Author Topic: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!  (Read 5161 times)  

Offline SusanMayWriter

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AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
« on: October 31, 2020, 01:20:07 am »
Are you wondering why your returns on Audible are diminishing? Did you notice on the 20th October a large quantity of returns and wondered why that happened and couldn't get a reasonable response from ACX if you wrote to them? Or you received the 'glitch' email but wondered was it any big deal? Well, the answers are far more insidious than you probably realize.

Returns have been actively hidden from Rights Holders and we have been robbed in broad daylight. Whether you have audiobooks currently or are planning audiobooks, it's worth your while to read this saga and join our fight group. This is probably the single worse royalties grab by an Amazon company so far, and we need to stand together and stop this urgently. Big and small earning authors and those in-between, along with small publishers (and maybe Big Fives) are losing money because of this and in considerable amounts.

Something even more insidious than the low royalty rates paid us by Audible is happening currently of which you may not be aware. Audible is promoting returns of any audible book for "any reason, no questions asked," even if the person has listened to the whole Audible book and enjoyed it. The return is permissible up to 365 days and in some countries it's been reported that it's infinity.

They are actively promoting this to their members as a way of keeping them locked in because you can only return if you're a member. Audible sends emails encouraging users to return a book, screens pop up after you finish reading suggesting a return, and there is even an obvious "return book" button on the app, which seems innocuous. Hey, why not return this book, must be okay because the button is there for a reason, right, and then I get back my credit to use again? Who loses, readers think? Audible! And who cares, they're owned by the world's richest man.

No, not right! The authors lose and the rights holders, big publisher and little and all authors and involved narrators.

Our accounts are debited for that return book. We, the hard-working content creators and narrators eat this loss, not Amazon. How much, I hear you ask are returning? Surely everybody is honest and wouldn't do this unless the book is absolutely terrible and you've only listened to an hour or so of it?
Ah, ah, nearing 50% returns for many authors. Some less, but not by much.

Audible is actively now promoting returns as a "benefit" of joining. We don't know how long they've been doing this but we feel it could be the past twelve months to two years, although the policy has been there forever. We have countless examples. There are also multiple blogs, posts on Reddit and FB groups discussing how to do this with examples of people saying they return books all the time because it is their right to do so. Audible offers it, so until it's changed this is what they'll do. Others say they can't afford to pay for all the books they want to listen to and this is a "glitch" that works for them, or the "rental" type library was why they joined.

Oh, and the other dubious, alarming practice which allowed this travesty to be perpetuated unknown, with us so oblivious, is because ACX/Audible hides the returns beneath the sales. You only know you have a return if you haven't sold enough books to cover the returns with a sale, so you'll see a -1 or -2, or whatever. Other times, you'll see a "0" which means you've had returned as many as you've sold. Unfortunately, this is a common every second or third day experience and very deflating for an author.

ACX has no separate returns column. So, until a recent glitch occurred where they clawed back three weeks of returns in one day on the 20th October, many had no idea. Some had suspected, like myself, but didn't know how many were being returned exactly. We only saw the minus figures and zeros on a regular enough basis to know there was an issue.

I thought it was around 30% for my books, but with this glitch I realized that on my 4.5 rated books, it was actually 50% returns. My eBooks have below 1% return rate and are also highly reviewed above 4 stars and my narrators cost a lot of $$ and have all won awards. I pay also for proof listening and engineering to ensure high quality experience for my readers and listeners. So, it's doubtful that 50% of listeners would have been so disappointed as to return my books. Surely they would have left negative reviews. Haven't got many of those though. None of us have.

A group of authors and publishers have banded together and have been writing ACX for the past ten days and asking for our returns by month since publication so that we can understand the depths of our losses. However, so far, we've been met with obtuse and obdurate responses that have been cookie-cutter. One author is up to seven replies of ping pong email and still getting nowhere. The replies and run around would be comical if this wasn't so serious and most likely representing tens of millions of dollars lost to content creators. It could be in the hundreds of millions if this is also occurring for the Big Five publishers and the large Audiobook publishers, and is probably the biggest scandal of royalties grab ever perpetuated by an Amazon company.

ACX is pretty much through their actions refusing to give us our returns data. We are wondering why now. We had given them the benefit of the doubt, but now if a corporation this size who is a data tech company can't create a simple returns column or supply a breakdown of returns when requested, ya really gotta wonder don'tcha?

Many authors, myself being one, are not going to create any more audiobooks until this is resolved. We don't get paid much per sale, the lion share is kept by Audible, even though we pay up to anything around $8k to create an audiobook, and then add marketing on top of that. Now they are also stealing up to half of our small percentage return to bump up their own profits. And, yes, we are all leaving Audible to go wide, if we haven't already, but they still represent a large chunk of the pie, and even if you place your books through another distributor to Audible, you're still losing your returns.

There is also the lock-in contract of seven years which prevents authors from leaving even if they are unhappy and bonded into an unfair practice literally cheating them. Authors who own their books by paying per finished hour during production can opt-out after twelve months from exclusive but we still must distribute also through Audible. This is not a well known fact and it's still a lock-in for twelve months, which I'm sure many will  consider opting out of once they realize the extent of these practices on their income. Those who have created their audiobooks through profit share with the narrator, however, are stuck suffering for seven years through Audible exclusive actively promoting returns while losing anything up to 50% of their sales. So, we are all stuck in an unfair contract where the rules changed after the fact. We didn't sign on for an unpaid rental scheme.

We have a fight group happening on Facebook called https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible which I created several weeks before the bulk 20th claw-back, but until that happened it was hard for anyone to realize how important this was because they couldn't see their returns. On that day, for a brief moment, the veil was lifted and authors became outraged, so it's grown to over 580 in a week, filled with distressed, angry, and a little deflated, content creators and narrators.

There is a truckload of proof and information about this there with screenshots of emails, posts by Audible members who've proudly returned books and even a PDF of a now taken-down blog post where the writer explains how to "rent books from Audible" by returning for your credit. He posts the chat with an Audible customer service person who says it's fine to return a book if you just want to use the system as a rental service.

