You'll know that over the years my relationship with print hasn't always been straightforward. I've never wanted to hold tangibles - the idea of having boxes of dead trees around fills me with dread, and I've never wanted to have money tied up in those boxes. That's not a criticism of anyone else's business model, as we all do things the way that suits us best and I know that if I was a big book person myself I would probably push the print side more. But I'm not - I prefer digital books and am never keen to have too much stuff.
Despite this, I've always tried to keep print options open. POD (print on demand) has served that area, as have print distributors of my patterns. But slowly, those areas have slipped away for various reasons, the biggest of which is the low level of sales compared to the amount of work preparing items for print takes.
And now, for a slightly different reason, I'll be closing that last remaining print option.
As I'm sure many of you are aware, Brexit leaves us in a very difficult position... one that will cost us a lot and see us jumping through too many hoops just to try and hold onto what we have here. Yesterday the stress of it all broke me but today I picked myself up and carried on, because I have to.
One of the most important things I need to do is separate me and my business. In the UK I'm a sole-trader, which means me and my business are the same thing. It's the simplest way to do things (it should surprise no-one that I like to keep admin simple!) and it means I'm not officially a registered business. Truth be told I never wanted to be, and one of the few original aims I had was to not be enough of a business to get VAT registered!
But that all has to change. I'm also not very far away turnover wise from the UK VAT threshold so I know the time to change is here whichever way you look at it.
I did think to get incorporated in the UK, as it would make sense to not have to learn a whole set of new tax laws, but we have to do the latter anyway if we're to move our residency to Italy (and nope, I'm not moving my business there - the tax laws are eye watering). And it's daft to keep my business in a currency that we're not using daily - the drop in the value of Sterling has made the cost of our daily living much more expensive.
There are fortunately options for micro businesses to incorporate abroad, and Estonia is leading the way on this with it's e-residency program. And the companies that offer accountancy services also help set up the business and get you through the process quickly and efficiently for a very reasonable fee (you see why I went this route, yes?). The whole set up is progressive and streamlined and has been very popular with freelancers, digital nomads and the like.
Having done some research and talked to a few companies, I think I've found a company (agency?) to work with who sits well with me. The downside is no tangibles in terms of sales. Having discussed how the Magcloud set up works they're still not keen to support that and rather than lose the opportunity, I've decided to close the POD door for good.
What I earn through Magcloud - both on eBook and print book sales combined - comes to less than 1% of my turnover. So POD sales would be about 0.5%-0.6% of my turnover. And considering how much time and extra effort it takes to prepare for print, and how much I need to reduce and streamline admin, it doesn't make sense to try and fight to keep POD on the table going forward. I closed POD wholesale last month and had been toying with the idea of shutting POD across the board, and this move of business has been the deciding factor.
I know I have a few customers that prefer print and I hope you can appreciate that I've tried to keep that option open but do need to move with my needs and my business.
I'll leave the print option open for as long as I can but I suspect it'll be shut within about a week. If you'd like to get a print copy of any of the books I offer on Magcloud, you may wish to do that sooner rather than later! (I will though try to keep the eBooks on Magcloud, though I'm not sure that's an option without the print side...)
Thanks for your understanding :)