Frequently Asked Questions

Publishing Your Book

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You'll find information about your author agreement, tax forms, and royalty payments.

Author Agreements

eSign allows an easy, efficient and secure way to sign documents electronically. It provides a simple way to replace manual, paper-based methods.

DocuSign is the leading eSignature solution in the market, allowing easy, efficient and secure signing of electronic documents. It provides a simple way to replace manual, paper-based methods.               

Balboa Press uses eSign and electronic signatures to make it easy, fast and secure for authors to sign our publishing agreements. Approximately one to three business days after purchasing a publishing package, you’ll receive an email that will prompt you to sign our publishing agreement using eSign.

Yes, electronic signatures are legally binding in the United States. There are two Acts that establish this legality of electronic signatures – the U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, 2000) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA, 1999). Both ESIGN and UETA establish that electronic records and signatures carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional paper documents and handwritten signatures stating: A document or signature cannot be denied legal effect or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.

Balboa Press will send you an email that contains a link to open the Self-Publishing Services Agreement using eSign. Click “View Documents” to start the signing process.

From there, the eSign overview page provides a short summary of the signing process and has the consumer disclosure, which covers conducting business electronically. After you review the consumer disclosure, select the checkbox for agreeing to conduct business electronically. Then click “Continue”, Important! You must agree to conduct business electronically with the document sender in order to view and sign the documents.

After you review the agreement (s), you can type in your full name and select “approve” or “decline” and then cick “submit” button. This signature will be associated with a unique identifier and will be recorded as signed by you and you alone. .

Yes, eSign allows signing with pen on paper. When you receive the initial email, click the “print” option after reviewing the agreement(s). Follow the instructions to print and then choose to either return the document by fax or upload and attached to an email.

Yes, print the agreement from either the website or from the eSign link that you received via email. Sign and date the agreement.

Mail it to:

Balboa Press
1663 Liberty Drive
Bloomington, IN 47403
Attn: Contracts

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Pricing & Royalty Payments

Your royalties from book sales are paid on a quarterly basis (four times a year). If it is permitted in the country where you reside and you elect to have payment made in the form of a check, royalties are paid when your royalty earnings reach $75.00 or more. If you chose payments by electronic funds transfer (EFT), you will be paid each quarter regardless of the amount.

Yes, you will have the opportunity to earn money from book sales when you self-publish a book with Balboa Press. We do not license exclusive rights to publish your book from you, nor do we give you an advance against royalties like a traditional publisher. However you will earn royalties from each book sale; these royalties are taxable income for you. Please read other FAQs below to determine how book pricing and royalty calculations are determined.

Yes. When your book is sold through Balboa Press or another retailer you will receive a royalty amount.

You will receive 50 percent of the payments received from the sales of your e-book, less any distribution and technology fees, taxes and returns. Royalties will not be paid on copies provided free of charge or sold to the author.

Yes, you will be paid a royalty even if you live outside the United States or are not a U.S. citizen. However, because of certain banking institutions, the currency which we can use to pay royalties has some limitations. The specific details are outlined in your author agreement.

The price of your book is determined by a fixed cost for the cover and page count, plus the distribution cost and royalty amount. The cover cost and page count determine the minimum base price for the production of your book. Then the distribution and royalty amounts are displayed once the selling price is determined.

The distribution cost is calculated by the costs involved in offering your book for purchase through various channels. These costs include maintaining your book on a Web site, keeping information current, order fulfillment, customer support and any other processes to ensure that your book is available to others.

Your royalty rate calculations are based on the date you signed your author agreement.

Author agreements signed on or after Oct. 1, 2014

Royalties are based on the net payments we actually receive from the sale of printed or electronic (e-book) copies of your book, minus any shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes. Since retail and wholesale customers purchase on a discount, the royalty amount you receive depends on what type of customer bought your book, the channel through which they purchased, and any discount they received.

Royalty percentages for printed, electronic (e-book), or audio copies are as follows:

  • 25 percent of the retail price for sales of printed copies or audiobook copies directly through the Balboa Press website bookstore.
  • 10 percent of the retail price for sales of printed copies or audiobook copies through one of our distribution channels, such as Amazon.*
  • 50 percent of digital net received for each e-book copy sold.

Please be aware that the largest retailers, including Barnes & Noble, place orders for print copies of Balboa Press titles through Ingram, so those orders will appear as wholesale sales on your royalty statement.

