Creating a Writer’s Budget Plan

When I first asked my tax preparer in 2009 what things were considered tax-deductible for a writer, she suggested keeping a list of everything I bought related to my writing business. I didn’t realize until this year how helpful that could be in creating a budget for my writing.

All I had to do was look over my list of expenses for the previous year, break it down into four different categories (office supplies, set-up expenses, book creation expenses, and marketing expenses), figure out what other expenses I was going to incur, add up the cost, and I had an idea of how much I would need to run my business.

Now if you are like me, you can’t afford to be spending thousands of dollars a year, and you might be limited by just how much you can spend. My limit was about $500 this year. It’s doable but not suggestible. I only managed because of editorial services I provided at the beginning of the year. (Not offering any longer due to lack of focus with kids yelling in the background. I might pick it up again once the kids go to school, who knows.)

But back to creating a budget for your business plan. Start with stating how much you have to spend, and then look at your list and figure out what cannot be ignored. Belatedly I realize I could have done without the ISBN’s that I bought this year (I should have waited a year or two) and focused on other aspects of my set-up expenses. There are others that would disagree. It all depends on your business goals. Below is a break-down of all the categories I use.

Office supplies include:

•Paper: notebooks, loose leaf paper, printer paper, notepads, journals index cards, sticky notes, etc

•White boards, cork boards

•toner, pens, pencils, markers, dry erase markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

•mail: envelopes, stamps, boxes, etc

•book keeping system, computer programs

•Internet, phone

Setup expenses include:

•Business license (check your local regulations for business setup)

•copyright and registration

•trade name registration and trade marking your business name

•Doing Business As bank account

•Setting up a LLC or Corporation

•seller’s permit

•ISBNs, EAN Bookland Code, SAN

Book creation expenses include:


•cover art

•setup fees with printer

•typesetting or interior layout

•ebook formatting

•DIY book creation

Marketing expenses include:

•domain name and hosting

•copies of books your books you buy


I love comments, so if you have anything to add, please comment below. If you have any questions, please ask.

The Writer’s Business Plan: An Introduction

The Writer’s Business Plan: Parts of the Writer’s Business Plan

The Writer’s Business Plan: Building a Production Schedule

The Writer’s Business Plan: The Marketing Plan

The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals

So You Want to Create a Writer’s Business Plan {Parts of the Writer’s Business Plan}

When I first decided to self-publish in 2009, I started to research my new path. I probably researched it to death. But it did give me unique view of indie authorship. It also left me with a lot of questions.

There are literally thousands of websites on writing and publishing, but there is a lack of practical knowledge to the business side of writing. What little I was able to gather were from websites and books for freelance writers and editors. They stress that writing is a business and a business needs a plan. Now I’ve created business plans before and they are usually detailed and drawn-out documents, which you don’t need. But there are parts of a business plan that I think every writer needs.

•Title Page

I don’t about you and what your desk looks like, but mine turns into a mass of papers and notebooks—Looks almost like a tornado tore through that part of my house and contained it all to my desk. That’s why I’m going to suggest a Title Page to identify what the document is and maybe a three-ring binder or folder to put you writing business plans in.

This page should have a title, something simple like My Writing Business Plan for 2011. There can be a subtitle, like Career Goals for my Publishing/ Novel/ Freelance/ Editorial/ Screenplay/ Short Story Writing. And your name or business name.

•Table of Contents

This is for a quick reference if your plan gets a little long or you use big font. I have a tendency to do both and I’m to impatient to want to look through the numerous pages for what I want.

•Description or Summary of Business

This is your Business Bio and not something you really need but I like for two reasons. This is where I write down what my business is—I write romance and erotic romance with mythological twists—and my overall goals—I want to make enough money to write full-time. This is also where you can remind yourself why you started this journey when you get down—You see, since I was a little peanut I always want to write….

This is also where I put my author bio(s). I have three so it’s nice to be able to see them at a glance.

•Financial Plan

Every business should have a budget and if you are working like me on a shoestring and a prayer to the writing gods and muses for their aid, you don’t have a lot of money to spare. For the most part you can figure out what you can expect to spend. I’ll talk more about this in The Writer’s Business Plan: Creating a Budget. Is anyone interested in a post about Financial Statements?

•Production Schedule and Writing Goals

I’m going to break this one into two different posts. Because this has to do with setting writing goals as well as production goals. Those posts will be:  The Writer’s Business Plan: Building a Production Schedule and The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals.

•Marketing and Promoting Plan

This is your marketing and promotional plans for the year. Your goals for the year and your purposed deadlines for writing, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing your work, as well as promoting and marketing that work. Since I also talk about goals here, The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals applies here too. But this has more to do with The Writer’s Business Plan: The Marketing Plan.

Now that you have an idea of what I’ll be posting about, let the fun begin. Hey! I see that. Stop rolling your eyes at me.

I love hearing from readers and hope you comment or share this post with others who might find it helpful. If you have any questions or comments feel free to share them.

The Writer’s Business Plan: An Introduction

The Writer’s Business Plan: Creating a Budget

The Writer’s Business Plan: Building a Production Schedule

The Writer’s Business Plan: The Marketing Plan

The Writer’s Business Plan: Setting Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Goals