At this time every year, I have to face learning whether I can retire to a glorious chateau somewhere and devote myself to my Art, to my Muse, to my Writing. For non-UK readers, we have a bizarre situation where our tax year runs from 6 April of one year to 5 April of the next. (It’s all to do with an ancient new year’s day being on 25 March, and then the Gregorian calendar getting involved.) And so around the start of May I dig out all of my records to find out whether I have made any money from being a writer over the past year. Last year, you may recall, I made a loss of £44.87 – in other words, for the honour of spending hours and hours and hours on writing and trying to sell the blasted things, I had to hand over nearly fifty quid.
Would this year be any better, I wondered? I added up all the royalties I have received from Amazon, Smashwords and ACX (for the audiobooks), and the lovely cheques I have received from bricks-and-mortar bookshops. And then I subtracted all the things I pay for in order to create these books. (I should say that I don’t charge myself anything for office space, heating, lighting, printer cartridges and so on, because all of that is charged to “other Susan” for my day job.) But I do include, for instance, paying for the design of book covers and bookmarks, and ordering copies of books from CreateSpace to deliver to those bricks-and-mortar bookshops, and subscribing to the Society of Authors.
And I can report – taxman please take note and pity – that this year I have increased my loss to a rather worrying £288.71. I have gone a bit mad on the covers this year (two paperbacks and two audiobooks), but still, it’s rather sad, isn’t it? What I shall do is divide it by twelve, and reason with myself that my hobby is costing me only £24 a month. Ho hum.