writing expenses and share my thoughts. New writers, feel free to ask questions! Seasoned writers, your take on these topics is always appreciated. Readers, these posts give you a peek at what many authors do behind the scenes to support their work. There are questions for everyone at the end.


Our favorite topic! In 2013, I bought about 25 books (this doesn’t include my books; this expense category represents the amount of money I spent on other people’s books – about 6% of my total expenses).

What kinds of books did I buy? Fantasy, romance, historical, mystery, new adult, young adult, general literature, anthologies, and some non-fiction. I bought hardbacks, trade paperback, mass market paperback, and electronic versions. I paid $0.99 for some to over $25.00 for others (not many). I bought them from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and my local independent bookstore.

Did I read them all? I wish! I’ve mentioned before that one of the downsides of becoming a published author was a decrease in personal reading. That hasn’t really changed for me since I first groaned about it, although I have been able to binge read from time to time and I’m trying to get better about carving out more consistent reading time into my schedule.

fantasy, Dark Light of Day, Jill Archer, Noon Onyx

LESSONS? This is the first year I’ve tracked this as a business expense. (To be clear, I’m not saying that this is a deductible expense – or that any of these expenses are. That’s for you and your tax adviser to figure out.) Could I cut back? Absolutely. Will I? Ha! I doubt it. I like supporting other authors, booksellers, and books in general by buying books. Sometimes, I feel guilty I don’t buy MORE. It’s wise for authors to read as widely as they can, to keep up with the market, to know what’s being published, and to know the quality of work that your peers are putting out. And all writers started as pure unadulterated readers. Books => bliss!

So instead of finding a way to cut this expense, I’d settle for finding a faster way to get through my TBR pile. 🙂


There are all sorts of writer’s groups out there: big ones, little ones, informal kitchen table-type ones, and ones with bylaws, elections, national conventions, etc. Some writers will say you don’t need a writer’s group – and, of course, you don’t – but I think they’re worth the investment. For the record, the amount I paid for writer’s group membership fees came in at #9 out of #10 on my list of Top Ten Writing Expenses, which represents about 4%. Too high? Maybe. And, truth be told, this is an expense I carefully consider every year.

I belong to two main writer’s groups: Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). They are both nationally organized, well-funded, and have vast caches of institutional knowledge.

RWA was founded in 1980 and has more than 10,000 members and almost 150 chapters. They allow both published and unpublished members to join. They host a national convention every year where their highest award, the Rita, is presented to winners in various categories.

SFWA was founded in 1965. To become an active member, you must be published, but unpublished authors can benefit from their Writer Beware site. They host the Nebula Awards and have about 1,800 members.

Both RWA and SFWA have had “controversial moments.” (I leave you to your internet searches. I don’t want to rehash; I only want to acknowledge that the groups aren’t perfect). Each has caused me, from time to time, to question whether I still want to be a member. And yet, year after year, I re-up. Why?

Because the writers I interact with – many of whom I’ve met through these groups – are, for the most part, wonderful. Writing is a lonely business. I used to work in an office. I had colleagues, an assistant, and clients. I talked to people all the time. I was on the phone, in meetings, chatting in hallways and other people’s offices. I was having lunch. And then I became a writer, which I love. But I’m no longer talking to people all the time. It’s a quieter business, ya know? 😀 So I like having a group I can turn to if I have a question, need advice, or simply want to say hi.

There are other benefits to being in a large writer’s group, such as advocacy (both on a group and individual level) and early access to industry news. But each writer has to decide for themselves if the cost of membership in these groups is a good trade for the benefits they might receive. My hope is that big, institutional writers groups like RWA and SFWA will evolve in positive directions as the publishing climate continues to change and the myriad ways in which writers can connect and receive information continues to grow.

LESSONS? MANY. But no change here.

So those are my thoughts on books and writer’s groups. Now, I’d love to hear from you! Answer any! Answer all!


Do you try to diversify your book buying habits so that you purchase books from a variety of different sellers or do you prefer to do your shopping in one main place?

Do you like a variety of formats (hard cover, trade paperback, mass market, digital) or do you prefer one over all others?

