Updated: Indie Authors' Audiobooks Were (Are) Getting Dragooned Into Kindle Unlimited
If you are an indie author with ebooks in Kindle Unlimited and audiobooks sold through Audible, you should check to see if the latter have been pressed into Kindle Unlimited when you weren’t looking.
Over the past several months a number of authors have noticed that their Audible audiobooks have been showing up in Kindle Unlimited alongside the matching ebook without the authors' permission.
Update: This issue has been fixed, and the affected authors have been compensated.
I just heard from a fan who signed up for KU because she noticed she could both listen and read my book for 'free'. This was news to me as I independently produce my audiobook and then upload the finished product to ACX. I am the producer and copyright owner and have never given my permission for KU to give my audiobook away for free.
This is a problem because first, the authors never gave permission to add the audiobook to KU, and more importantly because there’s no clear mechanism for authors to be compensated for audiobook listens in Kindle Unlimited.
According to a thread I am following on KBoards, this problem has been going on for at least three months, with no part of Amazon seemingly able to solve it.
KDP Support said it was beyond their control, and passed the buck to Audible. Audible customer service brushed me off with form emails, and ACX (Audible Creation Exchange) ignored one author for at least a month, ruining his audiobook sales, before finally telling the author they had fixed the problem.
I do not know that this has been fixed, but I did get an email this morning from ACX in which they said they had resolved the issue.
Thank you for reaching out to ACX. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.
A technical issue caused some audiobooks to be offered in Kindle Unlimited in error. ACX has removed your title and will provide you with an update on royalty credits for any of your audiobooks that were offered in the program in error. ACX Is carefully reviewing this matter and will reach out with more information soon. We’re sorry for the inconvenience this caused.
In the meantime, please let me know if we can provide additional information or assistance. We’re here to help. Thank you for your patience.
I do not know that I beleive them when they say this has been fixed, but I do think they are trying, and so I would like to give them a little more motivation.
If you have ebooks in KU, check to see if your audiobooks are there as well. If you find them then you should go complain to ACX and demand that they remove your audiobooks from KU and compensate you for the unauthorized borrows.
Then, after they do pay you, can you come here and tell us what you got?
This will help other authors get a fair rate and not get low-balled or even worse, brushed off with no compensation at all.