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I have signed up for Amazon's Kindle service for making an eBook, and for Amazon's Createspace for making a print on demand book. With both those services, what country I am in or from were not issues, I was never prompted to provide any tax information. Literally within minutes I was at an interface to upload my book text and select options for how I want to make it available.

With Amazon's ACX service for publishing audiobooks, I was first stonewalled by the fact that I am not in the US or UK. I used a relative's address to sign up just to poke around a bit and see what it was like, and there are all sorts of procedures to verify tax information and social security numbers. Some stages seemed to involve faxing (!) documents.

And that's even putting aside the fact that ACX is currently unavailable for people outside the US and UK. For those of us ineligible for ACXs services, it seems that Audible does not accept direct submissions, and trying to find a go-between is as bad as trying to find a traditional publisher.

I have a professionally narrated and edited audio version of my book ready to go, but pretty much nowhere to take it.

The difference between the process of making a eBook or POD book versus an audiobook has left me baffled. Why is an audio version of a book so much more complicated and difficult to distribute? It's the exact same content, just one you see and one you hear. So why should taxes, legalities, and country of origin matter in one and not the other?

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    I only know two that take self-published audio files. It's not really harder. Rather than using ACX, why not go straight to Audible? This will get you right on iTunes almost instantly. AudioBookARama is also another self-publisher of audio books. I have a long list of audio book producers, but they don't accept finished products as they are in the recording business, some with great distribution channels. Good Luck VTY Dutch – Dutch Rhudy Jun 11 '14 at 19:49
  • I don't know much about ACX, but it looks like they let you hire someone to record the audio. Maybe that changes things? – Mike Gossmann Feb 19 '15 at 1:44
  • From their support documentation, it looks like both ACX and Kindle Direct Publishing have similar requirements. audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6553/c/3529 audible-acx.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6500/c/3529 kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=AE2UUB8RKZIHN – rolfedh Jan 4 '16 at 15:03
  • @rolfedh, at this point I have published with both, and so I can say from direct experience that their requirements are not the same with regard to what country you are in. With Kindle, I was able to apply directly. With ACX, I had to use an American intermediary. – Questioner Jan 5 '16 at 0:38
  • @Questioner Yes. This is such an interesting issue. When a business like Amazon has so much control of who can create content for a market, it shouldn't have practices that limit the countries of origin for that content. I wonder if any representatives form ACX have responded to this question. My guess is that the discrepancy you've brought to light is due to differences in taxation or copyright law for print versus audio/video. – rolfedh Jan 5 '16 at 1:43
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With Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace, you can create an account to upload your books without providing any tax information, as you have already noted. However, before you can publish anything through either of these channels, you will have to provide that information, and you will no doubt have to go through a similarly difficult process there as well.

When you started the process with Amazon's ACX service, what you found was that Amazon changed the order in which they collect information. Even with their e-book and POD services, you will ultimately encounter the same issues because they can't distribute your books without having the payment information first. They just happen to collect that information beforehand with their ACX service.

Unfortunately, for anyone who resides outside of the United States, there are different tax considerations than those that a resident of the US would have to deal with. The reason for this is that US tax laws apply differently to non-residents, and in addition to that, I am sure that Amazon is required to provide some level of income reporting for other countries as well. They are simply protecting themselves by ensuring that they collect whatever information is required based on where you reside.

As far as the difficulties in making your audiobook available, that comes down to distribution rights. Each country has certain trade regulations that companies must adhere to, and for certain types of goods, those regulations may be more restrictive for foreign companies. Right now, it appears that Amazon has distribution privileges in the US and the UK, but not anywhere else.

Keep in mind that as recently as a year ago, Amazon was not even selling e-books in countries like Spain or Japan or Brazil, but now they are. I am sure they are working to negotiate whatever agreements they need to have in place in order to enable them to sell audiobooks in additional countries. So even though they don't sell them in other countries right now, don't be surprised to find that they are selling them in other countries in the near future.

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  • I'm sorry, but your answer doesn't quite reflect the reality. I have now, at this point, published my book on ACX, CreateSpace, and Kindle, and it was not simply a matter of order of steps in the process that made a difference. I was able to upload and publish Kindle and print versions with no hassle whatsoever. With ACX, I had to work through an American intermediary. I did not encounter the same issues for all three versions as you suggest. The process for audio was significantly more difficult. – Questioner Jan 13 '15 at 8:09
  • You should update your question to reflect this new information. – rolfedh Jan 4 '16 at 14:57

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