Minimum Threshold for Payments

If your quarterly determination of royalties in any calendar year exceeds seventy-five ($75) dollars, the payment shall be issued according to the quarterly payment schedule. If the quarterly royalties due are equal to or less than seventy-five ($75) dollars, the quarterly royalty amount will be carried forward and added to the subsequent quarterly royalty amount due. Until cumulative author royalties exceed seventy-five ($75) dollars, each quarterly author royalties will be carried forward and added to the cumulative author royalties. Cumulative author royalties at the end of a calendar year will be issued by February 28.

* Please note: The 25 percent royalty rate only applies to consumer orders placed with Balboa Press. A retail order placed with Balboa Press qualifies for the 10 percent royalty.

Author agreements signed prior to Oct. 1, 2014

Royalties are based on the net payments we actually receive from the sale of printed or electronic (e-book) copies of your book, minus any shipping and handling charges or sales and use taxes. Since retail and wholesale customers purchase at a discount, the royalty amount you receive depends on what types of customer bought your book, the channel through which they purchased, and any discount they received. 

You should be aware that the largest retailers, including Barnes & Noble and Amazon, place orders for Balboa Press titles through Ingram; those orders will appear as wholesale sales on your royalty statement.

Yes. As a Balboa Press author, you are able to purchase copies of your book for a discounted price. You'll also receive a larger discount as you order a greater number of copies. The price of the cost per book depends on the book format and page count.

Softcover Discounts

Book Quantity















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Hardcover and Color Discounts

Book Quantity















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* Orders must be for a single title, same print format and shipped to single address; we cannot accommodate mix and match orders. All volume discount orders must be prepaid, and shipping charges are not included. Author purchases do not generate royalties and are non-returnable. These purchases do not include author event discount purchases.

The price of your book is set just prior to manuscript and cover approval, because the final page count, cover and book size help determine the price.

No. Once the price of your book is set, it stays that way for the entire life of the book.

  • First Quarter
    Sales Period: January 1 through March 31
  • Second Quarter
    Sales Period: April 1 through June 30
  • Third Quarter
    Sales Period: July 1 through September 30
  • Fourth Quarter
    Sales Period: October 1 through Dec 31

There is a reason for the gap between when the quarter ends and when the payment is made. This is due to the delay in retail sales being reported to us by the distributors. They send this information to us 4 to 6 weeks after the close of each quarter. We then compile those sales with the Balboa Press sales for the quarter and audit the report 3 times before creating the report. To have an idea of how your book is selling during a quarter, you can always log on to your Author Center account to view sales through Balboa Press. However, sales placed directly through the distributor will not be listed on the Balboa Press page, as they are only reported to us quarterly.

We update new or modified EFT information on January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31. To ensure your royalty funds are transferred to your preferred account, please make sure your account information is accurate prior to these dates. Changes made after these dates will be reflected on the following pay cycle.

Please note you must reference a U.S.-based bank routing in order to take advantage of EFT.

Yes you can, but only if you transfer the entire rights of your agreement with Balboa Press to that person. That person will also hold the copyright for the book, but not the content of the book or your manuscript. If you would like to arrange this, please contact your publishing consultant.

When a book is sold through the Balboa Press Web site, it is considered a Balboa Press sale. A retail, or channel sale, is when the book is sold through any retailer other than Balboa Press (like or Your book selling price must be the same for both Balboa Press and retail sales, but you will earn a different royalty amount depending on the type of sale.

Royalty payments on books you purchase depend on how you place the order. If you place an order for copies of your book through an e-mail to Balboa Press and receive your author discount, then no, you will not receive a royalty payment for that order. This is because you receive the "royalty" as a discount up front. However, if you order directly through our Web site or a retailer and pay full price, then yes, you will receive a royalty payment for that purchase.

Often, retailers list books on their websites and advertise that they have "new and used" copies of books. Retailers use this as a marketing tool to entice the consumer by frequently offering a small discount on the used version. This does not necessarily mean that they have an actual copy of your book on hand, which is most likely the case if you have not been paid a royalty for the book sale. If any books are sold to a retailer, you will earn the retail royalty amount which was agreed upon.

If a retailer or third party is actually selling a used copy of the book, you would have already been paid in the past for the original sale.

