I am looking for the better alternative to SmashWords.com (for non-US authors)

The problem with SmashWords.com is they are US based company. If you are not US citizen and resident, IRS will steal 30% of your profits unless you fight bureaucracy. The whole bureaucratic nightmare is described in articles like this.


“If you are claiming a reduced rate of withholding tax under an income tax treaty and do not have a U.S. TIN, provide your foreign (non-U.S.) income tax identification number to receive treaty benefits. This number is issued by your local tax authority or government for income tax purposes.”

Frustrated ebooks reader

Also, there is an EU VAT-related bureaucratic nightmare.
I've never sold e-books directly via my site, because the strict e-commerce laws in my country Germany do not make it feasible. And this law makes it even more difficult for anybody in the EU to sell e-books or indeed any goods directly. I work as a freelance translator and this is annoying, because it means figuring out whatever the VAT in the customer's country is, if the customer is in another EU country. -- CoraBuhlert


I know that BlueSnap is dealing with VAT issues:
Will I be responsible for paying VAT? We collect VAT from all EU consumers who do not have a valid VAT ID for electronically delivered products. We collect this VAT and pay it directly to the relevant national authorities.
So, they resell your digital content to the end customers. The question is what is the nature of the income you are receiving from them - you receive copyright royalties from them or you sell your digital content to them. In the second case, you must be a sole trader or a legal entity (because individuals which are not sole traders are not allowed to trade).

They take only 2.9% + 30¢. But they probably don't send you payments with reason "copyright royalties", so you will have hard time explaining to the tax authorities that this income is actually royalties (there is no contract printed on paper, signed and stamped). There are many countries where you are fined if you receive money without contract on paper and can't prove with paper documents the nature of the income (copyright royalties are taxed at a lower rate than other income, so it looks like tax evasion).

I asked these questions on Reddit.

* * *  Update: * * *


I found a good European company that deals with VAT stuff and don't require W-8BEN/EIN/ITIN/SSN and other IRS-related bullshit, because the company is based in Germany:

Royalties paid to the authors:
  • 70% of net sales for works with a price greater than EUR 1.99 / US$ 2.49 / £ 1.59
  • 40% of net sales for works with a price at or between EUR 0.99 and EUR 1.98 / US$ 0.99 and US$ 2.48 / £ 0.89 and £ 1.58
To receive your royalties, you can choose between PayPal or Bank Transfer. Please note, that we perform transactions via Bank Transfer only in the European currency zone and in Euro (more information: SEPA).
Good news for American authors:
At XinXii, an American author is not asked to give a tax ID number, just name and address.
Their percentage of the royalty is worse than the SmashWords.com's, but European writers will save the hassle of IRS-related bullshit (W-8BEN, EIN, ITIN).

* * * another update * * *


This looks like "too good to be true":
5% per transaction. No setup fees, no monthly fees, no hosting fees to worry about.
Payhip Limited, 1st Floor, 2 Woodberry Grove London, N12 0DR,

I sent e-mail to the company asking for the VAT issues. It looks like they don't add VAT on sales. You can test it here:

1) Google some book:

2) Click on Buy now.

There is no VAT?

"Upload and sell your ebooks directly to your fans and followers and get paid instantly via PayPal."

It looks like payments are received directly to the author's PayPal account. So, this will discourage authors to use their services.

Also, directly receiving payments from customers is illegal if you are not registered as sole trader or legal entity (in most jurisdictions).

* * * update * * * 

I have message from the Payhip.com:
Hi Ted,

We don't currently handle VAT, but we'll soon be adding an option for this.

You don't need a merchant account to use Payhip, the only requirements is that you have a verified Paypal Business or Paypal Premier account. Another alternative to Paypal would be to have a Stripe account.

I hope this helps!

Many thanks,
* * * update * * * 

Bamazoo.com deal with the VAT issues and accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, SOFORT, GiroPay and digital currencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Dogecoin!

For every sale of your product, on bamazoo®, you'll earn an 85% royalty of the list price excluding any taxes.



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