Do you buy more books than you read? Does that make you happy or sad?

Have any fun or quirky advice on how to plough through a TBR pile and/or add more reading time to an already packed schedule?

Writer’s groups:

Writers, which groups do you belong to? Which groups would you belong to if cost or membership eligibility weren’t an issue? What are some of the benefits you expect from a writer’s group in return for your membership dues?

Readers, had you ever heard of RWA or SFWA before this post? How about the Rita or the Nebula? Does the fact that a book won a major award make it more likely that you’ll buy it?

Thanks, everyone! I’ve really enjoyed reading commenters’ contributions so far.

Tomorrow I discuss… Everything Else! 😀

The Business of #Writing: Mailing Costs, Stock Photos, and Office Supplies

Day three of my week-long series where I discuss my 2013 writing expenses. My goal with this “business of writing mini-series” is to share some helpful information with new writers, while also giving readers a behind-the-scenes peek at what many writers do to support their work. Experienced writers, please feel free to share links and thoughts in the comments. Because today’s topics are even blander than some of the others, I’m including some EXCITING STOCK PHOTOS in this post! 😀


Almost all of my mailing costs were associated with mailing giveaway copies of my books to readers. I mentioned already that I enjoy giving away copies of my book. Currently, I only offer print copies, which require mailing. I manage this expense by only mailing to U.S. addresses, but I often wish I didn’t need to limit my reach.

LESSON? I’d love to figure out how to offer digital copies of my books in the future.

Post Office Boxes: Another possible expense.
Post Office Boxes:
Another expense.
This one’s mine:
P.O. Box 381
Shrewsbury, PA 17361-0381
Feel free to use it to send me an old fashioned letter! 😀


I actually worried that this expense would represent a bigger portion of my expenses than it did. I like to include pictures in my blog posts and many times, my pictures just aren’t relevant or good enough. So in 2013, I spent approximately 6% of my overall expenses on stock photos from BigStock and iStock. Most of them were either loaded up as part of a blog post or added to the stationary pages on my website. But I also bought a handful to use as part of the presentation I gave at the Library of Congress SF&F Forum.

LESSONS? I could cut back on this. My posts don’t require photos. If I needed to tighten the belt, this would be an expense to consider cutting. But I like adding a visual component to posts. I think it makes them more attention grabbing and professional looking. Although paying less for photos used for daily posts versus static pages or presentations might be something to consider.


Yikes! Printer ink is a lot more expensive on a yearly basis than I’d like for it to be! And it’s weird how quickly the cost of envelopes, paper writing tablets, copy paper, pens, etc. add up. But there’s no getting around these expenses. Like postage, these costs are associated with nearly every business.

In 2013, I also bought a new laptop. This would have so wildly skewed my expense numbers, that I didn’t even include it for purposes of these posts. But, of course, hardware upgrades are necessary too. (My husband would be kicking up his heels if he heard me say that. He works for one of the world’s biggest PC manufacturers.)

A little bit off topic, but… there’s been a lot of talk over the last year about the death of the PC. And it’s true that lots of people are shifting to tablets. But I think many of those people are consumers of content, not creators. For my part, I’m just hoping there will always be awesome hardware out there for those of us who want to write and create content for others to consume.

LESSONS? Other than bargain hunting, bulk purchasing, and not being wasteful, I don’t know how anyone could cut their office supply expenses.

So that’s my take on mailing costs, stock photos, and office supplies. Sexy and exciting? Probably not. Basic and useful? Hopefully so. 😀 Now I’d love to hear from you…

Writers, do you mail print copies of your books as giveaways or do you offer digital versions? Do you use stock photos? If so, where do you buy them? Do you write on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or something else?

Readers, do you like getting print copies as giveaways or do you prefer digital? Do you think blog posts without pictures are boring? From which device do you access the internet the most — desktop, laptop, tablet, or other?

Tomorrow, books and writer’s groups! Happy Wednesday, all!

