Greetings, all! I'm a narrator who works a lot through ACX, and I'm glad to see this discussion.Sophrosyne's
assessment of the talent and finished production quality for each payment rate is, if you'll pardon the pun, right on the money.
To clarify a few points in this discussion:
A rule of thumb is that it takes at least 6 hours for experienced people to create 1 finished hour of audio. A book with a finished run-time of 10 hours might therefore require 60 hours or more in real time to create. The time breakdown is as follows:
-- 1 hour prep (pre-read, research pronunciations, develop character voices)
-- 2 hours recording (correcting mistakes and eliminating noises as you go)
-- 3 hours edit, proof, and master audio for retail distribution
The ACX contract does not specify what constitutes a correction. Many authors think that they should give acting and vocal direction on individual lines and character voices throughout the text. However, narration is a performance art, and the narrator's interpretation of the words will always have some variance from the way the author might have heard it in his/her head. Therefore, a narrator's view of corrections is usually limited to technical errors such as mispronunciations, missing or incorrect words, etc.
To answer RM Prioleau's
question, you would pay $300 total for the production of the 2 30-minute chapters. The corrections are part of the per finished hour rate.
The current royalty share split is 20%-20% between narrator and author. ACX had a tiered structure prior to 12 March 2014. Your actual payment will be less than a straight 20% of the sales price due to fluctuations in Audible member credits, foreign currencies, reduced sales prices, etc.
Many narrators will not consider a royalty share book unless your other versions are selling 1000 copies a month. The risk for little or no financial compensation for the hours spent in production rests solely with the narrator. The author earns money from every copy of other versions sold, but the narrator only earns money when the audiobook sells.
If ACX doesn't offer the $100 stipend on your book, here's a creative solution that may help you. Many narrators -- including me! -- would happily agree to a $100 stipend up front from the author and the royalty split paid from ACX/Audible. This arrangement allows authors on a budget to attract more experienced talent but is financially feasible for the narrator to offset the production expenses. The author works out the up-front payment with the narrator outside of the ACX structure.
I also encourage authors to contact the narrator BEFORE you make an offer. This way, you can work out payment and availability ahead of time. ACX doesn't have any functionality to revise the offer or for a narrator to explain why she can't accept it. Communication before the offer saves time and frustration for everyone.Rosalind James
, congrats on your success! You have attracted it by being willing to pay for a top-tier narrator. If I could offer you a bit of advice, don't put it out to the Universe that your audiobook won't be a finalist for an Audie! Instead, visualize the award and other recognition that you and your work deserve!
Finally, if you have selected a narrator but are waiting to start the project, please update your listing to indicate the narrator has been cast. Otherwise, narrators will spend their time creating a custom audition for you when they could be putting that time toward an open project.
Thanks for a great discussion!
My ACX profile: https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=AIU2I7DKF1YUP
My audiobooks on Audible: http://goo.gl/WcqSk