When you publish with Balboa Press, your book is circulated to various retail channels through Ingram, our book distributor. Retailers can list the selling price of your book at whatever price they wish, although most follow the suggested retail price. However, some retailers may choose to list the book higher or lower than the suggested retail price, which is completely within their rights. Regardless of what a retailer sells your book for, you will always receive the retail royalty amount agreed to during the production of your book.

You will be provided with a royalty statement showing book sales and royalty payment details each quarter. The statements are compiled and cross-examined by multiple parties to ensure an accurate record of your royalty payments.

Both our printer and distributor employ independent auditing firms to verify the book sales data. Additionally, a globally recognized accounting firm conducts yearly audits of our finances to ensure accuracy.

However, if you feel there has been an error in your royalty payment report, you can contact your publishing consultant to look into the matter more thoroughly.

We require your Social Security number to comply with the government's tax regulations. Since you have the opportunity to earn additional income from book sales, the government requires that you pay taxes on the total earnings. The W-9 form allows you to provide a Taxpayer Identification Number, or TIN. If you are receiving royalties for your book as an individual, your TIN is your Social Security number. If the royalties for your book are going to a business, a business account must be created and a W-9 should be supplied for the business that includes and employer identification number instead of your personal Social Security number.

If you do not supply your taxpayer ID number, we are required to withhold taxes at the rate of 28 percent of total earnings.

If you supply us with your taxpayer ID at a later date, we cannot return the withheld tax money because we do not retain it — it is passed on to the government by law. You can speak to a tax professional about how to report this at the end of the tax year in order to receive a tax return for any additional amount that you are due.

We'll help you track sales and royalty information in online reports in your account dashboard on the Balboa Press website.

In the Sales & Royalties tab of your Balboa Press account dashboard, you will be able to view a variety of information regarding sales of book(s) and royalties earned.

We update these reports for you as frequently and as accurately as we can. However, please note that because external retailers operate on their own schedule, it can take time for them to report their sales information to us. This means your online report cannot be updated in real time for each sale.

  • Sales Reports: In the sales activity reports, we provide you with information regarding your book sales to give you an estimate of how and where your book is selling.
    • Click the "View Your Sales Activity (Jan. 1, 2014 - Present)" link to access sales data from Jan. 1, 2014, forward. You can sort this sales data based on title, format, retailer, date, etc. You can also filter the sales data to create further customized reports. These reports can be exported as Excel or PDF files for your personal records.
    • Click "View Your Pre-2014 Sales Activity" button to access sales data prior to Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Royalty Reports: In the "Royalty Report," you can find your book sales for each quarter.

The information in the "Sales Report" is updated throughout the quarter to give you an idea of how and where your book is selling. We deliver sales information to you as soon as we can, however this data cannot be updated in real time and may not reflect finalized information.

The time it takes a sale to be listed in your sales report is determined by the type of sale:

Sale type Time until listed
Balboa Press Bookstore 72 hours
Consumer sales (i.e., call-in purchases through Balboa Press) 72 hours
Retail sales (e.g., Four weeks or more

Please note: External retailers — Apple, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. — operate under their own schedules, and Balboa Press cannot control the frequency with which they report sales information.

All companies have a month-end close process to collect and validate financial information, and Balboa Press is no exception. At the close of each month, Balboa Press must collect sales and printing information from each of our business partners. We reconcile book orders and book sales with printing information to ensure that every single copy that is printed is accounted for. Then, we consolidate sales from many different sources into a single monthly statement for each author.

The process of collecting, consolidating, closing and posting sales information from our partners can take more than four weeks. It is important to remember that the sales statements are not final, however, because information posts to them as it is received. This process may take time, but we think it is essential to provide you with information that is 100 percent accurate and to account for each and every sale.

Although we strive to post sales statements as quickly as possible, four times per year it takes us six weeks to post statements due to our royalty payout schedule. During these quarterly payment periods, our staff is busy preparing quarterly statements and arranging individual royalty payments.

There are two reasons this might occur. First, like many publishers, Balboa Press records a sale and pays royalties only after books are physically shipped. We may have an order in process at the end of a month, but if the books haven't shipped that month, then the sale will not be recorded until the following month.

