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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Hate Math

No offense, Mrs. Wallentine, Mr. Sells, but I hate math more now than I did then.

I sold 6 books last night. I took money. I gave correct change. I came home to write it all down, record what's going in the bank and what's staying out for change-giving purposes, and ran a report showing expenses vs income on writing.

As far as I can tell, I have made no profit whatsoever. Not only have I made no profit, but I appear to have lost money. I don't know how that's possible.

I've kept ridiculously meticulous notes. With my math track record, I have to. I know who gave me what and what they got back. I mean, it's $15. How hard is it to accept a 10 and a 5, or a 20 with 5 back? Even I can do that. I keep out 4 five dollar bills so I can do that. All the book money stays in a special envelope and either goes into the bank the next day with a tagline of "writing income" or stays in the envelope for change. I don't mingle those funds with wallet funds. Nothing has disappeared.

Even if you assume I pay the 13.98 retail for these books (which I don't), I collect $15. On that understanding, I should have one dollar and two cents more on each book than I paid, right? Am I right? I can't tell. Is this math or logic? Do I suck at both?

I haven't taken anything out for taxes in my accounting program yet. I listed one expense other than the books themselves which would be enough to eat the profit on the first 13 books, but I should still have more money than I do. What am I doing wrong?

Can I really be so bad at math that I can't make a profit with such simple numbers?

I'm missing something. I know I am. Some completely obvious thing that my old boss glancing across my spreadsheet would notice immediately, but I can't see it.

I've got 10 books left to sell from the case I just bought. I have several venues I need to send free books to for marketing purposes and, frankly, I need to buy another case, but I don't have the money and, according to this math, I won't. I could raise what I charge (and I probably will), but if I can't even figure out why my spreadsheet doesn't show the profit my logic tells me should be there, what good would raising the price do me? I'd just have more money to lose in the morass of sucky thinking.

I know the majority of my profit will come from internet sales. I planned on that, but I also planned to keep books on hand for the instant gratification sale and I thought those would at least pay for themselves. I still believe they are. I just can't figure out why the program doesn't show what I think is true.

I'll have to look at it again tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after, probably.

I hate math.

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