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Just a quick update today, and another entry to be filed under "harsh lessons about reality."

My 2016 taxes are a bit unique since this is the first year that I entered any income I received from my books.  The total?  A whopping $25.

This was enough to lower my refund by a surprising amount (Turbotax rolled back both my state and federal refunds by something like $10 apiece, which I guess makes more sense when you look at the specific ins and outs of all my other deductions).  Fortunately, I was more than able to offset that and increase my refund by a staggering amount by claiming losses on that income.  How much had I spent on my book covers, ad campaigns, and promotional copies in 2016?  A mind-boggling $800.

This puts me in an uncomfortable position.  On the one hand, I made more money off my books in 2016 than I did the two previous years, and it's kinda nice to make it official by putting it all down on a tax form.  On the other hand, $25 is embarrassing.  Especially given the expenses.  And especially when that's the best year.

I never set out to publish my books with the expectation of vast riches.  Still, I think I was expecting something like $200 a year.  I'm waaaay short of that.


Can't say I regret it, though.  I'm having a blast with my writing and I'm fortunate that my life is otherwise stable enough that I can keep it going.  But let's let this post serve as Exhibit A in the case of Doing It for the Love v. Doing It for the Money.  That's an important one to study when you're figuring your lives out, kids.