Signing a book contract with a US publisher 101

Today i got the contract for book deal from APress. In order to get my royalties and don’t have them taxed twice (one by the US gov. and once by the Austrian Gov.). This is governed by so called income tax treaties between the US and foreign countries like Austria. I had to go on a hunt of forms and articles. To make a (very) long story short here’s what you do if you are not a US citizen and sign a deal with a US publisher:

  • Get form W7 from the IRS. This form is issued so that the IRS hands you a so called ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number).
  • Go to the IRS homepage and find the income tax treaty between the US and your respective country. Scan the treaty for an article on royalties. In my case (Austria) this was article 12
  • Check the box labeled a) in the W7 form and fill out the rest of the form accordingly (name, address).
  • Check the box labeled h) in the W7 form and fill in “Exception #2”
  • In the “additional information for a) and f)” fields specify your country and the article number
  • Now put that filled out and signed form in an envelop along with a copy of your driver’s license or passport as well as a copy of the signed contract with the publisher and send it to the IRS (the address can be found in the instruction section of the W7 form
  • Wait for the IRS to send you your ITIN which should take between 4 and 6 weeks
  • Having received your ITIN go search for the W8BEN form.
  • Fill it out according to the instructions and specify your ITIN
  • Send the W8BEN form to your publisher!
  • Write the freakin book
  • Profit!

Note: IANAL, so take that with a grain of salt. You might search for the terms “W8BEN W7” on google to find the MIT Press page describing the process. With my luck i of course only found this page AFTER i solved this puzzle myself….

Good times!

6 thoughts on “Signing a book contract with a US publisher 101

  1. Wow, isn’t red tape fun! How does the book contract work, do you have a time limit to get the book written, or is it fairly free flowing?

  2. Yeah i got a couple of deadlines which are pretty tight. On the other hand i’m ok with that as i want to get this done as fast as possible as i have a lot of other stuff to do 🙂

  3. Two things …

    1. There are a few Android Game Programming books out there. How will this be different?

    2. Will this focus any on libgdx?

    One last thing … congratulations and the best of luck in this endeavor. If you need an additional reviewer … give me a holla.

  4. 1) which books are there? i only know Pro Android Games which really doesn’t teach you anything about game programming (on android)
    2) no, i’ll keep clear of any libraries because i want the reader to understand the nitty gritty details. i’m not a big fan of just learning an api. i want people to understand the concepts which are the same across APIs/platforms.

    one last thing… UPDATE YOUR BLOG ALREADY! 🙂

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