An Important Note About ACX Payments

We’re posting today with an important update regarding ACX royalty and bounty payments, effective March 12. For titles started on or after March 12, 2014 that are distributed exclusively through Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, a flat 40% net royalty will be paid to the Rights Holder; on royalty share deals, this amount will be split equally between the Rights Holder and Producer. For titles that are distributed non-exclusively, the Rights Holder will receive a flat 25% royalty.

We’re also revising our Bounty Program. Now, a $50 bounty will be awarded to the royalty earner every time their book is the first purchase of a new AudibleListener™, instead of any of the first three purchases. In royalty share deals, this $50 is still split evenly between the Rights Holder and Producer.

Note that any completed audiobooks – or audiobook productions that have an offer extended to a producer before March 12, 2014 – will still accrue royalties under the existing royalty structure.

We’re sure you’ve got some questions regarding this change, and we’ll answer a few below.  You can also visit our FAQ page, or email for further information.

What is the reason for this change?

We’re really proud of the innovations ACX has pioneered, including our aggressive payment structure and royalty sharing programs—and we are especially proud of the number of ACX audiobooks earning growing royalties. We are committed to continuing our record of innovation and creating and expanding opportunities for more rights holders and producers in 2014—both current users and those new to the service. Furthermore, we want to encourage producers, authors, and Rights Holders to promote their audiobooks with the increased bonus of $50 (or $25.00 on Royalty Share deals).

What happens to my existing audiobook contracts?

There will be no change to your existing audiobook contracts. Your existing productions will continue to accrue royalties under the terms agreed to in the contracts. In addition, you can now take advantage of $50 bounties.

What happens between now and March 12?

If you make an offer before March 11 at 11:59PM ET, and that offer is accepted before it expires, your book will earn royalties at the current royalty rate. If your offer is not accepted, cancelled, or terminated at a later time, the new royalty rate will apply.

We sincerely thank you for your loyalty as an ACX user, and we assure you that the changes detailed here will allow us to continuously work to improve your ACX experience. And remember, you can always contact us to discuss your questions by emailing

87 responses to “An Important Note About ACX Payments

  1. “We are lowering the royalties as we continue our mission to accommodate more audiobook productions.” –

    Understandable & probably good for all of us. Can we get some examples, of things to come along those lines? Thanks, looking fwd to more great projects being done on ACX.

  2. Why is it necessary to cut artists’ earnings in order to “accommodate more audiobook productions”? I suspect you’ll see some blistering feedback from authors and actors who already feel ACX’s hand deep in their pockets. This is a bad move.

  3. Just a suggestion, but maybe increasing the number of audio titles a subscriber could listen to, as part of their plan, would be an incentive for more people to join and read, uh, listen more?

    • Filipe, three books would be better but the cost of $15 dollars a month is
      definitely too high.Right now you get about a 20% reduction with your commitment to buy. That seems to be not reasonable…

      • Maybe the credits could be increased? Not sure how all that works really. Most of sales to date have been non-credit use sales, though I should note these were for relatively inexpensive books ($7 or less).

  4. I can’t speak for other authors, but the whole idea that cutting royalties so hard–and I note you aren’t going on about how the progressive structure of the old system is totally gone–will somehow create more audiobook productions is a really lame excuse for greed. I’m actually glad you did this now; I won’t be investing the money in a home recording space. Instead of three new audiobooks from me, and every book I write from here out, you’ll get nothing. At this flat royalty rate, which for all I know might be drastically cut again in a few months, it isn’t worth the time, effort, or money. In other words, great job ensuring that new business will be that much harder for you to get. I certainly won’t be using your service without a return to the previous rate and structure, with iron-clad guarantees you won’t change your mind again. As that seems like a virtual impossibility, I suppose I won’t ever be doing business with your company. Thank God I wasn’t already in the process of making this happen. I feel sorry for those who are.

  5. I am active on LinkedIn “Book Marketing” and I have promoted not only my
    audiobook, “The Nacogdoches Trail”, but have defended audiobooks in general, and ACX in particular. I have been a firm public supporter of Amazon and I think comparing rates paid by other Audiobook Companies seems to be immaterial. -Meaning we all want to expand the audiobook sales and market coverage.

    It seems to me that the average audiobook cost is certainly much higher
    than the market is willing to pay in mass. Once the initial costs are paid,
    the profit margin in digital is tremendous. With this in mind, those of us
    that are working so hard to sale our books, our royalty “percentage” does not reflect this.

    Almost every discussion I have on “Book Marketing” brings up (by someone else) how small a market audiobook is. Our objective should be to change this. And by changing this, I mean to bring audiobooks into a competitive
    range with paperback,-Not hardcover. I know the growth of audiobooks
    is very fast, but it can be faster.

