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Monthly Archives: September 2015

465167525Death and taxes are the only things in life that are inevitable. You can defer your tax, evade or avoid it, but sooner or later, you will pay it, one way or the other. Employees never have to worry about paying their taxes, just filing their returns. After all, the employer has the responsibility of computing and withholding income tax on behalf of the government. Self employed individuals who work as freelancers, however, have to calculate and pay their taxes. They also have to file their own returns.

Tax Tips for Freelance Writers

Freelancers normally earn an irregular monthly income. For instance, a freelancer may earn a substantial amount of money one month and fail to make any money the next. The annual income may also differ from one year to the next. For this reason, freelancers usually pay estimated tax every quarter. Tax is usually calculated using the applicable tax rate for the previous year.

It is important to note that if a freelancer did not make any money the previous year, they do not need to pay estimated tax. Similar, freelancers who owe less than $1,000 in taxes do not need to pay quarterlies. Estimated taxes are usually paid through form 1040-ES. Paying estimated tax helps taxpayers to avoid heavy penalties for late payment of income tax.

To avoid penalties, freelancers have to pay tax according to the rules outlined by the IRS. For instance, if last year you owed $4,000 in income tax, you should pay $1,000 every quarter. Any deficit or overpayment can be settled at the end of the financial year when filing returns. Overpayment can be claimed as refund, while any shortage can be bridged through cash payment to the tax authority.

If at the end of the financial year you would have paid 90% of your tax bill, your tax bill is less than $1,000, or you paid 110% of your tax bill if your adjusted gross income was over $150,000, you will not suffer any penalties. According to Your Digital Publishing Cheat Sheet, you should pay your quarterlies before April 15th, June 15th, September 15th and January 15th.

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EBooks are fast outpacing printed books. Almost every writer is running to join the eBook industry. After all, it is a lot cheaper to publish an eBook than a printed one but it is easy to make mistakes when you are publishing your eBook. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Proofing your own work – People are paying for your book so it better be top quality. Formatting, punctuation and all the small stuff matter a lot. It is helpful to hire someone to do the proofreading, editing and cover design of the book. You are with your book whole day long; you cannot be the best person to edit it. The cover design is crucial too. Hire a graphic designer to make a great design that will get your audience curious.

Uninteresting title – The title should be catchy and relevant to the subject. You can also have an explanatory phrase as a sub-title to give an idea of the contents of the book.

High price tag – Do not price your first book very high. Once they are impressed with your first book, they will keep waiting for the next ones.

No marketing — As an eBook writer, you have to manage the marketing and publishing on your own. Make sure to promote your eBook well before and after it is published. You need to keep promoting your eBook, share some testimonials, and give away extracts as teasers. How will anyone know that you have written an amazing book if you do not consistently tell them about it? Your promotion should convince people that they must buy the book.

Wrong marketing – While marketing your eBook, find ways to reach people who read the kind of stuff that you have written. Many people promote their books as being for everybody – that is wrong marketing. No matter how groundbreaking your book is, best is to go after your target audience.

The digital publishing industry is growing fast and it is a great time to publish your book online. Keep these tips to ensure that you can go ahead without any problems.

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Figuring out viable freelance writing paychecks is often not as simple as it first appears on the surface. A common mistake among freelance writers is miscalculation of how much money they are truly earning per assignment. They frequently forget to factor in certain expenses and percentages they’ll need to pay in taxes at the end of each fiscal year. Some basic guidelines can help them avoid these problems and get a better sense of what they should be charging clients in order to turn a profit.

Hourly rates as an independent contractor and as a paid employee are not the same. Freelancers first need to consider all the benefits they receive besides their salaries at their regular jobs, such as health insurance and paid vacation time. They also need to factor in the extra expense they incur as freelancers that they didn’t as paid employees.

Extra expenses independent contractors need to pay for include health insurance out of their own pockets, unpaid time spent marketing, self-employment tax payments and much more. These costs take up a good percentage of what might otherwise appear to be a good hourly rate as a freelancer.

Although every freelancer’s standards of living and circumstances are different, each should aim to earn a relatively high rate per hour in order to build a solid business. Since health care coverage has traditionally been a major expense, it’s recommended to look into options for getting covered for less. Joining a spouse’s or domestic partner’s health plan is one option. Applying for free or low-cost national health plans is another possible alternative for freelancers.

To help with figuring out true freelance writing paychecks and these expenses as an independent contractor, a number of online calculators are available for free. Another recommendation for freelance writers is to track each payment per project in a spreadsheet and compare the totals to expenses. A few of these basic accounting practices can go a long way in terms of avoiding financial shortfalls as a freelance writer or other type of independent contractor.

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Writing food articles comes with some different criteria than articles on other topics. Writers need to include certain elements that will both appeal to readers and lead to a piece they’ll find interesting. Many first time food writers discover that creating an original and attention grabbing article is not as easy as it might appear. To get started with writing a great food article, the following five prompts will help with the process.

The first step for the food writer is to consider a dish’s personal meaning and what emotional connection exists when he or she prepares the dish. The next logical step is to tell a personal story that makes that emotional connection more relatable for each reader. Everyone has personal stories, many involving family, tied to food and cooking. This part of a food article is a strong element that makes it completely unique compared to other food articles found on other blogs or websites.

A third component of a great written piece on cooking involves the dining experience itself. After writing a brief story about a dish’s personal meaning, the food writer can then add a brief anecdote about a particular occasion where that dish was served. Fourth, a great food writer always tries to add rich language that invokes the readers’ senses, including smell and taste. This style of writing goes beyond straightforward visual dish descriptions and takes some practice, but it definitely makes a food article memorable. Finally, the food article should bring together all the elements of preparing the dish as well as the highly personal connections that come from sharing a prepared meal around the table with friends and family.

Writing food articles can be challenging at first, but they also present opportunities for creativity along with the cooking process. Food writers get the chances to tell personal stories that other writers may not. Along with an excellent and engaging narrative, photos of the cooking process and of the finished dish are a must. Colorful, high quality digital photos will do a great deal as far as mentally transporting the reader into the kitchen as the meal is being prepared.