Author’s Republic (AR) has just been created to make it easier for authors to sell audiobooks through over a dozen retail and distributor partners and earn up to 35% of the final sales. In an interview for my upcoming book The Author’s Guide to Audiobook Creation, Sanjay and Author Republic’s Success Architect, Meaghan Sansom, went into detail about their new “aggregate publisher” of audiobooks and how it is a new opportunity for authors to go beyond the Amazon/Audible/iTunes channels without necessarily producing the book through ACX, Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange.
“Audible has begun a strategy of creating audiobooks itself through Audible studios as well as through ACX,” Sanjay says, “and it was making all that content exclusive to itself. We felt that as that gap widened between Audible’s library and everyone else’s library that it was going to make them so dominant that they couldn’t be competed with, so we felt there had to be an alternative to that nightmarish future, dystopian future, of ruling everything.”
Here are some key points for narrators and producers:
- An audiobook must be “non-exclusive” to be distributed on AR’s channels, which include Audiobooks.com, Barnes and Noble, Nook, Scribd, libraries and more (see below).
- If a Rights Holder has signed the ACX “exclusive” agreement, the audiobook is NOT eligible for distribution through Author’s Republic.
- If an author has not signed an “exclusive” agreement with ACX or Audible, Author’s Republic CAN distribute the audiobook through Amazon/Audible/iTunes and its other channels.
- There is not an option to share royalties with the author if the audiobook is distributed through AR. Narrators must make a “Pay for Production” deal directly with the author. Royalty titles on ACX will not be eligible for AR distribution.
- Bottom line? There is a new opportunity for authors to widen distribution of their audiobooks beyond ACX and potentially make more from royalties, but narrators must make independent business deals with the authors.
“We have quite a few narrators right now who have their own AR account,”AR’s Meaghan Sansom emphasizes, “and they work with multiple authors and they are the point of contact to bring projects to us.”
Narrators can register at Author’sRepublic.com, where Meaghan says narrators can upload mp3 files. “You choose your opening, your closing, your sample, and then all of your chapters or sections in order. As soon as we get that, we already start the distribution process and we go over your submission to make sure there are no errors.”
Author’s Republic also has the option of authors recording their own files over their iPhone, iPad, or on the web (not Android yet) through the Recordio app. AR does some post-production to improve sound quality. But authors do NOT have to use Recordio to upload their audio files. It is aimed primarily at non-fiction authors looking for a technically easier, less expensive way to narrate their own books, even if the quality is not to professional recording studio standards.
“Author submitted content will certainly match what you currently get through ACX,” says Sanjay. ” It may not be as good as what Audible studios themselves can do, or what our own publishing division, Audiobooks.com publishing would do. If you comparing them side by side you will be able to tell the difference, but if all you were doing was listening to the Recordio version, you would think ‘hey, this is pretty good.’ You wouldn’t be thinking ‘hey this is annoying this must be a Recordio book.’”
Author’s Republic has a plan to make it easier for authors to find narrators to work with outside of ACX. AR has its own “exchange” in mind:
“In the future,” says Meaghan, “we might be rolling out The Recordio Exchange which will be what ACX is, a service exchange, where authors can meet narrators. We don’t have that built out yet, but that’s definitely on the future horizon. We’re thinking of having almost like a dating site where narrators can meet up with authors based on particular criteria or they can find projects that they can work on together.”
I will be putting a couple of books (including my own) through the Author’s Republic channels soon.