ACX Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) is a marketplace for professional narrators, authors, agents, publishers and rights holders to connect and create audiobooks. ACX was launched by Audible on May 12, 2011.
Sharon from the UK shared her bitter experience "Considering ACX? Think again!I spent almost £900 having an audio book created, only to discover today that both of my current titles are being very heavily discounted. At the rate of discount, I may never make back the investment I've put in! Anyone considering going down this route, think carefully. You have no control over what they charge for your book"
Narrator (Former Employee) says"Working for ACX requires a large amount of time and work for voice artists. While you can learn a great deal about the world of narrating books, the financial compensation for the amount of work required is very minimal. Cons: A lot of work for very minimal financial gain."
Louis C says"Please stay away from this company. They are unscrupulous, dishonest and vindictive. They cheat indie authors out of their royalties."
M T McGuire says"I am writing this warning about ACX but about Audible too because ACX is simply the interface through which independent audio producers upload their work to Audible. Coming at this new, from a business background I am less than impressed.
Contracts and terms: When you sign up to ACX you sign a non-negotiable contract. You know those unenforceable, non-negotiable consumer contracts you have to sign to access ... I dunno ... your internet provider? Like those. And because they are huge, you've got to be in there so against every fibre of your being, you sign. For 7 years.
ACX/Audible offer a fairly measly 45% of royalties for audiobooks - the lower end of standard - if you go exclusive. For those with the temerity to publish books on other retailers they slash that to 25%. That, in itself, has resulted in many authors signing to them exclusively, growing the company's dominance and its stranglehold on the market. It's never good when one company becomes dominant and Audible/ACX are the worst possible outfit to be allowed market dominance. Why? Well, here are some reasons.
1. It takes Audible '30 working days' to approve a book, a working day, like a Travel for London minute is ... flexible. Take my series; 4 books ranging from 12 - 19 hours each. Book 2 was approved first, then 4, 3 and finally another month later, 1. Logic? Nope.
The box set of these books was uploaded mid July and went on sale on 9th October. All the files bar 2 were already approved and on sale on Audible as separate books. ACX still took 3 months to approve the opening and closing credits, which are about 5 seconds each. Mistakes? They'll tell you there is one but not where it is. You search your book, find nothing and resubmit ad infinitum. It's really not so difficult to say where errors are which would save time and resubmissions.
2. Payments. Audible works on several levels but many readers are subscribers and they use a credit system. Their monthly subscription fee buys a credit which they can use to purchase a book each month. (Btw why do they pay to subscribe when, in many places they can use their local library app for free?) The producers of the book then receive a payment. My first beef is that nobody has any idea how Audible/ACX arrives at the amount paid and there is no transparency. Authors who ask are fobbed off with platitudes or ignored. This has been going on for months. No information is forthcoming.
3. Reporting. ACX/Audible's reporting is extremely opaque and often bears little or no relation to what you are paid. Case in point, in September, my sales report was in minus figures (more on that in a minute). According to the report I received I owed audible around 80 cents. I asked support about this, it was one of the few occasions when I actually received a reply. Apparently it meant more people had returned my books than bought them. This surprised me, my normal return rate with ebooks is about 1%. Having discovered my sales had officially ended the month in the negative, I then received a payment from ACX. I have no idea what for and there is nothing on the report that would indicate any earnings. Flying blind is ... not a great way to run a business.
4. Returns. ACX does not show these. There is literally no way to accurately determine them. Why does this matter? Because until January 2121 if an Audible customer exchanges or returns a book, it's the author/narrator/producer who pays. Meanwhile, Audible encourages readers to return or exchange books at every turn, even if they've read to the end, for up to a year after purchase. There are even screenshots of Audible customer service saying it doesn't affect authors.
After pressure, ACX/Audible agreed to absorb the cost of any returns made after 7 days, but are still encouraging readers to return books for up to a year after purchase even if they've already finished them.
Why is that bad? Because the subscription fund is finite, so the costs of the returns will still be passed on to authors: smaller amount bigger number still us. Even after Jan, if a book is returned within 7 days, ACX will claw back any royalties paid from the producer/author and narrator even if the reader listened to it all. ACX were asked to cap returns at say, 30% listened to. No response so far.
ACX reporting does not show gross and net sales or returns but it's possible estimate a percentage. Many folks are at 60%. 60% of sales they aren't paid for.
5. Punitive contracts. The contract with ACX is non negotiable and they change it without consultation or warning to 'partners'.
ACX and Audible are currently behaving like rapacious pirates. Approach with extreme caution.
For more info, google #audiblegate or read about it on the blog of susanmaywriter
There is also a Facebook pressure group: Fair Deal for Rights Holders & Narrators"
Kolben Pumpe says"Not paying Rights Holders. Do not use.
The company cannot be trusted."
Ray White says"Extremely slow service. No real answers. No compassion for authors and narrators who make their revenue possible. Stealing revenue from authors by allowing audiobook "returns" at any time. Bloggers and YouTubers have started showing others how to steal audiobook from us."
F. says"A company of dictators! Books removed without any explanation and royalties not paid for months and months. Disgusting"
W King says"Only giving one star because it's not possible to give zero.
Like many authors, I haven't been paid for months. Nor will ACX remove my books because despite not sticking to the contract themselves, they claim their right to sell my books lasts for seven years.
Their "support" staff are incompetent, and their royalties are atrocious. And don't even get me started on the fact that they encourage listeners to return every book and then take those royalties back from rights holders, even after users have consumed the entire product. Oh, and they retaliate against people who complain.
