After spending several frustrating and confusing hours organizing a year's worth of invoices, I realized I need a new system. The paperwork had piled up because of the massive time suck called grad-school, but that's not the biggest reason I need a new system. Going through all the sales for the last tax year (July 2009 - June 2010), I see that I'm not getting the information I need from my records. I created my system to track one book, Traveling Blind: Life Lessons from Unlikely Teachers, and to know how much to pay Laura Fogg in royalty. But now I have three books to track, so the old system just doesn't work anymore.
What kinds of information do I need now?
I need to know how many copies each book has sold of course, and which sale is taxable (meaning I owe the State of California money). I need to know who bought the books and when. I need to keep track of royalties and how much to donate to Gilman Street. I need to know how much I've earned each quarter, subtracting unit cost and shipping.
The old system gives me that info, but is too cumbersome for three books. There must be a way to streamline the info so it's easy to input and easy to access, with clear numbers for each book. I know there are programs I can buy, but my press is too small to justify spending thousands on a publishing data-base. Instead, I'll create my own system again, and when I've figured it out I'll share it with you.
Anyone have an idea to get me started?