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Ask a Question

If you have a writing question you’d like answered, please enter it in the comment box. I will review the questions and add new articles to address relevant topics. Please note: A question does not start with “In my book…” Questions need to be general to the writing industry and useful to anyone writing a fiction novel.

Thanks for reading!

3 Responses to “Ask a Question”

  • Matt Manochio:

    Hi Jana, I’m Matt Manochio. I tried posting on AW but couldn’t. Dorchester Publishing bought my thriller in April – my first book deal, every author’s dream. I learned about the move to digital, then my editor was let go 2 weeks later. My advance never came. After much talk with people in the know, I was universally told to kill the deal. I did last week and have submitted to an agent who’ll hopefully take me as a client. I’d like to land with another house, and I have 3 established authors — including an NYT-bestseller — who gave me blurbs. I take the view that if it can sell once, it can again. There are no guarantees, though, including whether an agent will take me. That’s what made my decision tough. It’s like I got a juicy bite of the apple and then it was yanked away. I know there are new authors who are going to stick it out with DP and I truly hope it works out for them. I don’t want to see DP fail because I’m bitter or angry. I’m not. Signing there introduced me to wonderful mid-list authors who I’m now reading. There are worse things in life that can happen — as a newspaper reporter I see it every day — so I’m not all down in the dumps. If anything it’s driven me to keep trying so I can finish eating that apple. Thanks, for hearing me out. I hope you can post this on AW. (PS, I hope you get this. I tried mailing you on your other website but was limited to 1,000 characters.)

  • Ken Easum:

    If you’re just starting out and have not made any income as a writer, would I be correct in assuming that one cannot have any tax deductions?

    • Jana DeLeon:

      Hi Ken,

      No that’s not correct. As long as you conduct yourself as a business with an intent to make a profit, then you can use the loss from your writing business (filed on Schedule C) to offset your other income. My suggestion is that when you’re first starting out, since you may not have submissions, etc. right away (especially if you’re writing fiction) that you keep a log of how many hours a day you spend on your writing business. That includes, researching the industry, such as reading this blog, reading journals, writing, studying the industry, etc. Once you start submitting, keep a list of all submissions and save rejection letters. They are proof that you’re trying to gain business.

      Good luck and thanks for posting!

      Jana DeLeon

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