About Conferences & Publishing:
- Before a conference, find and read 5 books similar to yours and target those publishers and agents. Be sure and find what your uniqueness is, however, and don’t just pitch that you are “like so and so.”
- Have business cards and maybe post cards or a one sheet about your work, but realize most people will not want to take more than the business card.
- Make your ACFW conference appointments early and carefully.
- When a group of editors or agents are sitting together at a conference, leave them alone to talk shop.
- Keep your pitch and book description down to 30 seconds, no rambling.
- Large publishing houses require agents, but mid and small sizes houses will work with writers directly.
- Research Sites about Agents — Guide to Literary Agents, Predators and Editors
- Use “What If” questions to expand your writing ideas. Then define Character, Setting and Conflict. Then flush out the Character by defining Goal, Conflict and Motivation.
- End your scenes and chapters with hook elements that lead to page turning such as deception, worry, betrayal, and unanswered questions.
- Keep your character sketches on file in case of sequels.
- Don’t forget to braid internal, external and spiritual conflict into your plot line.
- Recommended Books — James Scott Bell, Plot and Structure / Randy Ingermanson Writing For Dummies
About Small Business:
(I am not an accountant. This is not advice. Please check all this info with a CPA or IRS before taking any kind of action).
- There is a very small chance you will be audited.
- Don’t deduct your home office until you talk to your accountant.
- It’s mileage or a gas deduction, not both. In an audit, the IRS will also want to know non-business mileage totals.
- Credit card rewards are taxable.
- Royalties are subject to double FICA.
- Every receipt needs to identity who, what, where, when, why and how much to satisfy an auditor (credit and bank statements are not sufficient).
- If a receipt is missing during an audit you will lose the deduction.
- Don’t bother with Corp status. Sole Proprietor or LLC is fine.
- The IRS can go back farther then 10 years.
- You cannot post a loss for over 3 years and take deductions (it is then considered a hobby).
- Create a business plan because your book proposal requires it anyway.
On a Personal Note:
- Being a writer is very possible, but will take hard work.
- This industry has many generous people.
- I am grateful for sage advice.