Self-publish Your Own Books

The first movable type printing press was created in the 15th century to allow writers to mass-produce his/her manuscripts at an affordable price. As time passed, the price charged to edit and prepare a writers manuscript for publication, as well as the added expenses for bulk purchase of the author’s published book to enable him/she to make future sales directly to the public. These tactics became lucrative income resources for brick-and-mortar publishing houses.

In 1931, self-publishing technology with its limited bells-and-whistle platforms were created to help writers meet his/her publication needs without spending boat loads of money with publishing houses. However, few writers attempted to use these platforms because he/she didn’t want their books to look self-published.

Once self-publishing platforms were improved in 2008 to allow author’s more book design choices. Zero to minimum fees to register and utilize these platforms, personal control and publication of an author’s book, including quick delivery to customers via print-on-demand and digital/e-book purchasing services. As a result, self-publishing stigma was ignored and more authors begin using these platforms. In fact, 76% of books offered for sale to readers were self-published rather than published by traditional publishing houses last year.

Today, there are many self-publishing platforms that allow authors to publish his/her books based on personal desire and timeframe. Further, having your book published for several thousand dollars by brick-and-mortar publishing houses, does not make traditional published authors any better than author’s choosing to publish his/her own printed or digital books for free using self-publishing methods such as CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing, or Smashwords to name a few.

At the end of the day, traditional and self-published authors are both published authors. New and existing authors want to see his/her name on their own books without having to take out a loan to do so. However new authors should be mindful, unless your first book is a masterpiece; you might not make enough money to pay the rent. Many authors have been writing for years and still don’t make enough from book sales to pay the rent and/or utilities, but they are still authors.

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Consequences

Imagine having to negotiate your way through life as a youth without the guidance of a parent, or loved ones. How do you survive these types of circumstances? Find your own path, build self-esteem, gain security, and become a well-liked respected leader?

If you asked John Troy, he’ll tell you the following:

1) You need to acknowledge your situation

2) Realize when one door closes another opens

3) There are more opened hands in society then closed fists

4) To be successful in life, you’ve got to persevere

At age fourteen, John Troy’s life changed without warning. It would take years for him to discover the truth, and to learn that doors are often kept open by past memories. As the oldest living survival of a southern homestead and pastor of a church, John used his wits to lead his clan, teach the youths, and stand against evil spirits – even in death.

When we think of consequences, often it is with apprehension and the probability of being duly punished for bad behavior which we know-we deserve. Sometimes nature, higher powers and strangers intercede by rocking the scales of justice which changes our fate.

Unleash your stalled inspiration by remembering verbal/written stories can change a person’s mindset and fate.

Order your copy of Consequences today!

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HOME BUSINESS TAX DEDUCTIONS

Tax Deductions for Home-based Business Owners

The month of January is when most home-based business owners begin to verify his/her monthly expense records (i.e. bank statements, credit card statements, customer receipt copies, receipts from store purchases, spreadsheets, etc.) to take advantage of appropriate deductions allowable for his/her business.

If you’ve operated a home-based business for a while, you’re already knowledgeable of the types of deductions you can legally claim, and this article only serves as a reminder of deductions you might have overlooked while filing your tax return last year.

On the other hand, if you are new to home-based business ownership. Then, this article might be useful in helping you take advantage of deductions you can claim this tax year. As well as, using links included in this article to identify other deductions you might be permitted to claim.

Exclusive Use Deduction

In order to take advantages of IRS tax deductions for a business operated from your home, the area used must be regularly and exclusively used to conduct business. For instance, if you use your entire basement solely to provide daycare service to clients on a daily bases, and not use it as a family den once the children are gone for the day. Your entire basement is tax deductible based on a formula used to compute the total area of your home which determines the percentage for your deduction.

The same exclusive use deductions are allowable when you use a room in your home, as a home office to run your business, or a room in your home to store business merchandise, performer costumes, props, etc. Read more about deductions.

Allowable Deductions for Business Use of Home

Based on percentage of exclusive home-business usage, a business owner can take advantage of indirect expenses such as mortgage interest, real estate taxes, insurance, utilities, home repairs, maintenance and depreciation which are listed under Qualifying for a Deduction.

