My first sale

I woke up this morning to find that the Fender journal sold last night on Etsy. I was a little excited, but I went through all of my email first. I had to keep the excitement in check. When I got to it, I discovered that I had to register for a business account in Paypal, presumably because the user didn’t actually have a Paypal account but used them to process her payment; which is all fine and well, but I didn’t realize I would have to do that. I went through the process, and it looks like everything is the same – I don’t pay any extra, but if my volume exceeds a certain amount (which I’m sure it won’t) I’ll qualify for a discount on the fees, which come off the top anyway. That sounds like a rebate to me.

The interesting part is that I look like a business now. Now people aren’t paying me, they’re paying DragonGear Books. That says to me that I need to start keeping track of the materials I buy. Paypal will keep track of my transactions for me, and likely will provide some tax forms for me at the end of the year even – but if I start keeping track now, I won’t be at a loss for write-offs when tax time rolls around. Maybe someone with experience has something to say about that. Comments? Leave them!

The Fender journal
This is the Fender journal I made last year. It's the first to have sold in my Etsy shop!

(On a side note, the travelogue has been added to another seller’s favorites list, but has not been purchased as of yet.)


  1. Hey Rob,

    Congrats on your sale! That’s a sweet journal. Nice work!

    Track your expenses and your sales. Keep your receipts. It’ll be a huge help come tax time.

    You’d be amazed at how much you can legally deduct when you turn a hobby into a business. You might be interested in these links here and here.

    There’s an excellent book that I have on doing your own bookkeeping as a small biz, but it’s in storage so I can’t get the name to you. If I spot it during the move to new storage space I’ll send it to you.

    Congrats again! Have fun building your business!

    • Thanks! I’ll definitely check out the links, and let me know if you do get the title of that book. I’ve already gone back through my receipts (because I do keep everything in PDF format) and copied out stuff that I bought this year in anticipation of making books . . . paper, glue, board, needles, a Japanese screw punch, etc. Not sure if books about bookbinding count, so I’m going to wait until I’m sure, and I’ve started a folder for business documents. Hopefully that constitutes a decent start.

  2. You only need to worry about taxes and such if the sales exceed a certain dollar amount. I can help you with this when the time comes. In the meantime, set up a spreadsheet to track your costs for materials, time (to make the book), and shipping. Save all of your receipts – keep them in a separate file and when you make purchases, make sure there are no personal items on the receipt. That will help come tax time.

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