Amazon’s Move That Should Have Authors Worried

Picture1In a blog post yesterday, Amazon’s Audible audiobooks service announced that it was lowering the royalty rates it paid content creators.

It’s not the first time that Amazon has lowered the amount of money it pays authors and publishers for the audiobooks they sell through its platform and, GigaOm news editor Laura Owen points out, it’s a reminder that Amazon could always change its royalties for Kindle ebooks.

“That would be a much more visible move than the changes to ACX, which the company surely realizes. But the changes at ACX shows that good introductory deals don’t always last,” she writes.

True, and as competition from Nook fades, it would be much easier to do with indie authors having nearly nowhere else to go.

That said, Amazon has not indicated that it plans to change its royalty structure. (GigaOm.)

To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!

The rest of the day’s top news:

New Retail Platform For Authors (DBW)
Self-publishing services provider BookBaby has launched a new direct-to-consumer retail platform for authors.

Adobe’s Unified Solution (Good E Reader)
The publishing technology provider has made moves to integrate its many heavily used products to make it easier to move seamlessly between them and for large media companies, which are increasingly producing more and more kinds of content, to do it more easily.
Related: Ebook Typography Best Practices

Harlequin Launches E-Reading App (The Guardian)
Harlequin titles will come with the app and readers can also read EPUB and PDF files on it.

Learnist’s New Digital Bookstore (DBW)
Educational content company learnist has launched a new digital bookstore inside its mobile app.

Biggest Little Bookshop in the World (The Bookseller)
The website will sell a wide selection of books but will also offer small specialty bookshops from around the world the opportunity to create boutiques on the site itself to offer their wares.

Sourcebooks Welcomes Charlie Brown (DBW)
A new deal is putting Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts crew are on Sourcebooks Put Me in the Story personalization platform.

VC to Invest in New Books (Xconomy)
Venture capital firm Foundry Group is launching its own book publishing company (some would argue a very specific kind of venture capital firm). The company will publish both print and e-books and will offer a 50% royalty to its authors.

Cengage Bulks up for Financial Maneuvers (DBW)
Higher education publisher Cengage has hired a chief strategy officer and several other senior executives geared toward helping the company acquire, divest, form partnerships and raise money as need be.

Measuring Academic Impact (DBW)
Wiley has partnered with start-up Kudos to help authors measure the impact their academic publications have in the marketplace of ideas.

Taxes Keeping Poland Ebook-Free (Telecompaper)
Some 90% of Polish citizens haven’t had any contact with an ebook and audiobook. One major reason is that the tax on these products is nearly five times that on the print counterparts.

E-Read Underwater (The Digital Reader)
A “leaked” press release about a new e-reader that will be waterproof and dust proof has whales, dolphins and all other manner of smart sea animals salivating. Print doesn’t work so well under water.

5 thoughts on “Amazon’s Move That Should Have Authors Worried

  1. Pingback: Faber Factory Amazon’s Move That Should Have Authors Worried - Faber Factory

  2. Pingback: Amazon’s Move That Should Have Authors Wo...

  3. Michael J Sullivan

    I guess I have a different way of looking at this. When I first went to ACX and saw that they were offering 50% – 90% royalties I was floored. Yes, I realized they were sweetening the pot to attract authors to the program – and it did it’s job well. I regret that I didn’t have anything that wasn’t under contract to take advantage of the program. No where in my wildest dreams did I think they would keep such royalty levels.

    So now it’s 40% for exclusive and 25% for non-exclusive – but let’s compare that to traditional. Audio is generally a subsidiary right for which the publisher gets 50%. And often they sell that right to an audio producer that is going to provide the publisher 25% of what they get. I’ve heard that the audio publishers get just a 35% royalty from Audible so for my audio books I’m getting: .35 x .25 x .50 x .85 (agent fee removed) = 3.72%. So 40% is more than ten times what I get traditionally. Yeah…it’s reduced. Yeah a lot of people lucked out by getting in early. But should authors be worried? I would be more concerned with the fact that traditional publishing is gobbling up those rights and by the time everyone takes the bite from the author there is just a morsel left for the author. At least in the ACX scenario – there are only two parties and the division, while not 50/50 is a lot better than they can get elsewhere.

  4. Pingback: Amazon Rolls Audio Book Authors Heads – Are We Next? | Mike Fook Books - Ebooks | Fiction Thrillers

  5. Pingback: Ação da Amazon pode limitar as opções dos autores | - notícias e opiniões sobre ebooks, livrarias e o mercado do ebook -


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *