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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Online Retailer Tax Levels Playing Field For Authors & Publishers


Good news is on the way for the book publishing world, brick and mortar stores, and local governments nationwide.  Finally, Congress seems poised to pass legislation to tax Internet sales. 

There are also discussions to exempt small businesses with less than one million dollars in-annual digital revenue.

So how does this add up? As a consumer, you’ll feel a pinch, as sales taxes will be charged every time you go online to buy something. But the government will finally get back lost funding.  Online sales generate over $250 billion in revenue and a substantial amount is not taxed. 

Estimates are forecasting online sales to double in five years, to half a trillion bucks.

For Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores, and authors looking for the playing field to be leveled for Amazon, the tax issue is a key step in that direction.  No longer will there be a discrepancy between bricks and bytes.

Every act of Congress creates new winners and losers and in this case it is clear that it should be seen as a victory for fairness.  There’s no reason for things to be taxed differently based on how you bought something - whether online or in a store, whether by credit card or cash, whether at night or by day.

The collection of the tax will cost some time and money to implement for businesses, but computer programs can make it a streamlined process that doesn’t have to burden store owners.

The next thing the government should work on is the elimination of cash.  Only with cash can illegal payments and transactions take place.  If you eliminate cash, you can eliminate many, many crimes.  But for today, we can celebrate an online tax that keeps things fair for all and raises revenue for schools, police, parks, mass transit, and health care.

Interview With Historical Fiction Author Margaret Callow


1.      What type of books do you write? Historical Fiction and I am particularly interested in periods in English history which are less often written about. It can be more difficult to research these periods because of lack of written records, but that brings with it an even greater challenge!

2.      What is your newest book about? The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 and in particular the part played by a small group of men from the county of Norfolk who held out to the very last.

3.      What inspired you to write it? When I was researching my family roots, I found my great, great grandmother was a Pauper Inmate in an Union Workhouse in Shrewsbury in 1900. Looking through the Register at that time made sobering reading and here was my inspiration. So many stories waiting to be told. Not usually names recorded in history, but ordinary working people who were incarcerated in workhouses through being poor or in ill-health often through no fault of their own. For so many years society was so divided – wealth and poverty, nothing in between. So great uprisings of the poor commons took place like Kett’s Rebellion, Jack Cade and the Kentish Men and Wat Tyler’s Peasant Revolt – all three have been the subject of my three novels. When we think of the freedoms we enjoy today, we must remember it is thanks to them and many more like them especially in 14th and 15th century England.

4.      What is the writing process like for you? Exciting, frustrating, interesting, challenging, rewarding, at times difficult, but very satisfying. I don’t write to make money, you see. It is just nice to get that warm feeling that you are quite good at something because others have judged it so. 

5.      What did you do before you became an author? I came late to writing novels. Most of my adult life has been spent in Health Care so I’m pretty good at dealing with the gory bits in battles!

6.      How does it feel to be a published author? Unless people read your work, it doesn’t feel much at all. Only if they do read it and hopefully review it favorably do you know you have achieved something.

7.      Any advice for struggling writers? Be interested in the subject before you attempt to write a story round it. It is all about imagination so you must play to your strengths. For me, I have the greatest respect for people who write in the Fantasy and Sci Fi. genre. If it is well written, the writer can transport the reader to another and hugely believable place. I couldn’t do it, I just don’t have that kind of wild imagination. Too much of a realist, I suppose. I do have my own writer’s philosophy - whatever else, just believe if your work is worthy and it is meant to be, you will make it. And if you don’t, it probably means you just weren’t quite good enough.

8.      Where do you see book publishing heading? I wish I could be original here, but clearly digital is here to stay. However, I think there is still a place for the hardback or paperback or at least I hope there is. However it is hard marketplace nowadays and purses are tight whichever direction you choose to go. I do know writers must take a lot more responsibility these days and not wait to be spoon-fed by a publisher. Plugs, platforms, promotion are the tools needed by a writer today and perhaps a lot of praying!!! I wish I could say publishing might get easier, but sadly I can’t see it happening.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This blog is copyrighted material by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2013 

1 comment:

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