Self Publishing- help!
Originic · 16/12/2020 21:00
Earlier this year, I posted a few chapters of a novel online. It felt like a silly throwaway thing (I was drunk when I wrote the first few chapters!) and I wasn’t expecting much, but I got a massive response. People loved it, and I racked up 100k+ reads very fast.
I then found out that a random little website had stolen it and posted it for sale, so I pulled it, promising to self publish when it was finished. This was a good thing actually, because it gave me a chance to re-write some aspects I wasn’t happy with.
Anyway. The book is now finished, and I had this idea that I would throw it up on Amazon, but I’ve had a look tonight and it seems a lot more complex than I realised. I would need to register as self-employed apparently, and start filling out tax returns? I have a full time, quite stressful job, and the idea of being ‘self employed’ on the side is a massive headache. Part of me wants to sack it off entirely, but I’m still getting emails from readers asking when the book will be available, and I don’t want to let them down.
Does anyone know if there’s an easy way to self publish that doesn’t involve all that fuss? I’m not even interested in making money, I just want to protect the copyright- would I be able to list for free on Amazon and avoid being self employed since I’m not making profit? Or is that not a thing?
Any guidance much appreciated!
BigBaublesGalore · 16/12/2020 21:09
It's not a fuss to self publish on Amazon. You only need to fill out the tax forms and register when you start making money with it and by October in your second year of starting... but... is Amazon and self publishing the best option? Why not send it to a publisher and see if you can get it published that way... seeing as you had a huge online response that would really work in your favour
Originic · 16/12/2020 22:03
Thanks Baubles, that’s good to know. So I wouldn’t need to sort anything out until next year? When I was looking at registering it was asking for a tax identification number, do you know anything about that? Looks very American and confusing!
Tbh the idea of doing that is very daunting! I would have no idea where to start, how to pitch myself etc. It’s also a romance novel with sexual content, so I would imagine it would be hard to pitch and would end up getting dismissed as fifty shades type garbage. Feels like I wouldn’t have a hope in hell and it’s easier to just let the people who want it buy it direct!
BigBaublesGalore · 17/12/2020 00:08
Have confidence you had over 100k views online that's so awesome and I promise it will work in your favour.
There's a really great book 'the complete handbook of novel writing' which is brilliant and covers everything you need to know about getting your book published.
I know you're probably excited to get it out there but once you publish it yourself you might find it harder to get it published by a publisher. Just think it through before you make any decisions
BigBaublesGalore · 17/12/2020 00:11
And I think the tax number is just for Americans. The only people you need to register with us hmrc if you're in the UK bug again that would be by October in your second tax year of earning so if you were to start in Jan 21 you would need to register by October 21
If you started in May 21 you would need to register by October 22
Hope that makes sense
BigBaublesGalore · 17/12/2020 00:11
Sorry for all the typos lol
Zilla1 · 17/12/2020 09:58
If you're based in the UK then Amazon's USA legals can be frustrating. As PPs have said, UK can be more laid back so HMRC admin is relatively straightforward and filing self assessment can be later. You might want to have a separate bank account to park revenue. If you have little appetite for the minimum, an alternative might be a one-off submission to a publisher or agent with a '100k reads and lots of interest. Will self publish but you may benefit from ...'. I expect they'll have heard it before but the support of traditional publishing might be helpful to you if you get interest.
Originic · 17/12/2020 19:57
@BigBaublesGalore that’s amazing info, thanks so much. I’ll have a think about sending to agents and see how I get on. I’m still wary about it but I don’t want to ruin my own opportunities!
@Zilla1 yes that seems to be the case, it’s very confusing. Is it worth me sending straight to a publisher without an agent? I do think it has the capacity to sell well- I used to work in a bookshop, and this is the kind of thing that would never win literary awards but would be gobbled up by the 18-50 female readers IMO. I would have no idea how to pitch it though! I’ll do some reading, thanks!
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