    No one is a greater public supporter of ACX and Amazon than I am.
    Thanks for giving me this opportunity to comment. .

    Bobby C. (Robert) Carroll ..

  6. Please answer this: Why are you doing this? Please explain how this is helping the industry and helping create more audiobooks.

  7. This is an Incentive for professional producers to move away from anything to do with ONLY “royalty share”. and NO “pay for production”.
    It IS an Incentive for Authors to PAY FOR PRODUCTION UP FRONT and KEEP 40%…if that’s any incentive at all.
    We all know what it takes to turn out these projects.
    Would appreciate ACX communicating how they think this will “accomodate MORE audiobook productions”,

  8. Every writer I know doing audiobooks is quite dismayed at your turn to lower rates. We believe it will result in a substantial reduction in quality and Producers bowing out. Rights Holders will have to take on a greater burden of the work because there simply isn’t enough to go around and there isn’t as much incentive to push for escalating sales.

    I am in talks now with my Producer to get my book up and we will either get it done by the deadline or we will part ways. I strongly urge you to reconsider your position on this.

    Thank you.

  9. I used ACX for the production of the audiobook edition of my bestseller, HUNTER. The terms at that time were attractive to me, worth the investment risk, especially using the royalty-share arrangement. The audiobook has been successful, recouping production costs quickly and adding a source of income.

    However, the new terms you have just announced make future use of your service far less attractive to me and to my narrator. Fixed costs are always increasing over time, yet the significantly reduced royalties (a 20% decline for each of us) substantially increase the risk that we will fail to recoup, let alone exceed, our significant investments of time, effort, and money.

    I shall shortly release the sequel to my first bestseller, which I also expect will sell very well. However, the reduced likelihood of getting a decent return on investment compels me to rethink my plans to issue an audiobook edition. That is a disappointment to me and to a lot of waiting fans.

    These new terms cannot do anything except shrink the future number of available audio titles. By now, you must know that your announcement has upset many independent authors and narrators. I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision, because ACX and, by extension, Amazon, are undermining their reputations and good will with many independent authors.


    Robert Bidinotto,

    author, HUNTER
    A #1 Kindle “Mystery & Thriller” Bestseller

  10. Paying for production up front is what I do now, but the thought that it will not take me LONGER to recoup those costs makes it less likely I will want to pay as much, which reduces the voice artist’s cut, too. Many people are saying that they won’t even start doing audiobooks now, because of the flat rate and the ham-handed and disingenuous way this was handled. How is this increasing production of audiobooks exactly?
    Also, what about the fact that you are now decreasing the amount that can be earned by getting people to sign up for Audible? It was before that 3 people could get the $25 bounty, now only 1 person can get $50, which makes it all the harder to get any bounty.’
    Stating, too, that you are higher in royalties than other traditional audiobook publishers is comparing apples to oranges as those other publishers PAY FOR THE UPFRONT COSTS. Right now I’m paying for those costs and you want to take 60% of what I earn.
    And thanks for the 2 weeks notice for this huge change. This looks so greedy, so foolish and short-sighted that I’m embarrassed about it. I normally am very supportive of Amazon companies, but this just reeks of wrongness.

  11. This is so VERY disappointing, it’s beyond ridiculous. This is what traditional publishing has been doing forever to authors. We do all the work and they take most of the pie. Now in this case, we ALSO pay the BIG upfront cost of production and we STILL get the smallest piece of the pie. So now it’s even worse.

    My traditional contracts gives me 50% net on an audiobook and they foot the bill for everything. Now I’M going to foot the bill and receive a flat 40%??? Gives me ZERO incentive to do anymore audio books with ACX.

  12. My first audiobook production with ACX cost me over $4000, and going exclusive meant my royalty is 50% ACX takes the other 50% for facilitating the process required for auditioning etc.

    This new rate will force authors to abandon completely the option of royalty split, which many narrators were already shunning as too risky. Narrators want to be paid up front, which I totally understand, but authors now need to sell many more copies to recoup the huge cost of production, or they need to lower that cost.

    I foresee authors either walking away from audio entirely, or offering narrators a much lower rate. This will simply lower the quality of audio editions produced, as many narrators simply cannot maintain their business at much lower pfh rates.

    Removing the escalator effected only the best sellers. Lowering the base rate to 40% though will drastically curtail new audiobook production in my opinion.

  13. “Our royalties still remain well above those offered by traditional audiobook publishers.”

    So does this mean that ACX is going to pay 100% of the production cost of all books moving forward? Because if ACX is NOT paying the production costs, I fail to see how this statement is legitimate. Traditional audiobook publishers eat 100% of the cost of production, and then pay the author a royalty. ACX pays nothing toward the creation of the content, but is taking 60% of the profits.

