I have a question about Kindle ebook self-publishing payments.

And yes, I realize how hard it will be to get to this stage but I'm forever the optimist!

Basically, I'm trying to work out if it is possible to make a living as an author and there seems to be a load of hidden fees that reduce any revenue. The more I look into it, the more I find. So have I got this right:

  1. Generate ebook, if you use createspace there is a charge to do this? If you create it yourself for amazon kindle, this step is free of charge?

  2. List ebook, if it sells you get 70% (in the United Kingdom) of the price credited to your amazon account, 30% goes to amazon - is this the same amazon account I use to buy things? So I can use the payment as credit?

  3. Best way to get any money out is eft, direct deposit to a bank account - is this what people do? Do any of the banks charge for this?

Then there is the UK tax considerations but after all the fees charged to get to this point I daresay the earnings will be under the tax free threshold. Have I missed anything? Thank you!

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a financial question and not about writing. "Can I make a living off doing X?" is not about publishing per se. – Lauren-Clear-Monica-Ipsum Feb 27 '18 at 14:51
  • Per my last comment, ebook publishing is very common nowadays and so sharing knowledge and experience will help more writers become writers. And the hidden details of ebook publishing, is actually about... publishing. – Ariane Kh Anderson Feb 28 '18 at 11:36
  • This question may be suited for Ebook.SE: ebooks.stackexchange.com – White Eagle Mar 3 '18 at 17:28

You can create the files for an e-book yourself. Amazon provides free software to help you do this. Kindle books are in HTML, the language of web pages, with some variations. So if you're familiar with HTML, you can do it yourself. If you're not familiar with HTML, and aren't prepared to learn, there are automated tools to create a Kindle file from an MS-Word document, but the results often have problems. There are companies out there that will convert MS-Word or other documents to Kindle format for a fee. I've never used one of these so I can't make any recommendations or say how good a job they do.

The way my Kindle account is set up, Amazon deposits my share of any sales to my bank account. Maybe there's a way to make it an Amazon credit, if so I don't know anything about that, but I wouldn't see the advantage. I'd rather just get the cash, and if I want to turn around and spend it at Amazon, fine. So it's just a direct deposit to your bank account, much like many jobs now direct deposit your paycheck to your bank account.

I'm an American so I don't know about UK tax law, but I'm sure any profits you make selling books are taxable. Here in the US, it's considered a business and taxed like any other business. You have your sales as income, and then from this you can subtract expenses, like I deduct the cost of advertising and some minor other expenses.

Whether you can make a living selling ebooks is a completely different question from these mechanics. That comes down to: How many books can you write and how many copies can you sell? Some people have become millionaires writing. I think most writers mostly do it for the fun and satisfaction. I typically make several hundred dollars a year from my books. No way am I frugal enough to live on that.

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