Bernette Forde 

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Useful Information For Authors

How To Publish Yourself in the UK

Have you ever come up with an idea for a book, written it, showed it to friends and family, stuck it on the web and been encouraged to turn it into a "real book". Then been told by publishing houses that it will never sell, it's rubbish and to go away? Well it's pretty disheartening stuff but sadly not unusual. Welcome to the world of Self Publishing. Click here to learn more.

When to Start a New Paragraph

Three tips:

1. When you change the topic.

2. When you change time or location

3 When a new character begins to speak

You may also want to consider a new paragraph when speech is running long or when you want to emphasize an important point.

Want more tips...Click Here

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Paying UK Income Tax on book royalties – UK authors
If you’re a UK-based author starting to get income from your book sales it’s important to know what you need to do about tax. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will count such income as ‘business income’ – however small – and, depending on how much you are earning, you may need to pay Income Tax and National Insurance on your earnings.
But don’t panic yet! You will only pay tax on your book royalties if your overall income (from your books and any other sources, such as your day job, interest on savings, etc) is above a certain level. And the rate of tax you will pay will depend on that overall level of income. Similarly, you will only need to pay National Insurance if your income from the book sales is above a certain level. For most UK authors starting out, the way to declare and pay any tax due on your royalties is to register as a self-employed sole trader with HMRC. (You could look at setting up a limited company but I won’t cover this here – see the links at the end of the page to find out about other business structures.) Once registered as self-employed you’ll need to complete a self-assessment tax return each year. This is basically an online or paper form on which you declare all of your income – from employment, savings, any investments or rental income etc – for each tax year (a tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April). You would include your income from book sales in the self-employment pages. The good news is that here you can also put down any expenses associated with your book writing  as these get deducted from any profit you make before any tax is worked out.

You can register as self-employed quickly and easily either online at here or by phone by calling HMRC on 0300 200 3504 and saying to the automated message request that you’re calling to set up as self-employed. Make sure you have your National Insurance number to hand if you have one. (The initial message tries to steer you to register online, but if you hang on and speak to the operator you can do it entirely over the phone).

Register as soon as you can after starting to get income from your books – the deadline for completing a paper tax return each is 30 October and 31 January for online returns, so leave enough time to be sure you can meet these dates. According to the website, if you register later than 5 October in your second tax year of business, you could be charged a penalty. (NB Ignore the automated message that says ‘you can only register during the week you start work’ – this apparently means that you can only register ‘in advance’ in the week you become self-employed.)


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