 
We are facing a bleak audiobook future if we can't get this outright theft and piracy policy of "easy exchange" removed and our returns made transparent. We've spoken to many peak bodies and they are investigating but the more we have this expose this the more chance we have of having it changed. If nothing else, if you join our FB group, you'll find the reading interesting. It's a master class in how to avoid customer queries and the masterful way a company owned by the world's richest man is defrauding content creators in plain sight.


Everyone here is welcome to join the FB group, even if you don't have an audiobook yet but are planning one or might in the future, this concerns you.

P.S. Here's an entertaining video created by a large YouTuber Fantasy writer where all is explained. Read through some of the hundreds of comments to see examples of what's been happening and how entitled Audible members are regarding their returns and their excuses as to why they have been returning whole series of books or using the system as a library rental, just because they could and they didn't want to pay for the audiobooks. It's enlightening. And distressing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzSPeVC3CDI&feature=youtu.be&t=225&fbclid=IwAR2TxCnPh0DMwtyRsmj7bwFCJQdKkFIGhAzeW7qX7JN2ww0BVW-tGOYRu7M

« Last Edit: October 31, 2020, 09:40:41 pm by SusanMayWriter »

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    Offline jb1111

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 02:16:51 am »
    I don't have books on audio, so this is theoretics to me.

    But does this issue mean that authors -- who spend all this money producing an audio book -- have their books purchased, used, and then returned even a year later, and the author gets no money from the sale because of it?

    According to the video, one prominent author has seen 50% returns. That's a lot of loss.

    How then does the audio book company make money off such returned sales? That part I really do not understand. One would think they'd have to return the money for each book returned.

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #2 on: October 31, 2020, 02:43:53 am »
    Just like the way Amazon designed Page Flip, to allow readers to read a whole digital book, then Amazon only having to pay us for one page. Many of us left KU because of that, perhaps there will be a similar departure from Audible.

    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #3 on: October 31, 2020, 04:01:39 am »
    I don't have books on audio, so this is theoretics to me.

    But does this issue mean that authors -- who spend all this money producing an audio book -- have their books purchased, used, and then returned even a year later, and the author gets no money from the sale because of it?

    According to the video, one prominent author has seen 50% returns. That's a lot of loss.

    How then does the audio book company make money off such returned sales? That part I really do not understand. One would think they'd have to return the money for each book returned.

    Yes, that is correct. A year later, the author will receive a negative against sales for the day & the amount of that sale will be deducted from their profit tally.

    Some days you lose money on Audible sales. Whats worse is that we have no way of knowing how many have been returned as there is no returns column like there is in KDP.

    Currently as we are requesting this returns tally, we are getting the run around with them saying different things.

    Some customer service reps say its there in the end of month reports. Its not, never has been. Others are saying theyll forward it to the design team as a future feature. A future features??? Its a basic accounting necessity.  Others are saying theyll investigate & sorry if its mildly annoying. Mildly annoying??  Youre encouraging piracy & hiding it. None of us signed up for an unlimited lending library for no payment.

    Its a big issue & leaving Audible will not solve it. Going to wide distribution you still need to distribute back to Audible & are captured in this returns fraud. This is an issue that affects all indies & possibly even authors distributed through publishers.

    I know it sounds incredible, that ACX & Audible would commit this type of fraud right in the open but its happening. Go to the Audible advertisement page & log out if youre a member & look at what they call a benefit. Its a varying wording of return you books anytime, no questions asked. Check your audible app & look at the pull down menu next to a book youve bought. It has a return button. Thats all it says. If you hit that button, it automatically returns.

    If you return too many times, all you need to do is call, email or chat & theyll return the book for you. No problem. We pay for that!!

    Online JustWriting

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #4 on: October 31, 2020, 04:34:56 am »
    This stinks. If this is deliberate on their part, they're effectively running a lending library without paying the rights holders.

    I wasn't aware that it was possible to swap from exclusive to non-exclusive after 12 months (pay-for-production), so that's useful at least.

    For those who have gone non-exclusive, where else do you distribute to? And have you found you have made up for the royalties lost at Audible by going wide?

    Offline Lydniz

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #5 on: October 31, 2020, 05:16:33 am »
    For those who have gone non-exclusive, where else do you distribute to? And have you found you have made up for the royalties lost at Audible by going wide?

    You can list with Findaway Voices, which distributes to lots of different places. Until recently I didn't earn as much through them as I did through Audible, but since my Audible income has dropped in recent months I anticipate this will change. If you go wide you also have access to Chirp books, which is Bookbub's audio platform. They do featured deals for audio much like their featured ebook deals.

    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #6 on: October 31, 2020, 06:37:52 am »
    This stinks. If this is deliberate on their part, they're effectively running a lending library without paying the rights holders.

    For those who have gone non-exclusive, where else do you distribute to? And have you found you have made up for the royalties lost at Audible by going wide?

    Keep in mind that even going through other distributors in order to avoid being stolen from by Audible you cant distribute to them. The best thing would be to join the fight against this, so that you can go wide & still distribute to Audible. Of course, if you have done a joint royalty share with the narrator you are stuck with this thieving program until we can get it fixed.

    Offline CassieL

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #7 on: October 31, 2020, 09:55:00 am »
    Just to be clear, when you publish through ACX you agree to distribute through them for seven years. Even if you move to non-exclusive you can't remove your books from distribution with them. (I've tried.)

    8 Pen Names. Genres: Non-fiction, Speculative Fiction, Romance.

    Offline S. C.

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #8 on: October 31, 2020, 10:29:14 am »
    I don't have books on audio, so this is theoretics to me.

    But does this issue mean that authors -- who spend all this money producing an audio book -- have their books purchased, used, and then returned even a year later, and the author gets no money from the sale because of it?

    According to the video, one prominent author has seen 50% returns. That's a lot of loss.

    How then does the audio book company make money off such returned sales? That part I really do not understand. One would think they'd have to return the money for each book returned.

