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message 1: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Dudycha | 39 comments As a first time author with my book coming out in June,I am searching for some advice from people who have experience with the business side of authorship.

1. Do I need to apply for an LLC in my name?
2. Do I need to apply for a sales tax license to sell paper copies in my state?
3. How do you go about selling your paper copies in your state?

If you have other advice about the business side, please let me know, thanks.

JD


message 2: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments First and foremost, let me stipulate that I am not a lawyer, and anything I state below should not be considered legal advice.

1. LLC. If you intend to pursue writing as a long-term venture, it makes sense to create an LLC so you can keep your royalties separate from your regular income. If an audit arises because of the royalties, then only the LLC will be audited and not all of "you". A single-member LLC is an easy way to start; you can upgrade it to a full-fledged LLC at a later date if things go well.

2. You only need a sales tax license/sales permit IF you intend to sell copies on your own (ie, via your personal blog, etc). If you only intend to sell copies via Amazon or Smashwords, then THEY will collect sales tax, and so you therefore do not need the permit. Best to check your county office to be sure of any guidelines or variances that apply to you.

3. I cannot comment on #3. I only sell via Amazon and other online venues. That means less paperwork and less hassle for me. And less cost. But for me writing is a "hobby" at this juncture. So I'm willing to forego the pleasures of direct sales (or lack thereof).


message 3: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments With all the same caveats, my understanding is the same as J's above. When you are starting out, the sign-up process with Amazon I think is simpler if you are a sole proprietor. I would think someone would half to be making quite a bit to justify going thru the process of setting up an LLC, but that's just me.

Much like J. we only sell print editions via Createspace, Amazon and retailers they deal with. We do not have the wherewithal to retail our own print editions. (Nor do our print editions sell in appreciable amounts.)


message 4: by J.N. (new)

J.N. Bedout (jndebedout) | 115 comments I'm pondering KDP's promotions... But, I was wondering which have you found to be more effective between their Countdown deals vs free giveaways?


message 5: by Owen (last edited Apr 26, 2015 03:32PM) (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments J. wrote: "I'm pondering KDP's promotions... But, I was wondering which have you found to be more effective between their Countdown deals vs free giveaways?"

This really seems to depend. My co-author and I have 3 sci-fi novels up there (a series) and she has a stand-alone fantasy novel. We made the one of the sci-fi novels free using the free promo (keep in mind this was 2013) and it did nothing at all. The countdown deals have worked decently, though and we've used them regularity since they became available.

The fantasy novel is just the opposite. Countdown deals sold no better than full price, but we did a couple of free promo days and saw an uptick in sales which was plausibly related.

Our sci-fi is much more popular than the fantasy novel, and maybe that is a factor also.


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Bierle (gazette665) | 10 comments I'm not giving legal advice either.

Just wanted to share a couple things I've learned in the last few months to answer your questions.

1. An LLC will definitely depend on your future goals. I decided to do Small Business Sole Proprietorship because that is easier in my state and is adequate for my needs right now.

2. Yes, do it right. I found that the seller's permit was very simple in my state and I've even been able to attend a seminar to help me understand how the sales tax works. Keeping good records is key here.

3. Selling is the part I'm looking forward to. (Definitely keep track of the sales tax laws, though). Try to find groups which might have an interest in your book and see if they want to host a book signing or presentation. Contact libraries, local coffee shops and bookstores...basically anywhere you can imagine selling a book.

Help deciphering the legal side of publishing can be found in Self-Publisher's Legal Handbook: The Step-By-Step Guide to the Legal Issues of Self-Publishing

I like this book for other publishing questions and marketing ideas: The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book

Best of luck. It's a fun and crazy adventure!


message 7: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Dudycha | 39 comments Thank you all. I appreciate all your comments.


message 8: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Dudycha | 39 comments Sarah wrote: "I'm not giving legal advice either.

Just wanted to share a couple things I've learned in the last few months to answer your questions.

1. An LLC will definitely depend on your future goals. I dec..."


Sarah,

When you say that you did a small business sole-proprietor did you set up a DBA (Doing Business As) account?


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