Business Only Expenses

Business owners usually incur exclusive expenses from operating an office or other business ventures which may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Advertising (i.e. business cards, brochures, flyers, ads, website creation and hosting).
  • Communication (i.e. business telephone, cell phone, mobile devices and internet service for business). Legal and Professional (i.e. fees paid to talent agent, personal manager, accountant, legal advice, memberships).
  • Profession supplies (i.e. pens, pencils, notebooks, pads, copy paper, paints, brushes, sketchbooks, darkroom supplies, music stands, sheet music, clay, glaze, copier machine toner, fax/print cartridges).

Remember, expenses you decide to claim as deductions must be related costs and common to your type of business. The same holds true for  business insurance, office equipment, equipment repair/maintenance, licenses, travel, meals, entertainment and other expenditures.

An afterthought: When it comes to filing tax returns, middle-income earning tax-payers with no dependents, but work two jobs to meet financial needs are often the loser when it comes to tax refunds. He/she receives little to no tax refund, or is required to pay additional taxes when filing tax returns because an employer didn’t withhold enough taxes during the year.

This is when, owning a home-based business and working it as your second job rather than working for someone else might be more profitable, provided you work in a profession that affords you the opportunity to work as an independent contractor.

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Control Your Work Schedule and Spend Time with Family

Work from home advantages

After years of working 9 to 5 jobs for minimum wages. You finally conclude you’ll never get ahead in life working these types of jobs, although you work overtime on a regular basis which is exhausting.

In the past, a nagging voice used to ask, “Why are you working like a fool for bosses and business-owners that disrespect you and your time on a daily basis? These folks are only paying a quarter to a few dollar raises annually.”

How do you change your current situation?

You do what few people stuck in a rut dare do…continue to work while seriously looking for better paying jobs, or opportunities to earn higher salaries to comfortably meet your financial needs. If you haven’t noticed recently, the internet offers easy access to job seekers searching for his/her next traditional job with employers offering better pay, health insurance and other benefits.

On the other hand, the internet has opened just as many doors to work-from-home workers. These are the folks who are tired of working in stressful work environments; dealing with morning and evening traffic jams, crazy work schedules, and limited time with family and friends.

Yes, work-from-home jobs are truly legitimate while a few are scams. So, it is important for work-from-home job seekers to seriously research a company before applying. However, there are thousands of people working from home successfully on a regular basis.

An ever changing work-force

The internet has changed the way small and large businesses market and sell merchandise. As well as, how service-providers interact with and provide service(s) to the general public. Although, brick-and-mortar businesses still exist, they aren’t as large/plentiful as in the past. For instance, shopping malls throughout America are being demolished, downsized, and/or repurposed to serve other public needs.

As a result, many businesses are selling their wears, household goods, auto parts, outdoor products, toys and other merchandise online which has changed the way people shop; how companies hire workers and market their products. This means, more workers are needed to process online orders and ensure these purchases move through the shipping process to customer’s residences in a flawless manner.

Additionally, work opportunities such as telecommuters, independent contractors, business affiliates, writers, online computer/smartphone technicians, health-care providers, physical therapist and more, are classified as high demand hires for small and large businesses. As a result, these professionals – based upon their expertise can pretty much bargain for higher paychecks and manage their own work-schedule.

Build your own work-from-home business opportunity

When it comes to starting your own work-from-home opportunity, there are a number of ways to get started. First, you can assess your own skills and buy a few books that provide step-by-step instructions on how-to start a business you’re already equipped to operate from home. Second, you can search the internet to determine what companies are hiring independent contractors, or online workers and apply for those jobs. Third, you can search the internet for companies looking to hire business affiliates to either create a store/sell items on a pre-deigned platform hosted by their company, or you might want to sign up as a writer to promote established businesses by writing ads or articles.

Examples of Work-From-Home Opportunities

There are many types of work-from-home jobs for independent contractors nowadays. Here are a few of my favorites:

Work at Home Job 1: Sell Your Own Crafts – If designing and selling jewelry is up your alley? Do you take flawless photos? Make pottery, or knit? You can sell your creations online! Turn this passion into a business. Setting up an online store is easy when using pre-designed online store platforms such as Facebook, Amazon, eBay, Ecommerce and etc.

