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KateDanley said:
I am so sorry this happened to people! It is just awful... I would encourage everyone to join the Authors Guild and not be afraid to use their legal services if something like this happens in the future (or if you currently have a book that is still affected.)

https://www.authorsguild.org/

https://www.authorsguild.org/member-services/legal-services/
The Authors' Guild has a poor track record when it comes to actually helping authors, especially when going against the tradpubs. Since this is going against Amazon, they might be a bit more proactive. However, I would recommend joining RWA or SFWA before joining Authors' Guild, if you happen to write in those genres--even tangentially.
 

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David VanDyke said:
The Authors' Guild has a poor track record when it comes to actually helping authors, especially when going against the tradpubs. Since this is going against Amazon, they might be a bit more proactive. However, I would recommend joining RWA or SFWA before joining Authors' Guild, if you happen to write in those genres--even tangentially.
Actually David G is looking into it, I believe. I think things will be reported in coming month or so once we see what happens with negotiations. Early days. Nate wrote a small article after the email came out too.
 

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WasAnn said:
I honestly don't see how it could be a mistake in any way, shape, or form. The coding required alone to link the books to the KU ecosystem, to allow the ACX linked download without it being tallied (meaning it would have to be coded to exempt all DLs from the normal accounting channels), and the actual listening as well would have required multiple stages of code change in multiple bailiwicks, and even between two companies that...theoretically...have separate accounting.
https://xkcd.com/2030/

I could easily see this being an accident.
 

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WasAnn said:
If the same thing would have happened with say, books, instead of the audiobook, I think bad tingles might go up more spines.

Think of it this way, what if this *would* have been books. Imagine if the Mighty Z had taken the most popular book in a bunch of midlist catalogs, including people just barely calling themselves midlist, and just stuck it in Prime/KU. No contract, no offer. Your book is one of them. It's your anchor, the one that gets you new readers. Now also imagine that they decided you wouldn't be paid for those reads. Not only that, but they won't even count on your records how often it's being downloaded.

They didn't ask. They didn't inform. They just did it.
This is, actually, what they do with popular trad published books that they pull into KU. Which they then compensate at the full royalty as if they book had been sold, even though it is only being borrowed. Because the agreement with the publisher is that they will be compensated "x" amount for each purchase. KU is simply counted as a purchase. No contract needed.

In this case, authors are being compensated at the full royalty for the full price of the audiobook when it is purchased a la carte, which is almost always higher than the royalty paid for a purchase made with a monthly credit or a add-this-audiobook-with-your-ebook-purchase for "x" amount.

And yes, my only audiobook got caught up in this, so I'm not uninvolved. But I'm thrilled that they are paying the full a la carte price, because that is the highest amount they would owe me if they sold the book.

There's no conspiracy here. They made a mistake. A really big one. It happens. Somebody threw the wrong (digital) switch and there was no safeguard against that happening. The bells and whistles did not fire.

It would be nowhere near as simple as unflipping that switch. Seriously, IT departments are not staffed by wizards (like most of the people who call the help desk expect). QA failures like this take time to track down, and they can't always be done quickly without potentially making things worse.

To solve it, someone first had to report it. And since it wasn't something you'd normally look for, it probably took a while for someone to do that.

First Amazon had to find the cause, then they had discover which audiobooks were affected. After that, they'd have to figure out how to get those books to be counted as sold instead of a la carte so the author could be compensated. That certainly could not be a manual process given the number of audiobooks that seem to be affected.

Only then could they undo the problem. If they tampered before researching and applying corrective code, it could have gone much more wrong and people could have ended up not getting compensated unless they knew their book had been included.

I think Amazon handled this exactly right. And I seldom agree with them :)
 

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I got the same series of emails this week.

What I am trying to learn from this is: Can my audio books now be put in KU? And will I be compensated for downloads the same as an Audible sale? That would be awesome!

...or is this just a scrambled attempt at appeasement. How does the normal compensation work for Audible books in KU?
 

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Jill Nojack said:
I think Amazon handled this exactly right. And I seldom agree with them :)
I'm merely a prawn but two of my six KU books were affected by this; here's what I am receiving for the audiobooks which they say were given away during this situation:

Missy the Werecat (Unabridged) P. G. Allison US 20.00% 21 $24.95 $104.79
Missy's Misadventure:
Missy the Werecat, Book 4 (Unabridged) P. G. Allison US 40.00% 17 $24.95 $169.66
Grand Total 38 $274.45

I don't plan on complaining.
 

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Hmmm...yes, I just got another email from them about royalties owed and totals in an XLS file.  Should I assume that next month we'll get another 'Audio given away free' report and extra payment too, as the 'mistake' wasn't shut off completely until August sometime right..?
 

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I noticed that the report I received said JULY EARNINGS at the top. Didn't we first start noticing these problems in May? What about the sales from May and June?
 

