An Indie Author’s Journey: Editing & Accounting



I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

I’ve finished all the first level revisions of LUNADAR so now it’s time for…




After finishing the first draft, I set my manuscript aside for a few weeks before starting any revisions. I needed time and distance away from LUNADAR so I could look at it with fresh eyes and a new perspective. But after revising my story as far as I could go, there still comes a point when someone with more editing experience needs to look at it.

Professional editing services vary depending on what type of editing is needed. Basic proofreading averages $1,200 or more for a 100,000 word manuscript, with copyediting averaging over $2,000, and developmental editing costing up to $9,000 or more.

What’s a poor gal to do?

I started out running my manuscript through the basic editing algorithm for Word and then ran the story again through Grammerly’s free program ( I then requested the help of beta readers to work on the developmental editing arena. Finally, I received the special help of a friend of mine who offered to line edit my manuscript for free. I’ve known Steve for over ten years and with him having a background of reading and editing numerous fantasy novels, I felt confident he would be able to point any plot holes needing filling.

End result, LUNADAR went through an advance edit for FREE. For this poor gal’s budget, FREE allows me to focus my limited finances on other areas while still focusing on providing the strongest story line I can.

I also set up my basic accounting for Story Catcher Publishing to keep track of any business expenses related to my writing and publishing work. Again, I am lucky enough to have a friend who is a bookkeeper familiar with small buisness requirements so she was able to provide information on setting up my EIN as well as what I should be tracking for end of year taxes. Here are the areas I track:

  1. Contract Labor…fees I’m paying for book cover design and illustrations.
  2. Office Supplies…paper, pens, ink, toner, tape, folders, envelopes, etc.
  3. Advertising…business cards, flyers, postcards, banners, etc.
  4. P O Box fees…I use a post office box for my business mail.
  5. Utilities…I have a separate office as well as a secondary desk in my livingroom so a portion of my utilities can be written off.
  6. Office Equipment…my new computer, printer, filing cabinet, etc.
  7. Interest…any interest on my credit cards where I make business purchases, or a portion of mortgage interest can be written off.
  8. Event Expense…any entrance fees or rentals to attend community festivals, book fairs, book signings, etc.
  9. Professional Fees…my fees for SCBWI, CBI, industry magazines, seminars, workshops, etc.
  10. A T & T…internet fees.
  11. Repairs…a portion of home repairs when in relation to my business office.
  12. Book Donations…costs of books donated to school or public libraries, book fair giveaways, and donations to community groups.
  13. Car Repairs…portion of repairs due to traveling to events, meetings, etc.
  14. Mailing Fees…stamps, money order fees, shipping expenses, etc.
  15. Car Insurance…portion of car insurance in relation to business travel.
  16. Car Tags…portion of car tag expense in relation to business travel.
  17. Tax License…any business tax fees.
  18. Mortgage…portion of mortgage in relation to business office.
  19. Software…all formatting, editing, book design, or other publishing software program costs.
  20. Other…anything business related not covered under any of the other areas like mileage, gas, travel expenses, etc. that I haven’t generated enough yet to warrant setting up a separate file.

At the end of the year my friend has also offered to look over my taxes to make sure I’ve filled out all business forms like Schedule C correctly. This will greatly reduce or even eliminate tax preparation fees which puts a smile on this gal’s face!

Next week I’ll share how I went about choosing a quality book cover on a poor gal’s budget!

Author Profile Pic


International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is schedule to be released in the fall of 2018.


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