Author Topic: D2D enters the audiobook fray -- OR, is this a reason for the audio price hike?  (Read 4552 times)  

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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So D2D enters the audiobook market on July 18th through an audio partner called Voices. Here is the news release and FAQ https://draft2digital.com/blog/d2d-partners-with-findaway-voices-to-provide-an-alternative-to-acx-starting-7182017/


Authors get 80% of what Voices receives, but how much is that? I have a feeling (feeling only, no proof) that Voices will get 40% the way ACX publishers already do. So D2D will give us 80% of 40%

BUT

Price control is HUGE. I WANT that. I've always wanted that, and I've told ACX many times through feedback. Thing is, I'm locked in with all current books to ACX. It might sway me to try them for future work though.

BUT...

Is Amazon/audible/ACX already responding in the background with something else? I don't know, but the recent price hike suggests (suggests only not proof) they're up to something sneaky. Netflix for "unlimited" audio streaming maybe? Who the hell knows, I don't!

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Bingo. Audio books for those of us outside the US.

Now *that* is good news.

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Offline Michael_J_Sullivan

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Price control is HUGE. I WANT that. I've always wanted that, and I've told ACX many times through feedback.

It's my understanding that NO ONE has price control when it comes to audio and Audible.com.  In other words, not an author using ACX, not an audio producer like Recorded Books, and not the audio branch of a big-five (such as Hachette Audio).  All audio pricing is determined by Audible.com and is, as far as I can see, greatly determined by running time (length of the work).
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Offline TobiasRoote

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So D2D enters the audiobook market on July 18th through an audio partner called Voices. Here is the news release and FAQ https://draft2digital.com/blog/d2d-partners-with-findaway-voices-to-provide-an-alternative-to-acx-starting-7182017/


Authors get 80% of what Voices receives, but how much is that? I have a feeling (feeling only, no proof) that Voices will get 40% the way ACX publishers already do. So D2D will give us 80% of 40%

BUT

Price control is HUGE. I WANT that. I've always wanted that, and I've told ACX many times through feedback. Thing is, I'm locked in with all current books to ACX. It might sway me to try them for future work though.

BUT...

Is Amazon/audible/ACX already responding in the background with something else? I don't know, but the recent price hike suggests (suggests only not proof) they're up to something sneaky. Netflix for "unlimited" audio streaming maybe? Who the hell knows, I don't!

It's the one thing I have wanted and reason I haven't gone to ACX after my first audio book. If I can get back control of that now, I will and probably can as there's no money in it at whispersync prices. I made $100 on 50% royalties last year. I'm very keen to get marketing and price control of this. If Amazon brings out anything it will still demand that it locks you in to their system.


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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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It's my understanding that NO ONE has price control when it comes to audio and Audible.com.  In other words, not an author using ACX, not an audio producer like Recorded Books, and not the audio branch of a big-five (such as Hachette Audio).  All audio pricing is determined by Audible.com and is, as far as I can see, greatly determined by running time (length of the work).


I linked the FAQ for a reason. Price control and promos are now achievable via D2D Voices. That's huge, but is it enough to take 80% of ?%

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How will an audiobook distributed by D2D->Voices via Amazon be listed? Will it be alongside the e-book, paperback listings the same way Audible books are? Exposure is important.

Audible is now marketing with prime-time TV commercials (which I believe accounts for the recent price hikes) How will this new channel compete?

Offline Jill Nojack

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I linked the FAQ for a reason. Price control and promos are now achievable via D2D Voices. That's huge, but is it enough to take 80% of ?%


I linked the FAQ for a reason. Price control and promos are now achievable via D2D Voices. That's huge, but is it enough to take 80% of ?%

The FAQ is now saying it is 80% of "Audible: Standard non-exclusive terms". So it will be 80% of 20% on Audible.

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Offline vaughanwsmith

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It seems like a pretty fair agreement. The pricing control and wide distribution may help offset the 20% cut. For someone like me who is in Australia, it gives me an option where Audible/ACX do not.

Let's see - assume you list it for $20.00:

Royalty payment is $4.00
Voices gets $0.80
Author gets $3.20

Assume your book is 10 hours length and your narrator is $200 PFH. That's $2,000 outlay and you need to move 625 units to break even. That doesn't sound too bad really. Less if there's a better royalty on the other stores. I'm assuming this kind of setup avoids whisper sync etc. Somebody who knows audio better may be able to weigh in with better numbers.


