Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

UPDATED: September 2015 - Amazon's KDP, Smashwords, Withholding Tax, International Authors, ITIN and EIN

As a Canadian author using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), my journey has been less than hassle free, so I'm posting today to help other non-US authors get through the headache of withholding taxes and IRS forms.

If you're a non-US author and you've noticed your royalty checks don't match your numbers online, it's most likely because a withholding tax has been implemented--30% on average. But there's a solution.

First, a non-US resident and DTP publisher/author does NOT need a US address or a US bank account. Amazon will mail you a check or via direct deposit.

However, Amazon will withhold approx. 30% of all earnings of non-US residents UNLESS authors have an ITIN or EIN, which you must get from the IRS.

FYI, this is how I did it a few years ago when everyone said I needed an ITIN. But I should warn you--it's much easier now, and I'll tell you exactly what you need to do after I share my experience.
Don't apply for an ITIN!!!

1. I contacted an "Acceptance Agent" in my city. There's a list of Canadian Acceptance Agents (and US and International Acceptance Agents) on the IRS website.
2. I had Smashwords send me a letter stating I was selling my books through them. You need one letter only from one distributor, and when I asked Amazon they were completely uncooperative and refused to send me the letter.
3. I filled out the W-7 form at the Agent's office, he photocopied my passport and he sent these out along with the letter from Smashwords (who are aweseome about giving letters).
4. It took about 7 weeks before I got my letter from the IRS with my ITIN.
5. Then I filled out the W-8BEN form and sent one to each US distributor (Amazon, Smashwords etc). From that point on, I've received 100% of my royalties due; no tax was withheld.

Smashwords has great instructions on all this on their site. I don't know why Amazon hasn't done the same. Smashwords also has links to all the forms and the address for sending the W-8BEN. Again, Amazon could take some pointers on customer service.

As per Smashwords, here are the important links you need:
Is this a hassle? Most definitely. That's why I no longer recommend this way. Get an EIN!!!

Is it worth it to get an EIN? Yes. Why should 1/3 of my earnings be held back? I'm Canadian, I pay my taxes here.

Does anyone know the correct mailing address for sending in the W-8BEN form to Amazon?

"We need to receive a physical copy (paper form) of the W8 that contains a US tax id and that is signed in blue ink. Please put the supplier code/vendor code, vendor code: DUVNS in the upper right hand corner and then mail it to the below address. As soon as we receive it, we will update the account and reimburse withholding that has been deducted this year. Note: withholding can only be paid back in the current year it was deducted.

Amazon Digital Services
Attn: Vendor Maintenance
PO Box 80683
Seattle, WA 98108-0683

If you have further questions, please write back to us at"

Please note that you may want to check to ensure that the "supplier code" is the same for everyone. I have no idea if it is or if it's linked to my account only. If you know the answer, please email me at cherylktardif (at)

UPDATE 3: Sept 29, 2015 - Forget the ITIN. Get an EIN instead. It's much easier and FREE!

Get an EIN by phone via the IRS's toll-free number: (800) 829-4933.

UPDATE 2: One writer reported to me that the supplier code was different than mine, so your best bet is to email DTP support and ask them.

UPDATE: May 18, 2011 -
- Createspace will send you the letter you need to get the ITIn rolling, if you sell your books via them.
- Smashwords has a Google Chrome bug that is preventing emails to go through to them via the customer support link at the top of If you've emailed them about this or any other matter and haven't heard back from them in 3-5 days, your email may never have reached them. They're working on this issue. In the meantime, try IE or another browser.

- From Mark Coker at Smashwords: "At Smashwords, authors request the letters through their payee profile at They can request the letter once their account balance reaches $10.00."

Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Guest Interview: Andy Peloquin and his new book, BLADE THE DESTROYER

Today I'm featuring a special guest--author Andy Peloquin. Andy is participating in a blog tour to promote his newest release, BLADE OF THE DESTROYER, book 1 in The Last Bucelarii series.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think the writing bug hit me around the age of 15. I had a lot of free time at that age, and no real friends to speak of. I gravitated more to solo activities. I was always pretty handy with the computer. When I saw that many of my online "friends" were writing, I thought I'd give it a try. I found it wasn't bad at it--even won an online competition with a short piece of prose.

