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!