Right. This payment process is a little bit of a hassle. I have a virtual assistant do all of the following:
- Setup W9 and W8-BEN templates in Docusign.
- At the end of the Medium pay period, track down author email addresses I have most of mine from previous conversations, but we still have to do some Medium private notes.
- If we don’t have a tax doc, send them one before paying.
- If we do, just pay.
- Track all payments in a Google Doc spreadsheet so that we can send 1099s at the end of the year.
I imagine that Medium is waiting to build features to make this easier until they see what sorts of deals publications are cutting with their authors. I think the publication/author split is likely to be culturally defined based on what early publications do. I’ve been holding off (and paying 100%) for Better Humans because I didn’t want to be the publication that told other publications what to share. So in a way, your 70% split is probably going to set the tone for a lot of other publishers. I’m definitely leaning toward following suit.