  14. Help me understand how paying less is a good thing. Simple question that needs some answering. Most projects are royalty share and to make more on them someone needs some serious selling. Is that the idea? Or, is it to do more pay for production up front?

  15. Over the past year, I have made positive suggestions to ACX & Audible in many emails that would absolutely increase ther number of audio books produced and faster. ACX always responds that they have the messges and will certainly “pass them along”. We have been in business and media for many years longer than anyone at ACX. None of our suggestions have been implemented.
    For all who see these comments here please be aware that they (ACX-Audible-et al) fully anticipated a negative reaction and message/email blizzard over virtually eliminating the royalty incentives. Also that they are monitoring these comments as well. There will be nothing from them except defending the move. Further please note that the Stipend Program which was cut by a third a few months back ends in June. The only incentive to take on a Stipend project has been the additional prospect of sales and royalties. Question: How many think they will cut the Stpend, Raise the Stipend, or come June…XX the stipend ?.
    BTW as recently as last week the suggestions I made to increase their business and yours were again all sent to the Executive VP of Audible. Their answer…..cut the royalties.

  16. Small Press Publisher

    We are saddened by your sudden decision. The stated reason: “…we continue our mission to accommodate more audiobook productions … Furthermore, we want to encourage authors and Rights Holders to promote their audiobooks” is disingenuous. Lowering not only the guaranteed minimum rate but also removing escalation does not accommodate “more production.” That is nonsensical. It actively discourages more production. Lowering the stipend (one author gets $50, rather than three authors get $25 each) and pretending that you’re raising it is also not “encouraging” anyone.

    What we’re hearing from our favorite narrators is that they no longer want to work for small presses and independent authors at all, since the royalty-share option no longer makes financial sense.

    If you are strapped for cash (perhaps this is why there is still no system in place to email earnings reports? or to provide detailed financial information about our titles online in our accounts?), why not lower the escalation ceiling to 80% or even 70%? Or offer a flat 60% with no escalation?

    The current proposal seems mean-spirited in addition to discouraging. Not what we’ve come to expect from ACX based on past experiences. We hope you will reconsider.

  17. 40% is an insulting slap in the face to content producers who foot 100% of the production costs, and a seriously flawed means to increase your business.

    It’s really difficult to understand how this plan helps anyone, even yourselves. People are howling mad over this, and eagerly looking for alternatives.

    Not a great sentiment to generate in the people who create your content.

  18. This is a very poor decision on ACX’s part. As a narrator/producer, I don’t think they fully appreciate the risk involved with taking on a 100% Royalty Share audiobook. This new pay structure will make what was already a risky venture, even more risky! I have been thoroughly enjoying the audiobook medium, and found the work quite creatively fulfilling. However, audiobooks (in general) are the lowest paying and most time consuming form of voice-over work as it was. It’s a true labor of love, with the possibility of breaking even and maybe making a little bit of money. But, this new structure will really have me second guessing producing and narrating audiobooks in general, especially Royalty Share only deals. It’s purely a business decision on my part – sound familiar ACX?
    What’s most disheartening is that I’ve been a personal champion of ACX and their whole system, telling many of my close friends in the voice-over business about it. Now, quite honestly, I feel like I’ve been duped.
    Very, very disappointing.

  19. I would love to know who wrote that line about more audiobook production and if they were able to do it with a straight face. And whoever it is that thinks that ACX are publishers and not distributors needs to go back to business school. I am really having a hard time deciding what to say because you know that these statements are not true. I also know due to my past dealings when I had issues that you really don’t care about any of the people you claim to serve.

    I will not publish any more audiobooks under these terms and my publishing company(note the correct use of the term) has published over 100 audiobooks. I would rather never sell another audiobook than line your greedy pockets.

  20. Dear ACX, Your new rate structure is a real slap in the face to audiobook producers.

  21. I doubt that anything I say in these comments will have any impact on this decision by ACX, but I have to register my dismay. By significantly lowering the royalties for both rights holders and narrators; making it much harder for any individual author or narrator to earn a first-sale bounty; and eliminating the possibility of increasing royalties by aggressive marketing, this change by ACX is providing incentive for narrators, authors, and publishing companies to *abandon* audiobook plans through ACX, not to commit more of their resources to non-remunerative production. Your announcement claims one purpose while accomplishing its opposite: the cognitive dissonance gives me metaphorical whiplash.

    I am currently finishing my ninth audiobook as a narrator/producer through ACX. All of the books I’ve done have been royalty share. Without your royalty share program, none of those audiobooks would exist and no copies would have sold, because the rights holders couldn’t have afforded to bear the up-front cost of paying for production. Under your new rules, I, as the narrator/producer incurring the costs of production, would never be able to afford to record another such book.

