where the writers are
Knocking off the rust

I feel like my blogging skills have gotten a bit rusty since the book tour. Sorry about that, friends. I promise to try harder.

Sometimes the problem is that the kind of thoughts that I want to put into a blog post feel like they will need hours of writing and shaping, and then I’ll have to find the right photo to go with them, or maybe a video, or maybe I ought compose an original tune for piano and mandolin, which means that first I’ll have to learn to play both instruments, and….

You get my drift.

This is the same kind of game my brain plays with me when it comes to my own writing. I hesitate to put any words down somedays because I can see all the things I need to do before I set the words down that will make those words shiny and perfect.

Bollocks.

The critical step of writing – any kind of writing – is to pluck the words from your forehead and set them down on paper or screen. Write, don’t think. Just get it down. I am going to try to walk my own talk on this blog in an effort to knock the rust off my brain and encourage the words to flow again.

So.

What kind of day is today? It’s a laundry day, a tying-up-loose-ends day. Trace Adkins on the stereo. And Big & Rich. Scaring the dogs as I sing along at the top of my lungs. Packing for this weekend’s writer’s conference. Planning a date with my husband. Wishing it was time to go to the gym. Ready to plant seeds in my soul.

How about you?

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Do you pay sales tax on your librry book sales?

This is the background for my question:

Redroom.com and the American Library Association advocate library book sales as a way for authors to increase their sales. Library book sales are absolutely pure profit.

The reason that library book sales are pure profit is that authors fail to collect and report sales tax on books sold at libraries. Oh yes. Library book sales are pure profit and purely illegal as well.

Failure to pay sales tax is a crime that carries penalties assessed by the Internal Revenue Service and state tax authorities.

Library management has seen what a pot of gold library book sales are and want in on the action. For example, at the Monterey County Free Libraries where I worked, library senior managers and the county librarian asked authors to give them a 15% cut of book sales at the library.

The Monterey County Free Libraries did not pay sales tax on any of the funds obtained in this manner. Given the deplorable business and accounting practices at the Monterey County Free Libraries, at least, I doubt that these funds were ever accounted for and went instead into one of the senior managers three-hour lunches on Thursdays.

Carrying out for-profit commercial activities, by the way, on government property, which includes libraries, is also an infraction of the law. The reason you cannot carry out commercial activities on government property is that it is a misuse of government funds. It has never ceased to amaze me that libraries brazenly violate the law in this regard. I guess I should not be surprised. You cannot beat pure profit, right? Wrong.

Frankly, I think authors who fail to collect and report sales tax whether they are in libraries, book fairs, or other public venues are sleazes and parasites. Tax-evading authors should be reported to the Internal Revenue Service for cheating on their taxes and breaking the law; not reporting sales tax makes you a criminal.

I am tired of the dirty business practices being carried out in America’s public libraries. It’s time to clean up the garbage.

The hyperlink below is a link to the Internal Revenue Service Form for reporting tax evasion and corruption. Please use it to clean up America’s public libraries.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f3949a.pdf