• Claire Russell

    Voice Over:English

    Hi All,

    I hope you’re all staying well and safe! I’ve been approached about doing an audiobook and this will be my first. I’ve been offered a fee per 10,000 words this would include editing and a finished product and I just wondered what the going rate was as I’m a bit clueless.

    And finally I saw a post from a while back that said they just do the record and not any of the editing, can anyone recommend how I can get into doing that type of work as I feel this would be more suited to my tech skills!

    Also can anyone recommend a good mic that won’t break the bank?

    Many Thanks!


    • 29th Apr 2020
    • 519
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  • Lee Beddow

    Voice Over:English


    It's difficult to suggest a rate, as it can be all sorts of fees. As a rule of thumb, ACX /Amazon suggest it takes 6.2 hours to create a finished, fully edited hour, although personally I quote on 5 hours pfh, so that's all recording, checking, re-recording, editing and post production. Also worth working out a comfortable reading speed - mine is around 180 words per minute or 10800 per hour, so 10000 should represent around an hour's final audio. If you decide on a per hour rate, you then multiply that by how long you think it will take you to create that finalised hour.

    Also depends on whether the author /publisher understands the process - I was once offered £15 PER FINISHED HOUR or, on my time, £3 per hour!! The author was flabagasted when I said my hourly rate was more than that and negotiations stopped. I tried to explain I would be narrator, proof reader, editor and producer but to no avail.

    I know this isn't quite a definitive answer but hopefully, it'll help you work out a cost that doesn't price you out of a production but also doesn't mean you're giving away your skills for next to nothing.

    • 17th Apr 2020
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  • Cass Merry

    Voice Over:English

    It really depends on your reading speed, in my experience for a non fiction book 10,000 words ends up being somewhere a little over an hour.

    For pricing I generally won't go lower than $35 per finished hour unless I'm getting something else out of it, and that's pushing it, but you need to balance it with other things. I'll go to $35 if it's non fiction without anything too complex, and I think I can give a good performance with only a skim read of the script, no marking up, and a good chunk of cold reading. For your first books I'd advise allowing yourself a good 6-7hrs per finished hour, editing my first few books to way longer than I expected!

    Generally if you're going to pre-read, mark up the script, record and edit, $50 is probably about as low as you want to go per finished hour, unless you have something to make your editing more efficient. I'd recommend getting a dog clicker or something loud enough that you can see points in the audio that you need to edit out mistakes.

    As for a mic I would highly recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Studio bundle, it was about $120-$150 when I last checked, comes with a solid condenser mic, audio interface, and headphones. I've been using it for years and it's yet to let me down, not something that'll need replacing until you upgrade your actual recording space. When I got it it came with the CM25 condenser mic, but it may have been upgraded since then.

    If you're looking to make the mic sound really good (and cut down editing time) I'd really recommend the dbx286s, it's a preamp/processor that you plug your mic into before it goes into the audio interface (you'll need to get an extra audio cable), but after 10 mins of setup and experimenting the audio will be massively improved, and it saves time in editing (seriously, this does almost all my effects for me, so I just need to edit out the mistakes). It generally goes for a little over $100 and it's definitely sad me that in time I'd otherwise spend editing.

    If you're looking to get into just editing I'm afraid I can't help you there, maybe search for readers of high paying jobs and see if they know anyone, I think a lot of us just don't get enough to be able to afford en editor. Maybe try setting up a gig on one of the freelance sites and see if there's any interest.

    Hope all that help and I hope you enjoy doing your first book!

    • 19th Apr 2020
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  • Peter Walters

    Voice Over:English

    Hi Claire, I've only just seen your post. I'm definitely not a technical expert, but - I use an MXL 440 condenser mic which you can buy on Amazon for about £65. It's far cheaper than most of the more recommended ones, but paired with a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface, I've had a number of compliments on my sound quality. Experts may tell you differently, but that's what I've found.

    • 29th Apr 2020
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