What's more likely, however, is that the bookstore ordered either through the largest wholesaler, Ingram Book Company, or directly through its printing arm, Lightning Source, Inc. (LSI). Ingram and LSI are on a 4/4/5 accounting cycle. This means that they operate on a four-week, four-week, five-week financial calendar rather than a monthly calendar. The financial month-end close always occurs on a Friday and therefore is not always at the calendar end of the month. LSI reports monthly sales to Balboa Press according to the Ingram financial calendar, and Balboa Press in turn reports those sales to authors in the sales statement. Any sales in a calendar month that occur after the financial month end will not appear on your statement until the following calendar month.

Once the statement for a quarter in which you have made no sales has been finalized, you will see the reporting period for that quarter available in the dropdown report menu with $0.00 indicated in parenthesis. If you choose to run that report, you will see a message that says "No sales reported for the period selected."

First, an account for your company must be created in our system. To have an account created for the company, speak to customer support about a reassignment of rights. Second, a Form W-9 needs to be filled out for the company using the company EIN for the tax ID. Third, the company's W-9 must be submitted either online through the company's Balboa Press account, or by mail (be sure to reference the company's Balboa Press account number).

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General Tax Information

Balboa Press will mail a Form 1099-MISC to each U.S. author who was issued a payment for $10.00 or more in royalties (or incurred backup withholding greater than $0.00) during the calendar year. The income and withholding represent royalties from Quarter 4 of the previous year through Quarter 3 of the Form 1099-MISC year. The form will be mailed by Jan. 31, and should be delivered to the author in February.  This form is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report royalty income and withholding.  If the author was not paid any monies during the calendar year, then he or she will not receive a Form 1099-MISC. The IRS requires Balboa Press to have the form mailed/postmarked by Jan. 31, not delivered by Jan 31.

International authors will receive a Form 1042-S instead of a Form 1099-MISC for the royalties earned and the amount withheld during the calendar year. The Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15.

The IRS requires Balboa Press to have a Form W-9 or Form W-8BEN on file for each author who may earn royalties. The tax form must include the individual or company's U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (SSN, EIN, or ITIN).  If the author refuses to provide the form or the digital equivalency, Balboa Press will begin withholding taxes at the rate of 24% for U.S. citizens (or resident aliens) or 30% for nonresident aliens living outside the U.S. in accordance with U.S. tax law.

Balboa Press will provide a Form 1099-MISC or Form 1042-S stating royalties earned during a calendar year and the amount of withholding, to assist you in accurately reporting your royalty income. For further information please consult your professional tax consultant.

For any questions on reporting your income to the IRS, please consult your professional tax consultant.

Quarter 4 royalties will not be paid to you until the following calendar year; therefore, Quarter 4 royalties will be included on the Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S you receive the following year.  Please refer to the Form 1099-MISC or 1042-S you may receive from Balboa Press to learn the amount of money that has been reported as royalty income (and withholding) for tax filing purposes. Form 1099-MISC will be mailed by Jan. 31of the current year, and Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15.


If you receive a request from Balboa Press to submit your tax information, then we do not have your Form W-9 or W-8BEN in our system, and we need you to resubmit the appropriate form. We may not be able to assign a received tax form to your account due to an issue with matching your tax form with your author account, the tax form may include an incomplete address, or it could be another reason.

The IRS requires that we have a complete tax Form W-9 or W-8BEN on file even if an author has opted-out of submitting tax information. We are required to request the tax form annually.

If your company's W-9 was added to your individual account, please correct by submitting your individual W-9 and referencing your individual Balboa Press account. Also, make sure that your company's W-9 is connected to your company's account. If your individual W-9 was added to your company's account, please correct by submitting your company W-9 and referencing your company Balboa Press account.  

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By law Balboa Press is required to mail the previous year's Form 1099-MISC by Jan. 31 of the current year. For non-U.S. persons, the previous year's Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15 of the current year.

By law Balboa Press is required to mail the previous year's Form 1099-MISC by Jan. 31 of the current year. For non-U.S. persons, the previous year's Form 1042-S will be mailed by March 15 of the current year.

The tax form reports the total royalties income earned over the calendar year and taxes withheld. "Royalties income earned" is the amount of your checks before withholding. Your payments equal the difference between your total income on the form and any taxes withheld. 

Form 1099-MISC is used to report royalty income and backup withholding. The form is for each person who was issued payment for $10.00 or more in royalties during the calendar year or anyone who had backup withholding regardless of the $10.00 minimum.