I wrote off and on until the age of 20, when life conspired to fill my time with a host of other activities. I didn't start writing fiction again until the age of 25, but once I picked up that creative pen, I was totally hooked. Hardly a day has gone by since that I haven't written something!

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Well, it really depends on the day of the week. :D

Monday through Thursday, I can usually only fit in about two hours of writing--one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.

Friday, I can fit a couple of hours in the morning, and I've reserved Friday afternoon as sacred writing time. I usually get between 2 and 3 hours Friday PM before my family wants to go out.

Saturday morning is also reserved for writing. My wife works from 6 to 10 AM, so I'll usually take advantage of that time to sit down and get some writing in--even if it means getting up at 6 AM on a Saturday!

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That's an interesting question…

It really depends on how much time I can dedicate to it. I will usually take about 6 weeks per draft, with a break of 6 weeks between each draft. So right now, I'm 75% of the way done with Book 2, working through Book 3, and writing a second unrelated series. I've got it down to a fine art. Usually from the moment I start writing the first word of the rough draft until it's ready for submission to the editor/publisher will be about six months.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

This book is part of a series, and one that I'm very excited to write.

The first book starts out in the city of Voramis, and lots of fascinating, intriguing, and heart-wrenching things happen. The Hunter finds out more about the past he has forgotten, discovers the truth of his demonic heritage, and realizes that he's more than just a remorseless killing machine.

Over the next 4 or 5 books (still not sure how many it will end up being), he continues to evolve as a person while finding more about his past, his "destiny" (which he is totally averse to fulfilling), and the truth of demons on the world of Einan.

There's plenty of story to keep you interested, but I'm trying to make it a character-driven piece. It's all about the Hunter and his personal journey.

The main character in your book is covered in scars--one for each person he has killed using his accursed dagger. Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I don't have quite as many scars as the Hunter does, but I have my fair share!

My hands are covered in scars from various car accidents, stupid childish things (playing with knives), work scars, etc.

My right elbow had a shard of glass embedded in it for about two months, so the scar is still visible.

I put my right knee through a pane of glass.

Those are probably the most visible scars.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I LOVE series--probably more than standalone books. I feel like a series is the best way to really get to know and fall in love with a character. I have read many excellent standalone novels, but for me and my writing abilities, I like what a series enables me to do with the character and his journey.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I proofread and edit my own work multiple times, but I also have a professional editor to do it as well. Thanks to my publisher--J Ellington Ashton Press--I get at least two wonderful editors to slice and dice the book and polish the writing.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

ABSOLUTELY! In fact, the cover is almost more important than the book itself, especially in the world of online marketing/sales. A good cover can sell a book that may be a bit iffy. Of course, I'm not relying on my AMAZING cover to sell the book. I'm definitely making sure that it's as good as I can make it--on par with the works published by the bigger houses and more famous authors.

How are you publishing this book and why (e.g. Indie, traditional or both)?

I indie published my first book, but with this book (and the series), I wanted to go with a publishing house. I wanted multiple eyes to help me polish the final product, because I know that it has the potential to be something truly great.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I LOVE both! Good reviews always make me feel warm and fuzzy inside, but bad reviews help me to improve my writing. I got a few bad reviews on my first novel, and I used them to improve my writing style, plot, and overall writing ability for this book. It's thanks to those bad reviews that this new novel is as good as it is!

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I absolutely read the reviews. There will always be the occasional "troll" who leaves a crappy review just for the heck of it. But for the most part, the reviews offer at least a glimpse into what made the book less than appealing to that person. If I can make the next book better, I will turn that person into a reader/fan.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I love giving away books! I'm actually giving away my first novel--In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent--on my website ( right now. I feel like my book is something that people will enjoy, so I want to get it into as many people's hands as possible. It may not earn me a ton of money, but it's a way to build my platform as an author and get more fans.

How do you relax?

I'm a total comic book nerd! I love to read just about anything Marvel puts out, and I keep up with all of the latest digital comics. I'm a TV buff, but I like to hit the gym, cook for my family, lounge around with a good book, or relax on the beach. I've got relaxing down to a pretty fine art.

Here's an oddball for you: If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?

