Friends, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Rate Sheets

by | May 9, 2008 | Pricing, VO Business

This blog invites your input.  If there’s a good response, I will collate the results, and provide everyone with a summary.

Recently, I was asked to quote my price for a 36,000 word e-learning narration.  The client likes the final product divided up into numerous files….some just a few words in length, other files are the length of a paragraph.

Like most independent freelance contractors in ANY business, I struggled to quote a fair price.  I have a rate sheet, but there always seems to be some extenuating circumstance…some variable…that throws a monkey wrench into the calculation.

I’ve lurked on enough online VO forums, read enough newsletters, and poured through enough literature on the subject to know there’s little agreement on a singular way to calculate a price for a script. 

I know, I know…the unions have well-publicized rate card.  I’m not talking about that.  I’m talking about the rabble… the non-union, agentless voice-actors plying our trade on the internet.

From what I’ve seen formulas for pricing fall into about 4 categories.


Then there’s the consideration the time and trouble it takes to EDIT/PRODUCE the final product, save to whatever format in however many numbers of files, and the cost of sending.

I’m going to exclude ISDN or Source-Connect sessions from this discussion. 

I’m also going to ask you not to get into TV/radio use/re-use issues — or local/national exposure considerations.

Would you be so kind as to share with me/us what basic formula you use to estimate to your clients how much you charge for sessions involving non-broadcast products that require you to use your home studio to achieve the desired result. 

I also invite you to let others know, so we get the best possible sampling.

Please feedback by commenting at the bottom of this blog, or e-mailing me personally at [email protected]






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