For authors, ACX royalty share seems like a great idea. You get a free audiobook produced by a narrator. The catch is that you have to split the royalties 50-50 for 7 years. What could possibly go wrong? Here’s the darkside of ACX Royalty Share.
The darkside of ACX Royalty Share
Your book could sell many copies. This is great! The drawback is that your narrator is splitting the revenue and that means you’re making half as much money as you would normally make. Not good for your bottom line.
Now if your book doesn’t sell many copies, that isn’t the worst either. You essentially get a very low-cost production. At the end of your 7 year contract with the narrator, the production is all yours.
Is there a better option?
So royalty share may seem attractive, but what if you want a cleaner option right from the start? Well, it’s going to cost a bit. You get to decide how much, but remember that you get what you pay for. If you pay cheaply, you may get a finished product that you don’t like. Make sure you vet your narrator properly. MAKE SURE THEY’VE MADE AN AUDIOBOOK BEFORE! If your narrator hasn’t narrated a book before, you need to go with someone else. Narrating a book is a massive project that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
If you go the Pay-For-Production route, you buy the narrator’s work upfront, but then the book and it’s lucrative stream of revenue are all yours. You also have the freedom to break your exclusive deal with ACX and pursue a wider distribution (it’s hard to do this with a royalty-share deal).
In conclusion, here is my TLDR: royalty-share can cost you more than you think. If you have a big audience that you write for and you know your book is going to be a sales success, buy out your production.
I can help you with audiobook production. Feel free to reach out.