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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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!



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