Happy Monday, WG2E-Land!
Now that my second Audio Book has just been released, I thought I’d share with you a few cautionary tales from my Audio Book Adventure with ACX.
As many of you know, I began my Audible ACX (an Amazon company) Adventure back in February of this year. You can read about it here:
My first Audio Book – BOOTSCOOTIN’ BLAHNIKS – released on or around May 10th and immediately became the #1 Audible Audio Book in Romance and Chick Lit and the #1 New Release!
My narrator – Christine Padovan – and I are over the moon with the success of our Audio Books and are looking forward to a bunch more releases.
But…that doesn’t mean the process has been without a few growing pains on the ACX end.
ACX just celebrated it’s first year anniversary on June 1st! Happy Birthday to You, ACX!!!
They now have over 1,000 titles they’ve published in Audio Book format. And, they’ve been a huge part of Audible’s 40% growth this quarter as compared to this same time last year!!!
With that kinda huge growth, however, comes some administrative pains.
Here’s what happened to me…
I should have received my first royalty statement and check by mail the end of June. (Note: They still don’t have an online reporting capability or direct deposit, even though they’re an Amazon Company, but they’ve told me that both of those are in development.)
Audible is the entity in this three company deal (Amazon, Audible and ACX) that actually cuts the checks, and those are supposed to be done monthly and should be received by authors and narrators by the last week of each month.
I checked with Christine the end of last month, and neither one of us had our checks and statements. So, I called ACX, whose Customer Service Staff is excellent btw, and they told me that ACX and Audible were having a horrible time calculating the Bounty Payments and were thus behind but planned to have checks out the following week.
The Bounty Payments are basically bonuses of $25 each for every new customer on Audible who chooses your Audio Book as one of their first three downloads. (Note: Christine and I should receive a bunch of those! Yayyy!)
Jump to July 16th, and still no check for me (although Christine got hers ).
I called Audible ACX again and also emailed my personal rep there as well as a few of the upper level managers. After three phone calls and an email round, keeping in mind ACX is on the East Coast and Audible is in Seattle with Amazon so they work out of separate states and offices, I was told there was a glitch with my payment because they couldn’t match up my W-9 between my pen name and tax id name.
NOTE: The W-9′s seem to be a HUGE issue with ACX too! Make sure you follow-up not just once but several times (I made three calls prior to the payment problem calls to confirm that they’d received mine and matched it properly as I stated on my fax cover sheet, and I still had problems on the payment end.) You have to fax them a W-9 (I did this back in April or May) so they can begin paying you and later send you a 1099. They tell me they are also working on making that an online submission too, but it’s still in the planning stages.
Once I was told there was a glitch, a very nice and helpful rep said they’d be having a meeting the following Friday (which was the 20th) because they’d had so many errors and late payments that they were trying to figure out what to do. She said they’d be pushing to get our checks cut now instead of all of us having to wait until the next batch of checks went out the end of July, which, she said would also be late again because of Bounty Payment issues. She said she’d call me back Friday following that meeting to let me know what they’d decided.
And…she actually did call me Friday afternoon, and said they would cut checks now versus making us wait, and that they’d go out today (Monday the 23rd). Yayyy!!! Hopefully, I’ll have it in the mail then this week! If not, I’ll be calling back…LOL!
NOTE: They still don’t have Christine and I’s Bounty Payments figured for May, and it appears those are paid about 4 months after you earn them. So, what we’re each getting in June is just for our May sales, no bounty money included.
Another cautionary tale…
My fabulous narrator Christine let me in on a little tip too that will help each of you who write series that you turn into Audio Books:
If you ask, Audible will create what they call a “Series Link” which shows up at the top of your Audible listing page (under the narrator link) so listeners know your book is part of a series with a click thru to all the Audio Book available in that series.
I’ve emailed and asked them to make me one of those little gems, so we’ll see what happens there.
So, here are a few issues then that I’ve had while starting out on my Audio Book Adventure. And yes, they’ve been minor irritants and inconveniences, but that’s to be expected when your blazing the trail with a new company doing the same. I’m thrilled ACX and Audible are experiencing such A-mazing and totally unexpected growth by opening up to Indies. So, I’ll ride it out with them and give them a chance to get it together.
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-Land: What kinds of Audio Book experiences have you had, and what kinds of questions can I help you with about this process?
The Best of The WG2E Epublishing Empire Wishes — D. D. Scott