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Offline Huldra

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I got this reply from D2D when I fired off a few questions, may be of use to others:

Hello,

As the author or publisher, you keep 80% of all royalties Voices receives, which vary by partner, channel, and business model. The royalties Voices receives from its partners are within the following ranges:
 
A la carte: 40% to 50% of list price
Subscription: 30% to 40% of list price
Audible: 25% of the sales price (equal to their standard, non-exclusive terms)

The distribution network does include Audible, as well as Amazon, Apple, B&N Nook, Scribd, TuneIn, eStories (formerly eMusic), Playster, 24Symbols, Downpour, Audiobooks.com, Hummingbird, Libro.fm, AudiobooksNow. They also distribute to library services such as Baker & Taylor, EBSCO, 3M/Biblioteca, Follett, Mackin, Perma-Bound, Odilo, Overdrive. Coming soon, you'll see your audiobooks in Hoopla we well.

They do not offer pre-order support, however, they are currently building that functionality, so we expect that to be released very soon as part of their service abilities.

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Hmm. How will they compete at $20 with Whispersync books when the e-book is $2.99 and the Audible is, say, $5? Buyers will pass over the $20 audiobook to get a different one in two formats a lot cheaper. Or am I missing something?

Offline Silly Writer

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I know nothing about Audio, so please spoon-feed me!

Does this mean I can sign up and they'll take my manuscript (e-book?) from point A to point B and poof, I'll have audio available at all retailers? And I can still keep all my e-books in Select/KU?

This seems too good to be true...

Offline AliceS

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I'm tempted to try it for my Post-Apocalyptic series, but the upfront outlay is hard right now. Moving 625 units seems like a lot.


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Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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Hmm. How will they compete at $20 with Whispersync books when the e-book is $2.99 and the Audible is, say, $5? Buyers will pass over the $20 audiobook to get a different one in two formats a lot cheaper. Or am I missing something?

Honestly, outside the Amazon bargain basement ecosystem, audiobooks traditionally commanded much higher prices than print. It was Amazon that decided to enter the market with hyper-discounting to the point of absurdity. While the books won't be able to compete on Amazon, OUTSIDE of Amazon those prices are well within the norms that audiobook listeners expect.

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Online Al Stevens

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Honestly, outside the Amazon bargain basement ecosystem, audiobooks traditionally commanded much higher prices than print. It was Amazon that decided to enter the market with hyper-discounting to the point of absurdity. While the books won't be able to compete on Amazon, OUTSIDE of Amazon those prices are well within the norms that audiobook listeners expect.
I agree. But won't those buyers get wise to the lower prices? Whispersync discounting could kill off those outside marketplaces, and maybe that's its purpose.

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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The FAQ is now saying it is 80% of "Audible: Standard non-exclusive terms". So it will be 80% of 20% on Audible.

Wow. That's a significant FAQ update, and makes this author no longer interested in the service.


I got this reply from D2D when I fired off a few questions, may be of use to others:

Hello,

As the author or publisher, you keep 80% of all royalties Voices receives, which vary by partner, channel, and business model. The royalties Voices receives from its partners are within the following ranges:
 
A la carte: 40% to 50% of list price
Subscription: 30% to 40% of list price
Audible: 25% of the sales price (equal to their standard, non-exclusive terms)



ACX gives me 40% minimum, but it will be 40% of what Audible gets. On average, my bestselling titles net me around $4.50 per sale. The above means Voices will get that 40%, and then we will get 80% of what Voices gets. So a huge cut in royalty, but a say in the price we set.

So in theory, we could raise the price to offset the loss. The thing is, Audible has recently raised its audio prices, and now I am selling barely 25% of the audiobooks I was selling pre price hike.

Offline M M

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Wow. That's a significant FAQ update, and makes this author no longer interested in the service.


ACX gives me 40% minimum, but it will be 40% of what Audible gets. On average, my bestselling titles net me around $4.50 per sale. The above means Voices will get that 40%, and then we will get 80% of what Voices gets. So a huge cut in royalty, but a say in the price we set.



The $49 per title set up fee on top of that makes it no so attractive anymore.


Offline Huldra

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The $49 per title set up fee on top of that makes it no so attractive anymore.
What??

Offline M M

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Excerpt from the D2D blog post FAQ


What's with the $49 fee?

This is a one-time administrative fee that covers project management during production, and ongoing administrative tasks such as consolidated royalty reporting, ISBN registration, post processing, final mastering, and other behind-the-scenes tasks carried out by Findaway, for every audibook produced. This fee applies to production only, and you will not have to pay the fee if you provide your own audiobook.

CREATING AN AUDIOBOOK

How much does it cost to create an audiobook?