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Content removed due to TOS Change of 2018. I do not agree to the terms.
 

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WasAnn said:
Yes, the original poster on this thread brought it to light in May, but no one really commented on it for their own books for a long time. It's hard to know when it started.
All 14 of my books were affected so I'm really interested to see when this started. My Audible sales started to slow around May, but I didn't have any proof that anything was wrong until I got that first email from them and came here and saw this thread.

If this really is just payment for KU borrows on my books in July I want to see payment for May, June, and whenever they got this straightened out in August.
 

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I received the same email with the amount per download. I'm going back to them now to talk numbers.

I've advised that I don't accept their offer of compensation and am listing why. They should be paying this the same as they pay for Prime Reading inclusion, which is a lump sum. Possibly if my book hadn't already been valued in Prime for a reasonable amount, I mightn't feel so strongly about this. So I understand others might feel it's okay.

I haven't heard from the rep who has handled this for me from the start, which is kinda rude because her last message was that she would get back to me once they had investigated how it happened and what they were thinking of in compensation.

Thus begins negotiations, which anyone who has had an illegal use of their copyrighted material, is well entitled to do. Amazon is no different to any other company or person who uses intellectual property illegally. A glitch isn't an excuse. Otherwise anyone can cause an accident and the absolve themselves by saying "Its a glitch, sorry. Here's $100 or whatever to make up for it." I doubt courts see that as an excuse.

Also, my book is still showing as included in the program on the Free audiobooks in Kindle Unlimited link, although it's now not able to be downloaded for free as an audio. So they are still using it, and others that are no longer available, to promote their program. Not cool.
 

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Trevor H Cooley said:
If this really is just payment for KU borrows on my books in July I want to see payment for May, June, and whenever they got this straightened out in August.
From what I understand from talking to them the payment we received was for July backwards to when it started. But perhaps I misunderstood. It sounded like there may be a bit more in coming months perhaps the bit it was included in August. Which I don't think will be much because my books were taken down in the first few days of the month.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Yes, I'm pretty sure the money we got was for all downloads across the months. I received $9.60 per audiobook download when all was said and done. I have no idea how long my audiobook was in KU but I had a lot of 'free' downloads in KU so I'm more than happy with the payout - plus I heard from listeners who went on to buy the others audiobooks in the series so it ended up being a win for me. Honestly, if KU were to actually ask me to use my audiobook and offered to pay me like they did, I'd be all in. ;D

And Susan, I totally get where you're coming from and absolutely don't condone using our copyrighted audiobooks without permission so I'm happy you're fighting for what you believe. My book was also in US Prime about two years ago (and is currently in the program in Australia) but I didn't get close to what you got for inclusion (Mine was $1000). So for me, my acx 'mistake payout' was much better than Prime.
 

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jmb3 said:
Yes, I'm pretty sure the money we got was for all downloads across the months. I received $9.60 per audiobook download when all was said and done. I have no idea how long my audiobook was in KU but I had a lot of 'free' downloads in KU so I'm more than happy with the payout - plus I heard from listeners who went on to buy the others audiobooks in the series so it ended up being a win for me. Honestly, if KU were to actually ask me to use my audiobook and offered to pay me like they did, I'd be all in. ;D

And Susan, I totally get where you're coming from and absolutely don't condone using our copyrighted audiobooks without permission so I'm happy you're fighting for what you believe. My book was also in US Prime about two years ago (and is currently in the program in Australia) but I didn't get close to what you got for inclusion (Mine was $1000). So for me, my acx 'mistake payout' was much better than Prime.
I'm glad their mistake worked out for you. There are various trains of thought on that and I think everybody, based on their own experience, should do what they think best. Glad you had a win. Awesome.
 

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jmb3 said:
Yes, I'm pretty sure the money we got was for all downloads across the months. I received $9.60 per audiobook download when all was said and done. I have no idea how long my audiobook was in KU but I had a lot of 'free' downloads in KU so I'm more than happy with the payout - plus I heard from listeners who went on to buy the others audiobooks in the series so it ended up being a win for me. Honestly, if KU were to actually ask me to use my audiobook and offered to pay me like they did, I'd be all in. ;D

And Susan, I totally get where you're coming from and absolutely don't condone using our copyrighted audiobooks without permission so I'm happy you're fighting for what you believe. My book was also in US Prime about two years ago (and is currently in the program in Australia) but I didn't get close to what you got for inclusion (Mine was $1000). So for me, my acx 'mistake payout' was much better than Prime.
To say you're pretty sure it was for all three months is fine. But it specifically says July unit sales. June and may are not mentioned. It's not broken down by date in any way. What if there's another 1000 dollars worth of sales you didn't get credit for yet? We need to make sure that we get what we are owed.
 
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