Audible Will Soon Break Out Returns in ACX

Remember last November when author groups such as ALLi, SFWA, and The Authors Guild wrote an open letter to Amazon protesting Audible’s returns and exchange policies?

We’re finally seeing some progress on this front. While Amazon is still actively promoting returns as a benefit of subscribing, they did just announce on the ACX blog that they are going to launch a new sales dashboard in March 2021. The new dashboard will break out returns by title. (Previously, Audible had provided no info on returns, instead hiding the info by showing only net sales.)

I have the ACX blog post at the end of this post.

On a related note, last November Audible changed its return policies so that creators would still get paid if a customer returned an audiobook months after buying it.

We’re committed to making Audible and ACX the best experience it can be for our creative community, and we’ve heard your feedback. We have been hard at work building a new reporting system to reflect details on returns, including returned units by title. Starting March 2021, you’ll be able to see this data on your ACX Sales Dashboard. This data will also be included in your monthly financial statements for March 2021 and the following months. We appreciate your patience as we invest the time and resources to make these updates to the dashboard and our backend systems, so that we can expand reporting details for our thousands of creators. As of January 1, 2021, we are paying royalties on any return made more than 7 days after purchase.

We are also making other changes to our ACX policies to provide more flexibility, which we know is important to you. Effective February 1, ACX Rights Holders of DIY or Pay-for-Production titles that have been on sale for 90 or more days can convert their distribution type from exclusive to non-exclusive. In addition, all ACX Rights Holders will have the option to terminate after 90 days of distribution, but Rights Holders with Royalty Share or Royalty Share Plus deals must provide Producer consent when making their request. More details about this update will come in the payments letter that will be sent next week.

image by athriftymrs.com via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. gbm20 January, 2021

    My question is why would they accept a return months later? That is not what I would call reasonable.

    Reply
  2. Greg Weeks20 January, 2021

    So that people will buy when they have sales. If I find it’s crap and I can’t return it because I bought it in a sale 3 months ago I’m going to stop buying from sales.

    Reply
  3. Anna Castle21 January, 2021

    This shows that writers’ groups do have power. ACX must’ve gotten a ton of email about this from writers. I added my $0.02 and got an answer within a day. Canned, certainly, but still addressed to me alone. They haven’t reached the level of author-consideration of Findaway, for example, but this accounting change alone is something to be glad about. And it’s good to know we can turn even this behemoth around a little bit, if we band together.

    Reply
  4. Andrew22 January, 2021

    I buy way in advance with Audible because I know when I finally listen I can exchange bad books. If that changes I’ll just stop buying and go back to free podcasts for my commute.

    Reply
  5. […] Holders” group has kept up the pressure. This week, there has been movement from Audible, as Nate reported over at The Digital Reader. The announcement of increased transparency over returns comes with an interesting header from ACX. […]

    Reply
  6. […] Holders” group has kept up the pressure. This week, there has been movement from Audible, as Nate reported over at The Digital Reader. The announcement of increased transparency over returns comes with an interesting header from ACX. […]

    Reply
  7. […] Holders” group has kept up the pressure. This week, there has been movement from Audible, as Nate reported over at The Digital Reader. The announcement of increased transparency over returns comes with an interesting header from ACX. […]

    Reply

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