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ABC Checklist 3


Keeping Records | The ABC Checklist for New Writers

This the third of five extracts from The ABC Checklist for New Writers: How to Open Doors and Get Noticed the First Time Around by Lorraine Mace and Maureen Vincent-Northam, published by Orana Publishing at £10.99. This useful book gives succinct answers to the many problems writers face, making it an indispensable reference for the budding writer.

Keeping Records

Getting ahead in the writing world means you not only have to be creative, you must be businesslike, too. You need to devise a system which will show you at a glance the state of play of all your submissions – what has been sent where, and when.

By organising your work in this way, you’ll know precisely how long an editor has held on to your work, whether it’s time to send him a reminder, or resubmit a rejected piece elsewhere.

Whether you create a spreadsheet on your word processor,or draw columns in a notebook, your headings should include the following:

• Title of work

• Where submitted

• Date sent

• Accepted or Rejected

• Fee due

• Date invoice sent

• When paid

Financial records:

You will also need to keep records of earnings for the Inland Revenue. Note down your income and outgoings, and hold on to relevant receipts.

In the UK, a new tax system called Self Assessment came into force in the tax year 1996/97, which means the onus in now on the individual to declare his or her income and expenses correctly.

Taxable income includes: fees, advances on book sales, royalties, reimbursed expenses, and so on, whether the income is from a UK, or an overseas, source.

There are various allowable expenses which can be deducted from your writing income. These include things like: computers and software, Internet, telephone calls, travel, postage, stationery, printing costs, reference books, etc.

The above list of deductible expenses is by no means exhaustive. As the laws governing tax are subject to change, we strongly recommend that you contact your local tax office for full, up-to-date details.

To summarise:

Draw up a submissions spreadsheet

• Note income and expenses for tax purposes

• Contact your local tax office for up-to-date information

This extract is published by kind permission of Orana Publishing.

© Lorraine Mace and Maureen Vincent-Northam


The ABC Checklist For New Writers

1: Agents - when and how to approach them
2: Editors - who they are and what they do
3: Keeping Records
4: Professionalism
5: Titles

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