The Business of #Writing: Events, Subscriptions, and Online Expenses

Wow! That title probably makes you think this post will be 10,000 words or more. No worries. It won’t be. This is part 2 of a week-long series of posts I’m doing where I look back at my 2013 writing expenses and ponder what worked, what didn’t, and what I might do differently. I welcome and encourage other authors to share their own experiences. Newer writers, feel free to ask questions. Readers, these posts may be a bit dry, but they offer you a peek at what we authors do behind-the-scenes to get our work in front of you. There’s more to it than just writing. And your feedback is appreciated too! Each post includes reader specific questions at the end.

To see a complete list of my 2013 expenses, see yesterday’s post. Today, I’m discussing #2 through #4.


Yesterday I talked about promotion costs, which accounted for about 14% of my expenses in 2013. Costs associated with events came in at #2 – 12%. That sounds about right with one caveat. A writer should always have a purpose in mind for attending an event. There are three basic in-person events for fiction writers: writer’s conferences, fan conventions, and book signings/readings. Conferences tend to be educational. There may be some signing events, but most writers conferences are geared toward writers. They offer networking opportunities and workshops. Fan conventions are – obviously – geared toward fans and readers. There are signing events and panels, as well as other events where readers and authors can have fun together. In store book signings and readings tend to be smaller travel and time commitments. There’s usually a more limited audience but, because of that, the event can have a nice intimate feel.

In 2013, I attended the Liberty States Create Something Magical Conference. The conference has both a writer’s and a reader’s track, which is nice. I also gave a talk at the Library of Congress Science Fiction and Fantasy Forum, which was a really neat experience.

LESSONS? Nothing earth shattering. Events can be expensive unless your publisher pays for them (which isn’t happening at my level). So I don’t feel guilty that my calendar isn’t loaded with them. Still… I could be a bit more diligent in my efforts to attend them. At some point in the future, I’d love to go to another fun, fan conference. And I’d love to coordinate a multi-author book signing closer to home some day.


Whoa. Coming in at #3, which struck me as a bit high. What’s up? Well, I subscribe to RT Book Reviews, Writers Digest, and Entertainment Weekly (all terrific publications that are inexpensively priced)… and I subscribe to Publishers Marketplace and Publishers Weekly, which are also terrific – giving you access to information you can’t get elsewhere – but expensive.

LESSONS? I’m loathe to let go of any of them but if I ever need to start pinching pennies, these are expenses I might consider cutting. I love having the ability to look up imprints, authors, editors, and recent deals on PM but the problem is, not every deal is even reported there AND, even if it were, writers shouldn’t base their next projects on what’s selling now. They need to be coming up with fresh, new stuff. So having access to the PM database doesn’t really do much for me except satisfy my curiosity. As for PW? If I were cutting back, this would be another tough, tough call. But even if I cut the paid subscription, I would never give up PW Daily (its free eNewsletter)! I skim it nearly every day and, if you are a writer, you should too!


Another catchall category representing 8% of my 2013 expenses. It’s worth noting I had some upgrade renewals come due in 2013 that I didn’t have in 2012, which pushed this expense higher.

I included payments for my iCloud backup storage plan, payment for additional storage for my website, my Norton internet security fee, and expenses associated with my website (web forwarding fee, email address fee, website address fee, private registration fee, “No Ads” payment) here, as well as some software I purchased because I bought a new laptop in 2013 too.

LESSONS? Nothing exciting to talk about here. (Is ANY of this exciting? LOL. I’m just hoping it’s helpful or interesting to some people). I don’t think I could cut any of these expenses. They’re all pretty basic and I consider them necessary. I’ve mentioned before that I pay for “No Ads” on my website. I’ve often thought about trying to monetize my blog, but for now, I’m very content focusing my efforts on writing novels and doing things that support that.

So those are my #2 through #4 2013 expenses. How about you?

Writers, did you attend any events recently? Do you subscribe to Publishers Marketplace or Publishers Weekly? Do you have ads on your blog?

Readers, what’s your favorite fan conference? Do you subscribe to any book review magazines? What do you think about author websites with ads?

