Books written by Ray Sullivan

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Changes At Amazon Direct Publishing and Smashwords

Smashwords has announced a change to its dashboard, which it admits it hasn't tinkered with since it was launched several years ago.  Mark Coker has flagged that this overhaul is long overdue for some months and he has been building up his software team and deploying them on the new dashboard design recently.  Apparently it is going live sometime today (17 December 2013 for those reading this blog entry on Dave).

The existing dashboard has been sluggish in recent months, probably due to the increase in authors self publishing - if we're all pinging the server constantly to see how we did or didn't do in the last week, day, hour (inversely proportional activities based on how long you've been self publishing - once the reality sets in most make it at most a daily routine and I'm contemplating just diarising a monthly check).

The old dashboard is clunky, it takes a while to gather stats and always feels like one click too many, so hopefully the new dashboard is an improvement.  When it goes live, if it works (too many years involved in software launches, unfortunately) I'll update on it.

Amazon, not to be outdone, have announced that they're changing their payment methods for authors who have elected for electronic funds transfer.  Up until now authors had to accrue a minimum amount of royalties ($10, £10, Euros10 etc) before payment was made.  Now, apart from Brazil royalties, which retain a threshold, all royalties will be paid 60 days after the month the royalties were earned in.  The email suggests that any accrued royalties will have been transferred on the 16 December however I haven't checked my bank account.  What with Christmas around the corner I can't take much more excitement.

It may present a small problem for UK authors who have small amounts lodged with Amazon in their US region as the royalties will be paid less US tax unless they've jumped through the myriad hoops the US tax authorities make us jump through to take advantage of the tax arrangements between our countries - if that's how they treat friends, I'd hate to be on the wrong side of them generally.  The paperwork is so tortuous I've deferred all my payments from Smashwords for the time being as they treat all sales, regardless of where they occur, as being in the US.  One day I'll file that return, because I expect the UK government will expect me to pay tax on that income when I get it.

So if you publish on Amazon and Snashwords (which you should to gain access to Apple store sales) then check your dashboard and your bank account sometime today.  Hopefully they'll both make you smile.

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