Webinar recording: 101 Ways to Market Your Language and Literacy Program (#2)

March 29, 2012

We had the second of 10 webinars today on how to market your language or literacy program. Today we had participants from Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Israel. I was so thrilled to see people there from so many different places, and diverse programs.

This program focused on:

  • How to set marketing goals
  • How to identify a target market
  • The difference between “end users” and “target market”
  • How to budget for marketing and promotion

Here’s the recording of the 45-minute program:

Join us next week for Class #3. It will focus on how to write marketing materials and focussing on the benefits. Get more details here.

Related posts:

101 Ways to Market Your Language Program (10 Free webinars) - Program overview and login instructions

Webinar recording – Week #1: 101 Ways to Market Your Language and Literacy Program 

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


A small contribution to a great event: Calgary Learns Life of Learning Awards (LOLAs)

March 28, 2012

When Megan Williams of Calgary Learns sent out an e-mail asking for donations for their silent auction, to be held as part of their Life of Learning Awards (LOLAs), I knew I wanted to do something. I was introduced to the LOLAs a few years back by a colleague who works at Bow Valley College. The awards honour individuals in 3 categories:

  • An adult learner who has achieved outstanding results in a non-credit, part-time adult education setting.
  • A facilitator or instructor of non-credit, part-time adult education who has shown exceptional skill, creativity and understanding.
  • A program designer or director who has made extraordinary and innovative contributions to the promotion, advancement and development of lifelong learning in Calgary.

So this year, when Megan sent out her call, I wanted to do something… and knew it had to be related to learning. As some of you know, I’ve been involved in a project to teach other learning professionals, non-profit organizations and small business people expand their educational program offerings using webinar and e-learning technology. It’s not much, but we have donated one set in our upcoming 5-Week Online “Build Your Own Webinar” Bootcamp.

These awards recognize an outstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Most importantly, the LOLAs recognize and celebrate individuals who work exceptionally hard… and do not always have the chance to shine in the limelight. This event is so inspiring precisely it celebrates those who dedicate themselves to a life of learning, not because they have to, but because they are driven by an insatiable passion to learn… and to share learning with others. It’s hard not to walk away from this event feeling elated.

That’s why I love going every year… and why we wanted to do our part to help. If you’re in Calgary on April 4 consider joining us. I guarantee you’ll leave inspired.

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


What Canadians who sell Kindle e-books need to know

March 27, 2012

This post is for all my Canadian author friends who sell – or are thinking of selling – their books as e-books using Amazon’s Kindle service.

I started selling Kindle books last year. This week, I got a surprise in the mail from Amazon, a “Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding”. Amazon will withhold 30% of the royalties they paid on the Kindle books. They are required to do this by the IRS.

However, those of us living and working in Canada are exempt from royalty tax withholding. As I understand it (and I could be wrong here, but this is what I have been able to ascertain from talking to both the Canada Revenue Agency and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the U.S.), the reason for the exemption is that if you are honest about your royalty income and report it at tax time, the Canadian government will tax you on that income. The level of that tax depends on your total annual income, but it would be reasonable to say that it might be around 30% or so.

When Amazon withholds the tax, you’re essentially taxed twice… 30% on the U.S. side and another 30% by the Canadian side, totaling about 60% tax.

So, the American and Canadian governments came to an agreement that more or less says, “Canadians are exempt from U.S. taxes on royalties because they have to pay tax on their income in Canada.” (Again… I am paraphrasing according to what I understand… and I could be wrong.)

However, a problem arises when Canadians sign up for a Kindle account. Canadian authors must “claim treaty benefits” in order to not be taxed by both the U.S. and Canadian governments. (No one tells you this when you sign up for a Kindle account.) You need to correctly fill out, sign and submit a W8-BEN form in order to claim these “treaty benefits”. You can get a W8-BEN form online form here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf

Amazon will not process the form without a TIN (Tax Identification Number).

There are two types of TINs:

Steps to follow:

  1. Figure out what type of TIN you need.
  2. Apply for the correct type of TIN with the IRS. You can do this over the phone, by mail or by fax. (Canadians are not eligible to apply for these numbers online.)
  3. Fill out the W8-BEN form. You must include either your ITIN or your EIN on your form or Amazon will not process it.
  4. Send your completed, signed form to Amazon. You can scan your form and e-mail it to them through the e-mail address they provide on their site.

Do all this as soon as you set up your Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) account. That means, do it before you make your first sale on Amazon. Do not wait! Get it done right away.

If you do not claim the correct treaty benefits using the W8-BEN form, Amazon will withhold tax. (They are just following the rules required by the IRS).

Then, you will need to fill out both a W8-BEN form AND an affidavit form to backtrack. (I am still waiting for confirmation that they will reimburse me for the taxes they withheld for 2011).

Today I spent over three hours on the phone with the IRS (much of the time I was on hold). In total, I spoke with nine different IRS agents to try and figure this all out. (No, I am not kidding).

Most of them could not help. What I can tell you is that there are two different sets of phone numbers to call. Americans can call the toll-free 1-800 number. The folks who answer those lines can’t help foreign nationals much. There are different numbers for foreigners to call. Today I called 1-267-941-1000 and eventually got through to someone who could help.

The best answer I got was “All this e-commerce stuff is new… We’re not trained in it… But basically, if you are a Canadian working and producing your writing in Canada, paying your taxes in Canada and you do not live in the US, you should be able to claim treaty benefits.”

The one question no one was able to answer clearly for me was, “If I have a TIN will I be required to file US taxes?” The best answer that came was, “Probably not, because you are claiming treaty benefits. You may have to fill out a form to claim exemption.” But whether or not this is actually the case remains to be seen…

My big disclaimer: I am not an expert in US taxes, or Canadian taxes either, for that matter. I claim no authority or expertise in these matters. This information is provided for informational and educational purposes only. I am simply sharing my own experience and what I learned as a result of it. It is your responsibility to do your own research and adhere to all the tax laws of your jurisdiction.

Resources for Canadian writers and publishers to check out:

W8-BEN Instructions

Article 901 – US Tax Treaties

IRS Publication 515

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


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