    Audible still makes their money because they earn it from the monthly membership credit.  They "refund" by returning the monthly credit to the customer. The customer gets a new book and listens, then returns the new book to get another credit etc. All the listener has to do is pay the monthly fee and they can return unlimited audiobooks.

    That one credit can pass through hundreds or thousands of authors depending on the member's listening habits.

    In the case of a sale, same thing. Most transactions are through credits though.

    The author or author and narrator (if a royalty share) gets the refunded book deducted from their royalties, up to a year after the book was fully listened to. After than money was already spent on groceries and rent.

    Since you are locked in for 7 years, they will eventually claw back 100% of everything they paid you, if you have a popular book.

    Offline Corvid

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #9 on: October 31, 2020, 10:45:58 am »
    This stinks. If this is deliberate on their part, they're effectively running a lending library without paying the rights holders.

    And, they'll do it knowing that many of those rights holders lack the means and/or the wherewithal to fight them in the courts.

    And then, even if enough of those smaller rights holders do manage to muster up some amount of legal push-back, or manage to organize en masse or even mount a class action or the like, the corporate giant already owns a significant enough chunk of the courts and the government that any "punishment" they receive will equate to a rounding error or the lightest of wrist-slaps.

    Meanwhile, those victimized authors are out significant percentages of their income in legal fees, will have spent countless hours trying to inform their fellow authors and trying organize, which all takes away from tending to their businesses. Let alone the mental and emotional stress of trying to bring a behemoth multinational to heel. Look at the toll on the small farmers who tried to fight Monsanto years back. And, for what?

    Hmmm...it's almost as if unchecked corporate power is a bad thing.

    Honestly, there is only one fix for this, and that is something that should've happened to the tech giants a long time ago, and that is to break them up on anti-trust grounds.

    Yeah, good luck with that.


    Offline Vidya

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #10 on: October 31, 2020, 12:06:01 pm »
    If you list with Findaway Voices, can you choose to distribute everywhere BUT Audible? Seems to be some sort of action like that is needed to show Audible they cant treat us like that.

    Offline over and out

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #11 on: October 31, 2020, 12:08:41 pm »
    If you list with Findaway Voices, can you choose to distribute everywhere BUT Audible? Seems to be some sort of action like that is needed to show Audible they cant treat us like that.

    You are correct, yes. If you do that , you give up a % to Findaway, but otoh you aren't locked into the 7 year period where they won't take down your audiobooks.


    Offline ShawnaReads

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #12 on: October 31, 2020, 05:48:12 pm »
    I think the last time I bought an Audible audiobook with credit, a short time later, they sent me an email saying something like, "Hey, are you done with that book? Want to return it and get something else?" So yeah, they're definitely actively encouraging people to return books.

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #13 on: October 31, 2020, 06:40:10 pm »
    Susan-- On the ACX Dashboard, under the Completed Projects Tab, under Total Units Sold, where it lists the number sold for each audiobook, are you saying we may have sold more than that number but returns have reduced this sales number, or, are you saying that yes this is the number sold, but, due to returns, this is not the number we may necessarily be paid for? I mean, what do those reported sales number now realistically mean? 

    Offline Nicole Simon

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #14 on: October 31, 2020, 06:42:31 pm »
    I think the last time I bought an Audible audiobook with credit, a short time later, they sent me an email saying something like, "Hey, are you done with that book? Want to return it and get something else?" So yeah, they're definitely actively encouraging people to return books.
    Which is not a problem at all - as long as they eat the cost for it.
    Like in KU where there is a payout from KENP AND if the author can decide what they want to do with it.

    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #15 on: October 31, 2020, 08:54:55 pm »
    Susan-- On the ACX Dashboard, under the Completed Projects Tab, under Total Units Sold, where it lists the number sold for each audiobook, are you saying we may have sold more than that number but returns have reduced this sales number, or, are you saying that yes this is the number sold, but, due to returns, this is not the number we may necessarily be paid for? I mean, what do those reported sales number now realistically mean? 

    The sales number includes hidden beneath the returns. So the sales number is not the sales number sold. You will have sold anything from 5% to 50% more. However, we don't know how long this has been going on with returns. We've found a blog post that dates back to 2016, where the blogger (who's an accountant for goodness sake and this is his business blog) tells people how to return audiobooks and use the program as a rental library. He even posts a chat with Audible asking directly if he can just keep reusing the credit not because he doesn't like the book but because rental is of more interest to him.

    So, with my sales, I had guesstimated my returns were at around 30% from observation of the minus numbers I was seeing. Then on the 20th when they did their clawback, I saw 39% returned of my sales for the three weeks. However, during that period, I had still been seeing returns, so this was on top of that. Therefore, I'm imagining that I am losing around 50%. Others feel it's around that number. So, if you've sold 1,000, you've really sold anything from 1,300 to 1,500. It's all hidden.

    We have a member of our group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible, who is now up to seven emails with ACX asking for her returns to be provided in a separate spreadsheet and each time they pretend they don't know what she's talking about or say it is there (when it's not) or they say it's not a feature they currently have but will let the development team know and one day they might update the dashboard. It's becoming eve more outrageous.

    Keep in mind, we can't get out of our contract to distribute to Audible if we are with ACX, even if we had paid PFH up front for our project. We can have the books distributed wide but we still must distribute to Audible. Some have already asked to terminate delivering to Audible but have been denied.

    So, if you are distributing to Audible through any means your work is being used to prop up their program. If you join our group, you will see all the examples of letters, how the Easy Exchange is being promoted by Audible, how often people return Audibles (many use one credit to listen to more than 15 books a month).  We have to fight this. It's probably the most egregious en masse fraud ever perpetrated upon authors by Amazon. And hidden in plain sight, so nobody suspected.

    Offline kwest

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #16 on: October 31, 2020, 08:55:08 pm »
    I've been following this the last few days. All I can say is that it makes me incredibly sad for the authors, and incredibly angry at Amazon.

    I mean, we all know they're not our friend and a giant bully, but outright theft? It boils my blood. Worse, most readers might be unwittingly thinking that it's Amazon taking the loss, not the author. They might think they're getting back at Amazon by returning the book, but Amazon has already made their money with the credit system.

