I made $20 yesterday on my first Bradiobook, which is, well shit, about 1/2 of what I made on KU yesterday. So my income’s gone up 50% whoo! To get your copy, PayPal $5 to email@example.com OR send $5 via Facebook Messenger payments (the little $ sign in the lower right corner of the message box) to “Brad Vance.”
Next up is “A Little Too Broken,” my shortest novel at 45k words. And yes, 50% of the proceeds of that version will still go to veterans’ organizations!
I’ve made a strategic decision about Audible – namely, no. Not for a long time if ever. Too much of my financial destiny is already in the hands of Amazon, and the point of diversifying is to change that. Yes, I’m definitely going to lose in the short term. A lot of people crab about Amazon, but if you put your stuff elsewhere instead, they don’t go get it there. It’s too inconvenient. Audible is easy, because you install it on your phone and push a button and hey, there’s your book. So I know I’m going to sell a lot fewer Bradiobooks using the “back of the van” method, or working with smaller outlets (no point in even trying direct with Apple, since they hate sex).
I think the thing that sticks in my craw the most is the *seven year* clause. “Audible will have the right to distribute your audiobook for seven years.” You can go non-exclusive with them, selling your book anywhere that will take it, but then you’re only getting a 25% royalty, and they still have their seven year hold on your book.
On the Irish side of my family tree, my ancestors came over to America in the 1700s as indentured servants of the Catholic Church, probably for the usual seven year term. It would take a Navy takeover of church land on the Potomac, for a listening station during World War II, before my grandfather would be able to get his own property. Yeah. Two hundred plus years of tenancy on church land. I know that sounds dramatic, and it’s hardly the same case, but…it does come to my mind again and again when I think about indenturing more and more of my output to Amazon.
Especially given the clear picture of their corporate philosophy towards content providers, seen vividly when they sprang the dramatic KU changes on us with…two weeks’ notice. Amazon alters the deal, and you pray they don’t alter it again. It makes me want to do less business with them, not more.
What am I betting on? That some day soon, gayrom and gayrotica will bust loose, that there will be a gayrom E.L. James (pick me! pick me!), and when that time comes, I’ll hold the deeds to some valuable property. Audiobooks are a growth industry, outstripping ebook growth by far. Right now these Bradiobooks are worth about as much as some old orange groves in 1910, before Hollywood and LA mushroomed. Or, as Marc and Jesse will soon discover, about as valuable as a Bitcoin in the early days of that foolish-sounding scheme. Does that sound crazy? Sure, now it does. But. You’re only crazy until the day you’re right.
I have the technical/editing skills, I have the best content, I have a good voice, I’m improving my narration technique every time I record, a real true live pro has told me I have the chops to do this for reals. And so I’ll mine my own Bitcoins for a while, and hope that I’m right about what the future holds…