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Here’s How Much You’ll Make if You Enroll Your Books in Audible’s Romance Package

Audible Romance Package

Hey everyone, a serious post for a change:

Maybe some of you have heard of Audible’s Romance Package. Maybe some of you even subscribed, because, hey what an incredible deal!

But, as often with great deals, there’s a well-hidden crappy side. Romance authors were contacted one after another over the past 6 months with an offer to enroll their books in that new Romance Package. it would be, I quote, “a new distribution opportunity” for us. The deal was that, like Kindle Unlimited books, each title enrolled would earn royalties on a per-minute-listened basis. And since we receive 40% royalties from ACX/Audible for the full-priced-titles we distribute with them, we would get… 40% of that mysterious per-minute rate.

Which would not be divulgated before we signed the contract.

You read that right. We were offered to distribute a product and told we would not know how much the distributor would remunerate us for that.

Also, any title enrolled would be subscribed permanently, either for a maximum of 7 years or until we removed the title from Audible.

So, to sum it up: we wouldn’t know how much we’d get paid, and we had to sign off our books permanently.

Needless to say, this raised a number of red flags for me, and I decided to miss on that splendid opportunity: Spotless stayed out.

Another interesting detail is that, for titles enrolled in this amazing deal, royalties would no longer be paid on a monthly basis, but rather on a quarterly one, two months after the end of the period, which gave Audible/ACX ample time to recruit a number of authors before they discovered their first royalty report—which was due for the end of February.

And this is just in: according to the current per-minute rate appearing on several reports, authors earn a net $.000955 per minute listened. That’s roughly 57 cents for a whole 10 hours book and approximately a tenth of what we normally earn ($4.8 to $5.00 on average for a 10 to 11 hour-long title)

To say that those who enrolled are disappointed is a significant understatement. They’ve been owned by Audible big time… Some of them will fight this, others will accept the loss and move on. In any case, I wanted to share this information with you and encourage you to skip the Romance Package, if not for ethical reasons, then only because with such a business model, you won’t find many great or recent books: there’s no point for a book that makes decent sales and went through a costly production pipe to be enrolled there. 🙂

Before I conclude this post, a personal message to ACX execs: guys, you should be totally ashamed. Authors who work hard and invest several thousand dollars in producing their audiobooks trusted you, trusted your name, and you used your street cred to *literally* rob them blind.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the authors who shared this info with me and allowed me to make that number public.

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Feel free to share this post, I think what ACX/Audible did with the Romance Package deserves as much attention as it can get.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • I wondered about that – thought it might be something similar to their KU program. Do you know how long authors are stuck with the contract?
    Thanks for the info.

    Reply
    • A KU contract is 3 months (renewable), whereas ACX/Audible tried to push a seven years contract which can only be terminated if you remove your titles form the platform. 🙁

      Reply
  • Thanks for this. I probably wouldn’t have gotten this anyway but this article has made me rethink even buying books from Amazon all together.

    Reply
  • Oh my gosh, I was just thinking of enrolling my book in the Romance Package. I am so glad I read your article! Thanks so much! And a big thanks to all the authors who shared their earnings in order to shed light on this!

    Reply
  • Thanks so much for this article. I just heard of the program and was toying with the idea of enrolling my book. So happy I stumbled upon your article first. Zon should be ashamed of themselves.

    Reply
  • Do you have any updated information? And a comparison between how much an author made before joining the Romantic package vs. after doing so? I mean, they earn 10x more per download without joining but of course they must get more downloads after joining. After all, users don’t pay per download so they’re more willing to get the book and listen.

    Reply
    • Yes, that makes great sense for an unknown or less popular book/author, but not one (like spotless) that people seek out.

      Reply
  • Hi, Romance Package reader here. I think this is a great place to put the first book in a series to get new readers. I consume 3+ books per week and at that rate am always looking for new authors to read. I use the romance package as a way to find new series and authors. Should you put all your books there NO but first of a series or something that will introduce your work to new readers so they look for your other title YES. Thanks to all who have shared your great work. Keep writing we are listening.

    Reply
  • This is horrendous. Thank you for being an investigative writer on this one for the rest of us!

    Reply

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