The cost of narration is calculated on a per-finished-hour basis, and will vary based on several factors, including book length, narrator selected, and complexity. Voices will provide suggested narrators at a range of per-finished hour rates to best meet your cost needs. Contact Findaway at voices@findaway.com to learn more.
The only other charge is a one-time fee of $49.00 to cover project management during production, and ongoing administrative tasks such as consolidated royalty reporting.
What does per-finished hour mean?

Per Finished Hour is the standard way payment is calculated in the audiobook industry. Narrators are compensated for each hour of finished recording, rather than by studio hour, since this can vary.

The standard rule is every 9,000 words equals one hour of finished hour. So, if your book is 72,000 words, it would be approximately 8 finished hours of audio.

Im interested. How do I choose a narrator?

First, contact Findaway at voices@findaway.com. To find the right narrator for your book, well ask you a few simple questions to guide our suggestions (book subject/genre, emotional tone, protagonist profile) and then prepare a curated list of narrators for you to choose from. All narrator recommendations from Voices are tailored to your style preferences and material. Well include voices at a range of per-finished-hour rates to ensure you get the right voice at the right price. Every narrator in our talent pool has been vetted for professionalism and quality.


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I've read that $49 bit a few times and can't decide if they mean per book or just one time. It's not exactly clear and could be taken either way, IMO.

Offline M M

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it says "for every audiobook produced." 

I agree that the language is unclear. For example, it says you don't have to pay the fee if you upload your own book, yet claims the fee is to cover things like "consolidated royalty reporting".  Isn't there reporting whether you upload direct, or use Findaway?   If it is to cover reporting, then what does the % cut of all sales cover?  Looks like double counting to me.


Online ImaWriter

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it says "for every audiobook produced." 

I agree that the language is unclear. For example, it says you don't have to pay the fee if you upload your own book, yet claims the fee is to cover things like "consolidated royalty reporting".  Isn't there reporting whether you upload direct, or use Findaway?   If it is to cover reporting, then what does the % cut of all sales cover?  Looks like double counting to me.

Yeah. It's the rest of it that's throwing me off, but sometimes I'm far to literal about the way words are used. The "one time/for every" seems to be clear, then they muddy it with the rest, and that's were it becomes a little less clear to me.  But my brain is muddled and foggy today, so it could just be me. :)

Offline Bards and Sages (Julie)

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I agree. But won't those buyers get wise to the lower prices? Whispersync discounting could kill off those outside marketplaces, and maybe that's its purpose.

You make the same mistake all authors do: you assume books are interchangeable commodities and the low price is the only factor. If I want the latest Star Wars audiobook narrated by Marc Thompson, and that audiobook is $20, I'm not going  to say, "Gee, I love Marc Thompson and Star Wars, but I think I'll buy this $3 book from some guy I never heard of from a narrator I don't know instead." Now I might go to Amazon to see if they have a lower price on the book I already want, but I'm not going to assume John Doe nobody author's audiobook is a fair swap for the book I really want.

People will pay fair prices for things they actually want. The thing with bargain basement pricing is that while it encourages spontaneous purchasing, it won't REPLACE the purchase of a thing someone actually wants. If I am already buying other things, I might buy the $3 audiobook because it is only $3, but I am not going to buy it INSTEAD of the audiobook I really, really want.

The problem for authors is that they are often too dependent on Amazon for discoverability. You don't know how to reach customers outside of Amazon's algorithms, so you can't fathom the concept that people can make money at higher prices at other outlets. Too many are dependent on the impulse buying consumers instead of people actually seeking out your work organically. I don't pretend I'm rolling in money. Publishing is not my full-time gig. But for over a decade it has provided a nice stable, residual income that allows me the freedom to do what I want.

It is HARDER to make money at higher price points because it requires a lot more marketing effort on the front end. But once you identify your markets and start hitting them, it creates a stable revenue independent of the roller coaster of Amazon's algorithms.

Authors should not hope for Amazon to undercut the smaller markets and drive them out of business. That is not good for authors or customers. WalMart has destroyed the economies of countless communities by deliberately undercutting local markets, driving them out of business, and then squeezing employees (in this case, it would be authors) out of more and more money to increase their own profits because there was nowhere left for the employees to go for other work.

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Online Rick Gualtieri

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Hmm, kinda thinking Meh on this.  I like D2D, but the whole Audible franchise needs a viable competitor more than an aggregator to really affect any change. 


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You make the same mistake all authors do:
All authors? Wow.

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The $49 per title set up fee on top of that makes it no so attractive anymore.

This is a deal-breaker for me. Good grief!

I have three stories, soon to be four, that need audiobooks. I've been in contact with both Books-In-Motion and ListenUpAudio for eBooks. If the prices are reasonable, I'll go with either. But, if there's a set-up fee, that will definitely shut that producer out.

