In today’s Journal
* Topic: On Licensing
* Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
* The numbers
Topic: On Licensing
Yesterday, I talked with my wife about separating our professional income from licensing my IP from our personal income from a variety of sources (my social security, my USMC retirement, her day job, and so on). In any business, this is necessary.
She mentioned that we currently have two registered LLCs: StoneThreadPublishing.com (hereafter referred to as STP) and HarveyStanbrough.com (hereafter referred to as HS.com). And she argued that income derived from STP is professional income, but income derived from HS.com (mentoring, teaching, etc.) is personal income.
As the situation currently stands, she’s right. And wow, am I ever leaving a lot of money on the table, mostly in the form of taxes. And I’d never thought of it like that. In my mind, the STP and HS.com were not separate entities.
After all, each website basically mimics the other. At least I direct readers of my author website to my publisher website to buy books, but my IP (none of it) is “officially” licensed by contract to STP. And that too is necessary in business.
So I have to do that. I have to draw up a contract for each piece of my IP, then license that IP from Harvey Stanbrough the author to Harvey Stanbrough the CEO of STP.
Fortunately, all of my major works—novels, novellas, short story collections and poetry collections—are listed on the STP website. So at least that much is done.
However, my audio lectures (each is a separate IP) are listed only on my author website, as are my advice-to-writers blog (though those are not monetized) and my individual short stories. Gasp.
Eventually, I’ll set up a full C corporation for StoneThread Publishing. But on my way to doing that, I have some major reorganization to do.
And more thinking to do. For example, if I write a short story, submit it to Asimov’s and it’s accepted, as things currently stand I’m personally licensing that short story to Asimov’s. So any payment for that license would be personal income. Meaning that I, not STP, would have to pay taxes on it.
So in the midst of continuing my current WIP and all the other things I have to do, I’m also only beginning to wrap my mind around all I have to do with an eye toward being in business.
And frankly, I’m almost overwhelmed.
After all, I have probably around 1,000 bits of individual IP.
For example, I need to license not only The Wes Crowley Saga to STP, but also the 11 individual novels (that’s 12) and the major characters’ names (Western Z. Crowley and Coralín, to name only two) (that’s 14). Then there’s the Blackwell Ops series (plus its currently 7 novels and the 7 major character names), the Nick Spalding series (plus its currently 4 novels and 2 major character names), etc. etc. ad nauseam.
That’s a lot of contracts to print and sign and file.
Plus my (currently 11 or 12) audio lectures, plus my 15 or so nonfiction books, plus my 30 short story collections, plus my almost 200 short stories, etc. Do you begin to see the problem? (grin)
I admit it’s a nice problem to have. Then again, I mention this only because it’s a problem I didn’t have to have. And it’s a problem you can avoid with just a little advanced thought.
If you currently have only a few pieces of IP, I urge you to start now. Give some thought to a unique publisher name, and begin thinking of it as a licensing entity.
When I set up STP as a full corporation (C, not LLC), it will be my licensing entity as well as a tax shelter. I’ll license ALL of my IP to StoneThread Publishing, Inc.
But in the meantime, I need to clean up those areas where the two “me’s” are overlapping. Wish me luck.
I took yesterday off mostly, other than the brief discussion that started the thought firestorm above.
I also talked for an hour or so with Ryan J. Pelton, the gracious host of The Prolific Writer podcast, and he recorded our conversation. It will be a few weeks before the podcast goes live. I’ll pass along the link here when he sends it to me. (I can’t believe how much New Mexico “twang” is still in my voice.)
Today I’ll spend some time on the novel, then begin working to separate my author self from my publisher entity.
Tomorrow (or thereabouts) I’ll be back with another topic about the podcast, the wisdom of appropriate preparation, and having confidence in your (my) own abilities and knowledge… or not.
But for now I want to get this out so I don’t forget. (grin) I’ll update fiction numbers tomorrow.
Talk with you again later.
See “Hallelujah and Eureka!” at https://prowriterswriting.com/hallelujah-and-eureka/, in which Robert Sadler lays out a new (to me) method for proofreading your work.
See “Edmund Gosse Explains Things So Well” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/edmund-gosse-explains-things-so-well/.
See “10 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Newsletters” at https://www.thebookdesigner.com/2019/09/10-reasons-readers-unsubscribe-from-newsletters/.
Total fiction words for the month……… 5578
Total fiction words for the year………… 380231
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13450
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 260250
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 640481
Calendar Year 2019 Novels to Date…………………… 7
Calendar Year 2019 Novellas to Date……………… 1
Calendar Year 2019 Short Stories to Date… 2
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 43
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 195
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31