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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay there's not actually any sex or murder. YET.  :eek: I am actually a little concerned about the murder, which is why I thought I would start a thread here.

I have stumbled onto a business opportunity involving my books, ( and the books of others). So far, it seems a little too good to be true. Therefore, I thought I would ask you folks what you thought about it to see if I could get some feedback.

I live in the Midwest, and have started going to conventions with my books. It is quite profitable, and has really worked out for me so far.

I have several friends on the coasts who also are independent publishers. Last month, a couple of them got a hold of me with an idea. They would send some of their books to me, absolutely free of charge. I would take them to the conventions, where I could host giveaways at my tables.

The upside for me was that my table got some publicity as I gave away free product. The upside for them is that people got a hold of their books who may never have even heard of them. Of course, they would usually give me the first in their series so that people would buy the remainders.

So far, this has worked swimmingly.I have done two conventions so far, and people have been sending me their product to using giveaways. They are getting guaranteed publicity, as well as higher rankings from new fans. I am getting attention at the convention, it seems like a win-win.

But is it?

For these folks they are incurring a marketing expense. But if they keep this going, I wonder if it affects my taxes in any way.  After all,  I am receiving free product. But then again, I am not selling that product. But then again, their product is involved in my giveaways, so sometimes I am doing things like "buy one get one" or drawings at my table where I'm giving away their product.

My friends are quite stoked. One guy went from the 200K range to the 35K range, and has held for two weeks so far. He sent me 15 copies of his books, and has gotten 5 new reviews.

Does this sound like anything that could turn into a problem to you guys? it's not as if we are doing this contractually, and they can send me as much or as little as they like.  So far everyone we have done it with has had a positive response on their sales, so it seems like a good thing.

But if there is anything this business has taught me it's that sometimes you can get sideswiped by things you didn't see.

Can you think of anything I'm not seeing?
 

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No tax on no money.
So taxes are not a concern.  There is nothing illegal about giving away books.

Though you should never tease about sex.
 

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The cooperative marketing sounds pretty good, especially if you're all happy with the arrangement. It's possible there could be some issues with the product giveaways, in terms of financial statements and/or taxes. The IRS looks at barter transactions the same way as cash transactions, except that it's more complicated to determine a "fair value" for goods exchanged than a money transaction.

You and they should keep an accounting of all products given away, sold, or anything else provided of value, like booth rental. Bring the information to your accountant and have them check. It may be no big deal. But if you need to report anything, it's better to find out from your accountant than an IRS auditor.
 

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Jim Guillen doesn't know where it all went wrong... One minute he was swapping books with fellow authors, passing them out at conventions, the next moment he was strapped to a rather comfy bed, in a swanky hotel... With a tennis ball stuffed in his mouth.

"Mmmm mmmm mmm," he begged.

The jealous writer/dominitrix slapped him again, her long red fingernails scraping the side of his face.

"I don't want to hear your excuses!" she screamed. "It's your fault they're dead!"

Jim's eyes darted to the pile of his friends, lying in the floor, their limbs chopped off and intertwined as though still caught in a dangerous game of Twister. His eyes filled with tears. All he wanted to do was help their rankings. He had no idea things could have went this sideways.

He gasped, nearly swallowing the tennis ball when his captor once again grabbed his hair, shoved his head against the wall and climbed--


(Thread title misleading. There. I fixed it. You're welcome.  :-[)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's pretty much how I imagine it all going, LL Akers!!

 
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It's all legal. You should check on the giveaways aspect though, there are lots of rules around not having too many rules when giving away free stuff.
 
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