Tomorrow, mailing costs, stock photos, and office supplies! 😀

The Business of #Writing: Promotion Costs

Every spring I begin the tedious process of collecting all of my expense receipts so that I can send a packet of information to my accountant, who helps me wrangle the massive mountain of relevant and irrelevant data into a tax return. Like New Year’s, this can be a great time to reflect on the previous year: what worked, what didn’t, things I might do differently, etc. This week, I’m sharing my thoughts. Experienced writers, I’d love to hear yours! New writers, feel free to ask questions. Readers, these posts might not be wildly entertaining, but at least they give you an honest, behind-the-scenes peek into what authors do to support their work.

My Top Ten Writing Expenses In 2013

  1. Promotion costs
  2. Events
  3. Subscriptions
  4. Website and related online expenses
  5. Mailing costs
  6. Stock photos
  7. Office supplies
  8. Books (fiction and non-fiction)
  9. Writer’s Group membership fees
  10. Everything else

Expense Chart


Under this broad category I included:


For 2013, I purchased a “Featured Book” spot for Fiery Edge of Steel from Fresh Fiction for the month of October. To be honest, I don’t recall why I picked October as the month to do it. According to my BookScan numbers, there was a slight uptick in the number of mass market copies of Fiery Edge of Steel sold in October. Was it due to the Fresh Fiction ad? I don’t know. But I do think a healthy promotional plan includes some advertising. Fresh Fiction is a high traffic site and I had a lot of fun blogging there when Dark Light of Day was released.

In 2013, I also started experimenting with Goodreads “self-serve” advertising. Did it work? I’m not sure. I’m STILL tinkering with this. I like that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad and the fact that you can set daily spending caps. I like the fact that you can try to target the ad and, while I didn’t have thousands of people add my books to their Goodreads TBR lists, I did see an uptick in “adds” from the ads. 😀 I suspect that combining the ad with a giveaway (as Goodreads suggests) or possibly adding an excerpt link (which I’m looking into), as well as continuing to tweak the target audience and the ad message, may help.

LESSONS? First, I need to be more purposeful about my ad choices. The fact that I don’t recall why I picked October as the month to run the Fiery Edge of Steel ad at Fresh Fiction isn’t good. Ideally, my ad dollars should be spent with a promo plan in mind (i.e. spreading the word about a release or taking advantage of the December shopping season). Second, I should keep at it but keep my advertising at a manageable level. I don’t think ads – and ads alone – can ever sell something. But I do think they can be effective pieces of an overall marketing strategy. The key to success is probably continuing to experiment, while keeping in mind that my primary job is to be a WRITER, not an advertising exec.

Blog Tours and Cover Reveals

I’ve blogged before about the fact that I’m a fan of blog tours. So much reader and author interaction is done online these days that blog tours are almost a MUST. Yes, you can plan your own. And there are benefits to that (namely, making more personal connections with the bloggers who host you). On the other hand, there is A LOT to manage when planning, promoting, and touring. Some publicists will help authors line up guest post spots. And, of course, some authors are lucky enough to have personal assistants, who can also help set up and manage a blog tour. For me, hiring someone on a limited basis is a nice, happy medium among all the choices authors have. I stop by all the sites that interview me or host me as a guest blogger (I try to even hit the “spotlight” stops just to say thanks). I offer prizes, review copies, and lots of gratitude.

urban fantasy, dark fantasy, fantasy, White Heart of Justice, Noon Onyx, Jill Archer, cover reveal, cover artI think cover reveals are worth it if you have a cover you’re excited about and want to share it. For me, it was a no-brainer. I’ve loved my covers – and I love offering prizes when I have something fun to share and need help getting the word out about it. They also give authors a chance to talk about their covers and share pre-order and Goodreads links with a wider audience than they might reach on their own.

LESSONS? Keep on keeping on. No change here.

Business Cards and Push CardsBiz cards

I like business cards. Probably because I used to be a lawyer. I like having them so that I can slip them into signed books, notes that I send to people, or packages. But do writers absolutely need them? Probably not if you have bookmarks. I recently posted about the fact that I finally got around to making bookmarks. I don’t know why I waited! And push cards? Eh… they’re okay. I love the fact that your covers are bigger on push cards than on bookmarks. I’m a fan of cover art so that’s a nice plus. Problem is, they’re an awkward size and not many people save them.

LESSONS? Expenses will likely stay the same, but I’m switching to bookmarks!

