View Full Version : Publishing a ebook

02-04-17, 19:56
Hello there, I am currently receiving ESA due to social phobia, chronic pain, anxiety and depression. I have written a book and would like to publish it on kindle. I am in the support group category. I believe this would be 'permitted work' and would require me to fill out the form to register myself as a self employed sole trader and fill in a tax return form. I can't use the phone myself. Would this affect my benefits? Do I need to seek permission from the local adviser? Thank you for taking your time to read this. If you have published a book via Amazon or another means could you share your experiences.

03-04-17, 11:31
Now that's an interesting one.

If you have already written the book then you have already done the work, without any pay for it.
If you now get royalties from sales of the book then that would be classed as "Earnings" but you are not actually doing any work.

So I'm not even sure that this could come under permitted work rules.
Also see below about DM guidance paragraph 50468.

Decision Makers guidance paragraph 50073 to 50081 apply to royalties and the like.
These set out how to calculate royalties against timescales, and what expenses can be allowed against the royalties.
Paragraph 50467 talks about a disregard of earnings from royalties of £20 a week.
50468 gives an example of royalties received when already doing permitted work. (Which again would indicate that royalties don't come under permitted work rules)
You can read the Decision Makers Guidance here:

As you say you can't use the phone then I think that your first step would be to download a form PW1 and send it into your Jobcentre to see what they say.
You can download one here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-and-support-allowance-permitted-work-form

It may be interesting trying to fill the form in.
For instance one of the questions is "On what date did you start work or will you start work?"
Is that when you started writing? or when you start getting royalties?
And the next question is "How much will you earn after tax?"
You won't know just how much you will get, if anything.

It might be better just to put 'see attached' and attach a letter about what you are proposing.

Remember that any royalties you do make would be taxable, and that they will also affect any Housing Benefit, Council Tax Relief, and any other income related benefits.

Best of luck with the book if you do decide to publish.

03-04-17, 17:14
That's interesting. Today I visited Jobcentreplas to take them documentation that my private pension will rise by £130 a year - known as a change in circumstances. Nothing will change as I only claim NI Credits. But I wonder if you dabbled online with the Stockmarket - is that permitted work. Being a Monday markets turned down so I lost £140 in a day. I know it sounds a lot but I might make £180 on Tuesday. Even though I don't actually need to touch my computer I average earnings of £40 a day tax free through a NISA stocks and shares account. I wonder how JCP would see this.

03-04-17, 17:33
Try a look at that chapter 50 guidance linked above.

On my phone at the moment so can't search it properly.

But it covers all sorts of "self employed income" so there is probably something in there about stock market trading.

03-04-17, 17:59
Personally I don't think I'd bother to send the DWP any information at all about sending things for publication until I actually saw some money.

Everybody, including those of us in the support group, has to do something to fill the days and it's none of the DWP's business what we do with our time unless it's work or earns money or both, imo.

03-04-17, 18:02
Which maybe sounds like I'm criticising your writing harshly. Please don't take it that way! :)

05-04-17, 11:58
I also have stocks and shares, and as Lightouch says, these are subject to daily valuation......But I have mine in ISA wrappers, so any gains are tax exempt anyway.