When Audible revealed in late February that they were going to pay a 57 cent royalty for a ten-hour audiobook in the Audible Romance subscription service, authors were understandably dismayed.
This new royalty represented a huge drop in earnings compared to an audiobook sale, enough to make romance audiobooks simply uneconomical for the average self-published author.
Authors have been left with questions like how Audible is going to fix the program, whether they can get out of it, and how this is going to affect the romance audiobook market.
As far as this blogger can tell, none of those questions have been answered. I have sent five emails to Audible, and received no answers, and I do not know of a single author or narrator who has had their questions about Audible Romance answered. For example:
— Nya Rawlyns (@Nya_Rawlyns) March 30, 2018
Hey @audible_com Your representative lied on a Facebook post about the Romance Package so listeners don't find out how you are ghosting #authors and #narrators . I've checked my email. You are not in touch with me or any of my author/narrator friends who want our content removed pic.twitter.com/jKRrlBe8ix
— Isobel Starling (@isobel_starling) March 30, 2018
Audible has, however, sent out a bonus to participating authors, but have yet to explain how they calculated the bonus.
Audible also told Audible Romance subscribers on Facebook that they are communicating with authors.
We are in touch with participating authors and rights holders in the Romance Package with updates and information. To preserve this Facebook Group as a place for our listeners, we will not be sharing those business conversations here, but ask that authors, narrators and rights holders contact their business representative. Thank you!
Again, Audible isn't answering questions, but they have sent a couple form letters.
Here's the second one:
Thank you for reaching out. My colleagues and I understand your concerns about the Romance Package and we want you to know that we take your feedback very seriously. Our enthusiasm for the Audible Romance offering has been validated by customers’ listening response that has greatly exceeded our expectations. We want our Romance service to be a success for everyone who participates and we recognize that these impressive consumption patterns have challenged our original economic model for the service. Our teams are working quickly to adjust our model based on customer usage and author feedback we’ve gotten to provide a solution that addresses your concerns. We appreciate your participation in this pioneering new service as we double down on the incredible potential of the Romance listening category. We will be in touch with more information as soon as we can.
Sending a form letter does not count as being "in touch" in my book, but I am sure some will disagree.
A month has passed, folks, and all we have are vague promises with no real answers.
Audible won't even say whether or not they will let authors pull their titles from the program. This would be a relatively simple way to assuage concerns, and yet Audible is keeping authors both locked into the program as well as in the dark concerning possible changes to the program.
Am I the only one who thinks it is past time to start getting concerned?
image by LibAmanda