Sending out a Christian Wave upon a Secular Sea

Book Sales and Sales Tax

Render Unto Caesar

Bryan Powell

Bryan Powell

Come join your friends and fellow Christian writers at the next exciting CAG meeting on Monday June 1, 7 PM.

CAG President  and author Bryan Powell will be addressing the issue of paying sales tax on your book sales. His presentation is titled “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and Take What’s Left and Run. This sounds like a topic every author should be aware of.
Remember too, June 1 is the final deadline for the Early Bird conference discounts. Let’s support the CAG-hosted Atlanta Christian Writers Conference.  

Atlanta Christian Writers Conference, August 20-22

The Radission Hotel Northwest, off I-75 in Marietta, Georgia is the place to be this August as the annual Atlanta Christian Writers Conference moves to this new location.Radisson

Special Room Rates Available!

See the “Christian Writers Conference” tab on the top of the page for more details about this popular writers event. 

Early Bird Pricing Ends Soon

What are you waiting for?

Early Birds smilingAspiring writers considering attending the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference 8/20-8/22 have until June 1 to register and receive the Early Bird Pricing of only $225 for the entire conference including meals. (normally $250)

Other Super Early Bird Prices are as follows:

$135 Single Day (normally $160)

$35  Writing Contest Entry Fee (normally $40)

Early Bird Prices are good on Atlanta Christian Writers Conference registrations until June 1, 2015. See “Conference” and “Payment” tabs above.

Coffee & Quill

Free “Mini” Writers Event

The 8th annual Coffee & Quill writers event is set for Saturday morning, March 21, from 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM, at Prayer & Praise Christian Fellowship, 6409 Bells Ferry Rd., Woodstock, GA. Two workshop sessions are planned with a buffet brunch inbetween sessions. The event is free and open to all aspiring writers.

Note: Due to Coffee & Quill event, there is no regular CAG meeting 3/16/15

The featured guest speakers/session leaders for this year’s Coffee & Quill are

Jennifer Schuchmann

Jennifer Schuchmann

Jennifer Schuchmann is a writer and television host of Right Now whichairs weekly on WATC in Atlanta. Her workshop topic is entitled A Professional Writer’s Tool Kit and will challenge you if you are a novice or a published author.

Ane Mulligan
Ane Mulligan

Ane Mulligan is a novelist who describes her writing as “southern-fried fiction.” Her workshop is titled Lies and Motivation: the Foundation of Great Characters and Plots.


Mind Mapping for Dummies

President Presents Program

CAG President and author Bryan Powell will be presenting an interesting program at the meeting on Monday, February 2, (Ground Hog’s Day) to members and visitors.bryan powell

“I will be bringing a class on Mind Mapping –an Alternative to Plotting.  Also, if time permits, I will present a writing exercise on onomatopoeia’s. It should be a bang….blast…sizzle (you get the idea)”.

For directions click on the “Meetings” tab above.

Begin Your Best Writing Year January 19

The Kick-Off Meeting of the 2015 CAG is January 19

And what better way to begin than with inspiration from author, actress, and Kay Houston Hallcomposer Kay Houston Hall as she shares her writing journey. If you are interested in jump-starting your personal writing interest in this new year, you won’t want to miss this informative and entertaining meeting.   See “Our Meetings” tab above for details and directions. Visitors welcomed.

Kay Hall, as an author, has published two books: her first features a fictional character Dot Com who, along with her friends, saves the Pentagon in Washington D.C. from disaster. Her second book , “The Little Blind Shepherd” is a fictional story based on Luke:2.

Kay Hall, the actress, appears as the teacher in the Netflix Christian film, “The Solomon Bunch”, and Kay, the composer, was the recipient of the first place National Award in Music from the Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge for her song, “The American way.”

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, she relocated to Atlanta when she was five years old and learned to be a Georgia Peach. Kay received her Bachelor of Music Degree from Shorter University, and has a Master of Music Degree from Georgia State University. She is the pianist at the First Baptist Church of Sandy Springs, and is a retired Georgia Music Teacher. Kay is the proud mother of two sons, Chris and Greg, and “Grammy” to Will and Emily, her grandchildren.

CAG Celebrates

untitledBring a guest, spouse, or friend as well as a side dish and join CAG members as we celebrate Christmas this Monday, December 1, 7 PM, at Prayer & Praise Christian Fellowship, 6409 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock, Georgia

After dinner, lean back and enjoy some seasonal readings by members, Christmas carol singing, and a humorous “String Slam”  presented by several CAG authors. There might even be a visit from a very special historical guest.

Be sure to wear your tackiest Christmas sweater/shirt. Relief Notes cover

Need the newest CAG book “Relief Notes” for Christmas gifts? They will be on sale Monday night at special member pricing.


