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Category: sony

>Distribution, Taxes and Dreams

>Smashwords have been busy distributing.  This month shipments have gone to both Apple and Barnes & Nobles.  Dates have been listed for all other shipments bar Amazon although the Sony one seems to be getting delayed.  I joined Smashwords last month so my manuscripts were included in a shipment to Kobo although I don’t know how that figures in with actually appearing on their website.  I’m in no hurry, it’s nice to see how things are working – and the fact that they are in fact working is reassuring. 

A lot of people have been wondering why they should opt in on the distribution with Amazon when they are already in the Kindle Store.  I’m almost certain that I read a great reason why we should but I can’t for the life of me find it again.  I’m sure if it was true that it will reappear before the first shipment to Amazon. 

In the updates section on Smashwords, they mention making the subject of tax for those outside of the U.S. easier.  Possibly they are considering giving some kind of guidance.  That would be absolutely fantastic because my head is melted from it and it is necessary to obtain an ITIN before Smashwords (and other places) can pay out.  You have to fill out a W7 form to apply for one if you live outside of the U.S. which isn’t actually too bad if you ignore the help on the IRS website.  Seriously. 

The main problem is that the U.S. don’t accept these forms at any old time, next opening appears to be May and you need your identification notarised.  It seems like I can do this at the U.S. embassy in Ireland for 30 dollars but I’m still not positive all of that is exactly the process.  I am confuddled so a bit of a step by step easy to understand guide would be incredibly superific.  The more I read on the subject, the more confused I become especially when most of the things I have read have pretty much conflicted with each other. It can’t possibly be that complicated.

It is at times like this when I wish everything wasn’t so U.S. based.  A European version of Amazon’s DTP and Smashwords would make things a lot simpler.  That whole UK Kindle Store that was promised would be a bonus too.  If I win the lotto I’m so setting up a European competitor.  🙂

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>Smashwords ISBNs

>I knew it wouldn’t bode well for me.  So, there is a survey in the site updates section of Smashwords asking things like do you already have e-ISBNs, what would a fair price be if Smashwords sold you an ISBN and if you would prefer for the fee to be taken out of future sales at Smashwords.  And they said they can’t provide ISBNs for people outside of the States.  And you can’t use the ISBN that was used for the print version if any.

Ebook ISBNs are going to be required to be part of the Premium Catalog at Smashwords even for free stories.  They mention that they can’t ship to Sony without them.  I was interested if there was a way Smashwords themselves could provide them but now that’s gone (for people like me) then there isn’t a lot Smashwords can do for me.  I hate when things get messy and complicated.  ISBNs are great as long as someone is buying in bulk.  I can’t exactly do that.

I see that they have to fall in line and all that but once again, I feel like I’m going to be punished for my location.  I liked that my stories, even the free ones, were in the Premium Catalog and in line to be distributed to other sellers like Barnes & Noble.  Some of my work has already been sent to Kobo (apparently) but if things are changing then will everything that has gone before be removed? 

I’m not sure if I’ll keep adding my work to Smashwords.  I’ve gotten a lot more of a response elsewhere in comparison and nowhere else requires me to have ISBNs – yet.  The main thing holding me there were the coupons, the distribution options and the lack of need for ISBNs.  Now that one is on its way down and another soon to follow, who knows what will come next.  I like change but change that I can be a part of is preferable.  I would rather change to come in the form of quality control.  I suppose Smashwords was just too good to be true, or at least to stay true for long.

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>Smashwords Premium Catalog

>Today, I noticed that my book, A Little Girl in my Room & Other Stories was accepted into Smashwords Premium Catalog. I was surprised by how quickly that happened, I had been expecting to wait for weeks and I didn’t think I would be accepted without making some changes. I had planned to list that particular book as free on Smashwords but I was under the impression it had to have a list price in order to be accepted to the Premium Catalog but I’ll have to double check that now. Take a quick look at how Smashwords distributes Ebooks for a little more information.

The Premium Catalog is basically a list of Ebooks that are sent to some major online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony and Kobo. The requirements seem to be based on formatting and including a correct copyright page but I’m not sure if the books are reviewed manually or not before they are accepted onto this catalog. Now, what happens to the books after they reach these retailers is another thing, it could take months to actually be listed on their site and I’m not even sure if this is guaranteed but I don’t think it hurts to be part of this especially if the buzz around Ebooks continues to grow.

If you update your book, you may have to be reviewed again to remain a part of the Premium Catalog. Likewise, if the formatting requirements are altered in any way, then books that don’t update to include these changes could be taken off this list. It’s worth keeping an eye on.

I think some people might be wary of Smashwords overall. But, personally, I’ve found it slightly more author friendly than say Amazon. The rules are clearer and the royalty rates contrast drastically in Smashwords’ favour. Of course, Smashwords doesn’t have the huge client base that Amazon boasts but I imagine that a lot of the people who self publish ebooks on Smashwords support their peers here. People who are specifically looking for cheap or free Ebooks are more likely to have success on Smashwords than Amazon.

On that note, Amazon’s policies and rules are very unclear. My book was approved for Amazon too but I updated it to contain the changes I made specifically for Smashwords. I thank Smashwords for that learning curve because a lot of their common sense formatting rules were things that I hadn’t even thought of. My book looks much better than before because they had a set list of requirements. As opposed to Amazon – I’m not even sure why my book was accepted in the first place or why the price was increased dramatically. Still, the whole process has been an interesting one and it will (hopefully) make things easier for me when it is time for a full length novel of mine to appear.

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