There’s a time that comes along for a writer, a time that brings excitement and validation that we’re doing well. In the past, this comes with a visit to the mailbox. In the realm of e-books, this can come from checking e-mail or the books themselves.
That time is payday.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have payday come from “Dreams of Freedom,” thanks to its place in Dreams of Steam II: Brass and Bolts. Of course, my biggest payday came just a few days ago, since my royalties from Vitamin F started coming in.
There’s a few things to keep in mind when dealing with a payday that comes from writing, regardless of length.
- How often you get paid is going to vary. It might be a one-time payment, a monthly payment, or something else entirely. For my steampunk works, I have different listed payment schedules, so it’s always worthwhile to look over those contracts.
- What you’re paid is going to vary if it’s a royalty check coming in. If you’re looking at e-book royalties, you’re going to have to wait for a certain amount to accumulate ($10 per service for me).
- When you’re paid might shift around too. Again, if you’re waiting for a certain level to be reached in royalties, you might be waiting 6-12 months just to get a minimum level check.
- Don’t spend it all. Some of that money has to be paid to the government in the form of taxes. In the US, this is what Schedule F on your tax return is for. If you have another job where you would normally get a refund, this might cover your writing taxes, but don’t count on it.
I hope this helps you figure out what to expect when you get paid or help you cope with the oddities of money coming in for your writing. It’s not always a steady ship, but that’s ok–you’re getting paid to write!