Perhaps I'm doing the chicken before the egg here, but I figured now was as good a time as any to set up my accounts with PayPal and Amazon.
PayPal is super easy to set up for a sole proprietorship, and you don't even need to have made one sell before getting your account. Oh, and by the way, it's free. (Always a good thing.)
An Amazon sales account is also free, but I believe (I may be wrong) you have to have some books ready to sell before it lets you enter a bank account. (I already have some e-short stories selling so I was fine.)
How it works:
If you upload e-books onto Smashwords, it will distribute it to a bunch of other places (like Barnes and Nobles, Sony, etc.) Smashwords likes to pay you through a PayPal account. You can get a paper check in the mail but there is a fee for that service.
Now, the way to get money out of PayPal and to your bank account takes a little work. This is how to do it:
1) Log into your PayPal account.
2) You will see a menu item called "Withdraw." Click it.
3) Next click on "Transfer to a Bank Account"
4) If you've never transferred money to a bank account before, it will ask you for some information like the name of the banking institution, account #, routing #, etc.
5) Finally, they will send 1 cent to the bank account to make sure it is going to the correct place. Once you confirm it is, you are set.
Heads up: This process takes a few days, so start it early if you need your money.
Amazon also charges you a fee to pay you using a real check; however direct deposit is free. Unlike Smashwords, Amazon has you give your financial banking information directly to them, avoiding the whole PayPal step. Again, you'll need your acount number information.
Remember, neither of these accounts (my PayPal or my bank account) are connected to my personal life. They are both business accounts. This will help me keep track of income versus expenses better. It also feels more secure that my personal information isn't out there--at least not as much.
Kind of a bleh post, but talk to any accountant and you'll see why they suffer from boring personality disorder. (Okay, I'm so sorry, I know a lot of very nice and very fun accountants and I apologize to them for overgeneralizing.)
(This is part of a series on my blog called Eating a Whale--My Self-pub story.)