Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Opinions on this? I've spent a couple of hours on Google and pros & cons of Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing seem fairly balanced. Obviously the author's got to turn out a good product to get it noticed in the wild and the 70% royalties aren't going to be much if the book isn't selling. I can't say as I quite understand the tax liability for American sales; it looks like a complicated procedure to get exemption.
Anyone had experience of KDP or in the know? Or alternatives?
I put together a short collection of stories to try it out...oh, about four years or so ago. The collection has since been de-published (it was only an experiment, and in three months I sold a grand total of four copies), but it was still a relatively painless procedure.
Of course, back then you had to convert it to HTML (I used a WYSIWYG converter) prior to uploading, which was a bit of a faff (hence "relatively painless"), but nowadays you can upload your .doc (or .docx, possibly other formats as well) file and cover images and the rest is done for you, if you're not HTML-savvy. There's a guide, anyway, which takes you through it step-by-step.
Re: the tax issue, you used to have to apply to the IRS for an ITIN to qualify for the exemption under the tax deal between the IRS and HMRC. Again, though, that's been simplified: you simply enter your NI number or existing tax details and away you go. You just have to remember to declare any income to HMRC and/or register for self-assessment.
As for the alternatives, I'm not sure, but I think Smashwords and iBooks might have similar measures in place now, too, so it's pretty easy to get a book out there.
(BTW: With regard to the collection, I received one review. Five stars, with the title "Stephen King meets Roald Dahl". I had a good laugh at that, even if I also thought "Cheers, sunshine. I'll take that any day of the week". :-D)
I am glad I read this as I wasn't aware of the changes regarding tax and payments thresholds. I have an account with Smashwords and an amount of less than $20 has remained dormant as I didn't have a tax exemption certificate and it was below the threshold required. In the past they have deducted 30% for US tax but I don't think they would refund it now that I have submitted a W8BEN-E certificate but hopefully any further revenue won't be liable to tax. Furthemore there is no limit to a minimum income and any amount due will be paid if the author has a Paypal account.
The reason I didn't know of the new development is that they still had my old email address to which they must have sent notifications. So I am very grateful to Steve and Karl for having raised the issue.