If ACX wasn't part of Amazon, they'd have been sued out of existence by now."
AKM says"Zero stars if I could!
They allow customers to return books, over and over and over again ... and do NOT pay authors or narrators ... not only that, but they do not report these returns in the accounting. Shame on them!"
Sara says"Be very careful, they have not paid for months and continue to give false answers. We are bringing everything to the attention of lawyers and journalists, these thieves must pay! I repeat: they are thieves who do not pay royalties without any reason. Stay away!"
Miika Hannila says"A horrifying experience - do yourself a favor and stay away from this company."
James K. Vega says"It is a not serious company, scammer and literally steal your money! I don't know why Amazon keeps getting bad publicity with these scammers who don't pay your royalties, remove books for no reason and treat the producers like meat for slaughter.
Not to mention their QA made up of incompetents, unable to meet the terms of their contract. They invent mistakes to not send your books on sale.
Absolutely avoid getting your money cheated by them!"
Gigio says"Worst company ever. Completely unprofessional. Months waiting for the approval of the audiobooks. Some refused without explications. They don't answer to emails. It's absurd that so incompetent workers are in the same family of Amazon."
Tony Dow says"I did not expect my audition script and project budget to be put in the public domain as the first hit on Google when searching for my book title before it is even launched. I called ACX who told me this is standard (and not in the small print) so clearly I do not intend pursuing this audiobook with ACX any further. Surely the budget and script could be behind the narrator/producer login (as their recorded audio is). Posting here as a buyer beware as I’m sure there are others who would not expect ACX to treat this information in this way. Just glad I didn’t get to add in my bank details!!!"
Bryant Reil says"My experience with ACX has been terrible. I'm the RH. Narrator uploaded book in January. In March, finally heard something, upload error by Narrator, she fixed iit right away. Back to the end of the line. In May, still not through QA. I switched to FIndaway because by this time, 4 months and no sign of the end (had hit 30 day limit twice, no feedback from customer service as to actual release.). So I knew I was resetting the clock, but I still wanted distribution on Audible through Findaway. So in July, checked again. Told they were backlogged but catching up. End of August, they told me my file had been 'lost' and it would be placed priority. Date set as uploaded August 24 (the day of the email). Told they were months behind and no longer getting the story that they were catching up. Now October, about another 30 business days, and no sign that priority even meant anything.
EDIT: Book up on Audible on Oct. 17, for anyone wondering about current timelines."
fabiana turco says"here I am again writing a review for acx. when you think the situation can't get worse acx can find you the way to make it worse!
1- after 8 months, books are still pending that they don't intend to come out
2- even worse ... the two books released (with enormous delay of course) have been permanently blocked!
the reason is that while I was waiting for them to come out, for months then, I didn't sit around doing nothing, but I advertised and promoted them. I have talked to many people, invested time and money! convincing several to sign up on ACX as "readers" to buy my book. Having been enormously delayed by ACX, these people obviously bought all together when I told them it was finally available! finally it was time to collect something for the work done in months and months of work despite the bad work of acx. What happen? acx blocks the books for suspicious handling and consequently doesn't even want to pay for what has been sold! meanwhile, he has kept new customers. Be very careful! don't waste time and don't waste money on ACX"
Miika Hannila says"Some of the rudest customer service agents I've ever experienced have been with ACX. Due to their market position, they think they can treat their customers however they like. Atrocious."
Louis C says"They steal royalties from authors by making up bogus claims against them. Findaway is way better for indie authors looking to put out audiobooks. They have you locked in a seven-year deal, while Findaway offers you a six month deal."
Seth Michaels says"Narrators BEWARE! I worked hundreds of hours on books that turned out to be frauds and ACX refused to compensate me for my time (despite a contract that specifically promises to do so) Is there anyone else who has been similarly defrauded who'd like to start a class action lawsuit and force them to pay?"
Michelle Carvalho says"It's just sad to read all of these bad reviews. Something has to change. Jeff Bezos is out of his lane at this point. He's just making money and everyone else is suffering, especially self-publishers - at the expense of the disorganized subsidiary ACX. How can a book take 6 months to be approved, when one of my books that I submitted the same evening (after painful hard work) take 3? There are 2 books in my series, both created and uploaded the same exact way. I got an email saying one of them had double tracks or some confusing error on the file. LIES. It was exactly as the one that was approved. Basically, this is a horrible company. Something has to change. Someone who really cares has to step in and create a platform for authors - This is not it. Working with them can actually discourage even the strongest amongst us."
Disgruntled says"Just notified after a month that my completed audiobook was cancelled. No explanation. After finally getting someone on the phone they said the rights holder was a fraud and had stolen the rights. Wouldn't you think they'd vet these titles before posting them? Or at least tell you it's on you to do that? It should not get as far as a completed, week-of-work book to tell me I am a slave. There's no insurance to pay SAG rates for the hours completed, either. You just wasted your time, too bad."
Denver Colburn Risley says"The idea of ACX is a good one. The platform is structured pretty well. BUT all that is for naught when they treat artists like indentured employees who are obliged to accept working more and more for less and less. There are other platforms. Bye bye, ACX."
Screwed authors galore says"I’ve been waiting months for payment for books sold despite them being under contract to pay me. Keep contacting them with no reply. They have put in algorithms to suppress my books and offer up other author’s book ads when my author name is searched. Worked hard for years to publish an audiobook library just to be treated like crap for going exclusive with them. Feel terrible for the narrators who royalty shared on my books."
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