Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pay Me Money, Please

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.)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let's Get Official

   To me, coming up with ideas is fun. Doing market research is even funner. Signing up for a business liscense is not. It sounds as exciting as organizing the pieces in my son's lego bin into piles of similar colors. Acutally, it sounds worse than that.

   But, it's one of those things you have to do to be official. I took Levanter Publishing to the next step by registering it with my state. It's a sole proprietorship, which means: I'm the one in charge, I have no full time employees, and I don't have to have a Federal EIN number but can use my Social Securtiy number as identification instead. (I still will get an EIN, but I'm taking this one bite at a time--remember?)

   At Utah's OneStop Business Registration, applying one time registers you with the:

   1) Utah State Tax Commission
   2) Utah Labor Commission
   3) Utah Department of Commerce
   4) Utah Department of Workforce Services
   5) Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

   Pretty impressive since the process was all online and was done in about thirty minutes. Don't let the gibberish legalese scare you off. Most of it's not really applicable (like the stuff about disposing of toxic chemical waste--unless they were referring to my dinner I burned since I got carried away finishing a chapter on my latest young adult book.)

   A few tips: DBA stands for "Do Business As," and it's what you'll most likely be signing up as. You'll need to know this when you go to set up a bank account for your business, which is what I did next.

   All I had to do get a Levanter Publishing bank account, was bring in the State Sales Tax License that my dear old state of Utah sent me a few days after registering. The time with the friendly gentlemen at the bank actually took longer than signing up for the business--but it wasn't too bad.

   I was required to show proof of the business and open the account with $125. That was it. They printed a debit card right at the bank with the name "Levanter Publishing" on the front. Checks are coming in the mail.

   The cost for these two steps was pricey considering my budget.

   Cost: About $50 at OneStop Registration and $37 at the bank ($25 for bank fee and $12 checks).

   Stay tuned for the next installment later in the week: Website on a Budget.

(This is part of a series on my blog called Eating a Whale--My Self-pub story.)

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I'm a mom and author, among other things. I enjoy writing middle grade and young adult books.

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