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I have a question specifically about ebook self publishing payments.

I am writing a book jointly, 50-50 with a partner. I read somewhere that Amazon Kindle pays per store front. However, there will be two of use who will own the store, and so is there any way to divide the royalties (should there ever be any) between 2 bank accounts?

And yes, obviously we could get a joint bank account but I doubt this will be worth it for the £5 a month we may earn if we are lucky! So I'm really looking for a way to split any payments.

closed as off-topic by Lauren Ipsum, JP Chapleau, Thomo, Craig Sefton, Ken Mohnkern Mar 5 '18 at 15:44

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is an interpersonal question and not about writing. – Lauren Ipsum Feb 27 '18 at 14:49
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    @LaurenIpsum interpersonal? I think the question is about how Amazon does payments, not on how to negotiate. – Monica Cellio Feb 27 '18 at 16:42
  • @MonicaCellio Eh, you're probably right, but that's still financial and not publishing. – Lauren Ipsum Feb 27 '18 at 18:08
  • It's about working as a team of 2 or more authors and how (and if) this can work in the real world. Generally authors work individually, but I'm looking for advice how to work with other authors. I'm not asking about finances around my day job, I'm asking how to earn a living as an author partnership. – Ariane Kh Anderson Feb 28 '18 at 11:30
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If the amounts are small, and the relations between you are friendly, I'd think the simple solution would just be to have the amounts deposited in one bank account or the other, and then periodically -- monthly, once a year, whatever -- count up how much was deposited and the person who owns that account transfers half of it to the other. Amazon gives you detailed reports on how much they paid and for what books, so it wouldn't be hard to figure it out.

If the amounts get to be non-trivial -- whatever you consider non-trivial, hundreds of pounds maybe? -- you might want to have an agreement written up by a lawyer to keep everybody honest. Personally I wouldn't go paying hundreds to a lawyer to write the contract until our sales had hit hundreds of dollars. :-)

I'm in a vaguely similar situation myself. My step-father is writing a book and, knowing I had published several, asked me to help him with the mechanics. I've put his book on my Amazon account, and I figured I would just forward any money to him as it came in.

Afterthought Months Later

You might think, Hey, why doesn't Amazon just provide a feature to split the money between accounts? As far as I know they don't. But I'm a software developer myself and I once worked on a computer system for paying royalties in a different context, and it was amazing how fast it got very complicated. First off we had to consider unequal splits, like maybe there are three people and it's divided 50/25/25. Then what if someone dies and leaves the rights to his heirs? Now you have to divide one of those shares by whatever proportion among the heirs, so maybe its 50/25/12.5/12.5. Are the proportions constant or are their tiers, like if one person put cash up front for expenses, you might say the first $1000 all go to him and only royalties above $1000 are split. If there are multiple books on the account, different books might have different splits. The software I worked on got very complicated. Amazon might well have decided they just don't want to get into it. If you want to split the royalties, you deal with it.

  • Thank you that's useful. I'll be writing with a friend and probably not hitting the hundreds so a lawyer would probably wipe out any profits and then some. We might have to do the messy transfer thing, it doesn't seem like there's anything much setup for writing teams. – Ariane Kh Anderson Feb 28 '18 at 11:32
  • Yeah, on these "I have an agreement with my friend" issues, people often say, "you should get a lawyer and have a formal contract written". But if the lawyer will charge $500 to do that, and you expect the amount of money involved to be less than $500 or not much more than $500, I think I'll accept the risk that we might have a falling out and I'll get cheated. – Jay Feb 28 '18 at 17:27

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