Got Your Ears On? Here’s Great Audiobook News…
What changes a couple of years make…
There is finally an alternative to ACX, which allows an actual improvement in audiobook quality and payment to authors/talent.
There is a caustic critique of ACX/Audible which recommends only CDBaby. [https://janefriedman.com/acx-alternative-2/ ] In this, you are using CDBaby to reach out through the music stores to get your work out. In this, your CD’s will show up on Amazon as spoken word albums. And that is where I left it earlier.
They also point out that Audible has quite low standards – only wanting monoaural files which are “telephone quality” according to Wikipedia. As comparision, Podcasting is much higher quality and constantly pushing north as the numbers of podcasts make discovery harder.
At Author Marketing Institute, [http://authormarketinginstitute.com/how-to-distribute-non-acx-audiobooks/ ] they point out that several other alternatives exist:
1. OverDrive – high quality standards and difficult for single authors to get approved.
2. Audiobooks.com and Downpour – also high standards and barriers to indie author-publishers.
3. CD Baby – not audiobooks, but “spoken word albums”
4. Podiobooks, Soundcloud & Internet Archive – free, not paid.
5. eBookIt – pay per title to get your audiobook produced.
6. iAmplify – a market place with no real barriers or upfront costs.
7. Self-hosted – DIY marketing, but higher royalties.
What they don’t mention is BitTorrent, which is a very popular venue and expanding marketplace.
Starting up just this year, Author’s Republic [https://www.authorsrepublic.com/ ] has worked out getting access to 12 major audiobook sellers, and are an aggregator much like Lulu.com and Smashwords do for ebooks.
Their quote: “We named our publishing company “Author’s Republic” because we felt the current popular audiobook distribution methods were rigid and unfair to authors and we wanted to build an alternative for anyone who wanted it. We made flexibility, fairness and freedom the three pillars of our business model, and let them guide the direction of our company.”
This is a free service. They get paid from your sales, as a percentage of your percentage – “70% of the total royalties we receive from each sale of your book”.
Where they show up: “Audiobooks.com, Audible, iTunes, Amazon, Scribd, Downpour, Barnes & Noble, Nook, Overdrive (libraries), Hoopla (libraries), 3M (libraries), Baker & Taylor (libraries), TuneIn, AudiobookStore.com, and more.”
Author’s Republic has exclusive distribution agreement which means you don’t go to other places to sell your work. But read what follows closely – you probably won’t have to or want to…
“If you’ve got a non-exclusive agreement, great! On the first step of submitting a project to us, simply check the box that states ‘If you’d like to request permission to sell your audiobook independently through ACX and its related vendors check this box.’ This will allow you to keep selling your audiobooks through Audible, iTunes and Amazon, and we’ll sell it everywhere else. When you’re choosing the distributors, just leave Group A unchecked (Audible/Amazon/iTunes) and check Group B for all others.
“If you’ve got an exclusive agreement with ACX, you can get in touch with them and ask that your books be distributed under a non-exclusive agreement instead. Be aware that this will change things like your ACX royalty terms, so make sure you know what’s up. Then, proceed as above. (Note: If you’ve done a royalty-share agreement when producing your audiobook through ACX, you may not be eligible to change the terms of the agreement.)”
This does mean that you can sell your book off your own site, something that Audible doesn’t allow when you go exclusive with them. I was thinking that this would be limiting, but actually, it isn’t. My list of what was available outside of ACX really just settled on CDBaby and Ganxy or Payhip. Listen to this:
“During the course of our agreement, you won’t be able to enter any other distribution agreements (other than your own personal channel of course!). However, CDBaby, eJunkie, payhip, and gumroad are actually unique from the type of distribution agreement that we have, and are classified as “shopping cart sites”, or posting / payment processing sites. So, absolutely yes – you’ll be able to sell through them AND Author’s Republic!”
But practically, they are taking the barriers away from selling mostly anywhere else (I think iAmplify would be disqualified, but that looks to be offset nicely.)
My recommendations are to go with Author’s Republic as they’ll take you further than you can go on your own. Then also port to CDBaby and sell from your own site as well. You can always promote through BitTorrent Bundles, just not selling the entire audiobook as I read from the above. Individual chapters given away as downloads for an email should be fine.
In short, there is ample reason for you to get cranking on turning all your books into audio versions.
Have fun with this!
Until next time…