Work from Home Job 2: Write Articles – Internet magazines and article directories have become good avenues to promote products and services. If you have a flair for words, you can definitely make a quick buck by writing about a variety of topics. You can help keep content on websites fresh by blogging and/or writing new articles. There are many things to write about, and never enough willing writers. Requirements are pretty simple: Writers need to be creative, and write topics clients want you to write.

Work from Home Job 3: Affiliate Marketing – Do you recall seeing ads talking about making a lot of money in a short period of time? Such as, the ad showing business-owners on vacation in the Caribbean while their online business continues to earn them money? Those are the ads that’ll help you setup your own affiliate marketing business.

Work from Home Job 4: Medical Facilities – If you are a licensed nurse, certified home care service provide, physical therapist, occupation therapist, etc. Med Star and other facilities are hiring contractors to do home visits.

Work from Home Job 5: Travel Agents – Training is required, but you can work from home.

Work from Home Job 6: Online Order Processors. For online stores. Training is required, then you can process orders from home.

If your goal is to sell your own creations/designs. Amazon, EBay and Facebook are reputable online companies as such, they offer potential sellers access to easy-to-use selling platforms to get started for free. Otherwise, if you’re interested in setting up your own website to display and sell your products, you’ll need an ecommerce account with a website hosting service such as Blue Host, Go Daddy, etc. which will charge a fee based on services you require.

The bottom line is this: If you’re tired of the day-to-day rat race, traffic jams, stressful work environments, lack of freedom and limited time with family and friends. It might be time for you to reanalyze your current work-life and determine what changes can be made at this point.

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Fall: My Favorite Time of Year

Sunlit Forest
The heat, blooming plants, biting insects, flies and traffic jams – gone! Crowded malls, grocery stores, parks and campgrounds are somewhat abandoned until next spring.

I’ll like to think, fall was created to purge the earth of harmful disease causing bacterial. As well as, a playground for brave adventurous folks like myself, who enjoy the feel of chilly air on their face and snow crackling under their feet?

Since childhood the most fascinating fall event to watch was, the transformation of lustrous green leaf-trees; that gradually changed colors until it was totally naked for the winter. Mmm…butt naked!

For the time being, fall is king. It’s a great time to attend festivals, county fairs and participate in winter sports, or take walks in a forest, a park, or on a beach. I also like camping during the months of September through November.

I’m sure if you look, you can found many fall activities in your own city. However, if you live in Maryland here are a few events that occur within and nearby during the fall.

Annapolis Maryland – The Maryland Renaissance Festival begins Aug. 27 and ends Oct. 23.

Alexandria Virginia – The King Street Art Festival is used as a fall season kickoff. Although, it was held Sep. 17 and end Sep. 18. There are on-going events and festivals being held. Browse through their calendar to find out what’s happening now.

Maryland Fall Festivals – These festivals are held in various cities to celebrate books, food, drinks, and fall fun. The first three festivals was held Sep. 17 and end Sep. 25. However, Taste of Bethesda Maryland begins Oct. 1. And Deep Creek Maryland’s Autumn Glory Festival, Oakland begins Oct. 12 and ends Oct 16.

Kings Dominion – The Great Pumpkin Fest begin Sep. 24 and ends Oct. 30.

Six Flags America-Baltimore/Washington DC – Fright Fest weekends begin Sep. 24 and ends Oct. 31.

Baltimore Maryland – If you aren’t hibernating for the fall. Baltimore City offers over 300 free events during the fall which begin Sep. 30 and ends Oct. 31.

Virginia’s Fall Festivals – These events are held in various cities. The first begins in Richmond Virginia on Oct. 7 and ends Oct. 9.

Annapolis Maryland – The United States Sailboat Show begins Oct. 6 and ends Oct. 10.

Biglerville Pennsylvania – The 52nd National Apple Harvest Festival begins Oct. 1 and ends Oct. 2. This festival resumes Oct. 8 and ends Oct. 9.

Baltimore Maryland – Fleet Week & Air Show with Blue Angels. A dozen U.S. and Canadian vessels will be docked at Inner Harbor, Locust Point and Fells Point. This event begins Oct. 10 and ends Oct 17, 2016.

Gaithersburg Maryland – Sugarloaf Crafts Festival begins Oct. 14 and ends Oct. 16.

Hershey Pennsylvania – Halloween Event, Hershey Park in the Dark begins Oct. 14 and ends Oct 30.

