Category Archives: Publishing

For those keeping track. Well, OK, me.

just the booksYes, yes, I know you could go check the “Buy my books” page, but to be honest can any of you be arsed to do that? I doubt I’d bother. With that thought in mind, here’s a list of my published books so far (of course there’s much more Wombie out there in Kindle standalones, stories in magazines & the like, but it would take YONKS to list them). If you fancy reading any of these books, find them on Lulu or Amazon. If you already HAVE read any, thank you and I love you and please leave a review somewhere.

WARREN PEACE: Novel. The Magnificent 7 with fur. “Warren Peace got me through the day”.

FOG: Novel. Sexy, funny, violent – Best Mystery, 2016 #Siba Book Awards. “Had me gripped from page one”.

CUBIC SCATS: Essays. A smorgasbord of Northcentric nonsense & recipes. “Where did you put the bread knife?”

MOTH GIRL v THE BATS: Novella. Steampunky sci-fi fun. “There’s a real excitement to this work”.

BLOOD ON THE GROUND: Short stories. A dozen dollops of wicked whimsy. “Good reading even for a scary cat like myself”.

SOUL OF THE UNIVERSE (editor): Stories inspired by music. “This collection will captivate you, pervade your senses and absolutely enchant you”.

CUTTHROATS AND CURSES (editor): An anthology of pirates. “The greatest assortment of pirate stories anywhere”.

MURDER AT WOMBAT TOWERS: Private novel with a limited print run.

HUMAN 76 (editor): Collaborativer. Fourteen authors take you on an unprecedented post-apocalyptic journey. “Thought-provoking, layered: a real gem”.

THE MUSEUM OF WHITE WALLS: Forty-one monkeybonkers tales & three poems. “The only book for you if you want to see this quote on the back cover”.


AVAILABLE NOW: “The Museum of White Walls”

The Museum of White Walls front coverFancy forty-one tales and three poems from out of my head? Read tales of Robin Hood, torture, unicorns, death, poo, toffee apples, giant spaceships, stuffed dogs and more. With additional stories from the highly talented Alex Brightsmith, KJ Collard and Ellie Cooper, this collection might just burst all over you while you’re reading. So, you know, sorry about that.

If you get the PAPERBACK HERE, or download it for your KINDLE HERE, I will adore you forever.

COVER REVEAL: “The Museum of White Walls”

One problem with publishing a collection of forty-one disparate short stories (and three poems!) is deciding what to do with the cover. Do you clutter it with references to every story, or just pick a few items? I decided to go a third way, and just embrace the title story. When Thom White graciously agreed to continue our association for a fifth book, I specified “spare, simple, almost brutalist” for the cover. Here’s what he made:

The Museum of White Walls, cover by Thom White

He did a brilliant job. I love how the fold between front cover and spine form the corner of a wall spattered with blood. That wonky ‘THE’ emphasises the original subtitle of this book: forty-one tales of a world askew. It’ll certainly stand out amongst a slew of other covers on Amazon, and be easy to find on your bookshelf. Notice also that my running man motif continues, here making his first appearance on the spine.

“The Museum of White Walls” will be available on Saturday, for Kindle and in paperback from Lulu (then a few days later on Amazon when it filters through). Thom, you talented bugger.

Self-publishing & not in the US? How to EASILY PEASILY avoid that honking 30% tax withholding on your sales

IRS LogoLulu and Amazon (and I imagine Smashwords) would have you think that you have to jump through hoops of red tape (mental image ahoy!) over months of complicated form-filling to get yourself an ITIN so that you can stop them withholding 30% of your royalties until you settle your tax status with the IRS. Here’s Lulu on the matter:

If you do not have an ITIN and wish to obtain one, you must apply directly with the IRS by submitting the required documents as well as Form W-7 and a letter from Lulu stating that you are, indeed, a Lulu creator (attached below). Please understand that we cannot assist you in this part of the process in any way other than to provide you with the forms and our letter. The IRS is notorious for long, silent delays and unexpected rejections due to overlooked details. Therefore, we urge you to pay very close attention when submitting the required materials in order to avoid the frustrations many Lulu authors have experienced.

BUT NO! There is an easier way! Now, thanks to this glorious blog post (and its by now hundreds of comments), I’ve just sorted the whole thing out within seven minutes. If the thought of doing things such as (gulp) sending off your passport to the States, filling in a gazillion arcane forms,  and suffering inexplicable rejections has been putting you off applying for an ITIN, then don’t apply for one.

Do what I did instead – get yourself an EIN, which is just as valid and a gazillion times easier. I’ll not repeat all the differences here – you can read the original post if you want the minutiae – but the biggie for us is that you can get one over the phone. Now, I’m no tax expert, and what follows is just my experience – yours may be different, as you might not get to talk to Miss Moody. This is what I did.

  • I called the IRS in Philadelphia on +1 267 941 1099. I used Skype, as it is shedloads cheaper for overseas calls than any normal provider. If you do the same, be sure to use a headset as they will hang up immediately if they think you’re on a speaker phone. I timed my call for just after their office opened (they open at 8:30am Philadelphia time)
  • At the computerised menu, I chose option 1 – “Apply for an EIN for foreign entities” and prepared for a long wait on hold. In fact I was answered within seconds.
  • I was told that I was speaking to Miss Moody (badge number xxxxxx) and how could she help me? I explained that I was applying for an EIN, and she asked in what capacity was I applying? I told her that I was sole proprietor and owner of the business. That was fine, Miss Moody said, and she would need the following details:
  • NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER and COMPANY NAME. I occasionally had to spell things for her (such as “Bury”), but I had already prepared for this by writing down what I’d say for each letter (“B as in Bravo, U as in Uniform, R as in Romeo, Y as in Yankee”). Miss Moody seemed to appreciate this. For the COMPANY NAME I told her that I self-published under my own name, which she was happy with.
  • “I take it that this is for compliance with withholding?” she suggested. “Yes ma’am,” I smarmed, learning from my American contacts. She then spelled back to me all the info I had given here (I had to correct ‘Bury’!), and then gave me my EIN right there and then. After we had complimented each other’s accent, I ended the call seven minutes after it had started. Now isn’t that better than months of form filling?

Of course, you then have to submit a form W-8BEN to all the people you publish through, but that’s easy too because KDP now have an online tax interview that fills out a form for you. You can then use that as a template for the ones that you have to send to Lulu, Smashwords et al. Just one tip about the KDP interview which was not at all clear for me when I did it – for the question “Do you derive income from treaty benefits?” say NO.

But do read that original blog post if you have any questions. There’s more info there than you can shake a stick at, if that’s your idea of a good time.

Thanks to Mike Manz for pointing me in the right direction in the first place.

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