In a bid to be a hybrid of of Amazon’s ACX and an ebook distributor like Smashwords, Audiobooks.com has revealed their new distribution service called Author’s Republic. Unlike ACX, which distributes to Amazon, Audible, and iTunes, Author’s Republic has a longer list of distribution partners. From the press release:
Most notable about the new service is the extensive retail and distributor network made available to authors who use it. Author’s Republic will submit titles to over a dozen merchants including Audiobooks.com, Audible, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Scribd, Downpour, and tunein, as well as library providers like Findaway and Overdrive.
“There are a lot of places to sell audiobooks, but until now, there was no easy way for authors to access them,” says Singhal. “Services like Smashwords and Draft2Digital have done great things for eBook distribution. Now, Author’s Republic is doing the same thing for audiobooks.”
The service also offers competitive royalty rates. On most platforms, authors will receive an average of 35% of what their titles are sold for. Authors selling their titles through Audible, iTunes and Amazon will receive 25% of what their book is sold for on those platforms, a rate that matches the royalty rate offered through ACX for titles sold non-exclusively.
Author’s Republic will appeal strongly to international authors and publishers who are often excluded from similar distribution services based on regional restrictions. Author’s Republic offers a “back-door” for international authors to bring their audiobooks to the sizeable North American market.
The downside is fairly sizable. From their “How it Works” page:
The rights holder (that’s you!) comes to us with a completed audiobook and registers for a Rights Holder account.
The value in ACX is connecting authors with audiobook narrators, which is the biggest hurdle for many authors. They do provide an audiobook creation app called Recordio, but this is only to record an audiobook, and audiobook narration is an artform in itself.