Writing collaboratively as we do has presented us with a few recurring costs that we did not anticipate when we began our writing journey. After we finished our first manuscript five years ago, we made a collective decision to register as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) within our home state of Oregon. We are family, but we also wanted to ensure that each of us would be dealt with fairly and that we would share both our profits and our costs. This would, we hoped, minimize hard feelings and stave off a possible break-up of the family band. So far, it’s worked, but it also comes with a higher price tag.
Some costs of running our business:
- Annually, we are required to register our business license for a fee of $100.
- Oregon has an annual flat tax for businesses, whether or not you made any money, of $150.
- Stock on hand – Printing costs average approximately $5 per hard copy book plus shipping fees.
- Business cards
- Bank fees (Although we’ve brought those down to a minimum, in the first six months we kept a close eye on our bank account for random fees, and there were quite a few.)
- Mailing fees as needed.
- Advertising fees, if you choose to go this route. We stayed around $25 to $50 per site when we opt to advertise.
- Cover images (We generally photograph and create our own covers but for several of our books, we used stock photos.) Around $10 to $15 dollars per image with permissions for use.
- Tax software (You can do your own taxes but business taxes can be tricky.) This year, combined state and federal tax software came to $87.
- Stationary as needed. (Notepads, pens, envelopes, printer paper, etc.)
- Event fees if you choose to participate, depends on the venue.
- Swag (We went with tasseled book marks with one of our covers and our website information.)
- Annual website fee is $35 as we opted to keep our blog free of ads.
We know we are most likely forgetting a few costs you could incur such as professional editing services or a cover designer but you get the gist. You can, of course, eliminate or minimize most of these through the choices you make, including not registering as a business. And of course, we didn’t include our coffee fund in the list.
We hope this gives you a snapshot of some of the costs of writing. We do believe it is worth it. As for our current projects, Nancy has started her round of edits on The Ocular, while Eric finishes up the last few chapters. Anne finished our business taxes this week.
Winter finally noticed Oregon, so as we write this, we are watching the snow fall outside our window. Stay warm!
Anne, Nancy, and Eric