Solomon’s Island Maryland – 19th annual Calvert County Fall Farm Festival various locations. Events begins Oct. 15 and ends Oct. 16.

Baltimore Maryland – Baltimore Craft Beer Festival begins Oct 22 @ noon and ends 5:45pm.

Mount Vernon – Fall Harvest Family Days begins Oct. 22 and ends Oct. 23.

North Beach Maryland – 7th annual Halloween Boo Bash begins Oct. 29 from 3 to 5pm. Also, see Goosebumps at the Drive-In Movie at dusk.

Nassau Delaware – World Championship Punkin Chunkin begins Nov. 4 and ends Nov. 6.

What are your thoughts regarding fall? Do you park your wonderful self near the closest fireplace, or bundle up and brave the cold with an adventurous spirit?

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Benefits of Owning a Home-based Business

Secretary

Not only is a home-based business attainable and profitable for want to-be business owners, it can enhance financial stability and provide steady income for folks needing a regular job, or looking to supplement income from low-paying jobs. If you happen to fall into the “I want to own-my-own business category,” you’ll be amazed by the types of tax deductions you can legally claim annually; dependent on the type of business you choose to start.

For instance, if you start a home-based business such as a day care, party planner, virtual assistant, web site content writer, blogger, product review writer, independent/contract performer, custom jewelry maker, or arts/crafts to name a few. You’ll be able to take a percentage of deductions such as utilities, mortgage note, insurances, property tax, office/storage space, and home repairs based on the size of a room/area used to provide services and/or store items used exclusively for your business.

In order to get started, you must first make your business legal by choosing a trade name – reflective of what you will be doing as a business owner. Once your trade name is registered and documents issued by your State’s Department of Assessments and Taxation office. You can then apply for the issuance of an Identification Number from your State’s Department of Assessments and Taxation Personal Property Division, or IRS office depending on the laws of your State. Some State’s allow potential business owners to apply for both before-mentioned registrations at the same time; provided your chosen trade name is not being used by an existing business/owner.

As you can see, operating a business from your home-base is an easy inexpensive way to get started without the hassle of paying to rent an office/storage space. Your residence (apartment/house) is your business headquarters.

Further, a quick internet search will quickly lead you to an inexpensive online printed/digital books offering step-by-step guides on how to start that business you’ve been dreaming about.

Stop procrastinating…Now is a good time to start your business.

Feel free to share your thoughts, comments and/or questions.

 

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Smashwords Summer/Winter eBook discount sale is in full swing

Buy and read books
This is the 8th annual event for this digital book retailer, authors and publishers. So, if you are a casual or avid reader and missed the seven previous events. You don’t want to miss this one, because it provides an opportunity for you to stock up by purchasing an array of eBooks for 25%, 50% and 75% off original sale prices, or you might just want to order free books. Nowadays, free and discount prices are always good bargains for shoppers.

Still pondering…Who the heck is Smashwords?

Smashwords is an eBook distribution platform like Amazon CreateSpace that make publication tools available to authors/publishers with the desire to professionally publish and sell digital books to the public. As a result, Smashwords independent authors/publishers upload eBook manuscripts to a publishing platform which converts these writings into multiple eBook formats which can be easily read on digital reading devices. The coolest thing about the entire process is, authors/publishers own their own work and set the selling price for their eBooks which are sold online by Smashwords and partners such as Apple, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Sony and oversees retailers.

I am so impressed by Smashwords efforts to increase readership by introducing new authors/publishers to readers, six of my publications are being offered at a 25% discount which will end August 6. Use the below links to access these eBooks, and see what other authors/publishers are offering at a discount or for free.

Bicycling for Fitness and Fun
Herbs_Learn How to Grow your Own
Managing Rental Property
Motorcycle_Myths and Facts
Starting a Home Day Care Business
Starting a Kindergarten Business

Click here to learn more about Smashwords.

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How to start a business

Business Earnings

During my federal and writing careers, I’ve come across many people wanting to start their own businesses. Although for many, this desire and dream still lives within their hearts and minds. The fear of not knowing how to get started, or what type of business to start prevents the probability of making an effort to bring these desires to fruition.

Meanwhile I’ve noticed. Like the people mentioned above, most with a desire to start a business already have what’s needed to get started due to formal education, job experiences, family environment and personal development.