    I predict this change will decrease, not increase, the total number of audiobooks produced and thus available for ACX to distribute. Unless ACX magically expects to sell more copies of fewer audiobooks, I do not see this step increasing ACX’s potential profits. As a narrator/producer, I do see this reducing my potential return on investment to the point where audiobook narration/production ceases to be a viable source of income.

    That’s too bad. I’ve been a storyteller all my life, and until now, ACX offered the chance for me to profit by it if I worked hard and helped my rights holders market their titles. Now I see myself looking for different markets for my skills. I do not think this decision bodes well for ACX, either.

    Mary F. Dominiak, BardicVoice Studio

  22. It’s bad enough that you’re cutting back the royalty payment, but then ACX is only providing two weeks notice ensuring many won’t be able to get their audiobook production scheduled before the deadline.

    I have one audiobook produced via ACX, but I won’t shoulder all the up-front expenses for less royalty for my next books.

    Your royalty payment might be higher than other publishers, but they pay for the production costs, ACX doesn’t pay for those costs, we do.

    We also have to handle auditions, paying the narrator/producer, issuing 1099s, etc.

    On top of that, the ACX provided website interface is clunky and out dated. Your remittence reports are a joke, snail mailed weeks after payment, and yet you feel entitled for a bigger piece of the sales?

    This is what happens when there isn’t competition in the market. The AXC stranglehold of the audiobook market via Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, is the only reason you can decide you want more of the profits without shouldering any of the other expenses that go into producing a quality audiobook customers will enjoy.

    All around shoddy handling of this by ACX.

  23. I’ve taken my book off offer. The royalty is no longer worth the effort.

  24. “My friend, don’t be a jerk.” – Peter Venkman to Walter Peck in “Ghostbusters.”

  25. Anyone notice the loud silence from ACX ? ?
    Royalty Share anyone….anyone .narrators, producers, authors…ANYONE ?

  26. I can absolutely say that this new structure will decrease the number of publishers producing audio books. I’m sure of this because that was one of the things on my 2014 to-do list. Now I don’t see the point of messing with the hassle for only 20% of whatever list price Audible chooses.

    Bad move, ACX.

    IT THIS TRUE – ????
    From an Audible Approved narrator: “I find it ironic that ACX is cutting funds on the royalty share side, while increasing the money they’re throwing at us on the Audible Approved side. ACX offers generous incentives to valuable authors to produce through their services. ACX pays the first $5000 in production costs, mandating that the narrator must be paid $300 per finished hour. That is well above the SAG-AFTRA minimum of $225 pfh that I normally ask. So, they’re obviously cutting costs on the royalty share side to make up for the generous subsidies that they’re extending to us on the other side.”

  28. This is terribly upsetting, and I’d urge ACX to reconsider. The reasoning behind implementing a stipend (as I understood it) was to encourage narrators to audition for royalty share titles — boosting the company’s catalog, thrilling authors, and increasing profits all around. Win-win-win. For those kindly, wonderful narrators, royalty share was proven to be a worthwhile risk. They knew that, for every title to which they essentially donated their time, the escalating payout system still gave them a decent chance of earning out over the seven year period. But now, at a 20% rate? Stipend or no, the idea of royalty share will send qualified narrators running for the hills.

    I completely understand the need to run a profitable business. If escalating to 90% just isn’t sustainable then yes, by all means, that should change. But gutting the pay of your entire production base so abruptly and by such a massive margin is a harsh move. And, if the uproar from authors and narrators alike is anything to go by, it may not be the smartest move, either.

    Though I’m now scrambling to get all of my current works pushed through before the March 12th deadline… the idea of posting future titles through ACX will give me pause, to say the very least.

    • As a fellow producer I am in the same situation. Where I planned to do at least 50 this year, I am now unsure if we will simply stop once these last audiobooks with a 50/50 royalty structure are produced unless this is rethought. Perhaps max out the royalty at 70 on the escalator… makes sense but for the author and producer who do all the work to share 40% ?

      This market had such great potential, the most critical elements in business are trust and a sense of fairness.

  29. I was set to begin audiobook production this year. Until today. Unless ACX rethinks this, I’ll be looking elsewhere, hoping to help a competing company that is interested in making sure authors and producers aren’t being squeezed by arbitrary reductions in royalties (which sounds like corporate greed to just about every author I’ve seen comment on this, and if you want to know who, just search the Kboards forums for the thread).

  30. Author Perspective

    I currently have 28 audiobooks produced through ACX. With these changes, it is unlikely there will be any additional ones.

