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Offline zzzzzzz

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« on: February 27, 2014, 07:51:53 am »
z
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 11:32:03 am by zzzzzzz »

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    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    ACX changing its royalty rates March 12
    « Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 07:52:45 am »
    Just got this email.

    "We are writing you to inform you about upcoming changes to our royalty structure and bounty program for new audiobook projects started on ACX on or after March 12, 2014. The new royalty rate for titles distributed exclusively to Audible, Amazon, and iTunes will be a flat 40% paid to the Rights Holder (or, on Royalty Share deals, split equally between the Rights Holder and the Producer). For non-exclusive distribution, the Rights Holder will receive a flat 25% royalty."

    Royalty rates have been 50%, escalating up to 90%, for exclusive titles, so this is a BIG change.

    Personally, I'm getting as many of my other projects as possible agreed to/scheduled with the producer right the heck NOW, so they get the higher rate when they're done. Thought you all might like to know, in case you're in the pipeline with this like I am.

    ETA: I see I am not the first! Maybe we can merge the threads.

    Offline Courtney Milan

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 07:53:38 am »
    That...freaking sucks. :(

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    Offline Michael Robertson Jr

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 07:59:01 am »
    Yeah, it does kind of suck, bu 40% still isn't bad, and to me it's a sign that the industry is really taking off for self-pub audio.

    Offline erikhanberg

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    Re: ACX changing its royalty rates March 12
    « Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 07:59:24 am »
    I got to 275 book sales for one of my titles ... was really looking forward to getting to 500 and triggering another percentage increase!

    Dang.

    Huge changes and it makes me re-consider adding more titles to ACX.

    Offline Jan Thompson

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 08:00:25 am »
    What are the alternatives to ACX? My books are not ready and my projected timeline for audiobooks is not until Christmas (er, hopefully this Christmas). This is a bummer for me that they drop the royalty rates before I get into the playing field.

    Has anyone here done audiobooks the DIY way? I know friends in the theater industry and I am sure I can get them to read my books for me for a price, of course. But then from that point on, how do you get to market without ACX but be on Amazon?

    I think I will be doing audiobooks instead of bypassing it. I know of vision-impaired friends for whom this would be a good thing.

    What do traditional publishers do?

    TIA for solution suggestions.

    Yeah, it does kind of suck, bu 40% still isn't bad, and to me it's a sign that the industry is really taking off for self-pub audio.

    I see your glass-is-half-full POV and I can live with that too.

    But still, can't help asking... Maybe there are alternatives to consider?

    Offline erikhanberg

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    Re: ACX changing its royalty rates March 12
    « Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 08:01:32 am »
    Oops. I misunderstood. My current titles will continue to earn the escalating rates. But new ones won't. So there's still a chance I'll bump from 50% to 51% someday! :)

    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: ACX changing its royalty rates March 12
    « Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 08:02:40 am »
    I got to 275 book sales for one of my titles ... was really looking forward to getting to 500 and triggering another percentage increase!

    Dang.

    Huge changes and it makes me re-consider adding more titles to ACX.

    Actually it makes me consider getting all my stuff in quick with my current producer before the March 12th deadline. The production doesn't have to be completed before that dead line as far as I can see, but the deal must be signed before it. Otherwise, we lose 10% right away and never get the escalating royalty as sales accumulate.


    Offline nobody_important

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 08:03:53 am »
    Yeah, it does kind of suck, bu 40% still isn't bad, and to me it's a sign that the industry is really taking off for self-pub audio.

    No it's a sign that ACX is the biggest and the most dominant player in the market.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: ACX changing its royalty rates March 12
    « Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 08:04:33 am »
    Oops. I misunderstood. My current titles will continue to earn the escalating rates. But new ones won't. So there's still a chance I'll bump from 50% to 51% someday! :)
    That's right, and if you "start" a project--post it, request auditions, or agree with the producer, before March 12, you still get the higher royalty. So--Agreement Town, here I come! (One book coming out Saturday, one in progress, and if I can get it, three more agreed to before that evil date arrives.)

    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 08:05:25 am »
    Thank God I just finished one, and I have another in process. I'll push up my third project to beat the March 12th date, but that is all I can do. My angel series is being marketed by my agency, so I can't produce anything new with them. But this blows on all my future self publish titles.
     
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    Offline Mark E. Cooper

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 08:06:54 am »
    http://www.acx.com/help/important-announcement/201457230

    This is... unfortunate. Titles produced before March 12 will still get the standard escalator rates (50%+), but everything new is a flat 40%.

    I'm reading it as deals signed before that date will be honoured. Do you agree? This means if you get your books in before March 12 you don't have to have the production completed only a deal signed to get the old rate. I have 3 books in production, deal signed in Jan. I have 6 more with no deal signed, but I could probably get my current narrator to agree to signing--the completion date would be way later in the year though.

    Offline zzzzzzz

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 08:14:09 am »
    Yep, they're honoring the rate on older books.

    This is what happens when an amazon subsidiary actually has a monopoly, I guess.

    Offline blakebooks

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 08:14:38 am »
    So much for the notion that the Zon would never reduce our royalty rates because otherwise we'd all go elsewhere. Does anyone believe that ACX operates in a vacuum?