    This affects me in a small way, but as an author looking to expand into audio this has cemented by decision BEYOND A DOUBT to go with Findaway Voices for all my future books. Audible/Amazon has completely lost my trust. Hell, if I ever have F.U. money I'll front the costs of my new audiobooks and distribute to everyone BUT them...at least until they change things and make things more transparent.

    My first three books are through Tantor, but I have noticed my royalties trending down, despite the fact I've noticed my audiobook ranks staying in the 30-50000 range.

    Over the last few days, I've been trying to think of a way to (gently) break this to my readers, who may not even be aware that the return option harms the author. And I'm somewhat reluctant to even share, as that just makes readers more aware that they can take advantage of the system. If online piracy is any example, people WILL say how horrible piracy is to your face, but do it behind your back back because XYZ reason.

    I have one book being produce through royalty share right now, but thankfully it's one of my less popular titles. All my big hitters will definitely be going through Findaway in the future.

    Amazon and Audible have completely lost my trust.


    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #17 on: October 31, 2020, 08:56:45 pm »
    I think the last time I bought an Audible audiobook with credit, a short time later, they sent me an email saying something like, "Hey, are you done with that book? Want to return it and get something else?" So yeah, they're definitely actively encouraging people to return books.

    This is happening on a regular basis. Not to mention all the other ways they promote it. Many members are saying they thought it was a rental scheme. Or they knew it was wrong but it was like 'a glitch' they could use to have unlimited audiobooks. If you're concerned please join our group to fight this. https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible

    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #18 on: October 31, 2020, 09:09:39 pm »
    I mean, we all know they're not our friend and a giant bully, but outright theft? It boils my blood. Worse, most readers might be unwittingly thinking that it's Amazon taking the loss, not the author. They might think they're getting back at Amazon by returning the book, but Amazon has already made their money with the credit system.

    This affects me in a small way, but as an author looking to expand into audio this has cemented by decision BEYOND A DOUBT to go with Findaway Voices for all my future books.

    My first three books are through Tantor, but I have noticed my royalties trending down, despite the fact I've noticed my audiobook ranks staying in the 30-50000 range.

    Over the last few days, I've been trying to think of a way to (gently) break this to my readers, who may not even be aware that the return option harms the author. And I'm somewhat reluctant to even share, as that just makes readers more aware that they can take advantage of the system.

    I have one book being produce through royalty share right now, but thankfully it's one of my less popular titles.

    Hi there,

    Just answering your thoughts on it. If you produce through Tantor and they pay you royalties, I would make them aware of it. They need to ask ACX/Audible for a breakdown of returns. The reason your sales are trending downward is because of the returns. That can be proven if we could only get our returns data (which ACX keeps trying not to supply, wonder why?)

    Producing profit share on ACX will lock you in for seven years to this contract where you will (if we can't get this changed) mean you will be getting less and less for your book in sales). I've seen a huge amount of chatter on the romance audiobook fan groups on FB and in general Audiobook fan groups about how upset they are about the closure of Audible Escape and how few romance titles are in the Audible Plus package. I feel those people are going to find a way to get their borrows for free. The word of mouth is incredible on this. You only need to join some of the audiobook addict groups and search 'returns' or 'exchange' to see the chatter. It's on Reddit and other boards too. Most are appalled but many say, well, I'm paying for an all you can eat rental system, and if Audible let's me, I'm doing it.

    In sharing with your fanbase, we are doing that because we owe them the honesty I feel, and, yes, it will make them aware and maybe some will do the wrong thing, but the more the word gets out the better. We need readers also writing to Audible about this practice and damage to authors.  I've cancelled my projects for the future and my readers are not going to be happy. I haven't told them yet. Been too busy fighting this for the past month.

    If you're not a member of our fight group https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible don join because every person will make a difference. We are nearly at 600 now and working hard and smart.

    Just remember, every audiobook producer/rights holder who has a pay-by-royalty deal for their work on Audible is having their work used to prop up their 'benefits' and pretty much pirated by Audible. We can't let this continue, and once we discover how much has been stolen (when we finally get our return data), we will also move to have that money paid back to us.

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #19 on: October 31, 2020, 09:35:52 pm »
    Just so everyone knows:

    ACX's distribution term is: "Distribution Term: 7 years, renewing automatically at one-year increments." This to me sounds like the 7 years re-sets (i.e. starts again) every year. If you are planning on withdrawing your audiobook after the seven years, you may want to give ACX notice of that, i.e. for them not to renew the Distribution Term of 7 years automatically every year; and,

    "Any ACX royalty statements Audible provides Rights Holder will be considered final and incontestable 3 months from the date the statements are provided by Audible if Rights Holder does not object to the statements within that period of time."


    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #20 on: November 01, 2020, 03:13:47 am »
    Just so everyone knows:

    ACX's distribution term is: "Distribution Term: 7 years, renewing automatically at one-year increments." This to me sounds like the 7 years re-sets (i.e. starts again) every year. If you are planning on withdrawing your audiobook after the seven years, you may want to give ACX notice of that, i.e. for them not to renew the Distribution Term of 7 years automatically every year; and,

    "Any ACX royalty statements Audible provides Rights Holder will be considered final and incontestable 3 months from the date the statements are provided by Audible if Rights Holder does not object to the statements within that period of time."


    Considering the subterfuge, I'd say that won't stand up. However, it does bring an interesting idea to mind that we could contest our statements and ask for them to be audited for the past three months. I shall run this by our fight group. Worth using those words. I still haven't had time to read through all the terms and conditions. It's interesting when you read ACX terms, they flip you over to Amazon terms. Yet, when we ask for details on our returns from ACX, they say they rely on Audible. When we complain to Audible about our returns issues with their marketing, they point to ACX. When we complain to ACX about Audible's dubious marketing of returns, they say that has nothing to do with them. Well, you two, you look to be very well entwined in your terms and conditions.

