Payoneer: A brand new way to reclaim your royalties from CreateSpace and non-US territories on Kindle
If like me, you too live outside North America or Europe, you would know of the frustration in getting your hard earned royalties for books published through KDP or CreateSpace in your bank account.
I had been facing this problem for the past 3 years, and no amount of hand-wringing was able to solve it. The problem is that Amazon directly deposits royalties into my bank account in India for sales made in the US and in India, ONLY. For all other territories, I would be paid via cheque, which would take months to reach me via snail mail and months to get credited into my account. And that too only after crossing a certain threshold, which was impossible to meet in quite a few territories.
So, to get paid for my UK sales, I had to cross 100 GBP. For Germany, it would be 100 Euros. And so on for France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Mexico, Japan, and Brazil.
My books being in English, they would meet the UK threshold quite easily quite often. But God help me in Brazil, Mexico or Japan. Most of the time my sales in such non-English speaking countries would be so tiny that I never got paid.
The same was the case with CreateSpace, for my paperback sales. I needed to cross 100 USD, 100 GBP, 100 Euros or 100 whatever in order to get paid anything.
This meant I had to wait for years to receive my first cheque from such “fragmented markets.” I was obviously making sales but not enough to get paid.
I may as well make my books FREE in all such markets!
But isn’t indie-publishing a global business, where you can easily publish your book with a click of a mouse to 200 countries worldwide? So technically, every sale irrespective of any country should make you happy provided the royalty you earned trickled down to you sometime soon.
Well, it is obviously not so easy. Aggregators like Draft2Digital or Smashwords can help you with all- other eBook publishers like Apple, Kobo or Barnes and Noble but not with Amazon or CreateSpace.
For years, therefore, I had stopped taking my non-US sales seriously. I mean I’m not saying that the feeling wasn’t great when someone considered your book worthy enough to buy in Australia or Spain or Canada but I knew I was never going to be paid. So why celebrate?
Getting paid by cheque wasn’t the only problem. Cheques took a month to reach me and then another few months to get encashed (another problem with my bank). Occasionally, cheques got lost and I had to complain to CreateSpace after two months to cancel them and send a new one, which would take another two months to get encashed. So sometimes payments were delayed for over six months.
And to those of you living in North America or in Europe and complaining about falling sales; think how lucky you guys really are for getting paid every month for sales made anywhere in the world.
Skimming through many Kindle Board discussion forums, I realised I was not alone. Many authors living in Australia, Asia, Africa or in South America complained of the same problem. Some authors were so frustrated that they didn’t even hesitate calling CreateSpace a company designed for ripping authors.
I hoped Amazon and CreateSpace would improve their systems and aggregate sales across territories and implored them to do so but to no avail.
And this is when I accidentally discovered Payoneer, a global payment solution much like PayPal. When you open an account with Payoneer, what you basically get is a virtual US, UK and a European bank account.
To access this virtual bank account, you need to log in to your Payoneer account, go to receive and click on Global Payments Service. You’ll then find your bank account details in USD, GBP and EUR.
Enter this virtual account details into your dashboards for KDP and Createspace and you’re done.
Remember, when opening an account with Payoneer, you’ll have to fill in your bank details. i.e. your account number and IBAN/Routing number/SWIFT/IFSC Code or whatever you call in your country. You can easily find this information in your cheque book. Just look at any cheque you use for payment, and you should find the information printed right there. Do not do a google search for locating this code as you may be led to sites that may give you inaccurate information.
Make sure you fill in your bank details correctly. Changing details later is a real pain in the neck. For security reasons, Payoneer does not display your bank account details. So if you need to change anything, you’ll need to contact their customer care (which is admittedly pretty slow to respond).
I made the mistake of entering the wrong IFSC code. I contacted Payoneer via e-mail asking them to correct it and received no reply. I then contacted them via phone and they asked me to send a scanned copy of a void cheque (take any cheque, cross it out and write VOID in big letters). Here is an example.
I took a picture of the void cheque using my mobile phone’s camera, downloaded the image and e-mailed it to them. The photo of the cheque must also display your name and your account details. Anyways, it took them nearly a week to correct all the details.
After that, payments have been smooth. I have suddenly managed to receive all my money stuck on CreateSpace and Kindle for the last three years.
So far, I’ve not had any problems (keeping fingers crossed!) but I’ve heard authors whose payments were rejected by Payoneer “by mistake.” These matters were sorted out by contacting both Amazon and Payoneer. See this discussion here.
In the end, I would say that Payoneer may not be a perfect solution to the problem but still a solution that is worth a try.
Do let me know if you do take the plunge.
Wish you the best of luck,