Smashwords have been busy distributing. This month shipments have gone to both Apple and Barnes & Nobles. Dates have been listed for all other shipments bar Amazon although the Sony one seems to be getting delayed. I joined Smashwords last month so my manuscripts were included in a shipment to Kobo although I don't know how that figures in with actually appearing on their website. I'm in no hurry, it's nice to see how things are working - and the fact that they are in fact working is reassuring.
A lot of people have been wondering why they should opt in on the distribution with Amazon when they are already in the Kindle Store. I'm almost certain that I read a great reason why we should but I can't for the life of me find it again. I'm sure if it was true that it will reappear before the first shipment to Amazon.
In the updates section on Smashwords, they mention making the subject of tax for those outside of the U.S. easier. Possibly they are considering giving some kind of guidance. That would be absolutely fantastic because my head is melted from it and it is necessary to obtain an ITIN before Smashwords (and other places) can pay out. You have to fill out a W7 form to apply for one if you live outside of the U.S. which isn't actually too bad if you ignore the help on the IRS website. Seriously.
The main problem is that the U.S. don't accept these forms at any old time, next opening appears to be May and you need your identification notarised. It seems like I can do this at the U.S. embassy in Ireland for 30 dollars but I'm still not positive all of that is exactly the process. I am confuddled so a bit of a step by step easy to understand guide would be incredibly superific. The more I read on the subject, the more confused I become especially when most of the things I have read have pretty much conflicted with each other. It can't possibly be that complicated.
It is at times like this when I wish everything wasn't so U.S. based. A European version of Amazon's DTP and Smashwords would make things a lot simpler. That whole UK Kindle Store that was promised would be a bonus too. If I win the lotto I'm so setting up a European competitor. :)