This is a truncated version of the EFA Chicagoland Chapter News. If you would like to read the full e-newsletter, visit the archive, where you can also subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox monthly.

MIND CANDY

  • Scary Pooh. If you haven’t yet set up who inherits your intellectual property, let this be a warning. Thanks to the expiration of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh copyrights, the honey-loving bear and sidekick Piglet may soon star in a gory slasher film. As if Eeyore wasn’t already disturbing enough.
  • Higher Rate. Due to high gas prices, the IRS increased the standard mileage rates for business use of your vehicle. For every mile driven between July 1 and Dec. 31, the rate is now $0.625 per mile.
  • Amazon Ads. Do you or your authors sell books on Amazon? Jane Friedman recently shared a step-by-step guide on placing ads on its advertising platform, which is now open to anyone with an Author Central account.

FREELANCE NEWS

Survey Says: Editors Gain Clients Through Referrals, Active Online Presence

Marketing your freelance business is an ongoing process. Editorial Arts Academy recently surveyed freelance trade book editors who work with independent authors on their marketing practices. The survey was completed by 209 editors between Feb. 22 and March 16.

The survey found the following:

  • A majority (65%) have a niche, and of those, 67% said it helps them attract clients.
  • Referrals from editors or colleagues (74%) topped the list of how clients find them, followed by repeat clients (73%), word of mouth/referral from authors (62%), their business website (59%), and directory listings (51%).
  • A total of 87% have a website, with 48% of those saying it’s necessary to running their business.
  • Of the 142 respondents who do content marketing, 80% post to social media and 60% publish blog posts.
  • Speaking of social media, 70% of 134 respondents said they’ve gotten business from Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 34%.
  • Of the 77 respondents who’ve gotten jobs from a directory listing, EFA’s Member Directory topped the list at 60%.

The survey also asked what marketing advice respondents would give to aspiring freelance trade book editors and to share anecdotes about getting work. Several respondents stressed that marketing builds on itself and that what works best is a combination of outbound (networking and content marketing) and inbound (website and directory listings) practices.

To read the findings in full, request a copy of it online at Editorial Arts Academy.

What’s Taxable? More Than You May Think

After a recent Twitter flurry about people needing to declare income from illegal activities, Bloomberg Tax’s Kelly Phillips Erb reminds us that we may underestimate our reportable federal income.

She writes that found money, unemployment compensation, canceled debt, and lottery winnings are all considered income.

Thanks to the wide-ranging definition in Section 61 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, which states “gross income means all income from whatever source derived,” unless it’s excluded, you need to report all income no matter its size or source (or, at the very least, record it and let your friendly neighborhood CPA decide if it’s reportable income).

Other items that may be considered income and therefore taxable:

  • Credit card rewards. Depending on the circumstances, credit card rewards might be considered income.
  • Barter trade. If you trade goods or services, it’s considered income and you need to keep track of it. You might even need to pay estimated taxes on it.
  • Rewards program points. Whether points from paid searches, surveys, or other rewards programs are considered income (or if it’s only “income” once it’s cashed out) is unsettled (see this 2018 discussion). Be on the safe side and track whenever you redeem your points for something of value.

In short: Anything you give or receive has value (otherwise, you wouldn’t be giving or receiving it), and it may be considered income by the IRS. As the old saying (sorta) goes, crime doesn’t pay—but if it does, you need to declare that income.

CALENDAR

For media- and publishing-related conferences, webinars, and other events of interest to self-employed editorial freelancers, see the Media Types Omnicalendar.