1099-MISC forms are not due to be filed with the IRS until March 31, so we still have time to make changes if necessary. Even after that, we can still file corrected forms with the IRS, so do not panic if something might be wrong.

Authors who have been issued payment of $10.00 or more in royalties, or who have had backup withholding during the calendar year, will receive a 1099-MISC form. Form 1099-MISC applies to U.S. residents and U.S. resident aliens ONLY and is not sent to nonresident aliens or foreign persons. Nonresident aliens and foreign persons receive Form 1042-S.

The amount of royalties reported on the 1099 is the gross amount of royalties paid before any backup withholding. The royalty amount should match the amount of royalties on your statements from Q4 of the previous year to Q3 of the 1099 year, plus any iPad or offset distribution royalties wherever applicable. Subtracting the withholding (box 4) from the royalty income (box 2) should equal the total monies paid to you during the 1099 year. If after careful analysis, you still believe there is an error, please contact Balboa Press customer support.

If the check was sent to the address on-file during the tax year, the 1099-MISC must include the income (and withholding if applicable) associated with the payment. If the check has still not been received, please contact customer support and request a re-cut.

The "Recipient's Identification Number" is the box that should include your U.S. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). U.S. persons should submit a Form W-9 to Balboa Press to report their Social Security Number (or EIN for a business). If we receive the update before the IRS filing deadline, March 31, we can guarantee that the updated form with the new identification number will be submitted to the IRS. We encourage online submission of the Form W-9 through your secure author account.

Please note: authors may incur a penalty from the IRS for failing to report their TIN or for providing an invalid TIN.

Submit a Form W-9 to provide Balboa Press with your corrected Social Security Number (or EIN for a business). If we receive the update before the IRS filing deadline, March 31, we can guarantee that the updated form with the new identification number will be submitted to the IRS. We encourage online submission of the Form W-9 through your secure author account.

The recipient name on your Form 1099-MISC is the person or entity who earned royalties income during the tax year. In most cases, the name must remain unchanged.

However, if you were the recipient of the royalty income during the year and there is a spelling error with the last name, then we may be able to issue a correction before filing with the IRS on March 31. To request a 1099-MISC name correction, contact Balboa Press customer support. 

The IRS does not match addresses. If you have received the form, then there is no need to request a new form with an updated address. If you would like to update your address for future mailings, please contact Balboa Press customer support.

Please contact Balboa Press customer support and request a copy of your 1099-MISC form. Be sure to indicate the tax year. The copy can be e-mailed with the Taxpayer Identification Number masked, or sent by the post if necessary.

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International Authors

You will need to submit a Form W-8BEN to Balboa Press. When filling out the form, please remember to include your IRS issued U.S. taxpayer identification number (ITIN for individuals, EIN for companies), your author account number, your country of citizenship, and claim to a lower tax treaty rate (if applicable). Even if you don't have a U.S. taxpayer identification number yet, you should still submit an initial Form W-8BEN to establish that you are not a U.S. person. Submit the Form W-8BEN once you have a U.S. taxpayer identification number in order to claim a reduced rate or exemption from withholding if your country has an income tax treaty with the United States.

If applicable, you may claim a reduced rate of withholding as a resident of a foreign country with which the United States has an income tax treaty. See the Tax Treaty Tables within Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 515 (see the helpful links below), "Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities", under "Copyrights" for your country's tax treaty rate. Submit Form W-8BEN when requested by Balboa Press whether or not you are claiming a reduced rate of withholding.

If you do not have a Social Security Number (SSN) and are not eligible to get one, you must obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to claim your country's reduced tax treaty rate (if applicable). To apply for an ITIN, file Form W-7, "Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number" (see helpful links below) with the IRS. It usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive an ITIN from the IRS.

Companies may apply for a U.S. Employer Identification Number (EIN) by filing a Form SS-4 with the IRS.

The W-7 tax form needs to be submitted by you, the author, to the IRS directly. This form is not processed or submitted by Balboa Press. Balboa Press can supply you with a support letter that will need to be submitted with Form W-7. Once this process is completed, the IRS will supply you with an ITIN. The ITIN will need to be included on the W-8BEN form that can be completed online through your secure author account or sent to Balboa Press directly. If you require a W-7 support letter, please make the request with customer support and be sure to include your author account number, legal name, and mailing address.

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