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #21 on: November 01, 2020, 08:01:00 am »
    Your contract is with Audible (an Amazon.com subsidiary). ACX is merely an audiobook production marketplace that Audible operates. In other words, Your contract is between you and Audible, ACX is just an operation of Audible.

    « Last Edit: November 01, 2020, 08:34:00 am by MMSN »

    Offline SusanMayWriter

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #22 on: November 01, 2020, 08:25:22 am »
    Your contract is with Audible. ACX is merely an audiobook production marketplace that Audible operates. In other words, Your contract is between you and Audible, ACX is just an operation of Audible.

    Actually, not according to ACX.

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #23 on: November 01, 2020, 08:37:17 am »
    It doesn't matter what the ACX workers say, they probably haven't read the contract either, and it is the contract that prevails. Audible's contract with you specifically states that ACX is merely a marketplace operated by Audible.


    If you believe Audible has acted fraudulently, and you can't afford to initiate a lawsuit, you may want to consider filing a complaint with your state's consumer protection agency, and/or, the federal Bureau of Consumer Protection (overseen by the Federal Trade Commission [FTC]). If you do, you may want to copy your complaint via registered snail mail to Audible's Legal Department as those are the people with the power to resolve the matter with you.

    Offline Wayne Stinnett

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    Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
    « Reply #24 on: November 01, 2020, 10:40:06 am »
    I'm hoping that this is some ill-conceived idea by some bean counter who had no knowledge of how a credit return works, to get the Audible ship across shallow Covid waters. In times like this, when people are out of work, the first sacrifice they'll make is where their entertainment dollars go. I can see Audible having a very high rate of unsubscribers through this.

    Then someone came up with an idea to keep those subscribers on. Instead of one credit per month for $14.95, they can now have unlimited.

    It'd be a great idea if the huge juggernaut that is Amazon took the hit, but to pass it down to the rights holder is borderline grand theft. While not directly taking part, an accomplice is usually found to be as guilty as the perpetrator. "But Your Honor, I was only driving the robbers' getaway car. I didn't kill all the bank hostages." Guilty on all five counts of first degree murder.
    My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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      Offline MMSN

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #25 on: November 01, 2020, 11:10:40 am »
      I've no idea of course, but this is my opinion: Amazon wanted to create an audiobook subscription model (a la KU) but the cost of audiobook creation was financially prohibitive to such a model. So, instead Amazon created a somewhat different model (ACX), one that urges listeners to "buy" the audiobooks with very fluid "credits" which are then restored to the listener upon the listener's return of the audiobook so the listener can "buy" another one, which Amazon encourages the listener to do. Amazon then clandestinely passes the financial loss onto the audiobook creator. ACX thereupon ends up being essentially the same model as KU, just gets there by a different route. Audiobook creators suspected (just like KU authors suspected when Page Flip appeared and their page reads started diminishing) but didn't know for sure until Audible did the October 20 glitch which exposed it.

      Online Usedtoposthere

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #26 on: November 01, 2020, 06:28:57 pm »
      Audible has always been a subscription model (using credits), for the record. I was an early customer. ACX is different only in that individual authors can publish audio, rather than just publishers.

      As a huge Audible customer for 20+ years, I do have to say that I have never, in all this time, been encouraged to return an audiobook and get another one instead. I haven't looked at my returns. I'm sure it's an issue, but I don't think there's anything nefarious. It's a screw-up, like many others. One thing I've learned in 8 years of hybrid publishing is that there are always screw-ups! It's one reason I went for the opportunity to put my books into Escape--because you never know what the platforms or publishers will do, so if something looks like it'll be good for you short-term, it might be worth going for it.

      Offline Undercover Writer

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #27 on: November 01, 2020, 06:39:28 pm »
      I've just submitted a request to join the FB group, and I will suggest this there, too...

      Why not copy [email protected] on any ACX emails? This scam should be screamed to the highest Amazon officers, not to get anything done, but to let them know that we're on to them!

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #28 on: November 01, 2020, 11:56:22 pm »
      I'm hoping that this is some ill-conceived idea by some bean counter who had no knowledge of how a credit return works, to get the Audible ship across shallow Covid waters.
      Then someone came up with an idea to keep those subscribers on. Instead of one credit per month for $14.95, they can now have unlimited.

      I think this is pretty right Wayne. Only thing is, I thought this was impacting on my sales way back about nine months ago and we've found blog posts dating back to 2016 teaching how to do this. Many on Reddit pre 2019 too. A FB post in an audiobook fan group about this dates back more than twelve months. We just hadn't noticed because of the omission of a column for returns and even code credits. Seems simple enough to split both those out, so an author gets an accurate picture and Audible too.

      I mean if you got 30 to 50% of your books being returned from you book shelves, you'd think you might want to weed those books out for poor customer experience maybe. Then again, the customer experience as you say might be exactly what they want. My personal opinion had been this was an ill conceived marketing idea that grew and grew.

      However we are now well into the second week and seven email chains long on ACX not giving us our returns data. This makes me think there is something rotten in Denmark.

      You'd be losing a bit, I would think with your sales. I've seen several larger income authors here talking about their audible sales decreasing and I'd put it down to this. 50% return is a pretty high tally. Hopefully we'll eventually force them to give us our data. There does seem to be a change in the app pushed through today stating the returns are capped at 90 days now. Seems very convenient when there's a rabble at your door with pitchforks and waving email chains demanding audits. We'll see...

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #29 on: November 02, 2020, 05:43:38 am »
      I've just submitted a request to join the FB group, and I will suggest this there, too...

      Why not copy [email protected] on any ACX emails? This scam should be screamed to the highest Amazon officers, not to get anything done, but to let them know that we're on to them!

      Trust me, we have. Dozens of authors have written to ACX & Jeff asking for our returns data. So far not getting anywhere. We just keep getting cookie cutter replies & escalation that ends up back to the same answer & low level operator. Its quite bizarre actually.

      Offline markpauloleksiw

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #30 on: November 02, 2020, 09:11:05 am »
      I am not in audible and don't plan to. But, is it possible Amazon has problems with product quality and this is their way to deal with it.  Of course, this is no fair to authors.

