Last week, we had a look at the Amazon-Audible- ACX conundrum. So now that we know why finding a royalty share narrator on ACX is a risky business, it is time to have a look at the alternative.
Well, short of a royalty share deal with a narrator, the two remaining options are self-recording or hiring a narrator.
In most cases, self-recording means the audiobook will be recorded by a non-professional, and narrating is a profession, and producing an audiobook implies not only a quality narration but also proper recording environment and careful editing of the recording. In other words, the result is unlikely to be of quality, even if some rare authors can indeed pull it off.
Hiring a narrator implies choosing a narrator according to different factors. One of these factor, of course, is the rate offered. This being said, it is far from being the only factor. Choosing the narrator has to include selecting a voice pitch and accent that will fit the content of the book. Choosing the voice of an octogenarian man to narrate a book where the narrator is a 8 years old girl, for example, would simply not work…
Then, it is necessary to check if the narrator is professional enough to guarantee that the impressive 2 minutes sample available online is a reflection of the quality of delivery he/she can sustain throughout the book. That is one of the main difference between a professional and an amateur.
Then, it is critical to verify if the narrator’s access to a recording studio and to editing facilities is included in the rates he quoted, as some narrator quote a price according to recording time, not according to “finished hour”, and the difference in price is from one to twenty.
Another option is to turn to a recording studio offering audiobook recording services. They will check all of the above and provide recording facilities to the narrator.
Then again, recording studios offering slashed price such as $200 per finished hour are clearly advertising their use of underpaid narrator and a slapdash editing job, if any.
So, when choosing a narrator, the saying “When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys” is particularly true with recording studios…
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