Indies are being squeezed across the board, and charging a set-up fee for an audiobook is ridiculous!

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Whether the $49.95 setup fee is worth it or not might depend upon how many sales an author would get from the channels Voice distributes to that ACX doesn't. At least some of them are probably channels that self-published authors can't upload to on their own--but that won't make much difference if those channels don't generate many indie sales.

Whether D2D's 20% cut is worth it might depend upon how ACX works these days. The only audio book I did was some time ago, but at that point, indie authors couldn't input keywords the way publishers could, or the way we can on ebooks. The result was that indie audiobooks weren't as discoverable. That leads to two questions. First, is it still true that indie authors can't input keywords. Second, can Findaway Voices do it? If the answer to both questions is yes, then the boost in discoverability might be worth D2D's cut. Alternatively, one could go through Findaway directly and save the 20%.

Either way, one would be restricted to Findaway's pool of narrators, but I think that would only be an issue if you were a bestselling indie who might have a shot at a famous narrator.


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Offline TobiasRoote

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At the end of the day D2D still only aggregate your books. They don't promote anything for you, they don't encourage avenues of promoting with the sales outlets and you don;t have any direct links with the outlets to self-promote with them. You will get organic sales and anything you can push yourself from Facebook ads etc.,

You could use D2D to test the water, then go direct if you have any sales. One 'assumes' that if you have full control over your audio books, that you can bypass D2D at any stage and gain an extra percentage.


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Offline Huldra

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Yes, I'm also wondering why you'd go through D2D at this point. What am I missing here?

As for circumventing the $49 fee, one could simply get an audio book produced by drawing up a contract directly with reputable narrators and then upload it to Findaway Voices... right? Would also mean you could launch the audio at the same time as ebook/print.

But a set-up fee when they're also charging 20% royalties? Hard no.

Offline KylieG

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Whether D2D's 20% cut is worth it might depend upon how ACX works these days. The only audio book I did was some time ago, but at that point, indie authors couldn't input keywords the way publishers could, or the way we can on ebooks. The result was that indie audiobooks weren't as discoverable. That leads to two questions. First, is it still true that indie authors can't input keywords. Second, can Findaway Voices do it? If the answer to both questions is yes, then the boost in discoverability might be worth D2D's cut. Alternatively, one could go through Findaway directly and save the 20%.

This is a big problem.  My best chance to sell audio books is the link on the eBook's page. If audio books on audible were searchable, it would generate a lot more sales for me.

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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You make the same mistake all authors do: you assume books are interchangeable commodities and the low price is the only factor. If I want the latest Star Wars audiobook narrated by Marc Thompson, and that audiobook is $20, I'm not going  to say, "Gee, I love Marc Thompson and Star Wars, but I think I'll buy this $3 book from some guy I never heard of from a narrator I don't know instead." Now I might go to Amazon to see if they have a lower price on the book I already want, but I'm not going to assume John Doe nobody author's audiobook is a fair swap for the book I really want.

People will pay fair prices for things they actually want. The thing with bargain basement pricing is that while it encourages spontaneous purchasing, it won't REPLACE the purchase of a thing someone actually wants. If I am already buying other things, I might buy the $3 audiobook because it is only $3, but I am not going to buy it INSTEAD of the audiobook I really, really want.

The problem for authors is that they are often too dependent on Amazon for discoverability. You don't know how to reach customers outside of Amazon's algorithms, so you can't fathom the concept that people can make money at higher prices at other outlets. Too many are dependent on the impulse buying consumers instead of people actually seeking out your work organically. I don't pretend I'm rolling in money. Publishing is not my full-time gig. But for over a decade it has provided a nice stable, residual income that allows me the freedom to do what I want.

It is HARDER to make money at higher price points because it requires a lot more marketing effort on the front end. But once you identify your markets and start hitting them, it creates a stable revenue independent of the roller coaster of Amazon's algorithms.

Authors should not hope for Amazon to undercut the smaller markets and drive them out of business. That is not good for authors or customers. WalMart has destroyed the economies of countless communities by deliberately undercutting local markets, driving them out of business, and then squeezing employees (in this case, it would be authors) out of more and more money to increase their own profits because there was nowhere left for the employees to go for other work.


The high/low price point thing will be forever debatable. Ask the people who swear by Kindle Unlimited if they care about the low price point when they're raking in the cash due to volume.

When my books were first whisper synced I broke it every chance I got to keep my royalty high. Amazon countered by making it impossible to break without ruining the ebook's integrity (changing too much). Then I realised I was making a LOT more money due to volume sales when people bought the ebook WITH the audio book, and I was happy.

