Thanks to new VAT laws that came into force in the E.U. on 1 January 2015, it will no longer be feasible for me to continue to self-publish in a digital format. These well-meaning laws were supposed to stop big businesses evading tax, but their effect on microbusinesses like mine, which earn next to nothing at the best of times, will be catastrophic, increasing paperwork, accounts and complicated arithmetic (never my strong point) to a degree where the meagre returns just won’t be worth the time, effort and expense.
I can’t even begin to explain the new laws, but try reading this, which summarises them more elegantly than I ever could. Suffice to say, I would be required to deal with 75 different tax rates across 28 different markets.
To this end, I shall be removing my digital books from amazon’s online shops at some point during this coming week. If, as I hope, you enjoy my writing and would like to read more of it, you have just a couple of days to download examples of it. If a million of you download one of my books, this will naturally encourage me to think again about shutting down. But of course I’m not expecting this to happen, and I don’t get that many visitors on this blog anyway.
My self-published books in print will still be available – for the time being anyway, since new laws are afoot that will extend the chaos to non-digital goods in the very near future – as well as those books of mine that have been published in the traditional way, by traditional publishing houses.
I am currently trying to finish another novel, The Coming Thing, but this business is so demoralising that I’m starting to wonder if it’s even worth continuing with it, or indeed with anything else. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if my professional writing career, such as it has been, is over. I wish I’d trained to be a dentist, or a plumber.
Anyhow, if you want to download one of my ebooks, you should probably do it right now.