Thursday 6 December 2012

Oh, phewee, red tape...

The cover of my new book "Please eat..." (about our teenage son's battle with anorexia) is finished, and I'm busy doing the final proof read before sending off for a printed "author's copy" to check that everything is OK. I also have my own ISBN number (for the bar code on the back cover). I am publishing it through my freelance copywriting business: Creative Copy, so that's all sorted too. I also have a pretty good idea of how to do Kindle and e-reader versions of my book. So now all I have to do is battle my way through some pretty time-consuming red tape...

You see, the UK has a treaty set up with the States which means that when UK authors sell books to US customers, we don't get charged 30 per cent US tax on each sale.

Great, that sounds fair.

The trouble is, we have to go to massive lengths to prove to the US tax people that we are, indeed, UK authors, resident in the UK. Until we do, we are charged 30 per cent tax on every sale we make to US customers. Which, as far as I can see, we can't claim back. (But don't take this as gospel...)

To do this I've had to complete a very complicated form and snail-mail it, along with proofs of ID (including getting a solicitor to certify copies of this ID), to somewhere in Texas. And then wait. It can take up to eight weeks and if you haven't filled out the form correctly you'll be asked to repeat the process.

Then you get a special code which exempts you from the tax.

Great, that sounds OK.

Until you realise that you have to fill out another complicated form and snail-mail that, along with copies of what the Texas people send you, to the printers, also based in the States.

And then wait more weeks...

So this is why it might be a few weeks before I can finally publish my book. Especially as I sent the first form I filled out to the wrong people - and sent the wrong kind of ID.


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