I know I said no book talk here, but something's been bugging me for weeks now and I'm lacking anywhere else to have a little rant. Here'll do.
Lately (certain) indie authors have been throwing their hands up and running around going "Britain is leaving the EU! This means doom for UK book selling!" And I'm just sitting here scratching my head and wondering where the fuck they've been for the last four years and why they failed to notice the damage the EU has actually done to indie publishers?
Did the entirety of 2015 pass them by, when the EU insisted that digital products — books included — had to suddenly abide by an esoteric and complicated new VAT structure that included raising the VAT rate on digital books from 3% to 20% (since many large companies are based in Luxembourg, which meant passing on the tax saving to the buyer)? Or the way it screwed over indie book markets who now have to calculate VAT based not in their home country, but on the country of the consumer?
Presumably they didn't have to sit down and go through the process of working out whether or not they needed to raise their prices to offset the fact VAT was no longer added on top of a book's list price but was suddenly taken out from their earnings instead.*
No wonder people flocked to Amazon, who did it all for them; if you had your own small storefront, but didn't earn enough in the UK to be VAT registered, guess what? It didn't fucking matter.
Oh, and, just for added shits and giggles:
HO THERE FINE CUSTOMER BUYING MY BOOK FROM MY WEBSITE, ARE YOU A SMALL BUSINESS?
Of course now people are falling over themselves to say, "but, but, but ... the EU says people can reduce the VAT rate of ebooks to match printed ones! If we leave the EU we won't be able to do it!"
Uh, says who? And this is the same EU who, in 2014 when Malta and Italy did exactly that, decided it was illegal and threatened to prosecute them.
Oh no. What will the UK book market ever do without the EU?
Maybe, possibly, become more fucking stable, that's what.
* Not, in the end, something I needed to bother with for many reasons, including the fact I can't write for shit and no one enjoyed reading it anyway.