Business Side of Writing

Welcome to the boring but essential Business Side of Writing ––something every writer will need to deal with sooner or later (unless they are writing only as a hobby). If you are planning to pursue your writing as a business, make sure to talk to a bookkeeper or accountant as soon as possible so you can learn how to properly track your income and expenses.

Note: This information does not replace professional advice. 

General writers’ business tips (from a workshop with Bernice Lever):

  • Make a business plan
  • Make a yearly budget
  • Allocate resources to priorities
  • Schedule business and creative time separately
  • Don’t use creative time thinking about business tasks
  • Carefully read all business agreements and contracts
  • Treat other people’s deadlines seriously
  • Learn how to deal with years of financial losses and then a sudden one-time high payment. (See tax section below)
  • Join a professional organization

Business Planning

Canadian Writer’s Coalition – Health Insurance
Canadian Freelancers’ Union – Insurance for health, home, liability; plus contract advice, grievance support & more

In most countries including Canada, your work is automatically copyright when it is written. However, for a fee you can formally register copyright at Check the Copyright Guide for more information about copyright in Canada. Free online plagiarism checking tool

Access Copyright helps creators and publishers get paid for secondary uses of their works. For Canadian (citizen or permanent resident) writers, editors, translators and/or visual artists (outside province of Quebec), who own reproduction rights to at least one work published in a print format such as a book, magazine, newspaper or scholarly journal and is also commercially available (and not already affiliated with other reproduction rights organizations such as COPIBEC in Quebec). See FAQs on their website.

When should you trademark a catchphrase?
Trademark lawyers (Victoria BC)

Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP) Collections Canada 
This service for publishers (see eligibility and exclusions) provides standardized library cataloguing for forthcoming Canadian publications.  The CIP catalogue record is created and disseminated prior to publication and is printed in the book itself. Go to – look under “Archives, Libraries and Publishers”

The Public Lending Rights (PLR) Commission distributes annual payments to Canadian authors for the presence of their books (not ebooks) in Canadian public libraries. Check their eligibility page.

Canadian Intern Association
Canadian Freelancers’ Union
Who Pays Writers (Canada)
Freelancer’s Rights – Re: electronic rights for freelance & digital content writers

Taxes & Accounting Information for Writers (& Artists)

Amazon & Tax Information for non-US writers

Did you find any of the resources listed especially helpful? Do you have an idea for a resource that should be listed? Please send an email!

Note: Links and information are for research purposes and do not replace professional advice. Accuracy of third-party websites cannot be verified and links do not indicate endorsement.