Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Audiobook Narration Insight

Although my posts have been few and far between lately, I plan to change that soon.  I'll be moving both my completely redesigned site and blog to Word Press in the next month or so.  In the meantime, I wanted to share some  information regarding Audiobook Narration that I have either experienced personally or have learned from other successful audiobook narrators.

Audiobooks have never been more popular, and accordingly, there's never been as much work for audiobook narrators as there is now.  There are a number of ways to connect with audiobook narration projects:  direct contact with an author,  working via production houses whose business is  hiring narrators for their roster to work on multiple projects at a set hourly rate, or connecting with authors and/or publishers via ACX, Audiobook Creation Exchange.

While some narrators, even "stars",  earn large salaries for narrating best selling titles, the reality is that most audiobook production pays relatively little compared to normal voice over rates in commercials, documentary, and corporate narration. Payment models cover everything from an amount paid per hour worked (fairly rare), to pay per finished hour (common), to royalty share only or in combination with a lower pay per finished hourly rate, which are often found on ACX.

To do royalty share or not is a debate among many audiobook narrators.  Some have had great success with royalties coming in steadily from multiple books.  Others have basically just narrated a book for free because royalties do not materialize due to lack of sales of the particular audio book/s.  Apparently, the key to the difference is to do your research before accepting an offer of a royalty share only project.  By  asking the author or producer the level of sales of the book in all other formats, it is easier to predict the possible sales for the audiobook.  Then, you can decide if it is worth the risk of spending your time and talents narrating and most likely producing a 10-14 hour book, which, by the way, will take you 3 to 4 times that amount of time.  Some narrators, myself included, agreed to take on royalty share projects without knowing or in spite of the numbers, simply to acquire some audiobook narration experience and to build audiobook credits.

If you're thinking of working as an audiobook narrator, these are all considerations as you approach the craft and the business of audiobook narration.  All the best to you!