- Print-On-Demand [POD for short] is new tech that allows books to be printed one at a time instead of in hundreds.
- Print-On-Demand means authors don’t have to buy 100’s of their own print books.
- 3 biggest Print-On-Demand printers are CreateSpace [Amazon], Lulu and IngramSpark. Amazon KDP is now offering print as well.
- Lulu & IngramSpark have print facilities in Australia. Both are more expensive than CreateSpace or KDP but you save a lot in postage [and time].
- Aussie authors wanting to print with IngramSpark must have an ABN and pay a $53 setup fee for each book.
- Aussie authors wanting to get an ABN should read this how to first: https://acflory.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/how-to-apply-for-an-abn-the-basics/
- Print-On-Demand works with standard trim sizes only. For table of trim sizes see : https://www.createspace.com/Special/Pop/book_trimsizes-pagecount.html
- Trim size = physical size of book after pages glued inside cover & trimmed.
- Page size templates for all trim sizes can be found on CreateSpace forums: https://forums.createspace.com/en/community/docs/DOC-1323
- Convert Word A4 pages to trim size pages via the Word Page Setup dialog box.
- ISBN = 13 digit no. that identifies your book worldwide. Buy your own ISBN or accept the free one offered by CreateSpace and KDP.
- The downside of a free ISBN is that it can only be used with the company that issued it.
- Aussie authors can buy ISBNs from Thorpe-Bowker: https://www.myidentifiers.com.au/
- As a rule of thumb, print, ebook & audiobooks all need their own ISBN.
- Books printed via CreateSpace and KDP are listed on Amazon automatically.
- To publish Kindle ebooks go to: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/
- Amazon supplies ebooks with ASIN identifiers so ISBN not strictly necessary.
- If you want to ‘go wide’ & sell with other retailers as well as Amazon, your own ISBN is a must.
- Most POD printers prefer PDF files but will accept Word files.
- Before converting from Word to PDF, ensure all Word fonts are embedded in the document. See: https://acflory.wordpress.com/2018/05/19/how-to-make-word-16-embed-all-your-fonts/
- File/Export completed Word doc. to PDF. Then upload that PDF to the POD printer of your choice.
- With KDP and CreateSpace, royalty = List Price – Print costs.
- With CreateSpace, Print costs= Sales Channel % + Fixed Charges + Per Page Charge.
- With CreateSpace, Standard sales channel % = 40% of List Price, Expanded sales channel % = 60%.
- Spine of cover = trim size & no. of pages. See: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do
- KDP cover template from: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/cover-templates Select trim size from drop down list, enter page count & paper colour, then download template.
- CreateSpace cover template from: https://www.createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do Select Interior Type, Trim size and paper colour. Type in page count. Download template.
- Lulu cover template from: http://www.lulu.com/create/books Select trim size, type in page count, click Spine Width. Note down spine dimensions. Download template.
- Lulu cover template is for front and back covers individually. If creating your own, all in one cover, ADD the width of the spine to the width of the 2 covers to get exact measurements.
- CreateSpace & KDP cover templates both include the spine and are easier to use than Lulu’s templates.
- Barcodes for CreateSpace and KDP – included at no cost.
- Barcodes for Lulu – not included. Bar codes must be provided in black and white and should be 1.75″ wide x 1″ high (4.445 x 2.54 cm)
- When converting covers to PDF for CreateSpace choose “PDF/X-1a,” “High-Quality Print” or “Press Quality” from the list of presets.
- When converting covers to PDF for KDP paperback, “Press Quality” and “PDF/X-1a” both work.
- When converting covers to PDF for Lulu, you are advised to set compatibility mode to PDF 1.3, but the newer PDF/X-1a works too.
- Total page no. of book = pages AFTER conversion to chosen trim size [not A4 Word pages].
- Amazon deducts 30% withholding tax from each sale. Aussies can claim exemption to reduce tax to 5%.
- Withholding tax exemption: US TIN = Australian Tax File No.
- Aussie authors must deposit 1 copy of each published book with the National Library of Australia: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit
- Aussie authors must also deposit 1 copy of each published book with their state library: https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit/australia-wide
- Aussie authors – for Legal Deposit FAQ see:https://www.nla.gov.au/legal-deposit-faq
Tag Archives: ABN
After the near disaster of my previous attempt to reactivate my ABN, I thought I’d better do a quick how-to for others.
The website you need to go to is:
[Note: no www required]
That web address will take you to this screen:
Whether you’ve never had an ABN before, or want to reactivate an old one, this part of the process is the same: if you’re a sole trader, you have to click ‘For Business, Super funds & Charities’ [as shown above].
[Note: there are unscrupulous companies that hire people as employees but then force them to get ABNs in order to avoid having to pay entitlements such as holiday pay, sick leave etc. The government will NOT issue an ABN in these circumstances. In order to qualify as a sole trader, you must be carrying on some kind of business of your own. Being a self-published author qualifies me for an ABN].
Next, click ‘Applying for an ABN’
Then, scroll down the page until you reach this:
Click the bright yellow ‘Apply for an ABN’ button as shown above.
The next screen involves ticking checkboxes:
Click the screenshot to see a larger image.
For the second checkbox from the top, it says “I have the TFN, date of birth and name…” etc.
