February 25th, 2013 | by Beth Barany
Do you have your hands on your hips, saying, “Just how much cash can I expect to make with an audiobook version of my book?” Because I sure did. I wondered if making an audiobook was worth the trouble.
In part one of my audiobook series, I let you have a peek at how easy it is to get started with Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) to create your audiobook. In part two, I stripped off the silk cloth to reveal the best way to intact with your technician and narrator who record your audiobook. Inside this post I’ll give you the scoop on how ACX pays their authors.
I’d love to tell you ACX pays you the same way Amazon pays out their royalties, but ACX is a much more complicated boy than that. First of all, the more you sell, the higher the percentage of royalties you get. So your royalties will be in a range. How to figure out what that range is depends on a whole other wardrobe of clothes.
Blue Jeans and a T-Shirt – If you want to stay casual and let your audiobook sell in all venues — that is if you choose the non-exclusive option and you want your audiobook to sell wherever you like — then your range of royalties will be anywhere from 25% to 70%.
V-Line Full-Length Dress – If you want to attend just the exclusive balls and festivals, if you’re willing to let ACX distribute your ebook exclusively to Audible and Amazon and iTunes, then your range of royalties will be anywhere from 50% to 90%.
Pay for Production vs. Royalty-Share Option
Custom-Made Form-Fitting Skirt (Pay for Production) – If you somehow managed to get the recording of your book done yourself, either by recording the book on your own or by paying the technician and narrator to record your work, then the royalties are all yours and you’re not sharing them with the narrator. If that’s the case, your royalties can be anywhere from 25% to 90%.
Matching Knit Sweaters (Royalty-Share Option) – If you take the royalty-share option to avoid the cost of recording your book, then you can only do the exclusive distribution option giving you 50%-90% royalties that you split with the narrator. Ultimately, you as the author receive a check in the mail for royalties of 25%-45%, and the narrator gets the other 25%-45%.
Gold Bracelets – Every time a new member joins Audible.com, you get adorned with a $25 bonus “Bounty Payment” if one of the first three books they buy is yours.
I didn’t want to pay for the recording, so I snatched the Royalty-Share option and now have 25% royalties for my audiobook. My sexy reader Kitty Bang is also getting 25%, splitting the 50% exclusive royalties with me. Once I sell five-hundred audiobooks, the 50% will become 51% so each of us will get 25.5%. If I ever manage to sell 20,000 audiobooks, the royalties will top off at 90%, or 45% each.
This past month, I received a check for $72.25. Here’s how they broke it down:
A La Carte (ALC) – I made one “a la carte” sale, which means a non-member of Audible bought my audiobook on Amazon for $17.95.
Audible Listener (AL) – One person in the UK, a member of Audible, grabbed my audiobook for $20.01. Four beautiful members of Audible bought it in the U.S. for about $10.17 each, so that’s $40.70. When you include the UK, that total is $60.71.
“ALOP” – One US Audible listener member didn’t use their membership credit and ended up paying an extra 20 cents to get my audiobook for $10.37. The report listed the sale as an ALOP sale. The first two letters stand for “Audible Listener” and I’m not sure what the other two letters stand for. Anyone know?
Total Sales - The final tally is that seven eager listeners downloaded my audiobook bringing in $89.03. My 25% of that was $22.25.
Bounty Bonuses – Four of those seven buyers became members of Audible to do so. As a result, I got four “Bounty” bonuses. Since each Bounty is $25 and I share it with the narrator, I got $12.50 per Sales Bounty. My four Sales Bounty bonuses added up to $50. That was the majority of my check. My sales royalties were just $22.25.
Did I make the right decision choosing the Royalty-Share option? I think so. If I had paid for the narrator, I would have made $44.50 in royalties this month instead of $22.25. But if I had paid the narrator myself, that may have cost me thousands of dollars! I’d still be in the crimson red. While it’s true that the Sales Bounty would have been $100 instead of $50, who’s to say those referrals didn’t come from Kitty Bang? By having her invested in making more sales of my audiobooks, I may be getting twice as much marketing done.
From what I’ve seen, audiobooks may not pull in a ton of money, but if you manage to get them available without spending your own penny, then it’s nice to have the extra cash.
For a great webpage outlining the way ACX works out the royalties for their audiobooks, go to https://www.acx.com/help/what-s-the-deal/200497690.
And good luck!
Liz Adams, author of the erotic fairy tale Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. Her short story Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood, an erotic version of Red Riding Hood, is an Amazon bestseller and winner of Goodreads’ Book of the Month for October 2012. Liz studied music and creative writing at UCLA and worked as a freelance model before making her writing her career. In her spare time she cuddles with her husband on the couch to watch her favorite shows and often they work together doing research for her books. Feel free to contact Liz through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Liz.
Alice’s Sexual Discovery in a Wonderful Land: http://bit.ly/
Amy “Red” Riding’s Hood: http://bit.ly/
Hansel and Gretel with the Sexual Hunter: http://bit.ly/