Or maybe more.
The work will be roughly 12,000 words. Or maybe more.
It is non-fiction of the driest, most boring genre: cost accounting. I don't expect dozens of you to volunteer. ;-)
I'd like at least a few non-detail, non-accounting types to have a look at it to see if the contents make sense to someone who doesn't already have an accounting background. The target market is also non-accounting types, specifically artists and artisans who are selling (or attempting to sell) hand-made items online, and in particular those selling on etsy.com. Though not targeted to writers, the basic principles can be applied to the self-publishing author, too, so if you're interested, let me know.
I will probably have the first draft completed by the end of the week-end and would like any comments/critiques/suggestions by the end of the following week-end. My intention is to send out a PDF version as an email attachment to those interested, but if anyone else has a better idea, I'm willing to entertain it.
From the opening (first draft):
This guide is written specifically for the artist or artisan who is selling, or is planning to sell, artwork or handmade craft items on Etsy as of February 2015. With some adjustments, the information can be used for other online sales venues, but the individual will have to make those adjustments as needed. I don't pretend to know the specifics of each other site or the artist's personal website.
What you're about to read is a crash course in cost accounting. You won't be tested, except in the real world of online selling. I'm going to keep it as simple and un-technical as possible. And remember: This is for your benefit, not mine. I already know how to do all this stuff. ;-)
You don't need any formal accounting training to be able to use this information. The few technical terms I'll use will also have clear, practical definitions; the concepts are almost certainly ones with which you're already familiar, especially if you currently have an online shop. This guide will simply take those concepts and put them into a practical format to help you to manage your arts and crafts business.
Because in fact that's what cost accounting is all about: Helping you to manage your business, or manage it better, or just confirm that you are already one of the very best arts and crafts business managers on Etsy.
Just to get my credentials out there, I have an Associate of Applied Science degree (two year) in accounting from Indiana Vocational Technical Institute (Ivy Tech) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. That's where I learned that for some reason or other most accounting students don't like cost accounting very much. This dislike apparently carries over after they're into the work world, because most of them don't like being cost accountants either. I happen to be one of the weirdos, because I loved cost accounting in school, and in the years since, I found that there was usually far less competition for cost accounting positions than any other. I've worked as a cost analyst for several large manufacturing firms, a specialized custom construction company, and an agency of the U.S. government. In addition, I've been self-employed either part- or full-time as an artist and writer for over 40 years.
As you may have already guessed, I'm going to try to inject a little bit of humor into this guide and hope you'll stick with it. If even accounting students don't like cost accounting, it's a pretty sure bet people who don't care for accounting to begin with aren't going to get too excited about it. Maybe it will help to make it at least a little bit of fun.