I need a math geek who likes books

We are still slogging through all of last year’s math. (In addition to doing our taxes – always fun for two self-employed people – we are doing one of those Analyze Ever Blasted Penny We Spent Last Year things, in the hopes that maybe we won’t have to live in our grandchildren’s tree house in forty years.)

Oh, yeah. Party time in the Forest. ::serious sarcasm::

But I know it will eventually be all good, because I am something of a fiend for details and I like it when things add up properly on both sides of a balance sheet. It just takes me longer than other people because numbers are a bit of a problem for me. And yes, I do have an accountant. The thing is, if I show up with a suitcase worth of receipts and pay him to sort it out, I will have to go back to milking cows to pay that bill. So I try to do as much of the tallying as possible, then I sent the numbers to him (with the receipts to back them up) to properly crunch.

::sends sympathy to all the math teachers who turned to drink in despair when I was their student::

I have written a fair number of books in the past ten years and a couple of them have actually earned out their advances (for those of you who care about these things, the real number is three), so I am a delighted novice in this esoteric practice known as "having sold enough books to actually make it worthwhile to develop a royalty-tracking spreadsheet."

Only I don’t know how to make a spreadsheet. And Numbers does not have a template called "Lame Author Royalty Accounting."

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Specifically, I am looking for a way to track advances, returns, royalties that comes in at different percentages ::shakes fist at the obscene deep-discount clause::, gross sales, and net sales.

I am hoping that one of you guys out there has already done this.

Second best scenario: someone directs me to a spreadsheet design and formula tutorial that will spell it out at the complexity level of a fourth grader, so I can have a little kid at the library explain it to me.

Can you help me?