The destruction of free, the KU 1.0, 2.0 and now the price hike has decimated my audio sales. From a high of 68 audio sales a day, I'm now under 10 a day.

Changes come, and changes go. I've pivoted so much in my time I'm dizzy now.

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When you compare the decisions buyers make, it isn't whether they'll choose an expensive best-seller over a bargain price on a book written by an unknown. It's whether they'll choose an expensive unknown that they can't even find over a cheap one listed on an Amazon product page. Of course, thinking that is the mistake all authors make. :)

Offline M M

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This is a deal-breaker for me. Good grief!

I have three stories, soon to be four, that need audiobooks. I've been in contact with both Books-In-Motion and ListenUpAudio for eBooks. If the prices are reasonable, I'll go with either. But, if there's a set-up fee, that will definitely shut that producer out.

Indies are being squeezed across the board, and charging a set-up fee for an audiobook is ridiculous!

I totally agree. It's just a money grab and unfair.   They already get a 20% cut.


Offline Bill Hiatt

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Come to think of it, is the setup fee D2D's or Findaway's? If it is D2D's, any indie author who wanted it could simply go direct to Findaway. D2D's blog post isn't clear on the point of whose setup fee they are alluding to. Both D2D's cut and Findaway's production costs are discussed in the same article.

I'd ask myself, but I really don't want to start up a conversation with Findaway unless I'm ready to do an audiobook, which I'm not at the moment.  Perhaps someone who is ready to produce an audiobook could ask about Findaway's price structure. That question should make clear whether the setup fee is on their end.


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Online David VanDyke

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People keep saying 20% cut, but that's 20% of gross.

If the net is 40%, then 20% off is a loss of 50% of net. So, if all else were equal, that's a 50% drop in author earnings. Add to that a further drop if the author chooses to lower the audiobook price to compete or promote, and we are facing a lot of disappearing earnings, and possibly another race for the bottom. Once thing I like(d) about audiobooks is that they got the best of both worlds in some measure--the benefit of the ebook race to the bottom (permafree is a good driver of audiobook sales via discovery) but the prices remained higher and nobody could undercut.

Can most authors offset all that earnings loss with greater volume? Probably not. A few will out-compete the rest, but generally, this will probably cause the haves to get more and the prawny to get less, i.e., consolidation--which may be beneficial for the distributors, but not us.


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Come to think of it, is the setup fee D2D's or Findaway's? If it is D2D's, any indie author who wanted it could simply go direct to Findaway. D2D's blog post isn't clear on the point of whose setup fee they are alluding to. Both D2D's cut and Findaway's production costs are discussed in the same article.

I'd ask myself, but I really don't want to start up a conversation with Findaway unless I'm ready to do an audiobook, which I'm not at the moment.  Perhaps someone who is ready to produce an audiobook could ask about Findaway's price structure. That question should make clear whether the setup fee is on their end.

I just asked both Findaway and D2D this question via Twitter. I'll report back with any replies.

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Offline M M

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I wanted to give an example so you can see exactly how the math works, because it's a bit deceiving until you crunch the numbers.


From the FAQ
An 80% Royalty for Authors
As the author or publisher, you keep 80% of all royalties Voices receives, which vary by partner, channel, and business model. The royalties Voices receives from its partners are within the following ranges:

A la carte: 40% to 50% of list price
Subscription: 30% to 40% of list price
Audible: 25% of the sales price (Audible's standard, non-exclusive terms)

*****

Now let's break that down:

The gross percentages are broken down into the three categories (authors, D2D/Findaway, and platform) so that you see the real numbers we end up with.  I am using the low range to illustrate but the high end isn't much better. This is what it looks like:

I am starting with Audible since this is where the bulk of the sales are:

Audible keeps 75% and distributes 25%
Author and D2D/Findaway split remaining 25% at 80/20.  That means that your "80%" is actually 20% of list price (.8 x .25)
Author 20% of list
D2D/Findaway 5% of list

Subscription:
Platform keeps 70% and distributes 30%
Author and D2D/Findaway split 80/20 of the remaining 30%.  That works out to 24% for you (.8 x .3)
Author 24%
D2D/Findaway 6%

A la carte:
Platform keeps 60% and distributes 40%
Author and D2D/Findaway split 80/20 of the remaining 30%. That works out to 32% for you (.8 x .4)
Author 32%
D2D/Findaway 8%
 
There are a few other things you have to factor in:

You also have to pay a $49 per title fee on top of this if you produce through Findaway.  Yet you are the one working with the narrator to produce a final  sale ready audio product.