      Mark

      Offline ShawnaReads

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #31 on: November 02, 2020, 10:10:57 am »
      I am not in audible and don't plan to. But, is it possible Amazon has problems with product quality and this is their way to deal with it.  Of course, this is no fair to authors.

      Mark

      I wouldn't say it's not 'fair'. 'Fair' is to some extent a matter of opinion, and it implies it's up to Amazon's discretion what they pay authors/publishers for selling their books. It sounds like a child asking for a better hand-out from a parent. It puts authors/publishers/narrator in the role of supplicant, which is never a great stance to take when you're trying to hold a massive company accountable. This is a matter of what they legally owe authors, what their actual legal obligations are and whether or not they're meeting them. It's not a matter of 'fairness'.

      Offline Crystal_

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #32 on: November 02, 2020, 11:00:45 am »
      I wouldn't say it's not 'fair'. 'Fair' is to some extent a matter of opinion, and it implies it's up to Amazon's discretion what they pay authors/publishers for selling their books. It sounds like a child asking for a better hand-out from a parent. It puts authors/publishers/narrator in the role of supplicant, which is never a great stance to take when you're trying to hold a massive company accountable. This is a matter of what they legally owe authors, what their actual legal obligations are and whether or not they're meeting them. It's not a matter of 'fairness'.

      Legal obligations come first, but I can't really agree that fairness is irrelevant. It may be irrelevant to what Amazon does, but it's not irrelevant to business.

      Business can take advantage of people, but IMO that's not the best long term move. Eventually, people who are treated unfairly wise up and find someone who treats them better.

      I always try to pay my contractors fairly. That way, they have a reason to stay with me long term, and I don't have to go to the trouble of finding new contractors. Win/win.

      Offline jb1111

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #33 on: November 02, 2020, 02:26:00 pm »
      Yes, that is correct. A year later, the author will receive a negative against sales for the day & the amount of that sale will be deducted from their profit tally.

      Some days you lose money on Audible sales. Whats worse is that we have no way of knowing how many have been returned as there is no returns column like there is in KDP.

      Currently as we are requesting this returns tally, we are getting the run around with them saying different things.

      Some customer service reps say its there in the end of month reports. Its not, never has been. Others are saying theyll forward it to the design team as a future feature. A future features??? Its a basic accounting necessity.  Others are saying theyll investigate & sorry if its mildly annoying. Mildly annoying??  Youre encouraging piracy & hiding it. None of us signed up for an unlimited lending library for no payment.

      Its a big issue & leaving Audible will not solve it. Going to wide distribution you still need to distribute back to Audible & are captured in this returns fraud. This is an issue that affects all indies & possibly even authors distributed through publishers.

      I know it sounds incredible, that ACX & Audible would commit this type of fraud right in the open but its happening. Go to the Audible advertisement page & log out if youre a member & look at what they call a benefit. Its a varying wording of return you books anytime, no questions asked. Check your audible app & look at the pull down menu next to a book youve bought. It has a return button. Thats all it says. If you hit that button, it automatically returns.

      If you return too many times, all you need to do is call, email or chat & theyll return the book for you. No problem. We pay for that!!

      But doesn't Amazon lose money on such returns as well? What is in it for them?

      Offline MMSN

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #34 on: November 02, 2020, 03:29:22 pm »
      The subscription money and keeping customers in the buy-on-Amazon universe.

      Offline Crystal_

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #35 on: November 02, 2020, 03:47:20 pm »
      But doesn't Amazon lose money on such returns as well? What is in it for them?

      Amazon owns Audible. If a subscribers pays with a credit, I don't see why they would lose money on the return.

      If anything, they'll save money not paying the author for the sale.

      Offline ShawnaReads

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #36 on: November 02, 2020, 04:38:32 pm »
      Legal obligations come first, but I can't really agree that fairness is irrelevant. It may be irrelevant to what Amazon does, but it's not irrelevant to business.

      Business can take advantage of people, but IMO that's not the best long term move. Eventually, people who are treated unfairly wise up and find someone who treats them better.

      I always try to pay my contractors fairly. That way, they have a reason to stay with me long term, and I don't have to go to the trouble of finding new contractors. Win/win.

      Yes, true. I totally agree about that, in a broader business sense. I think for this particular Audible issue, we should be talking about the legal issues (whether or not this constitutes theft or breach of contract or something like that, for instance). I guess I would say that talk of fairness should only come in when the party in question would be entirely within their legal right to do whatever it is that's harmful to the other party.

      Offline Bite the Dusty

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #37 on: November 02, 2020, 04:57:58 pm »
      Weirdly, I just happened to have a Sarah Z YouTube video essay on while I was cooking and at the end of her video, sponsored by Audible, she mentions as part of her script that if you don't like an audiobook you use your credit to get, you can just return it and get a different one. They're literally advertising it.

      The video is two years old.

      I get that customer service is important, it's kind of a dying art if you look at our options for just about any service, but this is just advertising a loophole to abuse.

      Offline ShawnaReads

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #38 on: November 02, 2020, 05:54:46 pm »
      I get that customer service is important, it's kind of a dying art if you look at our options for just about any service, but this is just advertising a loophole to abuse.

      When it comes down to it, this is Amazon/Audible adding value to their product (the subscription service/monthly credit) at no cost to themselves, passing the cost directly onto suppliers (authors/publishers/narrators) with zero compensation and being incredibly shady about by refusing to acknowledge the issue or give suppliers access to returns information. Returns are usually fine because the vendor/store usually takes the loss. The store gets to decide the return policy, and the store is the one putting their profit on the line to back it up. That's not what Audible is doing, therefore the typical rules about the leeway a store has to determine their own returns policy doesn't apply (as far as I'm concerned). I really think (from my completely non-lawyer POV) that this practice would not hold up in any unbiased court, if anyone actually had the money to take Amazon to court over this. But maybe it's something that authors could get the government to look into as some kind of illegal activity or noncompliance with some kind of law/rule/statute, rather than trying to take them to civil court. But like I said, not a lawyer, so I don't know. (But I do know that the government is a lot more available to investigate complaints about companies misbehaving than the average person seems to be aware of.)
      « Last Edit: November 02, 2020, 06:02:23 pm by ShawnaReads »

      Offline Crystal_

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #39 on: November 02, 2020, 08:16:51 pm »
      It certainly sounds illegal to me, especially if Amazon is encouraging returns (whether it's an accidental or intentional policy). But IANAL and I have not looked at the ACX contract to note the language regarding returns.

