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If he is already writing the book than he can deduct the expenses. If he is just thinking about writing a book than he has to wait until next year. You are probably familiar with 3 out of 5 years rule. If he can reasonably expect to break even or claim at least a small profit in 2017, he will be all right. However if he plans to spend next 4 years just writing the book, I would hold up claiming these expenses until later.
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