Ask anyone who knows me, and they'd probably say "a bear"--and I'd agree. I'm a large, hairy, friendly guy, with a pretty mild temperament but hella fierce when I get pissed off. Definitely a bear!

Thank you, Andy, for sharing a piece of yourself here on The Suspense is Killing Me.

And now, more about BLADE OF THE DESTROYER by Andy Peloquin...

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Order your copy today!

Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

More about Andy:

Andy Peloquin's website:
Facebook: and

You can be a part of Andy's adventure by participating in his book launch on Facebook. Invite all your book-lovin' friends!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest

July 1-31, 2015: Share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share pics of our books on ereaders or you holding one, and receive entries into our Summer Sizzles Giveaway!

Grand prize winner: 12 free ebooks (winner’s choice). Plus 10 winners of single ebooks. Open to anyone 18+. Void where prohibited. Draw will take place the first week of August. Be sure to share it with your friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Deconstructing a BookBub & KDP Countdown Promotion

A condensed version of the article below originally appeared as a guest post on BookBub's Unbound blog.

As a bestselling suspense author who has been indie published since 2003, I've learned that being flexible and open to learning and adapting to change is key to being successful in this industry, and success for a professional career author should be defined by sales and income, though there are other indicators of success.

Too many authors schedule discount sales, post a couple of Facebook posts and send out a few tweets and then complain about lack of sales. Some do many small promotions, paying for 1-2 inexpensive advertising spots each time, and again don’t see high sales. Promos like these might get your book on a Top 100 genre bestseller list on Amazon, but they’re not enough to produce high sales.

You need to understand that watering down the impact of a discount sale by doing them too often just isn’t the way to go. You’re better off saving your advertising budget for a MAJOR promotion, and by “MAJOR” I mean spending $600-1200, and running 1-2 major promos a year per title. This is an investment in your career, in your work and in you.

Today, I’ll share some stats on my last major BookBub promotion, detailing my recent experience with a BookBub promo, so that you can see what advertising on book sites can do for sales.

Organizing and setting up my promotion:

First, I selected a book that has sold well but had never been on BookBub before or priced at $0.99 for many months. I chose SUBMERGED, a standalone thriller with tie-ins to my #1 bestseller, CHILDREN OF THE FOG. When I run a promotion for one title, there is always a strong possibility that some of my other titles will see an increase in sales too.

I decided to run a Countdown/BookBub combination promo, since Countdown deals get extra exposure from Amazon, and they create a bit more excitement. I determined I would only run this promo if BookBub accepted SUBMERGED (they'd turned it down numerous times in the past), so the first thing I did was pitch my book to BookBub, letting them know that my dates were very flexible. I requested a date close to the end of the month—payday. I did not book any other ads until after I had a BookBub date.

Once my BookBub ad was secured, I used that date as Day 1 of my Countdown promo and set up both US and UK Amazons. (Since we only get one Countdown promo every 90 days, you may as well do both Amazons.) I used all 7 days because it can take a few days to get into the overall Top 100 on Amazon, and I wanted to stay there as long as possible, building momentum.

My promo for SUBMERGED was set for the last few days of October and first few days of November, from October 28 - November 3rd (evening). This worked out great because most people are paid at the end of the month. I’ve found better success when I run a promo during a payday—15th and 30th.

I priced SUBMERGED at $0.99. I selected this price as this title had only been on sale for $0.99 once before, and that was when the SUBMERGED was first published, 8 months earlier.

Then I purchased other advertising, including Kindle Nation Daily, Fussy Librarian, BookSends, Story Finds, Bargain Booksy, Digital Book Today, Ereader News Today, The Kindle Book Review and more.

5 ads ran on Day 1 (Tuesday)

4 ads ran on Day 2 (Wednesday)

2 ads ran on Day 3 (Thursday)

4 ads ran on Day 4 (Friday)

3 ads ran on Day 5 (Saturday)

2 ads ran on Day 6 (Sunday)

2 ads ran on Day 7 (Monday)

Four of the above ads were free for various reasons; 18 ads were paid. I paid a total of $1214 for 22 ads.