      It's certainly another in the no way ACX column for me. I hate ACX as it is--long wait times, low ROI, even on eBooks that sell a ton while the audio is out--but this is next level.

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #40 on: November 03, 2020, 12:01:22 am »
      If anyone needs this completely spelled out and see the proof of what Audible/ACX/Amazon or doing in what I call #AudibleGate, here's my lengthy blog post on the subject.
      https://www.susanmaywriter.net/single-post/audiblegate-the-incredible-story-of-missing-sales

       Please share if you feel so inclined. The more the word gets out the sooner this will be changed and Audible gets their hands out of our wallets.

      Oh, and Cory Doctorow has picked it up. https://twitter.com/doctorow/status/1323469836941340672 

      I've been emailing him for a few days and he's just tweeted to his 500k followers and his commentary will be on his blog and in his newsletter tomorrow. So, this should become even bigger news in the coming days.

      If you want to join our group, even just for moral support or to see how this is progressing, we now stand at nearly 700 and growing, this is our feisty selves here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible/

      This isn't one of those issues that is going away, trust me... because you can't trust Amazon, that's for sure and someone's got to stop them and say, hell, no!... and why not a bunch of indie authors and narrators?

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #41 on: November 03, 2020, 08:15:46 am »
      When it comes down to it, this is Amazon/Audible adding value to their product (the subscription service/monthly credit) at no cost to themselves, passing the cost directly onto suppliers (authors/publishers/narrators) with zero compensation and being incredibly shady about by refusing to acknowledge the issue or give suppliers access to returns information. Returns are usually fine because the vendor/store usually takes the loss. The store gets to decide the return policy, and the store is the one putting their profit on the line to back it up. That's not what Audible is doing, therefore the typical rules about the leeway a store has to determine their own returns policy doesn't apply (as far as I'm concerned). I really think (from my completely non-lawyer POV) that this practice would not hold up in any unbiased court, if anyone actually had the money to take Amazon to court over this. But maybe it's something that authors could get the government to look into as some kind of illegal activity or noncompliance with some kind of law/rule/statute, rather than trying to take them to civil court. But like I said, not a lawyer, so I don't know. (But I do know that the government is a lot more available to investigate complaints about companies misbehaving than the average person seems to be aware of.)

      We're investigating every possibility. Got about 600 odd authors and narrators working on it as we speak. :)

      Offline nightwork

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #42 on: November 05, 2020, 03:47:59 pm »
      I am not in audible and don't plan to. But, is it possible Amazon has problems with product quality and this is their way to deal with it.  Of course, this is no fair to authors.

      Mark

      audible/acx spend a long time checking the audiobook for quality before they release it

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #43 on: November 06, 2020, 05:25:52 pm »
      audible/acx spend a long time checking the audiobook for quality before they release it

      Exactly, they check quality, so returns cant possibly make any sense at 50% returns.

      This month we also have a feeling its grown higher. Im looking at 70% return/theft of my books & others are reporting the same. Please join our fight if you have an audiobook on Audible via any distributor as we need everyone. Even if you are considering an audiobook, you can get involved. This affects every author & narrator & publisher.

      We have about 750 in our FB group & we are getting somewhere. A lot of big organizations are looking into this through our efforts.

      You can read about it here: https://www.susanmaywriter.net/single-post/audiblegate-the-incredible-story-of-missing-sales

      and join us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible

      Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #44 on: November 08, 2020, 04:48:24 pm »
      I've just asked to be admitted to your Facebook group. I have 35 ACX/Audible audio books and have been selling with them since 2013. I had NO IDEA about any of this 'returns' problem. I tried to look on my ACX Dashboard to see if I could see any signs of returns, etc. I can't. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? Anyway, I will keep following this.










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      Offline Sam Kates

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #45 on: November 09, 2020, 02:56:31 am »
      I've just asked to be admitted to your Facebook group. I have 35 ACX/Audible audio books and have been selling with them since 2013. I had NO IDEA about any of this 'returns' problem. I tried to look on my ACX Dashboard to see if I could see any signs of returns, etc. I can't. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? Anyway, I will keep following this.

      I believe that's the crux of the problem - they don't tell us how many returns we have so the only way we even know they happen at all is by monitoring the overall sales figures and watching for them to go down.

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #46 on: November 11, 2020, 01:07:12 am »
      I've just asked to be admitted to your Facebook group. I have 35 ACX/Audible audio books and have been selling with them since 2013. I had NO IDEA about any of this 'returns' problem. I tried to look on my ACX Dashboard to see if I could see any signs of returns, etc. I can't. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? Anyway, I will keep following this.

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for joining us. Youre not missing anything. There are no returns figures to see. They are hidden beneath the sales.

      Weve also now sent more than a hundred emails to ACX & Audible from our group asking for the returns to be given to us in a separated spreadsheet. Many authors have also stated that as per the Audible/Acx agreements that they do not accept their last three months of statements & want them audited & again nothing has been supplied & no communication other than its been sent to the business unit & they have no idea when this will be actioned.

      We are now into week four of writing & its becoming a sickening joke as we watch returns still flood in, continue to watch Audible promote returns, no questions asked & read in FB groups about readers who urge other readers that if you cant afford to pay for audiobooks then go right ahead & swap already listened to books.

      If youve got that many books, you have had thousands if not tens of thousands, maybe more siphoned from your income. This is a very important issue for all authors, indie & trad pubbed to come together on.

      We welcome anyone else to join our fight. Our group is now 800 strong & growing every day, and we have one focus: stop this theft, make returns transparent so we cant be tricked again & recover our lost income. If anyone wants that too, please join us.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/fairdealwithaudible

      Offline jb1111

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #47 on: November 11, 2020, 02:01:27 am »
      After reading through the blog post you linked, it makes me wonder just how much money has been left on the table by those who claim to have made lots of money in audio books.

