Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Questions from a reader

I received an email from a person who bought What You Need to Know to Be a Pro: The Start-Up Business Guide for Publishers and after reading it had a few questions. I'm posting his questions here because I think they may be helpful to others.

I'm curious as to how, for state tax reporting requirements, you note sales to non-profits such as libraries. Do you simply put $0 in your spread sheet for the tax part of the sale or do you also need additional backup materials from the library (or non-profit) confirming their non-profit status to attach to the invoice as proof?

Also, when you chose your domain for your website did you register it separately and then choose a web host or did you register it through your web host? Also, what was your process for choosing the web host you are with?

Finally, after you purchased your initial block of ISBNs from Bowker have you had to pay additional fees to keep your company information with them current?

This was my response:

Congratulations on starting your press. These are great questions. Thanks for asking. I will add these to the list for the next edition.

What State do you live in? When I sold to libraries here in California, they paid sales tax. The same was true when I sold to non-profits. If a non-profit says they don't have to pay sales tax, ask to see their resale license. But again, this applies to California. You should call your own State's Tax board for help. When I sell to bookstores, I do not collect sales tax because the bookstore has their own retail license and will collect sales tax directly from the book reader. Whenever I don't collect sales tax, I put a zero in the tax column. Sometimes I decide not to collect tax if I'm at a fair or conference as a type of promotion, but I still owe that tax to the State. So for my bookkeeping I put a zero in the tax column, but include a tax due amount at the end of that column so I know how much to pay the State.

I registered my domain name through my web host. Avahost was recommended to me by a web designer who had used them often and said their customer service was excellent. There are cheaper places, but I wanted the security of knowing if something went wrong with the site, I could contact a real human to help me solve it.

As for Bowker, yes, you do have to pay a fee every year for your catalog listing. I paid $25.00

I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me again if you have more questions.


These questions are very helpful to me and I appreciate so much when people take the time to ask. I file them all for the second edition of What You Need to Know to Be a Pro.

Plus, it's a thrill to know that my book is being used by people who are tackling their dreams and starting their own small press. I'm so glad I can help.

If you have a question, leave them as a comment on this blog, or send me an email.

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