  31. Hoerschel Hoffman

    This is the most bone-headed business decision you could have made. But, alas, we live in America. And I’m more than confident that a successor to ACX will arise from your ashes once this business model fails and aspiring authors and producers join together to form a better alternative. In fact, my initial anger now turns to joy! You’ve just given me the impetus to get it started!

  32. As a recent addition to ACX who’s seen some decent success already, I must chime in disapprovingly with my dismay at ACX’s short-sighted, incredibly greedy-seeming strategy. Nothing about their “explanation” for the change made any common sense, except in the business sense that they want to keep more money, and give the authors & narrators less.

    As someone who was initially impressed with the overall ACX platform, I feel very let down by this decision, as it will decrease both the # of offers I am willing to accept, as well as the # of titles authors will offer me. Authors won’t even accept paying a reasonable PFH rate when they are losing an additional 10% of their royalties. Narrator/producers will be less likely to take on royalty projects of ANY kind, without big sales numbers already behind the print version. Good luck getting a 100,000+ word book produced now under this system.

    It’s like all the things I liked about ACX’s terms– the basic Royalty rate, the escalator royalty, the $25 bonus for being a “first 3 title”– have just evaporated into thin air. What’s next, the stipend?

    As I said, I’m particularly disgruntled because I was experiencing a very good start here and feel that this hack move will cut any further success short.

  33. I think these two images says all that needs to be said about this decision.

  34. And honestly, the WhisperSync pricing at $1.99 makes it nearly impossible to earn back your production costs. The whole thing just isn’t worth the money being sunk into it–at least on the author’s end. I pay narrators upfront so this is a lose-lose situation for me.

  35. Well, that settles that.

    I’ve now got to start over because ACX is just not worth it. I turned down a publisher because the terms weren’t good enough. And here is ACX–which is basically a glorified middle-man–cutting terms to be even WORSE than a publisher?

    And yet, in exchange for those egregious terms ACX will do what? Pay for production costs? No. Market? No. Do all the production and paperwork? No.

    Hmmm…sounds to me like they stable a bad website, collect everyone else’s work and then hit send on a computer.

    Is that worth most of the income on a book they didn’t write, edit, produce the audio for or do any of the detailed work to create and market?

    Uh. No.

    Toodles ACX. You will lose business out of this.

    • Ann, I was pretty high on ACX not long ago. But I can’t believe they would
      do this. I have been on LinkedIn defending audiobooks and also ACX.
      So, this is the thanks I get. They asked for comments and I told them what I thought about their new program.

      Everyone needs to comment and reinforce my statement. Please check
      out what has been written and let them know what you think.

      Robert C. Carroll

    • Ann,this is disheartening news from ACX, I have been a firm supporter of
      Amazon and I am surprised that they would tolerate this action by ACX.
      What they have done is essentially hurt the image of a great company.
      Someone should be held accountable.

  36. Pingback: Audible and ACX Lower Self-Published Audiobook Commission Rates

  37. Have you told Jeff Bezos about this? You better not tell him. He’s going to go right through the roof.

  38. Have you noticed that this edict bears the signature of no person. And that there are no comments fromn the company ? And trust me. They are all reading these comments. Arogance.!! After “Drop Dead Day” who in their right mind would ever narrate, record, change, revise, add, edit, mix, master, convert, and upload an Audio Book that took 5 or 6 hours pfh with full knowledge that they did it for 20% of a shadow price on a book that may never sell ? What author in their waking hours would award “exclusive” distribution and accept 20% for their work.or 12.5%. Remember, with Exclusive Audible retaiins all duplication rights as well. Do they ever duplicate ? Offer CD or USB packages ? No – Never uh- uh. Do other publishers ? Uh Huh Yes. And those are on Amazon competing with all these new “flat percenters”
    Question: Who has a list of sites we can all take the business to ? Authors – Narrators – Producers.

    • Jason, this is an assault on the audiobook industry. I am a regular blogger
      of LinkedIn (Marketing) and no one seems to want to talk about
      putting their books on audio. Why? Because they consider the audio market too small to invest in. I have defended audiobooks in general and
      ACX in particular until I am “blue in the face.”

      What I have said to ACX is the cost of audio books are too high and is competing with hard back print instead of paperback.. I pointed out to them that once the initial cost, (born my author and producer) the digital overall profits is not just great, but magnificent.. And who reaps the reward? ACX.. No on can blame a company for wanting to increase profits, but by selling more audio books at a competitive price to paperback, this can be done. Right now, it is the authors and producers that are getting the shaft.

  39. I’m very disappointed ACX is, essentially, lowering our pay. We, the authors and narrators, have the least money to invest in production. I’m trying to get as many of my books as possible under contract before March 11 at 11:59 p.m. It’s not such a blow to me personally, since most of my ACX titles were published eons ago, and having them available in audio is kind of gravy for me. But I don’t think you’re being at all fair to the narrators. This is their bread and butter, and your yanking it out of their mouths. Not very nice, and I disapprove.

