Saturday, January 05, 2008

2007 in review

2007 is history. So, how'd I do?

38 acceptances. 15 rejections and/or non-acceptances. (Non-acceptances include lost ms., non-responses, etc.) This is my worst year since 2001, when I had only 21 acceptances, and it clearly falls short of my goal of one acceptance per week.

On the other hand, my total gross income from freelancing increased 1.38% over the previous year.

Income from
Advertising & Public Relations: up 9.05%
Consulting: down 100%
Editing: up 5.06%
Fiction (not novels): down 31%
Non-fiction (not books): down 15.38%
Royalties (from all books): down 40.59%
Seminars/Teaching: up significantly from $0 the previous year

Of course, percentages don't tell the entire story.

Advertising & Public Relations generated the largest dollar increase, while Editing generated the second largest dollar increase.

Editing generated the largest revenue stream, while Advertising & Public Relations generated the second largest revenue stream.

The majority of my Advertising & Public Relations revenue is generated by a single client. The majority of my Editing revenue is generated by two clients representing three publications.

I sold non-fiction to five publications produced by three publishers. One of the five publications ceased publication during 2007.

I sold fiction to 13 publications produced by seven publishers. One of the 13 publications ceased publication during 2007.

Key concerns:

The bulk of my freelance income comes from three sources. While I think all of my clients are satisfied with my work and we intend to continue our relationships, I wish I had more diversity in my client base.

One of my three key clients has discussed the possibility of putting me on the payroll as a part-time employee rather than continuing the current freelance arrangement. There are advantages and disadvantages to this change and our discussion continues.

I divorced in March of 2007 and was able to continue medical and dental insurance through COBRA. By law, I can continue coverage for 36 months following divorce, but medical/dental insurance now represents my second largest monthly expense (my house payment remains the largest monthly expense). What will I do when my COBRA benefits expire?

That's 2007 in review.

So, how'd I do?


Kevin R. Tipple said...

COBRA is hammering us too thanks to Sandi losing her job. But, we didn't have a choice as we HAVE TO HAVE the insurance.

Gummby said...

I was doing some writing research, and came across your blog, but as I actually have some knowledge about COBRA, thought I'd throw my two cents in, for what it's worth.

I left a corporate job for the world of self-employment about 18 months ago, and was on COBRA for a few months. The cost was killing us - it was nearly as much as my mortgage payment (and I have a 15 year mortgage). We finally found coverage that was cheaper, but income has also been less than expected, so we had to switch a second time.

If you don't plan on working for someone else and getting insurance that way, I'd encourage you to start looking now. The application process takes time, and it will take a while to become knowledgeable. We tried the big ones first (Blue Cross, United Health Care), but we are now on a program through a smaller company that's only sold by agents. The main attraction for us is that the premiums are a bit lower in exchange for a higher deductible, but once the deductible is met, the company pays 100% of the costs. If you're (relatively) healthly, a plan like that may work for you. The kicker for us was that it was a single deductible for the whole family. That makes a difference with 5 kids.

Good luck with your search.

Michael Bracken said...

Because the insurance holder and I divorced, I can keep insurance through COBRA for 36 months (opposed to 18 months for someone who leaves a position), so I have a bit of time before I'm forced to change health insurance plans. The limited amount of research I've done confirms that I can lower my monthly payments, but I've yet to find anything that offers benefits reasonably similar to what I have now.

Thanks for the tip on lengthy applications processes. I'll need to start looking for a new policy sooner than I had anticipated.