Well holy gee and what an eye-opening experience.
I decided to make myself feel authorial the other day and opened up an Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account and had a lovely time of it until I came across the payment section. Thinking that electronic transfer (EFT) for any payments I may or may not receive as I try to sell my book would be the automatic choice. Turns out, because I’m Australian (surprise!), and am ineligible to hold an American bank account, this choice is not available, and it means there are many loops I need to acrobatically dive through to make the most of my royalties (if I ever make any … but that’s something to worry about another day).
First obstacle…taxes. Unless you’re willing to lose 30% of your earnings straight up to taxes, then my advice is to apply immediately for an EIN (Employee Identification Number) from the US tax office. Once done, find form W-8BEN, fill it out and send it to Amazon. This will drop the 30% tax rate down to 5%. This is the best rate you can get from Australia.
Second obstacle. Payment by cheque. While not really an obstacle, because hey, you’re getting paid and that in itself is a bonus, getting paid by cheque has its own little quirks. After reading experiences from other Australian authors, I’ve discovered the following: first off, it takes a LONG time. Second, it costs you money each time you bank a cheque at your local bank branch. Next, that cheque takes another month to process, and then finally, you get paid. Hopefully you’re not relying on this particular income, because I suspect you may have starved to death by this point.
On a brighter note, I’m done with my rewrites for my first novel and am finalising the editing, front pages and front cover. Exciting stuff!