and Blackstone Audio Royalties

SFFaudio News

Audible.comBlackstone AudiobooksRobert J. Sawyer, in answer to a question about the royalties he gets on the sale of his audiobooks, writes:

…on royalties, Audible pays –% (either of the flat-out purchase price, or the purchase cost of the applicable “Audible Listener Credit” applied). Audible doesn’t do any physical product. Blackstone Audio does, though, and they pay:

Rental and Retail 10% of net receipts
Direct internet download 15% of net receipts
Download via (sublicensed) 3rd party 40% of net receipts (that is 40% of whatever they get from Audible or other online retailers).

Net receipts is a tricky phrase: it’s NOT that I get 10% of the price you, the consumer, pays on the cassettes/CDs, but 10% of the portion of that price the bookseller passes on to the publisher — making the effective royalty about 6% of cover price.

So, the royalties are pretty darn small, but, then again, they’re small on books, too (8% on mass-market paperbacks is typical; 7.5% on large format trade-paperbacks; 10% on hardcovers – although at least those amounts are percentages of cover price).

All that said, I’m into five figures on audio-book income actually received so far this year, so I’m not complaining too much (although all of that is advances against royalties, or other licensing fees).”

$??,??? just in audiobook revenues in less than 5 months!

[via the Robert J. Sawyer Yahoo! Group]

Posted by Jesse Willis

UPDATE ON JUNE 4th 2008 Rob Sawyer asked me to remove the figures from this post (due to a non-disclosure agreement he has with I’ve done so because I’m nice and he asked me nicely. I like Rob and don’t want to screw up something he was kindly, but mistakenly, telling his readers about.

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