I also set up various tweets to go out every couple of hours at random times each day of the promotion. During the promotion, I posted various updates to my Facebook pages, creating excitement and getting my readers and fans involved in where I was in my promotion. I used screen captures to show them when I made the lists. I had screen captures that showed where my book stood in relation to other Big-Name authors.

It’s important to note that prior to this promo and during the first 27 days of October, I had only sold 26 copies of SUBMERGED across and

Results of my BookBub/Countdown promotion:

On Day 1 (Tuesday) SUBMERGED made Amazon's Top 100 overall bestseller list, which provides extra exposure to potential new readers. (This is the first time I made the Top 100 overall on the 1st day of a promo.) SUBMERGED remained in the Top 100 overall for the first 3 days of my promo. It remained in the Top 1000 overall for a week and in the Top 5000 overall for almost 2 weeks.

SUBMERGED also made’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, which provides extra exposure to potential new readers.

In the first 4 days of my promo (October 28-31) I sold* 2421 copies of SUBMERGED. Approx. 500 copies of SUBMERGED sold* in the first week of November (Nov 1-3). In the first 17 days of November I sold* 1000 copies of SUBMERGED. I sold* a total of 3421 copies of SUBMERGED on and during my promo and in the 14 days afterward.

Three of my other titles’ sales increased approx. 50% during and after the time SUBMERGED was on the Countdown deal.

SUBMERGED, sold from October 28 to November 3 inclusive, was on sale for $0.99, which earned me a 70% royalty (a perk of the Countdown deals) for most, or were KOLL/KU sales. I earned $1633 for SUBMERGED sales* in October; the majority of that income was created in the last 4 days of October.

When my Countdown deal was over, SUBMERGED sold for $4.99, which also earned me 70% royalties for most. I earned approx. $3000 for SUBMERGED sales* in the first 2 weeks of November. And even after those first 2 weeks, I still saw an increase in sales of SUBMERGED. Many of my other titles continued to sell at a higher rate than before this Countdown/BookBub promo.

I earned an approx. total of $4633 for SUBMERGED sales* during my BookBub/Countdown promo and in the 2 weeks following. I averaged a royalty of $1.36/sale.* From the $4633 I earned during this promo from one single title, I paid $1214 for 22 ads, which results in a $3419 profit. If I had to split my profit with a publisher at 50%, I still would have earned $1709.50 for this one single title and I still would’ve seen a profit.

My takeaway: RUNNING A BOOKBUB PROMO WITH A SELECT COUNTDOWN DEAL WORKS! I will do this again…and again.

PS: If BookBub turns one of your books down, try, try again!

*Sales data marked with an asterisk includes Countdown sales or after-Countdown sales plus KOLL and KU.

To summarize, I put SUBMERGED (a psychological thriller) on sale for $0.99 via a KDP Countdown deal on and from October 28 to November 17, 2015, and I sold 3421 copies. I paid $1214 for 22 ads (including BookBub--$500 Thrillers category), leaving me with a profit of $3419.

Authors: Submit your book to BookBub, and follow a similar marketing plan if they accept your work. I am sure you'll see great results.

PS: I recently did a similar BookBub promo for my DIVINE TRILOGY, and it too was a success and sold thousands of copies during my promo--and after.

FOR SALE: Executive Bungalow in Tamarack (SE Edmonton) Only $609,900

Welcome to your new home!
Currently owned and designed by an international bestselling author and built in 2010, this four-year-old Executive 4-bedroom-plus-den bungalow has 3250 sq. ft. of living space on one of the largest lots in Tamarack/Meadows, central A/C throughout, air circulation system, tankless hot water system, water filtration and softener system, in-floor heating in basement & garage, an abundance of storage space on both levels and a separate entrance to lower level.
Gas BBQ line and shed
A wrap-around deck with zero-maintenance composite decking, glass panels, aluminum rails and a gas barbecue hookup is perfect for outdoor entertaining and surrounds a 5-person hot tub with stereo, lights and lid, plus there’s plenty of room for outdoor furniture. Enjoy a glass of wine on your deck, while neighbors admire your fully fenced, oversized backyard that is fully landscaped with shrubs and trees, brick trim and a large shed.

