I wanted to give you guys an update on the audiobook industry, Amazon, and how it impacts self-publishers. Audible’s predatory practices have come under some scrutiny and fire.
One example of this is author and friend Grace Draven who has posted that she is putting off producing book in audio format for now while she does research to figure out how best to move forward. https://www.facebook.com/grace.draven
Producing audiobooks is tremendously expensive. It can cost an author something like $6,500 just to get an audiobook produced, and Audible’s return policies and reporting system have been a gigantic blow to content creators. I would like to remind readers that very few authors can afford to live on the proceeds of what they make from their writing career.
*It isn’t difficult to reach a place where they feel they can’t continue in a profession when they can’t put food on the table or pay rent.* And when that happens, they often stop creating.
ACX, the self-publishing arm of Audible, sent out an email about how there have been many concerns voiced about Audible’s return policy, so they’re going to give authors an extra 5% royalty for December. I’d like to be clear about this: that 5% royalty for a month is absolute bullshit. What would NOT be bullshit is for ACX/Audible to implement policies that are not predatory and actually pay content creators a fair royalty.
Writers, like a lot of other people in other professions, are looking for ways to survive, and predatory practices like this one, along with the massive problem of ebook piracy – which is theft – can make it extremely challenging to create new content and pay bills.
Narrator Sophie Eastlake and I co-produce the self-published Thea Harrison audiobooks that have been released through ACX/Audible, and she and I have talked before about the logistics of trying to move away from their stranglehold on the market. We haven’t yet figured out a way to do it. But I think we need to have another conversation.
What does this mean for future Thea Harrison audiobooks? The short answer is, I don’t know yet. I don’t know if there will be delays or how we will address the current challenges in front of us.If you would like to read the long version of “Audiblegate” you can do so here: