California Sales Tax

Sorry, been away traveling, but before we discuss sales tax for your writing business, let’s do the clichés.

Last Blog’s clichés:
let it all hang out-
To be completely candid; don’t conceal anything. This American slang began in the 1960s. It regards the uninhibited expression of feelings, opinions, and ideas.

sign of the times- Typical of a certain period, usually the present. This term shows up in the Bible. The Pharisees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven, he replied, “O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:3). Centuries later, in The World and the West (1953), Arnold J. Toynbee used it.

road to hell is paved with good intentions- To mean well is not the same as to do well and may even make matters worse. Supposedly this term was first used by St. Bernard of Clairvaux (c 1150) but was not attributed to him until early in 17th century. By 1678 it was part of John Ray’s proverb collection, and Dickens used it in Our Mutual Friend (1865).

pick your brain- Gather information or ideas from someone who is more of an expert or imaginative. It’s an analogy to picking clean a bone or carcass and dates from the mid-19th century. Clergyman Benjamin Jowett (1817-93) used it.

So, how many did you find?

From reading my blog, you know that I used CreateSpace for my book, Night Terror. I sell through Amazon as a POD or an ebook. However, I want a piece of the action myself, so I order from CreateSpace my author copies.  When I do this, they charge me sales tax. Then I turn around and sell my books and have to charge sales tax. Is this not double taxation?

My husband has been after me about this, so I looked at CreateSpace where I signed up and didn’t find a place to put my resale number.  Let’s cut to the chase. I sent them an email and they replied that in Sept., 2012 they had to start charging California sales tax. However, if I resold, then I could fill out a form and send it to them and they will reimburse me for my sales tax.  How many of you knew this? Anyway, to get my money back I will send in the form.  Wouldn’t it be easier if they had a place for the resale number to start with to avoid this?

Since I was on a roll, I checked with my accountant regarding sales tax. She said that they should reimburse me and if they didn’t I simply wrote it off to the business as an expense. I also discussed further when I sell my book in different cities, I have to charge the Ca. sales tax for that particular region. So what I do is I have a flat fee for my book which includes the sales tax. So my book may sell a bit less in one city than another because I add in the sales tax, which then gives me the same price for my book for everyone. You have to play the game and so that’s what I do. Also, if you sell your books out of state, like in Oregon or Arizona, Nevada, you do not have to figure the sales tax.

Writing a book is not only fun, but it is a business and you need to know the ins and outs of that business.  I will report my sales tax to California at the end of the year. Accountant says there will be a form to show the different areas I sold in, etc.  Will let you know how that goes.

In the meantime, Keep Writing,

Julie

Business cards

First things first. How many clichés did you find?

Lay to rest- Settle something with finality or bury. Re bury= expression dates from late 19th century. Rest in the sense of death has been used since the 1400s. In regards to finality= earlier expressed as set at rest and dates from Shakespeare’s day.

Hit pay dirt- Find something very valuable; profit greatly. Term regards mining, literally = finding soil that contains gold, silver or other precious ore. Late 19th century transferred to other lucrative finds. Probably came from Gold Rush era in mid-19th century America.

Peace of mind- A sense of calm, freedom from worry. Idea of mental peace is much older, this expression dates from 1st half of 18th century. Alexander Pope, maybe originator, used in in a letter of 1737.

Selling like hot cakes- Being a great commercial success. Hot cakes is an American name for griddle cakes or pancakes since the late 17th century. William Penn used in 1683. Pancakes were a great church bazaar selling item or at fairs and other events and usually sold out as quickly as they were cooked. By mid-19th century, term used for any item selling very well. Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, O.J. Victor write in Souther Rebellion, 1860—“Revolvers and patent fire-arms are selling like hot cakes.”

Now, on to more about creating your business.

Have you ever gone to Vistaprint.com? Well I suggest if you’re starting out a business, check it out. A friend and I were chewing the fat the other day and she showed me her new cards for her new book. Said she got them on VistaPrint.

So I went to the site and even though my book doesn’t have it’s cover ready yet-almost- I looked at their business cards, since I just created Writer Jaw Books business. I now have these wonderful new free business cards.    Writer Jaw Business Card     And it was no sweat getting them ready. I did have to pay shipping and handling and for 250 business cards, it cost me $6.93 and the back of the card is white with “Build your Business at www.vistaprint.com” in very small letters.

When I get my cover design finished, I will go back to www.VistaPrint.com and get some cards made up for my book.

In the meantime, I’m not sure this will lead me from rags to riches, but it’s a start.

Keep writing, until next time,

Julie

Creating Your Book Business

I’ve been busy creating Writer Jaw Books my dba for publishing my novels.

But first let’s discuss last blog’s clichés. How many did you find embedded in my blog?

Backseat driver-A passenger who gives unasked for and maybe unwanted advice to the driver of a car, or anyone who interferes without having real responsibility or authority. Originated in 1920s in the U.S., when many cars were chauffeured and one sat in the backseat, telling the driver where to go.

Big deal-An important matter; so what, who cares. To decide the difference between these two phrases–you have to consider the speaker’s tone. These uses date back to the 1940s.

Home free-To succeed without obstacles or difficulty.  i.e. “With this new system, my job is easier—I’m home free.” Think of the children’s games like “kick the can” where a player must reach “home” without being tagged by another.

Now on to creating your business. First let’s lay to rest the question whether you need a fictitious name statement. If you use your last name in any part of your company, then no you don’t need one. If I said J. Winrich Books, I wouldn’t have needed to file a fictitious name statement. However, because I went with Writer Jaw Books—I had to file for a fictitious name statement and then I had to publish it in a newspaper. The paper will publish it one time for 4 weeks, send the publication notice to the County and a copy to me when done. You have to publish within one month of filing for the fictitious name.

I also needed the fictitious name statement to open my business bank account. The bank account: I hit pay dirt when I found a bank that was having a special on business accounts and opened one without any monthly fees. I also opened a PayPal account in the name of my business.

When I bought my ISBN numbers from Bowker, I bought them through the business name as well as my first bar code. When I purchased my pictures for the cover design, I bought them through the business name. However, my book is copyrighted under my pen name. The copyright reflects the same name as author name.

You also have to go to the State Board of Equalization and get your seller’s permit. I did this online. I had trouble finding the NAICS number and asked Linda McCabe from Destrier Books, author of Quest of the Warrior Maid what she used. The number is listed under Book Publisher #511130.

The business license: Some do, some don’t. You can get fined by your city if you don’t. I guess it’s up to your own peace of mind which you do. You have to go in person to the office to file for this. I suppose you could wait until your books are selling like hot cakes and then go get a business license or wait until you’re caught, but keep in mind you might get fined.

EIN number-This is the Federal tax id number. You can use just your social security number or you can try and file for this EIN number, which you can do online. I tried and after answering all of their questions, I was denied. Why? not sure, but it does say you need an EIN number for paying your employees. On the form I said I had none, so this maybe why I was denied. I’m a sole proprietorship, so far, with no employees. I could have said I had one, and retried, but decided not to. For now, I’ll use my Social Security Number.

It was exciting writing my first checks for my business. Now I’m waiting for the cover designer to finish the final draft of my cover. I’ve already uploaded the interior to CreateSpace, which is also now under my business name. More about self-publishing your book later.

Until next time, Keep Writing,

Julie