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Just a brief update on the logistics of setting up for distribution, which could be of interest to would-be indie types or the just plain curious…

The print side of the distribution was relatively straightforward; the e-book side, not so much. Initially I elected to sign on with Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing), mainly because I couldn’t see the value of paying a higher margin to the distributor. The Kindle setup was as smooth and seamless as you would expect, coming from Amazon. (Despite their increasingly scary power, which they are not shy about wielding, I remain a big Amazon fan in terms of just how incredibly together they are.) On closer examination, however, I saw that my agreement with them was not so cool after all.

Yes, I would earn a higher margin but they pay separately for each of their international divisions; they only pay once your sales reach a certain threshold (for each market), and to top it off, for us non-Americans they deduct a 30% withholding tax for the good folks at the IRS. In other words, the earnings are stretched out over god-knows-how-long and the paperwork just keeps looking nastier. Oh, and to top it off, non-US residents get checks in the mail, not direct deposit…

As a result, I’ve canceled my account with KDP (yeah, they were super-efficient and hassle-free with all that, too) and signed up under an all-inclusive deal with my original distributor. I get a single statement issued regularly covering all sales, all markets, and one payment – that’s it, that’s all. I’m thinking that most indie publishers, like me, will opt for the path of least resistance…

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