      Over the past several months, there have been various threads here on KB discussing the benefits / liabilities of going audio in indie book publishing. The pro-audio people say it's a good deal, if you have the capital to fund the audio. Liability-wise, of course, is that it's expensive to produce an audio book if you're not sure you'll get an ROI.

      Now with this apparent glitch in the system, I wonder just how much money even the successful audiobook indie authors have lost.

      I'm surprised more authors haven't said much on this thread. Maybe it only affects certain audiobooks?

      Offline SusanMayWriter

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #48 on: November 11, 2020, 05:00:12 am »
      After reading through the blog post you linked, it makes me wonder just how much money has been left on the table by those who claim to have made lots of money in audio books.

      Over the past several months, there have been various threads here on KB discussing the benefits / liabilities of going audio in indie book publishing. The pro-audio people say it's a good deal, if you have the capital to fund the audio. Liability-wise, of course, is that it's expensive to produce an audio book if you're not sure you'll get an ROI.

      Now with this apparent glitch in the system, I wonder just how much money even the successful audiobook indie authors have lost.

      I'm surprised more authors haven't said much on this thread. Maybe it only affects certain audiobooks?

      Ive been a little surprised too. This is a bigger story than scammers & fluctuating KU payments. But maybe authors are afraid to speak out or theyve just come over & joined our group without saying anything.

      I dont blame any author for being afraid though. Every person has to do whats best for them.

      And, yes, the bigger authors will have lost tens of thousands. Maybe more.

      Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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      Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
      « Reply #49 on: November 11, 2020, 09:38:43 am »
      SusanMayWriter and all here:
      I just got this update/notice from ACX: https://mx2.htc.net:7443/surgeweb?cmd=msgpart&sid=191861212&ident=1&fld_id=INBOX&msg_id=0_171300&part_id=2&process=simple_wash

      It talks about the "return problem" as well as the long delays in getting the new audio books out. Interesting.










      Kathryn Meyer Griffith horror/thriller/murder mystery author since 1984; 29 novels, 13 short stories
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        Offline ShawnaReads

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        Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
        « Reply #50 on: November 11, 2020, 11:29:54 am »
        Yeah, the new message from ACX seems to basically just say, "We hear you, and we're looking into it", which ... isn't exactly reassuring. It sounds a lot like a put-off. They need to stop giving their business partners vague reassurances with zero time frames.

        Offline SusanMayWriter

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        Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
        « Reply #51 on: November 12, 2020, 12:41:26 am »
        Yeah, the new message from ACX seems to basically just say, "We hear you, and we're looking into it", which ... isn't exactly reassuring. It sounds a lot like a put-off. They need to stop giving their business partners vague reassurances with zero time frames.

        Exactly! I even saw a few people rejoicing that theyre listening. Give me a break if you havent been paying attention to this scam.

        Let me remind everyone that Audible/ACX have been promoting the return of audiobooks for any reason, no questions asked, everywhere they can & it has grown to the point where that return number for authors is between 25-50%. They have been hiding that percentage from authors & when authors have asked up to ten times in the last three weeks for their returns data, theyve been ignored, brushed off or told no can do. In fact, many have asked more than a year ago & been sent on their way empty-handed.

        Then they say, sorry, it hadnt been that bad. You just need to trust us on this. After all, were the best data collection and analyst company in the world but no matter where we look we just cant seem to find that pesky data that would prove what we say to you.

        But, hey, heres 5% of nothing for a month. And if youre real good well let ya out in the exercise yard next month for a an extra hour a day. Now be good little feudal farmers & go back to writing books & please stop emailing us. You know we really care because we said so.

        Offline Wayne Stinnett

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        Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
        « Reply #52 on: November 21, 2020, 06:39:21 am »
        I've just asked to be admitted to your Facebook group. I have 35 ACX/Audible audio books and have been selling with them since 2013. I had NO IDEA about any of this 'returns' problem. I tried to look on my ACX Dashboard to see if I could see any signs of returns, etc. I can't. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place? Anyway, I will keep following this.

        You have to look at individual days not a week or month. I've recorded daily sales of everything since I started seven years ago. If you look at a single day (and October 20 would be a good day to start with), you'll see that if a book had no activity on that day, it's simply not listed on the dashboard. If it did have activity, the cumulative number of sales for that day is shown. Even if it's zero. One sale and one return is a cumulative zero. So, count zeros as a known return. But it could just as easily be two sales and two returns. You might see a one, which would indicate one sale, right? Or it could be two sales and one return. Or five sales and four returns.

        Audible's reporting is totally suspect.
        My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
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        Offline Wayne Stinnett

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        Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
        « Reply #53 on: November 21, 2020, 06:44:38 am »
        Author's Guild has set up a petition page in advance of it's cease and desist letter. If you've been affected or just want to stand with those who have been, please consider signing on.
        https://www.authorsguild.org/industry-advocacy/sign-our-letter-and-tell-audible-to-stop-charging-authors-for-returns/
        My Bestselling, 18-volume Jesse McDermitt Series and the spinoff,  5-volume Charity Styles Series, also bestsellers, are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback, wherever books are sold. In my motivational non-fiction, Blue Collar to No Collar, I provide tips, advice, and strategies for new authors, also available in the same formats. Don't forget to visit the Ship's Store for Jesse McDermitt swag.
        Wayne Stinnett | Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Twitter | Talk Write Podcast | Ship's Store

        Offline SusanMayWriter

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        Re: AudibleGate & what you can do about it!
        « Reply #54 on: November 21, 2020, 08:35:57 am »
        Author's Guild has set up a petition page in advance of it's cease and desist letter. If you've been affected or just want to stand with those who have been, please consider signing on.
        https://www.authorsguild.org/industry-advocacy/sign-our-letter-and-tell-audible-to-stop-charging-authors-for-returns/

        And make sure you share far & wide. This is an important letter.

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