Audiobook Checklist: Save Time,
Money & Stress By Knowing This
By Deb Munro
Voice Actor & Coach
Mic 'N Me
"I read to my kids all the time and read tons of books. So audiobook narration would be easy!Ē
"Wow, $4,000 for an audiobook. This is excellent pay.Ē
If youíve thought or heard these statements, let me fill you in on a few things you should know before EVER entering the world of audiobooks. Perhaps you can learn from my own experience.
I have a ton of experience in the voice-over industry, but it may surprise you to know I havenít voiced many audiobooks.
FIRST PROJECT, MY OWN
My first audiobook was my own project: voicing my 90-page Creating Voices AUDIO/CD-ROM workshop.
This was a lot of narration and an eye-opener. Let me share with you what the job entailed:
NEXT PROJECT - FOR PAY
You think I learned my lesson?
Well. My narrative projects run up to about 125 pages, on average. Not really audiobooks, but long-format narrations.
So I thought I had experienced it all until I booked my first PAID audiobook.
The pay was fair - not great but fair - so my time was valued.
Originally, the job was posted at $1,500 for a 300-page book. When I sent in my submission, I requested a significantly higher amount and the client came back to me suggesting I was the highest bid but he felt I was worth it.
GOT THE SCRIPT
Then they sent me the script in proper VO format: 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced. This worked out to 798 pages, not 300!
They had quoted the job based on the size of the actual novel, not the transcript. So this made a significant increase in the rate.
We negotiated a higher rate, but it still wasnít high enough for me to bring on an engineer (what a mistake that was Ė never again).
Plus, I took the job at an extremely busy time, and the deadline was unrealistic.
'CAN DO' ATTITUDE
Still, I was sure I could pull it off. After all, I always take on more than I should, and the jobs ALWAYS get done.
So here was the challenge: 3 weeks to produce 89 clean, high-quality broadcast files (89 chapters).
I should mention this was a Christian-based book, so the read was over-dramatic and very high energy.
WHAT HAPPENED ...
The client liked my read so much that he shared it with another talent they had hired to voice other audiobook projects. They wanted that voice actor to match my delivery.
Here is what happened:
CHECKLIST FOR NEXT TIME ...
I learned so much more this time around.
I might know the delivery and how to do the VO aspect of audiobooks, but there is much more to audiobooks than just the read.
So Iíd like to leave you with some tips that could save you a ton of time, money and lots of stress!
MUST ENJOY IT
You have to really enjoy this industry and the consistency that it requires. It takes a special type of talent to pull this kind of project off.
I will continue to voice audiobooks, and even though I had some difficult times, I enjoyed the project itself.
And now Iím more educated than before. I will not make the same mistakes twice, and will save myself a ton of time and stress on the next round.
The narration greats, like Scott Brick (one of the most recognized talents in the audiobook industry), know exactly what they are doing, and I applaud their expertise.
Make sure you know what youíre getting into before you DIVE in!
ABOUT DEB ...
Deb Munro is a leading international voice talent, coach, and owner of Chanti Productions, in the Vancouver, B.C., Canada area. She offers private coaching and MIC & ME workshops on voice acting, business and demo prep in many Canadian and U.S. cities. Her many voice-over credits include being the voice of the new Global series True Pulp Murder, Junoís pre-show, and the voice of ĎMaií in the animated series DragonBall/DragonBall GT, plus corporate clients including the United States Coast Guard, Better Home and Gardens, Tempurpedic, Subway, Nissan, Canada Post, Alberta Dairy, Booster Juice, BMW, Michelin and many more. She is also heard internationally on radio and TV stations as a voice talent, and also as instructor and speaker at many events.
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