  40. I am truly grateful acx has provided me the platform with which to launch my career as an audiobook narrator.
    I am amazed at the cleverness of the acx platform; and delighted that it has opened up such incredible opportunities
    for authors and narrators alike.

    I am however, shocked and appalled by your new royalty share policy.

    The amount of work that goes into producing an audiobook – encompassing the creative, the technical,
    the physical labor – that is involved in putting a up book should at this point in time not be rewarded with less
    money but with MORE.

    The audiobook industry is experiencing ENORMOUS expansion at a dizzying
    rate – and it all rests on ONE thing. ONE. The narrator. That’s it. All this money is being made off of the human
    voice. Surely, it behooves such a clever, groundbreaking organization as acx to support and protect it’s voices –
    by making sure they can afford to do the work and by helping them to prosper – and get better at what they do.

    I sincerely hope you reconsider and adjust this policy in the opposite direction – the lion’s share of the work
    is after all being done by the narrator – hundreds and hundreds of hours of human creativity, love, talent and sacrifice
    are going into these books. The stories behind these narrators and narrations are at times more compelling than the books themselves.

    Seriously, Don’t do this – it is shameful.

    sincerely, Christa Lewis

    • Well, you know, as an author I tend to think it relies on more than ONE, ONE THING…because without us, narrators have no books to read. I’m with you in general, but you’re taking the same dismissive attitude toward the content creators that many others have.

    • You know, Christa, the narrator wouldn’t have anything to do without the authors, so give them some credit, too. How many hours do you think it takes to write that book? I whole-heartedly agree that the narrator can make or break an audiobook, but a narrator without a story to narrate is…what?

      • What ? “A narrator wouldn’t have anytnhing to do without the authors”?-
        ” A narrator can make or break an audio book ?”
        How can an audio book BE an audio book at all without a narrator? Answering your qustion: A narator without a story (book) to narrate is: An actor, a voice in all media, a producer, a commercial announcer, a voice over talent, a character voice for cartoons, movie trailers, radio and TV Internet, sweepers and IDs, etc., etc.

      • Anne Jackson

        Rob, my point is not that a narrator cannot do anything else. I have friends who narrate, act, do voice-over work, etc. I was just pointing out to the previous commenter that it takes two to tango – both author and narrator are required for an audiobook.

      • Rob – I think you’re missing the point. The author writes a book and then has a book. They may not have an audiobook but the point I think the above people were trying to make is that acting like the actual author – the creator – of a book is nothing more than a convenient ancillary to a narrators reading of that book is dismissive. It’s very like the way publishers treated authors…as nothing but wage slaves whose creative works meant nothing more than a bentley payment.

        Without a book to read, and an author who will hire a narrator that respects the work that went into creating it, then there are no narrators reading for audiobooks.

        I may not have an audiobook with these new and terrible ACX terms or I might decide it’s worth it. But one thing I for sure have. I get the right to choose who…if anyone…will read my work to those that like to listen. And they are listening to my work.

  41. Reblogged this on Timothy L. Cerepaka's Blog and commented:
    If you plan to publish audiobooks through Amazon’s ACX company, then you probably want to read this.

  42. I posted this before but it needs repeating:

    I am a regular blogger on Linkedin (Book marketing) and it is almost never that I can convince authors to expand their books to audio, -And my loyalty to ACX has been unwavering. So why are authors reluctant to expand to audio? It’s simple.They perceive audiobooks to have such a small market that it is not worth their time.and money.

    So, what is the answer? The price of an audiobook is competing with hard back and is not competitive with paperback. For most consumers, it simply is not worth the price. So in addition to this, we as authors and producers
    are being slammed .with a horrible lowering of royalties. At this rate,
    Audible will die a slow death.

  43. I just made an offer to my narrator today even though he had wanted to wait awhile due to other commitments. I was fine with waiting, but now we both agreed we better get that contract offered and accepted. I’m about to publish another book this week, so I’m hoping he’ll want to take that one on too. I’m predicting those will be my last two books made into audiobooks. Kind of sad and I know I’m not the only author and producer thinking this. I can’t afford thousands of dollars upfront, and I don’t blame producers for not wanting to take on the risk of doing all the work and possibly not making much off it. It was hard enough as it was, now it could take years before producers and authors who pay upfront, to recoup their costs.

