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Monday, February 20, 2012

Help International Authors Get Paid

On a somewhat serious topic today, it's about Amazon and international authors and money.
Sign the petition Help Indie Authors.

As I publish mostly short stories for 99c, it takes awhile for my royalties to build up enough for Amazon to actually pay me. 
As an international author, they only pay authors by cheque, and only once you have reached $100 or more in royalties (or 100 pounds in the UK store, 100 euro in the French store etc). So they pay in $100 installments. 

I can understand this, as mailing out thousands of teeny tiny cheques a month would be time-consuming and costly (can you imagine the postage on that?)

US and European authors on the other hand, get paid every month straight into their bank account, regardless of how much they have earned.

I received my first ever royalty cheques last week, one for $17 and the other for $56. I don't know how this happened, as it's not $100, and it was split between 2 cheques, but okay. It happened.

I tried to bank my cheques. ROYALTIES. REAL ROYALTIES. I'M A REAL AUTHOR.
Except it costs $25.00 for the bank to process one international cheque. So of my $83, $50 was going to be taken in fees.

I have heard of other authors tell me that at their bank it costs $40.00.

This means, for my $17 cheque? I will be out of pocket $8 if I went through with depositing it. Royalties COST me money. And this is before foreign currency conversion.

Smashwords pay their authors by Paypal. And though I'm not Amazon, I don't know how simple this is to implement, but it sounds pretty simple.

Sign the petition (all it takes is a click of a button) in order to encourage Amazon to consider switching from cheque payment to PayPal for international authors. We may be further away, but just like US and European authors, we deserve to keep ALL of our royalties, instead of handing them over to the bank.

If you support this cause, and I hope you do, you can tweet about it and Facebook it to your friends and colleagues.

Sign the Petition! Amazon: Pay International Authors via PayPal/bank account instead of cheques  via 

Thanks lovelies,



  1. Hey Sarah, I posted this on tumlr to get you some more support & someone mentioned something about Amazon's own version of Paypal (Amazon payments). Perhaps there is some way to get that service used for your royalties, since everything I've heard concerning the Paypal option is (apparently) highly unlikely as they (Paypal/Ebay) are a competitor to Amazon.

    1. Hi Sionainn,
      Thanks for supporting the cause! Yes, the great thing about me having done this is that it's fostering discussion and brainstorming possible alternatives.
      PayPal is indeed seeming like a HIGHLY unlikely alternative, but direct deposit (like to US and UK accounts) could be possible, as could opening up Amazon's version of PayPal to include international clients (which at present it is only usable by US folk).
      I'm going to amend and update the petition shortly.
      Thanks again!


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