I am feeling really good today. I finally managed to get an EIN number for US tax exemption. I blogged about the problems ages ago and Martyn Halm was kind enough to point me at a fantastic WordPress post by Catherine Howard and David Gaughran, which explained how to get an exemption number with little hassle and at almost no cost. The only drawback was phoning a US number and risking being put on hold for ages, sending our BT phone bill sky high. Then my daughter bought me some headphones with a microphone for my birthday, and I downloaded Skype when I realised it could be used to phone landlines. Even then, I was reluctant to do anything. Smashwords have only sold one copy of my short story so the world wasn’t going to end if I didn’t get a tax exemption on it. Amazon didn’t seem prepared to let me open a publishing account without a number, and without an account I didn’t feel inspired to investigate formatting any further, so everything ground to a halt. However, my daughter was nagging… I made copious notes from the helpful blog and associated comments, and took a deep breath. Everything was finally in place.
It took ten minutes at a cost of 20p.
It is totally amazing to me that I now feel able to tackle the formatting and publishing hurdles. The tax issue was clearly affecting me more than I realised. Amazon publish a formatting guide (Building Your Book for Kindle) and the latest edition is evidently intended to wrestle with Word10 so I have hopes. It is a Kindle book, so not as useful for search/research purposes as the .pdf version which is available to customers in US, but I’m sure I can make notes as I go through it.
Feeling more confident about the technical side of things has made me feel more inclined to write. I was restricting myself to creating fanfic whilst I thought publishing was out of reach.
For anyone reading this who wants to know more about EINs or who has friends who are asking, the blog post that changed my life is: http://catherineryanhoward.com/2012/02/24/non-us-self-publisher-tax-issues-dont-need-to-be-taxing/