The job of the audiobook narrator is to convey the author’s truth. That is, anyone can read a book aloud, but it’s my job to tell you a story. To bring the characters to life. To give meaning and emotion to the words and to form a relationship with the listener that moves, touches, educates, or inspires them.
To produce a quality audiobook is a lot of work and many first time authors or rights holders (RH) are often not aware of all that goes into a professional audiobook production. My audiobook narration and production services include:
Pre-reading, notes, preparation, and script annotation
Any accent and dialect research and prep
Pronunciation research and prep
Proofing - All projects are proofed by a professional 3rd party included in my rate.
Final mastering according to Audible/ACX specs
Delivery of final files to the author/RH including a 1:00 - 5:00 minute retail sample of your choice.
For an additional fee, I can also submit the audiobook to ACX for the author/RH.
WHAT TO EXPECT
When I work directly with an author/RH, typically the process goes like this:
The author/RH submits the manuscript and we clearly define exactly what is to be narrated and quoted, including a word count and timeline.
We come to terms on rate, timeline, payment, etc. and sign a contract.
I pre-read, research, prep, and annotate the script for narration.
We usually have a dialogue about the author/RH's vision of the overall artistic tone of the book and how they may hear it in their head.
I provide a "first 15" to the author/RH which is the first 15 minutes of the narration for the author/RH to hear the overall pace, tone, and general artistic direction of the narration.
The author/RH provides feedback on the first 15, which may allow that first 15 portion to be redone but after the first 15 is discussed there is no management of the narration by the author/RH. This is the industry standard best practice.
I complete the entire project without any further input from the author/RH.
I provide regular, usually weekly, updates on the project to the author/RH so that they always know where we are in the process.
Once the final project is delivered to the author/RH, the author/RH has up to 30 days to identify any lingering non-script correct errors, which are fixed for free.
Once the work is submitted to ACX, that process usually takes 1-4 weeks.
AUDIOBOOK NARRATION AND PRODUCTION RATES
Authors/RHs need to understand that the industry average to produce one hour of finished audio is 6.2 hours of actual work. For more complex manuscripts, that time and effort goes up. And yes, even the most straightforward non-fiction business book requires a pre-read and preparation.
Each audiobook project is custom-quoted per finished hour (PFH) of audio upon receipt of a full manuscript. Royalty-based arrangements may be available upon receipt of prior book sales figures to date. Rates can vary depending on the complexity of the narration, which includes things like the number of characters, dialect and accent work, difficult or foreign pronunciations, technical language, etc.
WHAT THEY SAY
"Unleash Possible had been gaining traction with readers, but I knew audiobook lovers were missing out. I stalled recording for a long time. Although Unleash Possible is a business book, it was written in a deeply personal manner. It truly is my voice, and I was worried about handing it over to someone else. I was worried for no reason! I only wish I had Paul record it sooner. Not only did he capture the spirit of the book incredibly well, but his professional approach made everything incredibly easy - from the bonus author interview, right down to proofreading and audio quality. Paul thought of everything."
Author, Unleash Possible: A Marketing Playbook that Drives Sales