You are paying up front for production and bearing all of the risk, yet you are compensated a very small %.  Consider how long it will take to break even on your investment. Especially since...

You have no control over the selling price.  Some ACX titles are $1.99.  20% of $2 will take a long time to earn back your production costs plus a $49 fee.  Let's assume you paid $200 per finished hour for an 8-hour book.  That's $1600 plus the $49 fee.  $1649/.20 per audiobook royalty at 1.99 means you need to sell 8,245 books to recoup your costs.  If you think you will do that volume, great.  It's good to have an idea of what your sales could be in audio and do a similar comparison.

Yes, you will probably sell them at higher prices, but what if you don't? Think of what your worst case scenario is. Can you afford that?

And there are other things to consider that I haven't mentioned to keep it simple. But from a purely financial perspective, it doesn't work for me.  I am bearing all the risk but getting too small a portion of the reward.

Now, I am not saying that the ACX offering is great, but when comparing the various alternatives you need to do an apples-to-apples comparison.

I am pleased to see a competitor in this space and I hope more players emerge. And I am sure that D2D/Findaway have determined a fee structure that works for them.  I would do the same.  It may not work for all authors though, depending on your sales volume. I am not trying to criticize, only to provide some transparency on the offering, because when you get into percentages of gross and net you sometimes end up with quite different results.  Each of us has to decide for ourselves, but I hope this breakdown helps you to arrive a well-informed solution that works best for you.


Offline JB Rowley

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Yes, M M, your breakdown was very helpful. Thank you.


Offline TobiasRoote

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I wanted to give an example so you can see exactly how the math works, because it's a bit deceiving until you crunch the numbers.


Thanks, I'm in line with most, initially excited at the prospect of a competitor to ACX/Amazon, but totally unprepared to sacrifice that much royalty to the greed of the platforms. Another disappointment :/


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Offline Mercedes Vox

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I just asked both Findaway and D2D this question via Twitter. I'll report back with any replies.

Both D2D and Findaway confirmed on Twitter that the $49 admin fee is charged by Findaway. This fee applies to production only, so you don't have to pay it if you provide your own audiobook.

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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Both D2D and Findaway confirmed on Twitter that the $49 admin fee is charged by Findaway. This fee applies to production only, so you don't have to pay it if you provide your own audiobook.
Thanks for the info!


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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I'm thinking of trying it for a book that's been dead in the water. When I promo it, it sells well, but otherwise, it's dormant. I'll have to take it out of Select but I'll also do an AMS ad when the audio goes live.

Thinking.


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Offline Kate.

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I'm thinking of trying it for a book that's been dead in the water. When I promo it, it sells well, but otherwise, it's dormant. I'll have to take it out of Select but I'll also do an AMS ad when the audio goes live.

Thinking.
You don't need to remove books from Select to do audio. =) The exclusivity clause only applies to the ebook format - the audio and print versions can be sold in as many retailers as you like.

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You don't need to remove books from Select to do audio. =) The exclusivity clause only applies to the ebook format - the audio and print versions can be sold in as many retailers as you like.

Except that the book has to be distributed by D2D to at least one of its vendors.



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Offline Kate.

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Except that the book has to be distributed by D2D to at least one of its vendors.
Ah, I see! I didn't read that part. It definitely puts a cramp on Select authors, then.

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Except that the book has to be distributed by D2D to at least one of its vendors.
If you want to leave Select anyway, that's no problem. If you'd rather stay in Select, it looks as if you could go to Findaway directly with no problem.


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Online Gertie Kindle 'a/k/a Margaret Lake'

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If you want to leave Select anyway, that's no problem. If you'd rather stay in Select, it looks as if you could go to Findaway directly with no problem.

True, but this book has never done anything in Select. Time to try it wide and this is a good reason to get my rear in gear and do it.



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Offline 555aaa

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I am currently on distribution with Findaway (but not Voices). The statement above that you don't control retail pricing above isn't true. You can set pricing but only on those partners who support it (one single retail list price). There is also library pricing which can be set on a unit purchase price or a 'per-checkout' type of pricing.

The $49 per title setup isn't unreasonable IMHO but is this a D2D fee or a Voices fee? Audio files are a lot bigger and there is a lot more crank-turning involved in packaging up an audiobook than an ebook or even a print title, and Ingram already charges a similar amount for print set up.

You can go to Voices without using D2D I believe. Not sure what exactly D2D does that Voices doesn't do.

http://findaway.com/findaway-voices

I am already on ACX and so Findaway won't distribute to them but there are other partners that I previously didn't have a way to distribute to, so it's gravy for people not on the ACX exclusive contract.


