The accountant in me is screaming

I’m not an accountant. I’ve done tax forms for years – they were easy, I earned bugger all and got a chunk of tax back every time. At least I earned it all in British pounds.

This time I have to work out author payments by – well, today. I can’t finalise it too early or some awkward bugger will buy another book and screw up my calculations. CreateSpace lets me download an entire list of sales between last December (when Cultish came out) and today. Easy. Smashwords is similarly easy. Kindle produce a spreadsheet each month – I have to download them all and naturally I haven’t been doing this regularly. I am doing it now using an internet service run by the kind of snails that other snails kick sand in the face of at the beach.

Sales aren’t automatically converted to UK pounds. Oh no, I have sales in dollars, euros, and even Japanese Yen (yes, one book sold in Japan and it wasn’t Cultish. I’m surprised at that, it’s the sort of thing they’d make a Hentai cartoon out of although it would be a very long film).

Anyway, the royalties are calculated and I’ll start sending tomorrow I hope. I have to be up early to collect CStM at the airport but not dreadfully early. Royalties won’t be much, it’s early days, but it’s a start. They’re all bigger than my very first royalty payment so this idea is working out.

I can send PayPal or cheque if you prefer. I won’t send cash by post. I can do a bank transfer if you want to send me your bank details but I’d rather not have that kind of information. If I was ever hit with a phishing virus I’d prefer not to have that on the computer. But, if you really want that, I’ll do it. I do not charge an ‘administrative fee’ for writing a cheque. It takes seconds and I’ve never had to pay the bank for a cheque book. Postage for work purposes is tax deductible too.

The anthologies are much easier. I pay up front for the use of the story and that’s it. Those anthologies don’t need to make a profit, they are to promote Leg Iron Books so I price them as low as possible. Novels and single author collections are the ones I have to deal with royalties on. I’ll get the hang of it. I’m still on the steep part of the learning curve here.

Naturally I won’t publish author earnings. That’s very private information. Nor will I publish sales figures because that would let you work out author earnings. So… just no.

Anyway, this will happen every three months. So far the books affected are

Cultish, by Hugo Stone,

The Goddess of Protruding Ears, by Justin Sanebridge,

Ransom, by Mark Ellott, and

Han Snel, by Dirk Vleugels.. This one is print only so far. It has a lot of pictures and eBooks can mess that up, but it’ll happen. It’s in Dutch so be warned – if you don’t read Dutch you are, like me, just looking at the pictures.

To be added imminently is Margo Jackson’s ‘The Mark’. The eBook will be out in a day or so, the print book needs the perfect back cover but won’t take long. Here’s a preview…

Naturally there will be a full write up when it’s on sale. It’s a good take on modern moral judgements and you’ll be screaming ‘No! Don’t do that’ as you watch a life enter a slow motion car crash…

Book covers are by me or the author. So there’s no cover artist to pay. That keeps costs down. I plan to work up a better one for ‘Ransom’ because frankly, it looks pretty bland. I can do better. The current cover is soon to become a rarity.

Now, sleep first and then back to work. I have authors to pay and Mark Ellot’s collection of shorts called ‘Blackjack’ to get out next. There are more waiting too.

And I still have to finish some of my own…



4 thoughts on “The accountant in me is screaming

  1. I sympathise. I am an accountant and tax returns are still a bugger – especially when the documentation you need to fill them in doesn’t come through from third parties and you spend weeks chasing it…


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