Part 4: Business, Income, & Taxes

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First, I think I have to say that this is NOT financial advice and that I am not a professional in this field. These are just words on a page for you to read and consider.

Challenges & Temptations

You’re the hero in your journey, and now you’ve reached a crossroads: Do I create an LLC, sell my work under my own name as a sole proprietor, or just toss my book on Amazon and hope I never get audited? This decision can easily become the most stressful part of self publishing, but don’t worry, daddy’s got you.

Look Towards The Future

Before we do a deep dive, ask yourself where you see your writing career in 5 to 10 years. Are you just publishing this one book as a hobby? Do you plan to have an entire catalogue of novels under your name? Are merchandising, movie rights, and public speaking part of your ultimate goal? There are no wrong or stupid answers. Just take a few moments to really think about where your dreams are headed and then let’s start making them a reality.

The Hobbyist

If you just want to self publish your novel and throw it up on the web to print a few copies and make a couple bucks, that’s totally fine! Don’t let anyone pressure you to turn your hobby into a hustle (here is a great article on that topic). Above all else, you should ENJOY what you’re doing, and here’s what you need to know:

On nearly all self publishing platforms (We’ll talk more about those platforms in Part 5) you will sign up for an account and then they will ask how you would like to get paid. All you need to do is fill in your personal and bank information and you’re good to go. When tax season comes around, these platforms will give you a 1099-MISC form to download. If you do your own taxes, this should be familiar. If you don’t, your tax (wo)man will need that form.

Note: 1099-MISC is a “Miscellaneous Income” form. Nothing to be scared of!

The Sole Proprietor

Looking for something more official, but don’t want to dive head-first into an LLC, go with a sole proprietorship!

LLC: I briefly touched on this when discussing Imprints, and now we’ll dive deeper.