Offline TobiasRoote

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I know that many thought the $49 fee was unacceptable. I'm sure this response from D2D today is due in major part to that vocal concerns.

"Exclusive for Draft2Digital Authors

D2D authors can use Findaway Voices without the $49 admin fee!
No upfront fees. You keep all your rights. And no exclusivity. Ever."

It's good that they listened, isn't it?




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I know that many thought the $49 fee was unacceptable. I'm sure this response from D2D today is due in major part to that vocal concerns.

"Exclusive for Draft2Digital Authors

D2D authors can use Findaway Voices without the $49 admin fee!
No upfront fees. You keep all your rights. And no exclusivity. Ever."

It's good that they listened, isn't it?

It's GRRRRREAT!

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Offline notjohn

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I agree. But won't those buyers get wise to the lower prices? Whispersync discounting could kill off those outside marketplaces, and maybe that's its purpose.

That does seem to be Mr Bezos's working philosophy.
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The blog: http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com

Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Kevin Tomlinson from D2D contacted me this morning with the answers to some questions he's been seeing. I'll post it below as a sort of FAQ

Quote
Hey Mark,
Since you originated the thread about D2D & Findaway Voices (D2D enters the audiobook fray -- OR, is this a reason for the audio price hike?), I thought the easiest and best way to respond to a lot of misconceptions would be to ping you, and tell you what's what. If you feel like posting this info, awesome. If you want to follow up with questions, even aswesomer. I'm a writer, I can invent words if I want.

So some of the common misconceptions or complaints I'm seeing:

- The $49 admin fee was a standard fee charged by Findaway. D2D never sees any of that. However, Findaway has agreed to waive that fee for Draft2Digital authors. So that's an incentive for authors to use Voices via D2D.

- The royalty the author receives is 80% of whatever Findaway gets. The breakdown on that blog post (bit.ly/FindawayD2D) shows how the percentages work, but in general the author gets more than they typically get from an exclusive, royalty-split deal with Audible.

- D2D doesn't get anything at all from the author's royalty on audiobooks. Our partnership with Findaway is more like an affiliate relationship. So there's no 20% cut, or any other percentage, going to D2D. Findaway has a similar model to D2D, in that it makes a percentage of the royalty for books sold through its distribution network. Also, bypassing D2D won't gain you an extra percentage, because we don't take a cut. But using D2D will eliminate the $49 admin fee, so that's a bonus.

- The book does not have to be distributed through one of D2D's channels in order to be included in Findaway Voices. You can be in KDP Select, and still go through D2D to get into the program without paying the $49 fee. Obviously, we'd prefer that you use us for distribution, but the whole point of D2D is to empower indie authors and remove gatekeepers. We're not in the business of becoming gatekeepers ourselves.

- If you bring in your own audiobook files, from whatever outside arrangement you make, you pay nothing to get into Findaway's distribution network. Findaway will take a percentage of your royalty for any book sold through their distribution channels, and that's it.

- There are costs associated with producing an audiobook, primarily paying the narrator. Findaway doesn't make anything from those contracts, they just facilitate them. So your overhead for producing an audiobook is essentially the same no matter where you find your narrator.

- There is no royalty split option with Findaway Voices, which is actually good for both authors and narrators. Paying the overhead up front allows the author to keep full rights to their audiobook, rather than splitting their royalties with the narrator for the life of that book.

- Controlling pricing gives you a lot of new options and opportunities, including the ability to sell short-form stories and articles, particularly serialized fiction. The sort of thing that a lot of authors might be able to record themselves, with no overhead, and turn into a stream of revenue. Much like serialized shorts worked for authors "back in the day."

- You get the same resources and capabilities with Findaway Voices as you get with any of the retailers. Findaway distributes to 170+ markets, including Audible and iTunes. You can control keywords, categories, etc. And you can still get the same free promo codes you get with Audible. In fact, Findaway is working on setting up that same arrangement with all of its distributors, so that authors will eventually be able to offer free promos regardless of the channel.


I'm always willing to answer any questions that come up, so feel free to ping me. I was just noticing that the thread has a lot of misinformation, and a lot of it was being accepted at face value. For the folks who can't stomach the cut of royalties on books sold through the distribution networkwell, I really can't say anything persuasive on that, since it's literally the only way D2D or Findaway makes any money. We (D2D) never charge the author directly for anything, and build as many free tools and resources as we can think of. We also have no (zero, zilch, nada) requirement for authors to distribute through us to use those free tools. So you can literally have your KDP Select cake and D2D-eat-it, too.

