My, what japes I have had this weekend! As you may remember, I am planning to publish a little guide to AML for UK non-exec directors – I’ve posted about it before, here and here. After researching all the options – apart from sky-writing, which seemed a bit hit-and-miss – I have decided that the print-on-demand paperback is the way to go. (I know that several of you liked the downloadable PDF option, but it turns out that this would be almost impossible to safeguard against illegal copying – much as I hate to think of it within our world of compliance, apparently this does happen.) Having published three e-books (get me), I figure that I am fairly tech-savvy, as long as I have detailed instructions to follow, and so the finer points of CreateSpace (the POD publisher I have chosen to use) held few fears for me. Until it came to money. Oh, the irony.
In order to publish on CreateSpace, which is part of the Amazon über-empire, you need an American tax number. Rumour had it that to get one of these you had to queue at the US embassy in London for three months, learn all the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” and then hand over your most favoured child in exchange. But recent developments, in response to the needs of e-euthors such as myself, meant that I could just phone the IRS in Pennsylvania, give a few details, and get one issued there are then. I have since had it tattooed on my husband just in case I mislay it. Armed with my tax number, I returned to CreateSpace, and it asked how I wanted my royalties to be paid – by free bank transfer, or by cheque (costing $8 to issue and £5 to deposit in my UK bank). Hmmmmmm. But American bank account have I none. So I called the American husband of a friend, and asked if I could pay my royalties into his bank account. You can predict how this will go. My royalties will probably be about a tenner a month – hence the cheque route being a bit daft. But what will his bank say about the sudden influx of royalties in a different name? Any chance they might do a money laundering check? And what if my book is a roaring success and the royalties are much more substantial? That, I think we can safely say, is the least of my worries.
(As I have the artistic eye of a colour-blind bat, I have also retained the services of a “cover designer” to, well, design the cover of the book – I’ll let you know how that goes.)