Self-Publishing outside the US

I resigned myself to making my ebooks entirely free, rather than inexpensive and accessible, thanks to the US IRS. I live in Canada, and having them take 30% of the little I expect to make made it seem rather pointless. The info on the Smashwords website as far as dealing with this leads into paperwork and fees that made it equally pointless – why spend more than I expect to make in order to have people pay for my books?

I don’t expect to earn much. That actually isn’t a main motivation for me, something I’ve discussed elsewhere. Essentially, I know myself well enough to know that if I try writing for a living on the grounds of making said living doing something I love, then sooner or later, probably sooner, I’ll find myself making said living doing something I used to love but that is now just an obligation and a chore. However, making enough to cover ordering test copies of print-on-demand versions, for example, would be nice.

A friend pointed me to a wonderful article discussing exactly this problem for non-US independent authors. http://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/02/24/non-us-self-publisher-tax-issues-dont-need-to-be-taxing/

As of less than an hour before this writing, after a fairly brief phone call, I now have an EIN. I still have forms to fill out for Smashwords and Lulu, and I’m told it will take about two weeks for my info to percolate through the IRS system, but it should in fact be straightforward from here.

So. If you’re not in the US and you’re planning to publish independently, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the article above. It has an easy solution.

Now, off to clean up the final version of Black Wolf and get going on the formatting, so I can release my second novel officially!

3 Comments

  1. What a curious wrinkle in our indie adventures! Now that you’ve alerted us to its bite, we’ll see what else turns up.
    One of the advantages I’d seen to digital publishing was that a work could be available anywhere in the world. Now the plot thickens.

  2. The article I linked to has a way to work around the whole frustrating mess, which is an enormous relief. The best services for me (Smashwords and Lulu) are both US companies, as most of the major publishing resources seem to be. Having to go with something smaller and less visible globally but more local in trade for not losing a large percentage of any income struck me as a particularly unpleasant complication. Easy choice for me, given my priorities, but nasty for anyone with different priorities.
    I hope this helps others with the problem.

  3. Reblogged this on The Writers Room and commented:
    self pub

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