I’ve never been big into the numbers of running an independent publishing company, so long as the hobby of writing supports itself. Because I want to make sure I’m following the law, at least, in terms of taxes, etc, and honestly I think I was cheated and paid more taxes than I was supposed to last year, I joined Outright.com to help me track finances.
Outright.com is like a Mint.com but for individual and small businesses rather than personal finances. They connect with your seller accounts on Amazon, Etsy, FreshBooks, PayPal, Shoeboxed, Harvest, and all the major USA banks. Let me tell you, I’m really liking it so far.
Until September 2012 they provide free charts to know who your most popular distribution channel is (pictured below). This is great. I know that I sell most my books through Amazon, but seeing the chart really drives this point home.
Outright also does you a favor and gives you an estimate of your quarterly and yearly taxes. Now since I’m such a small entity, I don’t make enough money for taxation (especially this year, where I used my royalties of the last two years to pay for the audio book). See below.
I say that these charts and tax estimations are free for now because after September 2012, I believe you will have to pay about $10 USD to get that information. I might be wrong. But honestly, if I can get this sort of information automatically, I’m not going to complain. It would save me SUCH a headache come tax season.
The only complaint I have, and this is because I’m a book publisher, is that I don’t know the quantities of books I’m selling, only the deposit amounts from my distributors. So I still have to do that by hand in a spreadsheet, which, I have to admit, I am AWFUL at.
But at least when it comes to finances, I feel like I can breathe a little easier. To read more about taxes as a self-published author, check out my 2008 post on the topic, which still pertains today.
If you own an Etsy shop or sell items via Amazon Seller Central, I suggest giving Outright a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the experience!