TFN stands for Tax File Number. If you are a sole trader, the only Tax File Number you will need is your own. Tick the checkboxes and then click ‘Next’.
The next screen is for your ABN entitlement. Click ‘Sole Trader’ and then click Next:
Remember, this is a government website so click the button for ‘Sole Trader’ again, then select the answers as shown below:
When you get to ‘What is the nature of your activity?’, click the small down arrow as shown and select ‘In the form of a business’. To be honest, none of the options seemed particularly relevant but this one worked for me so I guess it’s the general purpose one. Again, click Next to continue.
The next two sections – Application Detail and Business Information – are fairly self explanatory. The only tricky bit is if you’re seeking to reactivate an old ABN. If you don’t know what it is, you can check the ‘Look up’ table here:
Or you can follow the ‘Look up’ link on the screen itself:
To find your old ABN, simply type the name associated with it into the search box and start the search.
If your ABN was cancelled through lack of interest, you won’t find it on the first page of results as they are for active ABNs only. Click the tab for ‘All ABNs’ :
So long as you typed the name correctly, the ‘All ABNs’ page should display your old business name at the very top of the list. Type, or copy/paste the ABN into the Application Detail form.
The second page of the Business Information section is where you type in your personal details, including your Tax File Number. Click Next.
If you are reactivating an ABN, the next page will have a big red error message saying that the system has detected that you already have an ABN…
-facepalm- “No? Really?”
Ignore this and click Next again. You won’t see the error message again, or at least not that one.
The next screen is a little odd:
There is a text box that allows you to type in your ‘…main business activity’. For mine, I mentioned needing an ABN to print my books via IngramSpark. I assume the word ‘print’ triggered something because when I opened the list of categories [see above], they ALL seemed to be related to printing. Anyway, click the category that most closely matches your business and then click Next to continue.
The next screen is also a little odd, or perhaps this is simply how the bureaucratic mind works. You will be asked to enter the business address details. One of those details is the email address, but instead of asking you to type the email address twice, one after the other [as most other websites do], the ABR site only asks for it once. You click next and it flags an error message. Essentially, you have to check that the email address you entered is correct. -more facepalm- That’s all it is. Click Next to continue.
This next one has to do with the business phone number, and it’s a fudge. I imagine the form was designed back when landlines were the no. 1 form of business communication, even for sole traders. Then, everyone started using mobile phones for their businesses. Recognizing this, the form was…changed, but not properly.
If your mobile phone is your only business number, do NOT type it into the box clearly labelled as ‘Mobile’. Type it into ‘Business’ as shown below:
Put the first 4 digits into the area code box and the last 6 digits into the number box…-sigh-
Under ‘Reason for application’, select the closest match from the drop down list.
For ‘Position held’ type ‘Sole Trader’.
Before you click Submit, try to print off the completed form. It didn’t work for me, which is one reason I took screenshots of everything, but it may work for you. When you’re done, click the Submit button.
The last screen is a confirmation screen. As I was simply reactivating an old ABN, I was told that it was active again. You may be told that it will take xx days.
I can’t name any names as I’m still hoping I’ll receive the promised refund, but I couldn’t let this go without sounding some kind of a warning. 😦
So here it is. If you want or need an Australian Business Number [ABN], do NOT be fooled by any internet companies that charge for this service.
The only place to get an ABN is the official government website:
Unfortunately this website is not the first one that comes up on an internet search. Chances are, you’ll see something that looks official, but in the fine print you’ll find that the company is actually a tax agent and the fee is for their services, not for the ABN.
I know this because I paid my money despite feeling uneasy. Only afterwards did I look up the real government agency. I rang and asked if there is a fee for reactivating an ABN. They said no…
I haven’t been ‘scammed’ exactly. I’ve been mislead. Don’t let the same thing happen to you. 😦
IngramSpark, probably the biggest print-on-demand publisher, has a facility right here in Melbourne [Australia].
“Yay! I can get copies of my books printed locally to save a huge amount on postage!”
That was me yesterday. Today I have steam coming out of my ears because the only way I can use IngramSpark is as a Sole Trader – and that involves getting an ABN. Apparently, IngramSpark does not deal with lowly self-publishers who can’t pretend to be a business.
For those not familiar with the term, ABN stands for Australian Business Number. I used to have one, about 15 years ago when I ran a micro business teaching computer skills one-on-one. In fact, apparently I still have one lurking somewhere, inactive and unusable, but still in the ‘system’. Somewhere.
I could hunt down my old ABN, but I don’t even know where to start and, bureaucracy being what it is, the process could take hours or days out of my life. That’s a lot of effort to go to just for the privilege of printing a few copies of my book here in Australia, especially when the only benefit to me is a saving on postage [Ingram’s printing costs are a lot higher than CreateSpace but postage from the US is the real killer].
Oh, and did I mention that you have to pay IngramSpark $53 AUD for the privilege of using their distribution services, even if you don’t actually intend to use them to distribute your books? Yup, that’s part of the setup process.
So if you’re an Aussie self-publisher, my advice is to give IngramSpark a miss. Unless you already have an active ABN…
-sound of teeth grinding-
Does anyone out there know of a reasonable PoD company here in Melbourne? Maybe a home-grown one that doesn’t charge the earth?