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Self-publishing News: What The Audible Captions Settlement Means

Self-publishing News: What the Audible Captions Settlement Means

Dan Holloway head and shoulders photo

ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway

In this week's Self-Publishing News, ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway takes a look at what the Audible Captions settlement means for you. 

I have spent most of the last few days with the wind and rain battering my surroundings from every side. As the news showed videos of sofas flying down the street, my immediate thoughts turned to Wuthering Heights. Which goes to show what a truly life-changing medium we work in. How fitting for a week when the Guardian urges us that if we want to change the world we need to learn to tell stories. Some of us had got that already!

Audible Captions: What the Settlement Means for You

woman listening to something through headphones on her smartphone

Photo by Eran Menashri on Unsplash

Two weeks ago might have been the last time I reported on the Audible Captions story. A settlement had been reached, the lawsuits were done, the story was over. Only it wasn’t. Because this week the terms of the settlement reached were published in full. You can read the full statement here.

I would recommend everyone read it in full. But I will summarise here, and pick out the details that matter to us, as indies.

The Audible Captions feature is not being pulled. But no book will be enrolled into it without the explicit consent of the publisher. Neither will amazon enable anyone else (other than Audible) to do this. The “publishers” referred to in the agreement are the Big Five who brought the case. But Nate at The Digital Reader has had confirmation from Audible that this extends to all publishers. And that includes us as indies.

What that means is that if you upload an audiobook (before you do so, you might want to listen to our exhaustive podcast on audiobook platforms) through Audible, you will have the option of whether or not to activate Audible Captions. Much as you do for DRM on KDP.

AI and intellectual property

Why does artificial intelligence matter in the storytelling world? Aside from its use by companies for related purposes, this interesting piece reminds us that at some point an AI will write a book that is, well, readable. And then AI will be part of all our lives. And one area that we will really need to think about is copyright. Specifically, who owns the copyright of a piece “written” by AI? This week saw two really interesting rulings on the subject. The European Patent Office has refused two applications for patents on the grounds that an AI had been behind key parts of the intellectual property. This may seem like a very esoteric part of a very esoteric field right now. But in a few years it most definitely won't.

London Book Fair

It is extraordinary to think that London Book Fair is almost upon us again. Of course, for those of us based in the UK (and some who are not), this is a fabulous chance to meet other ALLi members. And enjoy the ALLi after party! But there are lots of other reasons to attend.  There will, of course, be lots of fabulous talks at Author HQ. Many of those will feature ALLi authors.

What is particularly interesting this year is the step up in the acknowledgement of the growing importance of audio. The Fair will open with Audio HQ, a half day conference devoted to the growth of audio.

What Other Creative Industries Mean for us

As indie creators, we often find ourselves – and others – drawing parallels to our indie kin in other media. This week has seen some interesting developments in the music industry that have some important areas of overlap with us.

We’ve already taken a look at artificial intelligence, and the complicated area of AI and copyright. The music industry now has its first start up dedicated to using AI to discover the next hit. Snafu records will run new songs through its machine learning algorithm to try to identify those with the right stuff. That's very similar to Wattpad in many ways. What's interesting is the way they are selling this – as the next generation of democratisation. They won't promote records based on who you are but on what the AI says.

Meanwhile, if you doubted that subscription is the future, consider Spotify's latest quarterly figures. 271 million registered users, and $2bn quarterly revenue. And this growth is continuing in publishing as well, as the Wall Street Journal just passed 2 million subscribers.

And as a reminder of just how interlinked the creative industries are, Wattpad has just announced two more TV productions with Sony.

What the Audible Captions settlement means for you and top #selfpub news stories for #indieauthors, in one quick read, by #ALLi News Editor Dan Holloway @agnieszkasshoes #digitaleconomy #publishingopenup Share on X

Over to You

Would you activate Audible Captions on your audiobooks? Let us know in the comments below.

Upcoming Conferences and Events


Poets for the planet, 8 Feb[London] San Francisco Writers' Conference, 13-16 Feb [San Francisco]

MARCH 2020

London Book Fair, 10-12 Mar [London]

APRIL 2020

Self-publishing Conference, 25 Apr [University of Leicester] Short story course, 2 Apr – Sep (6 workshops) [London]


Self-publishing Live, 14-16 Aug [Chicago]


DigitalBookWorld, 14-16 Sep [Nashville]

Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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