  44. My sister also cancelled her audible account and I won’t be opening one either (as I previously intended to).

    • I appreciate your taking a stand, but doesn’t that also hurt the authors & narrators who already have books out and are hoping for royalties? It’s a Catch-22 because refusing to buy from Audible hurts the community too,

  45. thankyou for screwing not only the authors, but the consumers as well. Now less authors will use your services. this means less of the books we love on audio. you will not only lose authors, but you will scare away any that would have come to use your business. sadly with greed like this, audiobooks will fade away. you suck

  46. This change is a prime example of how to kill your darling. Whoever is in charge (I’m sure it isn’t Bezos) lacks practical market savvy and just delivered the first axe-blow to the sapling that could have become a solid tree.

    Classic corporate mistake by dis-connected management that may kill ACX.

    Amazon needs to let some management heads roll on this one

  47. Pingback: Loving RX2 and the ACX Elephant in the Room |

  48. Notice how silent Audible/ACX is ? Also, no comments here for 2 days.
    Their edict will not be revised. They knew what they were doing, and Bezos is aware of it. It’s not going to kill anything for them. A jillion narrators and authors and only 55 comments ? There seems to be no reduction in “Royalty Share” offers either. Remember these are authors who don’t have other ways to publish their books….or audio books. They’ll take the flat rates. Amatuer narrators will too. Either Author or Narrator. your share of the royalties for Exclusive Distribution is a flat 20%. Non Exclusive: 12.5% . And if it doesn’t sell. . ……….they knew what they were doing….

  49. I am not sure how cutting revenue down by 20% and more when you consider I have some books that have sold +1,000 and get a higher royalty today. Many buy audiobooks as fans, and then end up liking them. As a producer I work with authors to produce great stuff. After this announcement, many authors that were looking to produced audiobooks, have simply pulled back.

    At a 20% reduction in profit, it will be harder to get authors to produced with us for a lower cut, and be difficult to make a profit, as the costs of production have only gone up significantly in the last year.

    I remember when Netflix made a similar mistake earlier on losing the trust of its clients. What I once saw as a great opportunity, seems to have darkened considerably. Questions are being asked if similar changes will extend to ebooks etc. Any improvement hoped to be achieved by no longer going 50/50 at a minimum I believe will be erased by lost opportunity as a result of this decision. I hope Amazon/ACX will reconsider their decision.

  50. Johnathan Richards

    You have completely destroyed my trust.

    You’re just another greedy company wanting to get rich off of the hard work of others.

    Thanks for showing everyone your true rotten colors.

    I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  51. I’m an independent author, self-published. I paid a reader in full to produce my book. The reason? Because I am a new, unknown author and I knew this reader would make no money because of this fact. Not simply because the ACX rates. I was simply trying to be fair, and willing to take it on the chin as the author and see to it that the reader made a little money for their effort.

    I chose the ACX path because it was the only way I knew of to get my book available in audio format on without going through the traditional publishing route.

    This move by Amazon/ACX/Audible is going to force me to seek out other direction. I’m not sure what it may be … but this move is not fair to the author nor is it fair to the narrator. Indie authors simply don’t sell enough audio books as individuals. We are truly the little guys and we’re getting caught up in a money grabbing effort on the part this conglomerate.

    I’m 1/2 blind because of a stroke, and I have close to 1000 titles. Creation of an audio version of my own book was a dream come true. I’m disappointed in what this move will do to further audiobook productions.

    • Samyann, we all have real or perceived problems or challenges to cope with (financial, physical, demons, etc) but I think of all the comments I’ve followed in this long saga of change, your’s is the most touching. All the best wishes for you, take care,


      • Thanks, Adan. It’s nice to know my voice is heard by at least one, you. I almost wouldn’t mind this, if there was any ROI. There is absolutely nothing in this for the author or the narrator … nothing. I often wonder exactly what must be done to be featured by ACX/Audible/Amazon to increase sales … it appears it requires more than simply good reviews … wish I knew what it was.

        Thanks for your wishes.

      • You bet, take care 🙂

  52. At the end of the day, it is their ball, their bat, their field, and their game. We are just players. Therefore the only choice remaining for us is:
    Play? Or don’t play?
    I would be open-minded to giving ACX/Amazon up to 90% of my royalties . . . IF they did ANYTHING at all to promote my work.
    Perhaps what is needed is a “voluntary” royalty structure whereby if you commit to giving up a certain percentage for “marketing,” (say 10%) and a certain percentage for “management,” (another 10% to 25%) then you get an “enhanced” level of service from ACX.
    I understand that their costs are not being covered with the current structure of “come one, come all,” and NO vetting of projects whatsoever. I’ve also noticed that “paid” projects seem to get a little more attention than “self-produced.”
    Again, this is based an a small sample and is not scientific, obviously.
    But my work is viable, it stands on its on and shines brightly . . . but it languishes because no well-known blogger, tweeter, facebooker, agent, or publisher has given it a second or even a first look.
    Which is a shame, because, as I have said, I an NOT greedy. I want EVERYONE to make money off my work. I don’t want the whole pie or even the biggest piece . . . but as it stands now, 90% of “diddly-squat” remains a whole lot of diddly squat.
    I would much prefer 10%-25% of something substantial . . .
    ACX/Audible are you listening?
    Vett the good work.
    Offer management/promotion/marketing to the viable projects.
    Take your fair share, even the lion’s share.