Let’s ponder a few jobs you might have held, or currently holds such as secretary, office manager, electrician, mechanic, welder, landscaper, construction worker, nurse, building security, property inspector, typist, desktop publisher, blogger, housekeeper, plumber, cook, or beautician.

You see where I’m heading?

Basically, you’ve either acquired certifications/diploma from a college, private training facility, or on-the-job-training from your employer(s).  As a result, you’re already prepared to start your own small business from your residence (home or apartment).

Starting a business is easy – when you do what you know.

Let’s assume you learned a craft from a familiar environment. For instance, throughout your youth and teen-years, your grandmother, aunt, cousin, and/or mother enjoyed cooking and baking which made their kitchens the hub of great foods and family gatherings. As a result, you grew up in different kitchens – helping out by retrieving cooking containers, utensils, and stirring pots. As well as, washing dishes, fetching ingredients and learning to cook as well as those adults. Further, you might have learned skills while working at family-owned businesses such as a community store, lawn care service, daycare, handyman repair service, a farm, auto shop, private property maintenance/rental, and other trades.

I’m sure if you reflect on past experiences, you’ll quickly recall one or more skills you enjoyed doing which might inspire you to consider the probability whether to; or not start a business doing what you already know how to do.

Most potential business owners have what they need to get started. 

Every job and scenario mentioned above provides an opportunity for you to start your own business, based on what you know, or have learned from one or more previous jobs. At this point, due to work experience, training and familiar background you are prepared to start a business, right now. It really is up to you!

In addition, outsourcing and down-sizing of government agencies and private companies, sole-proprietorship business owners offer their service(s) to these vendors as independent contractors. You can do the same.

If this article or others (articles/people) have inspired you to consider, or start your own business based on what you know. Please share your thoughts, and/or comments.

Click here to learn the Benefits of Owning a Home-based Business.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Bird

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Every morning that I am blessed to open my eyes is confirmation that I still have things to accomplish before my life is over. As a result, I get out of bed to finish tasks from yesterday; respond to do-over-days which allows an opportunity to correct a wrong I might have caused or to help mend a broken-heart, and/or welcome the blessing of another day which allows me to walk amongst the living.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
It’s rare not to be writing when your profession is that of a writer/author. Therefore, I am always writing unless I decide to unhook from technology. At these times, I load my F-150 Pickup Truck with primitive camping gear and head for the hills/campgrounds for a little R&R. Otherwise, I am a regular patron at community gyms and pools. I use these facilities 5-days a week to maintain a healthy life-style. I also spend time riding my motorcycle. Other times, I ride my bicycle and hike. As well as, full-fill my U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Coast Guard Academy Partner functions.

How do you discover the eBooks you read?
I usually discover eBooks I read based on my preferred interests using Google search of various book vendors. It’s funny to acknowledge that I basically write eBooks and novels that I enjoy reading, and purchase eBooks that I can learn something that is applicable to my life or can be shared and helpful to others.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
As an “Ole School/Baby Boomer,” I still prefer reading the paper version of novels, newspapers, magazines and other publications. Frankly, there’s nothing as appealing to me then the smell of paper and inks; as well as, the ability to dog-ear a page when you need to take a break from reading, and/or half-fold a page to save a paragraph for future reference. Otherwise, I prefer my laptop as my e-reading device.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brunswick (Glynn County), Georgia. I never thought much about Brunswick influencing my writing, but I guess it does. On one hand, I tend to write stories about family life which involves togetherness, jealousy, family secrets, heart-break, grief, unfair treatment, and the determination to survive. On the other, I write eBooks to help readers become financially independent by using skills or hobbies he/she already possesses to start their own business, or start a home-based business by following my simple step-by-step business guides. Both writings are geared towards survival resulting from family life, health issues, or the economy.

What motivated you to become an indie author?
I became an indie author because I enjoy the craft of writing which allows me to share information with the public on a regular basis. My indie association affords me the opportunity to determine my own fate as a writer, and the choice to use a variety of independent publication methods to entertain, educate and inspire the public; without publication restraints utilized by traditional publishing housings and publicists.

What do your fans mean to you?
My fans are very important to me because they dictate what sells or don’t sell. As an author, my ultimate goal is to meet the entertainment, education and inspiration needs of my readers; resulting in the assurance that my publications are authentic.

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