Self-publishing paperwork

If you thought taking the self publishing route was a shortcut, think again.  I’ve enountered several unexpected requirements, and new ones emerge at random intervals. Not to bore you but here are a few.

The initial publication process went fairly smoothly thanks to an experienced guide pointing me in the right direction.  However, I had to go back to him at intevals to understand what some of the words meant on various forms, and what entries and terms I should avoid.  So far no problems, just annoyance.

Once the Federal recording was accomplished, ISBN number obtained, Federal IRS Employer Identification number as an independent publisher acquired (for Federal tax reporting purposes), etc., there were similar steps for California.  Needed were a Contra Costa Seller’s permit number, and a State Board of Equalization number (for filing sales tax returns on the sales.)  Thinking positive here.

The third level was the local accounting and banking.  Since I expected sales to largely be through Amazon.com and thus reported to me periodically with all the requisite data, that process seemed simple enough. I obtained a VISA account and a separate checking account with the local bank (strongly recommended!) to specifically record book sales information and not otherwise impair my household bookkeeping. So far that’s worked okay.

The good news is there have been some sales so I have data to add to the required tax reports, although no profits as of yet. But aggravating the accounting process was an unexpected (and unrequested) “update” to the bookkeepoing software I’ve been using for years for my personal and my wife’s business activities.  The software upgrade was automatic and I can’t step back.  (Modern technology there you know.) Still not sure i’ve resolved our accounts with the changes but am too far along now other than “put out the fires” as they occur.  Most are frustrating and not fatal.  The family files are unaffected. The book sales area has demanded the greatest attention.

All in all, not difficult, somewhat unexpected, but certainly annoying.  The bookkeeping change cost me the most time and frustration.  Just another of life’s challenges met. Hope your experience runs smoother.

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One Response to Self-publishing paperwork

  1. chs says:

    Thanks for posting this, Jack. Valuable book-keeping advice if I ever go the self-publishing route. I hope your sales continue to be strong!

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