9 Ways to Hang Onto Your Writing Money

Beth Fowler headshotRetain Rights – Your agent (or you) should negotiate to retain as many rights as possible. Learn more at http://www.authorsguild.org/member-benefits/legal-services/improving-your-book-contract/

Join the Club — Compare prices for office supplies. Sam’s Club, for example, (http://www.samsclub.com) has good deals. Plus, Sam’s Club Business Member cards are cheaper than other categories of Sam’s memberships.

Be Thrifty — Buy notebooks and other supplies at thrift stores. Thrift shops and second-hand goods stores supply what’s donated and typically won’t restock it, so when you see something you might need, buy it.

Read Already Read Books ­— Search online at www.allbookstores.com, www.alibris.com, amazon.com and in bricks ‘n’ mortar secondhand stores for print books costing a fraction of new ones.

Deduct — “Every year the IRS discovers millions of mistakes on tax forms,” writes Leslie Haggin Geary, of CNN. In some cases taxpayers fail to claim all the deductions to which they’re entitled. My accountant advises recording writing-related expenses as well as income. Expenses for me include miles traveled to lead a writing workshop and printer ink.

Pay Zilch to Get Agents — Agents get paid when they sell your book.

Donate — Donate books and other stuff you don’t need to recognized charities. Ask for receipts. Visit www.irs.gov and find answers to FAQs donors have in Publication 526, Charitable Contributions and Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.

Avoid Unscrupulous Vanity Publishers – Visit http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/vanity/ for info on vanity publishers and their ilk.

Swoop – Pluck coins off the sidewalk. Money is money. “I did notice I found pennies every time I was working on my book, or doing any kind of writing, or doing readings with people,” writes Carla Houle at www.metaphys.com/.

Ship it Media Mail — According to the U. S. Postal Service, special postal rates are, “Generally used for books (at least eight pages), film, printed music, printed test materials, sound recordings, play scripts, printed educational charts, loose-leaf pages and binders consisting of medical information, and computer-readable media.” My friendly post master tells me that manuscripts shouldn’t be sent via “Media Mail” because they haven’t been published.

Let others call you a cheapskate, a penny pincher, a tightfisted miser. Simply smile and say “Thank you for the compliment,” as you hang on to your writing dollars.


Article by Beth Fowler, author of the beloved coming-of-age novel “Ken’s War.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/kenswar.


 ken's war coverWhen teen rebellion & culture shock collide. Shop here: Ken’s War

Ken’s War is vibrant with authority … Fowler’s elegantly written novel risks exploring the full range of teenage behavior and emotion.” Nancy Springer, award- winning author of YA books.





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