Let me know if you want me to followup with anything. And if you simply have no interest in posting any of this, I completely understand, and, obviously, you can "quote me" from any of the above.

Kevin Tumlinson
Director of Marketing
Draft2Digital



EDIT: Just to be clear, I am not endorsing Findaway as I have no experience with them. I am posting the above to answer any questions you may have.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 02:05:34 AM by Mark E. Cooper »

Offline TobiasRoote

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Kevin Tomlinson from D2D contacted me this morning with the answers to some questions he's been seeing. I'll post it below as a sort of FAQ
 

and your own thoughts on this?


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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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and your own thoughts on this?

I don't have conclusions about Findaway. I've been using ACX since before it was officially allowed here in the UK, so I have no experience with them. I love D2D though, and use them for Nook. I suspect Findaway have found a niche among those authors unable to access ACX, and that's a ton of authors. It's a way for them to compete in audio with the lucky UK and US authors.

The OP was an attempt to discover reason behind Audible's price hike. Was it up-and-coming competition? I still don't know, but competition is generally a good thing.

Offline TobiasRoote

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I don't have conclusions about Findaway. I've been using ACX since before it was officially allowed here in the UK, so I have no experience with them. I love D2D though, and use them for Nook. I suspect Findaway have found a niche among those authors unable to access ACX, and that's a ton of authors. It's a way for them to compete in audio with the lucky UK and US authors.

The OP was an attempt to discover reason behind Audible's price hike. Was it up-and-coming competition? I still don't know, but competition is generally a good thing.

Fair enough. I opened my first book negotiation with them yesterday. A Question. Do standalones work well in audio? (sorry for digression).


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Fair enough. I opened my first book negotiation with them yesterday. A Question. Do standalones work well in audio? (sorry for digression).

In my experience, they do. That's a sample size of one author, with 3 standalones and one series, so take it as you'd like. I think length might be a factor too. My novels all come in at between 9 and 12 hours.

Offline TobiasRoote

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In my experience, they do. That's a sample size of one author, with 3 standalones and one series, so take it as you'd like. I think length might be a factor too. My novels all come in at between 9 and 12 hours.

I appreciate the response. I'm hoping you're right and both books are 100,000 words + so would also fit the timescales.


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Offline RomanceAuthor

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I wanted to give an example so you can see exactly how the math works, because it's a bit deceiving until you crunch the numbers.


From the FAQ
An 80% Royalty for Authors
As the author or publisher, you keep 80% of all royalties Voices receives, which vary by partner, channel, and business model. The royalties Voices receives from its partners are within the following ranges:

A la carte: 40% to 50% of list price
Subscription: 30% to 40% of list price
Audible: 25% of the sales price (Audible's standard, non-exclusive terms)

*****

Now let's break that down:

The gross percentages are broken down into the three categories (authors, D2D/Findaway, and platform) so that you see the real numbers we end up with.  I am using the low range to illustrate but the high end isn't much better. This is what it looks like:

I am starting with Audible since this is where the bulk of the sales are:

Audible keeps 75% and distributes 25%
Author and D2D/Findaway split remaining 25% at 80/20.  That means that your "80%" is actually 20% of list price (.8 x .25)
Author 20% of list
D2D/Findaway 5% of list

Subscription:
Platform keeps 70% and distributes 30%
Author and D2D/Findaway split 80/20 of the remaining 30%.  That works out to 24% for you (.8 x .3)
Author 24%
D2D/Findaway 6%

A la carte:
Platform keeps 60% and distributes 40%
Author and D2D/Findaway split 80/20 of the remaining 30%. That works out to 32% for you (.8 x .4)
Author 32%
D2D/Findaway 8%
 

I'm trying to compare this to ACX earnings (with narrator paid upfront), but  but since I have no experience with ACX, I'm having troubles.
Author earnings with Findaway: 20% (Audible)/24% (Subscription)/32%(A la carte)

Can anyone break down earnings through ACX for Audible/Subscription/A la carte?

I'd be SUPER grateful!

Thanks

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I'm trying to compare this to ACX earnings (with narrator paid upfront), but  but since I have no experience with ACX, I'm having troubles.
Author earnings with Findaway: 20% (Audible)/24% (Subscription)/32%(A la carte)

Can anyone break down earnings through ACX for Audible/Subscription/A la carte?

I'd be SUPER grateful!

Thanks

ACX is 60/40 in all instances. You get 40% of whatever the buyer spent on the book.

Offline RomanceAuthor

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ACX is 60/40 in all instances. You get 40% of whatever the buyer spent on the book.

Thank you!