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Audiobook editing rates

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Audiobook editing rates

Postby stupla » Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:38 pm


I’ve been asked to give a quote for editing an audiobook for a reasonably sized publisher.

I was wondering if anyone had an advice on rates or ballpark figures?

I’ve been told different things by different people - some say give a quote for the whole book, others by the word count, and other by per completed hour.

Even with one of the above, I’m still not sure what to ask for that wouldn’t undersell myself or go the other way.

Any advice on where I could get “industry standard” rate would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks
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Re: Audiobook editing rates

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Oct 30, 2018 2:00 pm

Difficult question to give a definitive answer.

The publisher probably wants a fixed price for the completed edited project. But to come up with a fixed price you'll need to know exactly how much work is involved and how long it's going to take you to complete.

You could quote an hourly rate, but without knowing whether it will take 3 hours or 30, it's not much help to the publisher. With experience it becomes possible to judge how much work is involved, and you can then quote for 1/2 a day's work, or two days, or whatever it might be.

I think it is important to charge the same rate as others doing the same work -- undercutting just drives the rates down for everyone, and it's then really hard to build them back up again! So asking around for the going rate is the right way to go... but I'm afraid I can't really help as I haven't done any work like that for a decade or more.

In fact, I've just checked my records and the last broadly similar work I did was track-laying FX, editing, and mixing ten short (5 min) period drama radio plays for BBC Radio4, which took three days.. for which I charged £395+VAT a day (using my own SADiE LRX2 DAW on location at a BBC studio working with a producer on the last day for mix tweaks and approvals). Maybe that's of some help...

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Re: Audiobook editing rates

Postby stupla » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:19 pm

Hi Hugh,

Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a considered response and also for checking your old records.

You advice is sound and exactly what I was trying to get - a standard rate for this kind of work.

I've have to quote for two books, by the same author. I think I'll try to work out a rough timescale and bill by the day. I've read that some people bill by the word count and others by "Per Completed Hour" but I feel by the day would be easier for me to work out.

The rates that you quoted for your old work is a big help to me.

Thanks again for your reply. It's very much appreciated.

best wishes,

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Re: Audiobook editing rates

Postby Stan Vdovitski » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:21 pm

Hi Stuart,

I'm engineering audiobooks for indie authors/narrators, who are going to publish their products predominantly on ACX/Audible.

Please take a look at my article which I prepared for initial negotiations with my clients — ... g-process/

You can get an idea on pricing and how does it depend on your working pace.

In a nutshell, usually:
1. I do a test task (say, chapter) to evaluate the time ratio (for instance 4:1 — 1 finished hr would take 4 working hrs);
2. Then on the basis of the raw material time and my hourly rate I calculate te whole thing.
3. Current hourly rates vary from say $10 (producers from Asian and Eastern EU countries) to $30...$50 (for Americas).
4. Also please look at this site, hopefully that would help too —

- Stan
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