Facebook “Promote Post” Fees

I only did this for two posts (I think): the one announcing Fiery Edge of Steel’s release and the one announcing White Heart of Justice’s cover reveal. Would I do it again? Probably, but only because I don’t have that many Facebook followers so the cost is relatively inexpensive. If it were to go up, I’d have to think carefully about whether or not spending more money there was worth it. But then again, maybe I just feel that way because, out of all of the social media platforms, Facebook is the most challenging for me. (It boils down to a lack of fun, interesting, relevant pictures to share… I think FB is very picture oriented. Am I wrong?)

Buying My Own Books

Yep, I buy my own books – but only to give away. (And, though most of you know this already, there’s no way my small purchases make any difference to my overall numbers. I don’t buy that many of my own books (nor would I). Still, the small amount I purchase to give away is an expense that needs to be counted.)

LESSONS? Facebook doesn’t get much of my money now and may get even less in the future… and I’m going to continue to buy my own books to give away. I LOVE giving away copies of my books! (Of course, I love it even more when people BUY my books! So if you receive a free copy, please consider reviewing it wherever you hang out online. That helps other readers who may like it, find it. And that helps me, booksellers, and books in general. 😀 )

Okay, so those are my Monday morning thoughts on promotion costs. Now, how about you?

Did you promote a book recently? If so, what things did you pay for that you’d pay for again? What promotional expenses did you incur that you hope never to repeat?

New writers, have any questions?

Readers, do you pay attention to ads? Has an ad ever introduced you to a writer you’ve never heard of before? Do you participate in blog tours or get excited about cover reveals? If you could tell your favorite authors how to use Facebook, what would you say?

If this post was helpful to you, please consider sharing it!

Tomorrow, I’ll post my thoughts on events, subscriptions, and website and related online expenses so stay tuned…

12 Writing Expenses to Discuss With Your Tax Advisor

April 15th

In preparation for filing my tax return (an event anticipated with such ecstasy and fervor that its only rival is my bi-annual dental exam), I dutifully gathered all of my receipts, stubs, confirmations, etc. and painstakingly put together a list of possible expenses to be discussed with my accountant. I thought I’d share the list, in case it’s helpful or jogs anyone’s memory. Heaven knows, none of us wants to spend any more time on this sort of thing than we have to!

Obviously, I’m not an accountant. And this general list shouldn’t be construed as tax advice. Individual situations will vary. That having been said, the list is below. Now go forth and file! 🙂

1. Writing Group Membership Fees

  • SFWA
  • RWA
  • Local Chapters

2. Online Workshops (also any recorded conference events you missed & downloaded later)

3. Contest Entry Fees (don’t forget to include mailing & copying expenses)

4. Trade Publications and Magazine Subscriptions

  • Publishers Marketplace
  • Writer’s Digest
  • RT Book Reviews

5. Conference Expenses

  • Conference Fees
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • Meals
  • Airfare/Train fare
  • Parking & tolls
  • Cab rides

6. Website and Social Media Expenses

  • Web address
  • Private registration
  • Web forwarding (if your website is through WordPress or another blogging site)
  • “No Ads” for WordPress website
  • E-mail account
  • Anti-Virus software

7. Home Office Supplies

  • New Printer and Accessories
  • Printer Ink
  • Printer Paper

8. Professional Services

  • Agent fees
  • Legal fees
  • Accounting fees

9. Networking Expenses

  • Lunch with other writers to discuss possible joint promotion opportunities
  • Lunch with interview subjects
  • Business cards

10. Holiday Gifts for Key Team Professionals

11. Utility expenses (if you have a separate office in your home for writing, you may be able to deduct a portion of these expenses); and

12. Expenses I didn’t have in 2011, but you might have had…

  • Photographer’s fee for professional headshot
  • Independent editing services
  • Advertising expenses
  • Other promotional expenses

Related Articles on Tax Deductions

Writers, readers, how about you? Do you dread tax day the way a dental patient dreads a root canal? Accountants, your thoughts? Anything missing from my list? Have any specific advice for writers (other than, don’t wait until 4/14/12 to call you? ;-))