Audible Sucks.

a mini zine made collaboration with A. McNamee, whose work you can see at and @audmcname

buy a physical copy or a high res pdf

cover: a blue risograph print, forground is Allia a girl with bangs, background is Audra. Allia: "audiobooks are awesom, but AUDIBLE SUCKS" Audra: "boooo!"
page 1: Audra: "did you say Audible? I love audiobooks! I read them everywhere" (audra with headphones on doing yoga, cooking, and biking). Allia: "Audible is bad for authors. For starter, Audible is just Amazon in a trenchcoat." Page 2: Amazon controls 64% of the U.S. audiobook market through Audible. Audible doesn't pay authors: Audible's claimed cut of each sale is steep: 80% for non-exclusives and 60% for exclusives. But in 2020 #AudibleGate exposed their true cut: 87% non-exclusive and 81% for exclusives. Remember, Audible is a digital storefront, not a publisher. Writers pay for all audiobook production costs, or go through an audio publisher for an even smaller cut. Typically store take a much smaller cut: online shops take 30% and brick and mortal book stores take 50%.
Page 3 and 4: Audra: "that sucks, um. I cold just buy the books somewhere else tho, right? Allia: "you should, but audible is making that harder too. For non-exclusive titles, Audible forces publisher to agree to embargos. Other bookstores and libraries can't buy or sell audiobooks for 90 days, so all presales go to Audible. And they won't sell exclusive titles to libraries at all. Audiobooks aren't optional for many people. Audible locking them away behind a paywall is an accessibility issue.
Page 5: Audra: "Audible sucks now? Is there any arm of the Amazon corporation left that we can trust? Allia: "" (looks skeptical) Allia: "Look it's a little less convenient but you should ditch Audible- it's jut as expensive as buying audiobooks elsewhere, and actively bad for authors and readers. Page 6: Allia: "they won't have every title, but takes a fairer cut of the audiobooks it sells, and their books are DRM-free. And the audiobooks from your library are great. You should be using Libby, like, yesterday.
Back cover: the library use it or lose it. Open for sources! @audmcname & @alliaservice, 2023.
annotated bibliography, see full text below.

Annotated Bibliography

Page 2: market control, royalties, 

  • Dimitrije Curcic. “Audible Publishing Statistics – WordsRated.” WordsRated (blog), January 10, 2023.
    Basic breakdown of Audible’s US market control in 2022.
  • Cross, Colleen. “Audible Royalties Ain’t Royalties.” Audiblegate, February 22, 2021.
    Investigation by popular author and former forensic accountant Colleen Cross into Audible’s dishonest ‘royalties’ for authors. This piece is part of Fair Deal Authors and Narrators #audiblegate campaign seeking fairer compensation and business practices from ACX/Audible/Amazon.

Page 3 and 4: embargos and libraries

  • The Harmful Impact of Audible Exclusive Audiobooks – Libro.Fm Audiobooks.” Accessed November 2, 2021.
    Libro.Fm is an independent audiobook seller that partners with local bookstores to sell DRM free audiobooks and gives authors a fairer deal. They write about Audible’s predatory business practices and how they hurt independent book sellers and libraries in this article.

Resources and Further Reading

  • Cory Doctorow one of Audible’s earliest and loudest critics on Audible and Digital Rights Management (DRM) — because of DRM you can only listen to audible audiobooks through the audible app, you can’t listen to it in spotify or itunes, you can’t download the mp3 to your computer even though you ostensibly own the book. Doctorow explains more about the history of DRM and how it affects audiobooks.