In general, as long as you are attending a conference or convention for business reasons (publicizing your new book, meeting editors, etc.) you can write off the costs of attending. These include:
- Entrance fees for the conference itself
- Hotel or other lodging costs
- Travel expenses (plane ticket, gas for the car, bus fare)
- Dining expenses during the conference
Basically, you are able to write off the whole shebang. But there are a few qualifications. If you brought your spouse, significant other or family member along, you cannot write off their expenses (unless he or she is an employee of your business). You will have to track your expenses separately to be able to deduct them.
If you tack on a vacation to the end of a conference, you won’t be able to write off that part of your trip, either, unless you can prove that you conducted business (such as research!) during that portion of your trip.
There are lots of little rules governing this sort of deduction. It’s worth a read through of the IRS’ information about deducting travel expenses or consulting a professional. And let me disclaim any expert status on tax preparation. You will need to check how tax guidelines apply to your situation, which I cannot offer any specific advice about.