So your work of long-form journalism is nicely formatted for the various e-book platforms. Take the next step: setting up accounts with the publishers.

> Part One: Formatting and previewing your e-book
> Part Three: Publishing your e-book live 

In our previous part of this definitive guide to publishing your long-form journalism as an e-book, we walked through the steps necessary to prepare your work in the appropriate format for your digital publishing platforms and shopfronts.

The next step is establishing accounts with these various e-book platforms and stores. 

Step 2 in publishing an e-book: Set up accounts with the publishers

Your book is formatted, hopefully close to error-free. Remember that all three major platforms, and others, are headquartered in the United States Thus the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all sales to be reported to it for tax purposes whether or not you reside in the US. Here is some handy advice from Amazon on taxation for non-US publishers.


1. Accounts with each publishing platform you intend to publish on.

2. Those living outside the US need a US TIN – Tax Identification Number. This could take more than six weeks. Start now by looking over this information from Amazon. Then it is advised in some countries, here, that you register at your US Embassy for an EIN – Employer Identification Number so that 30 per cent of each e-book sale is not withheld for US tax purposes. Fill out a W-8BEN form for sending to the platforms you will use. Look at this information from the IRS to get started. There may be a list of tax consultants familiar with the US tax system who can help in your country; in Australia the Consulate General of the United States has a list of tax consultants here

3. Your banking information, including the exact name held on IRS records, social security number or EIN for US bank account holders and relevant tax file information. For those outside the US and who do not have a bank account, for instance, in the major Amazon domains of Great Britain, the European Union, Canada, Brazil, Japan and India, you can be paid by check, but only in four of those currencies. Check out Amazon’s royalty payment information.

4. Your manuscript in both mobi and ePub formats (see part one of this guide).

5. A unique ISBN – for an iBook, Sony and Kobo (but not compulsory for other platforms) that is different to any print book of the same title.

6. A book description – equivalent of the blurb on the back cover. Length indications vary but are generally 400 words or less.

7. A book cover already designed in a J-peg format and to the specifications noted on each platform, to complete the uploading. [Amazon and Nook took a smaller size than that given to us by our designer but Apple wanted one that was larger.]

Got all that? Now go!

Set aside time to establish accounts with the various platforms. Allow up to an hour to set up in each marketplace so you are not rushed.

Usernames and passwords – should you not already have them – are needed for Amazon, B&N and any other platform you choose.

Apple is different. It has its Apple ID that must be set up in conjunction with an iTunes account and a credit card. It only allows one ID per email address. 

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Photo: Keep your passwords for all platforms handy. You will need to consult them frequently in the beginning if you want to check on your progress to publication and, most importantly thereafter, your sales figures. For the time-poor you can also pay anyone who offers the service along with e-book conversion to do it for you.

While Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and the B&N Nook setups are relatively straightforward (if I can do it anyone can) both take more time than you envisage because you need to get it right. They follow a similar structure. It is advisable to leave aside several hours for the lot. If you are quicker than that, all the better.

Once you do the Amazon set up it’s a good idea to proceed straight to the set up for publishing on the Nook, which is much the same.

Uploading your iBook to the iTunes store via iTunes Connect is not the same – or quick. It can be frustratingly fiddly and can lead to fruitful emissions of foul language. And just to keep Apple different, there are changes to the uploading process from time to time.

In my case the size of the cover required had increased since guidelines sent to us as part of the paid package from our e-book converter had been written.

You can learn from reading the private publishing guidelines for each platform beforehand. Things change all the time in the world of e-publishing.

So now your e-book is beautifully formatted with no errors, and has been converted to all of the appropriate formats.

Now it needs to be uploaded to the various digital publishing platforms. But are you ready to tackle the various tax and DRM options? Find out how in Part 3.

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