This is it—the final post of this mini blog series on how to support your indie author. So here I go. I did mention that this would have the most disparity in royalties that the indie author sees. For some reason, on average, an author gets a lot less out of his audiobook. I find this strange because an audiobook can be the most significant investment for someone, especially if outsourcing it. For example, to narrate my audiobook “Afterworld (Next Life, #1) if I were to outsource the narration alone, that could cost 2000$+. That’s just for a basic narration; someone just reading, not voice acting. So you can see how the expenses could go up even more by using multiple actors and those with more “fantasy voice” talents.

That’s enough of the cost analysis from the author’s perspective. Let’s get to the royalty numbers. See the chart below:

Exclusive DealNonexclusive (Through Findaway Voices)
3Leaf Group45%
Apple40% (acx)45%
Amazon/Audible40% (acx)25%
Audiobooks Now50%
Author’s Direct70%
Baja Libros45%
Baker & Taylor45%
Barnes & Noble (Nook)50%
Bokus Play45%

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Is Amazon taking 75% of a sale on audiobooks? Yes, it’s true. Welcome to market share, squeezing. They know they have the lion’s share of the market, so they’re using it against indie authors.

“Don’t want to use our platform? Ok, but you’re missing around 50% of the audiobook buying market. Want to use it? Go ahead, but we’re only going to give you 25% UNLESS you go exclusive with us and Apple for 7 years, then you can have 40%.”

It’s a losing situation either way. 7 years is a long time, and then you’re missing the other half of the market. Now with Apple, there’s at least another option. If you distribute through Findaway voices (which I strongly suggest), they will give you 45%. It’ll still work out being a bit less than going exclusive through acx, but it’s not that bad at all. Findaway voices only take 20% of your final royalty, and they get you deals and broad distribution. They do ask for an initial 49$ fee, but this is waived if you distribute at least your ebooks through draft2digital. They have a partnership with them and are another excellent indie publishing company.

Here’s the breakdown: Say you sell/buy an audiobook for 15$ on Apple through Findaway Voices. 15$*.45= 6.75 -20%(1.35)= 5.40$ or 36% of the original price.

Without Acx or Findaway? 25% or 3.75$. Through Apple with a 7-year contract via Acx? 40% or 6$.

Honestly, at this point, take the loss through Amazon. ACX is not worth it at all. Unlike KDP Select, which has some “bonuses” that are useful for going exclusive for only 3months. I would advise against this. Even to support the author with “ratings,” it’s too much of a loss to justify buying through Amazon unless you REALLY like the platform. Any other platform will be better. The audiobooks/paperbacks/ebooks share the same ratings, so hook them up with a nonverified purchase review. Honestly, buying paperbacks and ebooks from Amazon, isn’t that bad, but audiobooks? Go anywhere else to support your author. Now let’s move on to who pays the best.

Pays The Best: Author’s Direct

70% is a significant increase from the next in line at 50%; however, there are a few caveats I want you to be aware of before purchasing here. First, they have no desktop website that you can listen to your purchases. This won’t affect everyone, and many of you, I’m sure, only listen on your phone or your commute via your radio (phone streaming), so that may not be a big deal. Still, I know many people love to listen to their audiobooks while doing work on the computer. Second, it’s currently only available in the US, EU/UK, Canada, and Australia. So there are limiting factors. Other than that, I can see nothing wrong with their mobile platform. Again, it has casting options.

Who would I suggest for someone who can’t access Author’s direct or likes listening on their laptop/pc/tablet? Honestly, the choice is yours (excluding Amazon/Audible). I would like to see more people pick something in the 50% range, but even 45% is excellent compared to Amazon. Think of it this way; it’s like going from Google, Barnes & Noble, etc. at 50% to Author’s Direct.

Anyway, that’s the end of this mini blog series. Now you, as a consumer (and future indie author), know the ins and outs of how to support your favorite indie author. Have any questions, comments? Feel free to ask & don’t forget to hit that follow, retweet, press, Facebook share, and check out the main website I’m running a sale on my first book in its eBook format for the website launch celebration. This is to get ready for the next book, that preorder will drop next month and release late Nov/December. Thanks again, and keep posted!

Leave a Reply