According to the new post, a new reporting system will be put in place in March that will reflect details on returns, including returned units by title. The update, Audible said, will allow authors to see returns data on their ACX Sales Dashboard. This data will be included in monthly financial statements for March 2021 and the following months.
Returns was one of the key issues that spurred the Authors Guild, the U.K.’s Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) into sending a letter, signed by more than 13,000 authors, to Audible seeking modifications to its ACX author policy last fall. Shortly after hearing from the organizations, Audible made several changes, including limiting the time period in which returns could be deducted from an author’s royalties from as long as a year to seven days.
While the writers’ groups acknowledged the return revision, they said more changes were necessary. In addition to improving visibility around returns, Audible has now committed to giving authors the ability to terminate their distribution agreements with the company, as well as the ability to switch from an exclusive to non-exclusive agreement for titles that have been with the company for at least 90 days.
The posts read: “Effective February 1, ACX Rights Holders of DIY or Pay-for-Production titles that have been on sale for 90 or more days can convert their distribution type from exclusive to non-exclusive. In addition, all ACX Rights Holders will have the option to terminate after 90 days of distribution, but Rights Holders with Royalty Share or Royalty Share Plus deals must provide Producer consent when making their request.”
Audible said more details about the change will be provided in the payments letter that is being sent this week.
In a new statement, the Authors Guild, SoA, and ALLi said they welcomed the announcement from Audible and “appreciate their willingness to listen to our concerns, discuss how they might address them, and then alter certain practices.” The statement said the groups will continue to discuss other issues, including looking for more transparency of royalties on sales made to Audible members.