Since sending off the sixth draft of The Next Novel to my publisher, I’ve been tackling what needs to be done to get my e-books launched.
Expanding the website
Yesterday was a big day, setting up website pages for each book. (Here’s the “catalogue page” so far. I have one page yet to set up, the link for the Trilogy omnibus edition.)
Moving this website to WordPress.org has been a good move: I can expand this site however I need, whenever I need. I sort of have a handle on it. I like learning how to do this type of thing, but setting up six new pages yesterday was intense.
Setting up an iTunes Connect account
At the end of the day, I needed to fill out the forms for setting up an iTunes Connect account. As a publisher now — and a Canadian publisher at that (which adds another level of complexity, I’ve discovered) — setting up accounts with all the “vendors” is a first step. With the help of Kris Waldherr, I’ve already set up accounts with Kindle, Nook and Kobo. The Apple account is the last. I thought it would be a snap. (Not!)
First: providing my bank information required a call to my TD bank in Ottawa and a “help!” email exchange to Apple to figure out the rather special bank transit number required. Another call to TD was needed to determine what the heck the bank’s “local identification number” was. (The bank didn’t know; we made a guess.)
Oh no! Tax forms?
Second: filling out U.S. and Canadian tax forms. The Canadian form is titled “Election and Revocation of an Election between Agent and Principal.” That gives you an idea. Basically, I think it means that I (the principal) and Apple (the agent) have agreed (elected) to have a relationship for the purpose of selling e-books. Fair enough: but why can’t legal forms be in simple English?
The U.S. form continues to baffle me.
If you are a disregarded entity with a single owner who is a foreign person and you are not claiming treaty benefits as a hybrid entity, this form should be completed and signed by your foreign single owner.
I don’t know about you, but this type of language turns my brain into a pretzel.
The good news is that once all the accounts are set up, it’s done. The bad news is that it is a bit of work of the harassing kind. I can see the advantage of e-book publishing through an agency or established e-book publisher, except for one thing: Sandra Gulland Ink is mine, forever and ever.
I have a friend who was rejected by 100 publishers. He decided to put it on Amazon and it is doing remarkably well. He offered it for free for one day and that set things in motion. Mind you, he is very proactive in the marketing department through social networking, which is a must. I am in the process of writing my first novel and I’m not even sure I want to go the traditional route.
It’s refreshing that this is an option today. And bravo to your friend. The one thing I would caution anyone considering self-publishing is to arrange for many readers and editors. A work needs to go through an exhausting number of rewrites to be worthy of a reader’s time, and it might be a little tempting to sidestep these stages if one could.
That said, there are a number of writers who decide not to go the traditional route. The thing is to be willing to do for yourself what a publisher would do: crack the whip, invest time and money in production and promotion, etc. etc. etc.!
But more important than all this is to persevere with your novel!
Oh gosh … I’ve been thinking of releasing an out-of-print book of mine as an e-book, and now I’m completely discouraged!
I have a tendency to over-complicate procedures, Trudy. One could, simply, put it up on Amazon and be done with it. (Amazon is, after all, 90% of the market.) Some people have done it in a snap.
Congrats! I hate pretzel brain, and official forms often have me scratching my head! But the rewards will be immense!!
Thank you for the encouragement, Allison! I’m still scratching my head over the U.S. tax forms.