    Not saying we should all freak out. I am saying that the history of corporate life is to squeeze the vendors for more profit, and notions that we are customers, not vendors, are almost entirely rhetorical, if not whimsical as well.

    This really kind of blows, though, if you've got a business model that assumed the 50%, and now have to revise it to reflect a 20% reduction in your pay. "Hey, we love you, but instead of $20K a year, we're only going to pay you $16K, OK? Now go make some nice rat tail soup and celebrate that it's still more than traditional publishers, who bear 100% of the cost to produce, package and distribute audiobooks, pay." I think that last bit is the most insulting part of the announcement.


    Offline FictionalWriter

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:03 am »
    Oh crap. I just saw the email pop up but I haven't read it yet. Guess I don't have to now.

    Offline nobody_important

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #15 on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:31 am »
    This really kind of blows, though, if you've got a business model that assumed the 50%, and now have to revise it to reflect a 20% reduction in your pay. "Hey, we love you, but instead of $20K a year, we're only going to pay you $16K, OK? Now go make some nice rat tail soup and celebrate that it's still more than traditional publishers, who bear 100% of the cost to produce, package and distribute audiobooks, pay." I think that last bit is the most insulting part of the announcement.

    Yeah. I kinda rolled my eyes at that part. And how this reduction accommodates us better somehow.

    Offline JeffreyKafer

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 08:19:45 am »
    bye bye royalty-share. It will be harder than hell to find someone of any quality to narrate your title on this structure. I certainly won't. What an idiotic move.

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 08:21:52 am »
    (Merged two similar threads.)
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    Offline blakebooks

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 08:24:04 am »
    Nadia: Yup. That typical bureaucrat speak. "We aren't curtailing your rights, we're increasing your safety!" Uh huh.

    Appears that cynicism is still the best approach to business...


    Offline Quiss

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 08:24:16 am »
    Sooooo, are ebooks next?

    Offline Courtney Milan

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 08:25:21 am »
    Actually, I think 40% is not great at all. I didn't think 50% was great, for that matter. I really can't figure out how what they say follows logically.

    Quote
    We are lowering the royalties as we continue our mission to accommodate more audiobook productions. Our royalties still remain well above those offered by traditional audiobook publishers.

    What does that mean? If what they mean is, "We have too many audiobooks being produced now, and so we're lowering the royalty rate so that fewer people publish audiobooks," that's what they should say. Yes, their royalties are above those offered by traditional audiobook publishers, but I wouldn't pay for production for a traditional audiobook, and so since I'm taking on more risk, I deserve more of a reward.

    We get 70% on our books from Amazon. The costs involved in creating an audiobook are substantial, and they're bearing almost none of that risk. They're taking 60% because they can.

    I'm going to be writing to them to express my displeasure.

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    Offline nobody_important

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 08:25:50 am »
    Nadia: Yup. That typical bureaucrat speak. "We aren't curtailing your rights, we're increasing your safety!" Uh huh.

    Appears that cynicism is still the best approach to business...

    I used to get paid a lot of money to come up w/ BS to make getting laid off sound like promotion among others! So I can smell it.

    Sooooo, are ebooks next?

    Not yet since they don't have the monopoly on ebook distribution. Apple & BN are still hanging in there (and Apple has a lot of cash and loyal fans). Google has the potential to be a significant player. Kobo is doing OK in Canada.

    This is why I try to distribute on platforms other than KDP.
    « Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 08:29:25 am by NadiaLee »

    Offline FictionalWriter

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 08:29:42 am »
    Actually, I think 40% is not great at all. I didn't think 50% was great, for that matter. I really can't figure out how what they say follows logically.

    What does that mean? If what they mean is, "We have too many audiobooks being produced now, and so we're lowering the royalty rate so that fewer people publish audiobooks," that's what they should say. Yes, their royalties are above those offered by traditional audiobook publishers, but I wouldn't pay for production for a traditional audiobook, and so since I'm taking on more risk, I deserve more of a reward.

    We get 70% on our books from Amazon. The costs involved in creating an audiobook are substantial, and they're bearing almost none of that risk. They're taking 60% because they can.

    I'm going to be writing to them to express my displeasure.

    Ditto.

    Offline SLGray

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 08:29:52 am »
    I guess I'll be doing my own books then. Or I could put the two that are ready for audition up now and hope by the time I have new ones ready to go that there'll still be talent auditioning.

    Bleh. This does not make me happy.

    Offline blakebooks

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    Re: Apparently ACX is dropping their royalty rate to a flat 40%
    « Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 08:30:29 am »
    The removal of the escalator clause will also remove a huge incentive for production. Most won't hit the point where that matters, but several of my titles have, and it's a good chunk of change as it increases.

    A prediction: this will substantially chill the appetite for doing audiobooks. If I have to pay $2500 up front for a decent narrator to perform a book, it substantially alters my ROI, and further reduces my overall expectations for income moving beyond the ROI date, both in absolute royalties as well as escalated royalties. That means the investment parameters change, and I have to look at alternative areas to invest my cash.

    I don't condemn what they are doing, but if their goal is to increase the market size, this is a terrible way to go about it. It will have the reverse effect.


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