Election Time: For Christian Authors Guild and Our Country

The next meeting of the Christian Authors Guild will be Monday, November 3 at Prayer & Praise Christian Fellowship in Woodstock, Georgia. The meeting will be held in the church sanctuary. Besides a brief business meeting, there will be an interesting writing presentation and critique groups. Visitors are welcome and refreshments are served. If any member is interested in serving on the CAG  leadership team in 2015, please let Preseident Sue Schultz know prior to this meeting. _wsb_91x140_America+Remembered+front+only

Special Guest Speaker – Dr. Casey Cochran, October 20th

casey cochranJoin us for our meeting on October 20th for special guest speaker, Dr. Casey Cochran, Professor at Emory University.

Dr. Casey Cochran is a native of Smyrna, Georgia.  He became a Christian at the age of 20 while a student at Georgia. During the 1980s, he and his wife Linda were involved in Christian schools in California, Virginia, and Hawaii.  Since 1995, Cochran has been on the faculty of Emory University, where he teaches History of American Education, Philosophy of Education, and Classics of Educational Thought.  He has also directed an academic program for home schoolers since 1998. The Cochrans reside in Woodstock; they have 5 grown children and two grandchildren.

Our meeting will begin at 6409 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock, Georgia from 7:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

The Business Side of Writing: Part II by Bryan Powell

dollar sign

Okay, you’re booked in a half dozen locations, that’s great. Congratulations!

If you’ve done your homework and built a platform, you can have a great time talking to your friends and customers.

The question now is, “How do I get compensated? After all, isn’t that the goal (at least somewhere down the list after being a blessing and having fun and getting the word out and creating a wave and all that stuff)?”

Before we discuss the compensation from the retail side, we need to understand the wholesale side. If you are published through a traditional publisher, you need to read and understand the commission split in your contract.

I know it’s hard to read all that fine print, but you need to know it or you’ll end up embarrassing yourself. The one thing you don’t want to do is call your publisher and demand to know why your royalty check didn’t come the day after the end of the first quarter.

Let’s say you completely understand your contract (not). What next?


Know how much you paid for your books on the wholesale side. If you paid 40% of the retail price. That means you make a whopping 60% profit, not bad. It would be better if you could wheedle out of your publisher 35%. That’s the negotiation part of this blog.

I begged my publisher, using all sort of spurious excuses such as: I’m a poor, starving artist, my kids will go hungry if I don’t get a better discount, and I’ll have to put my mother-in-law in a nursing home if you don’t give me a better discount.

To my dismay, he didn’t budge. I was crushed, but he did throw in an extra 25 books. Free I might add. Shew! That was a relief.

Retail Compensation

Some venues will charge a “consignment fee” and others won’t.

  • Let’s start with the coffee shops.
    • They are usually a free event.
    • You make the sale, you keep the money. It’s that simple.
    • Keep a log of your sales and if yours is a sales tax state, be sure to charge the tax and record it in a log book.

If you don’t charge your customers the sales tax, you’ll have to pay it and that comes out of your profit margin.

  • Next, are the independent or new and used book stores.
    • I have been in many and they all do it differently.
    • One store discounts my books 10%, but then pays me 60% of the retail price. They make a 30% profit and I make 20% (if I paid 40% to my publisher).

That’s where profit margins are so important?

  • Next are the Christian bookstores, Barnes and Nobles, Books-a-Million and other big and little box stores.
    • If they try to charge you 50%, walk away. 40% is the best you can hope for, 35% is even better, but that’s a rarity.
    • Some bookstores have a “Local Author” corner. This is great because after a signing event, some people who don’t purchase a book when you are there may come back.
    • Being a good steward is vitally important.
    • Never leave your books without making a record of how many books you’ve left, the price, the percentage split, how long they are to stay on their shelves, and when they send out checks. Be sure to get the manager’s signature and make two copies.
    • Make a follow-up call in three months to see how many books sold.
    • Along with your log of venues, create a file of “Consignment Sheets” and look over it from time to time.

Remember, they are your books. No one cares for them as much as you.

  • The next are Fairs, Festivals and Literary Events.
    • Choose your events wisely.
    • What’s it going to cost to rent a 10×10 booth? If it costs more than $150.00, you are running the risk of losing money.
    • If it’s a large event, you may take a chance on it, but it could be a wash.

So What Have We Learned?

Writing a book is only half the fun. The other half is meeting people and signing (selling) your books to an adoring crowd of happy, smiling, anxious readers. But the other side, the Business Side of Writing, is your profit margin.

Don’t back away from your price unless you have a good reason. A poor economy, they are your friends, and you’ve only sold one book today are not good enough reasons to cut your price.

You wrote it, your publisher set the price, so smile, and quote your price.

Now go sell your books!



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