*** Updated to Add a Clarification. See Below. ***
Two audiobooks await publication: “Archmagister” and “Home Sweet Home.” However, before I push the figurative publish button, though, I want to discuss a change in publication policy.
Neither of these audiobooks will be on Audible/Amazon. Further, unless something changes, none of Knightsfall Press’s future audiobooks will be on Audible, either.
Why? I’m glad you asked.
This was not an easy decision. I don’t like the decision, nor do I like being put in the position where I faced the decision. And yet, even with the recent announcement that Audible will no longer allow audiobook returns after seven (7) days, beginning January 1st, I do not feel the problem is solved. I cannot help but think that the decision-makers at Audible crunched the numbers to identify how many returns happen after the first seven (7) days and specifically chose that return period to maximize their customer relations and profitability while appearing to respond to the concerns of the indie author and indie publisher communities.
I fully expect to lose audiobook listeners–and maybe even some readers–over this. So be it. No matter how little I like this decision, I feel it is the correct and proper response for me.
If you get your audiobooks from anywhere other than Audible, don’t worry; you’re good. You’ll see my new titles in your favorite store as soon as they become available.
If you are heavily invested in Audible and still want to follow my stories in audio format, there is an option. By the time you read this, the Knightsfall Press online store will be live: https://knightsfall.press/store.
Plus, as this is (kind of) a grand opening, here’s a coupon code (not case-sensitive):
Until 28 February 2021, this coupon code will take $7.00 off the purchase price of all audiobooks.
There is some fine print associated with buying audiobooks directly from Knightsfall Press. (There’s always fine print, right?) The audiobooks will be delivered through the BookFunnel app to your device of choice. But the silver lining is that BookFunnel provides excellent support, should you have any issues.
As I have stated, I regret that circumstances led me to this decision. Amazon opened the door for ‘indie author’ to be a viable career path with the introduction of the Kindle in 2007. Unfortunately, I simply cannot countenance such unethical business practices. At present, this change in publication policy affects only audiobooks.
As always, if you questions/concerns/comments, you’re welcome to contact me using one of these methods:
- Fill out the contact form at https://knightsfall.press/contact,
- send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
- or send a message to either my Facebook author page (https://facebook.com/RobertMKerns) or the Knightsfall Press page (https://facebook.com/KnightsfallPress).
I hope the days have been treating you as well as possible, and I offer my best wishes for the future.
*** Update ***
One of my newsletter subscribers contacted me and mentioned finding a poor-quality audiobook that slipped through Audible’s review process. She contacted Amazon/Audible about returning it, and they granted the return. I applaud and support this version of the returns process. I certainly know I don’t appreciate buying goods or services of substandard quality, and my primary concern with my stories is delivering something people will enjoy. So, yes, absolutely, return an audiobook if it sounds like a 1980s-era computer-generated voice. (I’m thinking of the very early days of text-to-speech conversation. They sounded so bad that I almost wanted my ears to bleed.)
I also want to clarify that I don’t hate Amazon. Number one, I’m extremely grateful to the company for feeding my story addiction across many years, because I live in rural America. When I was in my teens, the nearest bookstore with shelves I could browse was at best sixty to seventy miles away; even now, I have very fond memories of that WaldenBooks. Number two, I’m also extremely grateful to the company for breaking the stranglehold traditional publishing had on the market with the introduction of the Kindle. I would not be able to publish my stories on my terms and actually make a living at it in the pre-Kindle days.
During our conversation, the newsletter subscriber also asked if I thought Audible paying out royalties based on minutes or percentage listened to would be equitable. And yes, I would be very happy with that…with one provision. I would whole-heartedly support such an implementation as long as publishing to Audible remained non-exclusive. That is, anyone who published audiobooks to Audible could also publish those same audiobooks elsewhere.
In closing, I want to thank the newsletter subscriber for her contact. The conversation spurred my thoughts and revealed a need to clarify this policy change.