    “All audiobooks are equal, but some audiobooks are more equal than others.”

    My take on the audiobook royalty/self-publishing situation.


    • John, isn’t it true that once the initial cost of audio publishing is recouped,,
      the profit level is enormous. -Like pinnies on the dollar. And ACX is making
      tons of cash on digital downloads. So, isn’t this just a matter of greed?.. ,

  53. Laura Jennings

    I completely agree with the person who noted that there are thousands of narrators compared to the number of comments here. And there will probably always be narrators and authors who need this platform. It will be a jumping off place for narrators and authors that need to create a body of work before they go somewhere else. I think that also spells out the future of the quality of work coming out of ACX. As for me, I will finish up what I have contracted to do and then it is adios. Thanks for the 50 books on Audible and the royalties and stipends from the old system. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

    • Don’t companies learn from the serious mistakes made by Coke and so many others? It’s amazing people are so uninformed of passed, very costly
      mistakes. But, apparently they consider themselves unaffected because
      of their perceived monopoly, But. maybe it’s not perceived. Time will tell.. .

  54. This has been a one way move and discussion. Please notice that the original notice ended with “….you can always contact us to discuss your questions by emailing”.
    The notice wasn’t signed with a responsible name or human being..
    They hold up the comments for a “monitoring” but have been no responses from Amazon/Audible/ACX to any of the comments posted here. Those of us who commented here are …..talking to ourselves.

    Would anyone like the name and email address of one or two of the Vice Presidents and directors ? They don’t answer here…. Wonder if they would answer an email.or come to a phone ?

    • Unfortunately until a well written newspaper article is piblished in a major outlet that says “Amazon Slashes Royalties” that highlights the adverse royalty changes and likely negative impacts to the company and it’s customers, it will likely remain quiet…

  55. WOW! Have they responded to any of this?

  56. anyone notice how FEW paid projects are available for audition now?

  57. has anyone noticed the stipend option is gone as well, is this a temporary glitch or another disincentive for narrators to do royalty work?

  58. This is the biggest problem with monopolies. Amazon has thus far been a benevolent dictator, but it always had the absolute power to do away with that in a heartbeat. This is the problem with a huge industry player having little or no competition. (Antitrust, anyone?) I wish that Apple would cease their exclusive agreement with Audible, and we could have some real competition. Apple has the infrastructure to deliver a really great audiobook experience, especially if you favor being able to purchase a single audiobook rather than a subscription model. I and many others will be pestering Apple to do just that.

    Until that happens, there is always the option for indie authors and publishers to create and sell audiobooks in downloadable mp3 formats from an author-owned website. You can play an mp3 on almost any smartphone, ipod, etc. If authors are shouldering the burden of paying for recording costs and marketing, why go with Amazon at all? Publish on your own site, set the price you want to charge, and collect 100% of the money (after processing fees and production costs, of course.)

    It can seriously be done. I’m an independent musician and we’ve been selling audio products this way for many years. We have to write the songs, play the instruments, sing, and have had to either set up home recording studios or pay a commercial recording studio to produce the album. Sound familiar? I know it’s a lot of work, but you’re doing most of the work anyway. I know authors who are selling audiobooks on their own sites for $25-$60. I know a couple of authors who have bundled several audiobooks into collections and are getting $100-$300 and even more. Or you can sell it for $5.00. At least you’ll have the control over your own work and make your own decisions.

  59. Pingback: Buzz Worthy News: Author drama and movie news 11/04/2014 | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog

  60. Nancy A. Collins

    I made the mistake of producing 6 audio books through your company. Between your retroactive restructuring of royalties, involuntary Whispersync program, and making audio books free with Audible trials (and with no recompense to the rights holders & producers), I will no longer be doing any business with ACX/Audible and will actively be warning away fellow writers, vocal talent, and audio producers. You are as bad–if not worse–than the crookedest record labels of the music industry. To hell with you.

  61. The payment system regarded PPH should be changed so that we as the authors pay ACX upfront, ACX hangs onto the money, and when the project is said and done, ACX pays the narrator, keeping to the author bonded to the contract of their 10-day deadline. So if something happens to the author, at least the narrator still gets paid.

  62. shameful and simply greedy, shame on you Jeff!

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