Deck to oversized backyard
The insulated triple car garage with in-floor heating, drain, built-in work bench & shelves plus 4 upper storage areas is perfect for your vehicles and toys, and there’s room for 2 more vehicles in the driveway. This house has one neighbor on left, a walking path on right and backs on to walking paths and grassy areas.

All rooms (except bath & laundry) include TV cable, phone and internet outlets.

Includes all window coverings except sheers and toppers in master bedroom.

Access to Whitemud and Anthony Henday highways, transit, shopping centers, and new Meadows rec centre.

*By appointment only. Serious, qualified buyers only. No realtors looking for real estate to sell.

3715-14 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6T 0H9

Cheryl or Marc Tardif

Features of this Spectacular Home

Main floor:

The main floor (1650 sq. ft.) features an open kitchen, dining and living room concept with 10’ ceiling, lots of natural light, a gas fireplace, ceiling fan and high-grade laminate flooring that looks like hardwood.

The kitchen is perfect for the home chef and features maple cupboards/drawers (some with slide-out shelves) in a cherry wood stain, a massive kitchen island, garburator, extra-large sink, granite counters and ceramic tile backsplash that ties in to fireplace tiles. Two pantries provide extra storage space.

Open Kitchen/Dining & Living Room
 LG appliance package includes: oversized steam washer & steam dryer, microwave, dishwasher, Ceran-top stove with convection oven, and double-door refrigerator with lower freezer and filtered/softened ice/water from dispenser on front door.

Master bedroom w. walk-in closet and en suite
The spacious master bedroom with ceiling fan gives you plenty of room and will easily fit a king-size bed and other furniture. The en-suite bathroom features an oversized ceramic tile & glass shower, a large granite counter with sink and upper and lower cabinets, plus a separate granite makeup counter.
Main floor full bathroom for guests w. solar tube light
For your guests, the main floor bathroom features a tub/shower combo and a solar tube for natural light during the day.

Main floor laundry room with LG Steam Washer/Dryer
The large main floor laundry room has a tiled floor, large sink, single door fridge/freezer, plenty of extra counter, cupboards and drawers. This room has been mistaken for a kitchen, it’s that big!
Office (or another bedroom) on main floor
A bright den/office has plenty of storage space in the workstation counter/drawers and in the two wide side-by-side closets. This room is sure to inspire anyone who works from home. If an office doesn’t appeal to you, this room could be easily converted into a bedroom or sitting room.

This house features a built-in vacuum system with 2 complete vacuum accessory packages, plus 3 vacuum pans in kitchen, laundry room and master bathroom.

Lower floor/basement:

The lower level/basement (1600 sq. ft.) is completely finished and features a 9’ ceiling and an extra-large family room with artistic shelves & niches along one wall and deluxe carpeting.

Three bedrooms (one with a walk-in closet and sliding pocket door to bathroom, and another with 2 large closets—one with shelves and drawers), mechanical room, storage under the stairs and a small room that could be used for storage or as a sitting, reading or craft room. A separate entrance leads outside.

The oversized full bathroom features a large L-shaped counter with makeup area, sink, walk-in shower and a large closet for storage.

*The lower level could be renovated as a 2-3 bedroom in-law or rental suite.

Chef's dream kitchen
Kitchen w. LG appliance package
Main pantry in kitchen
Second pantry door

Dining room and kitchen
Kitchen/living/dining room
Kitchen/living/dining room
Space for a china cabinet or shelf!
Living room
Living room
Master bedroom

Master bedroom w. walk-in closet and en suite
Master walk-in closet & en suite bathroom
Make-up counter in master en suite
Master en suite
Massive master en suite shower for 2!
Tons of storage in the office!
Hall 1
Hall 2
Main floor laundry w. LG Steam Washer/Dryer

This laundry room has been mistaken for a kitchen!
Tons of storage space in laundry room plus extra fridge/freezer.
Main floor laundry room - extra fridge/freezer
Main floor full bathroom
Main floor full bath
Main floor full bath
Hot tub on deck (dog not included with sale)
.Backyard party, anyone?
Lower level: fully developed with 3 bedrooms and an oversized full bathroom.

*By appointment only. Serious, qualified buyers only. No realtors looking for real estate to sell.

3715-14 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T6T 0H9

Cheryl or Marc Tardif