Today’s blog offers an example of how to stand up for your talent, your hours of practice, your pro equipment, and your years of experience.

A lot of clients don’t understand that, and think what we do is “…just talking…”  That means part of our duty is to educate prospective clients as to the value we bring to their projects.

The Epic Fail Trail

Once upon a time – 12 years ago – when I started getting into voice-overs, I just knew I was the next Scott Brick, and had a promising future as an audiobook narrator.  By the time I had recorded some 50 titles, I’d had enough.  My hat goes off to the many who do this medium so well.  But I realized it wasn’t for me (another blog, another time, maybe).

Occasionally, I will be talked into narrating an audiobook, but for no less than $350/hour minimum.  It’s meant to discourage anyone from hiring me, really, Like I said, I really don’t want to do them anymore.

Monday, a local author contacted me with a query about narrating a book he’d written.  

I’m the author of an approximately 50,000 word non-fiction historical book that I’m Looking to convert to an audiobook.

The Narrator should be able to send me a finished edited audio file. Being able to include some light ‘mood’ music is a major plus.

For a sense of the ‘atmosphere’ Im looking for see link to my website below which describes synopsis and reviews of my work.

Oh, and one other thing. I’m just a lowly independent writer without a deep pockets publisher so cost is of course extremely important.

My response:

Thanks for getting in touch.
Maybe a good place to start would be to tell me what your budget is.
A 50,000 word book will result in an audiobook of just a little over 5 hours according to my math.  I would require no less than $1500 for that work…narrated, edited, and mastered (and that’s with a $300 discount because you’re a local).  
Adding the music is another level of complication, and I’d have to work with you on that added  production expense.  I’d expect you to provide me with the music.  Choosing music is one of the most subjective decisions humans can make,so I wouldn’t presume to do that.  Then there’s paying the royalties (rights) for using the music, or buying non-royalty stock.
This is probably not all what you wanted to hear, but I specialize in non-fiction, and I love historical works, so I’d be happy to dig into this project if I haven’t scared you off already.
Thanks again for presenting me with this prospective audiobook.

His retort:


Since I wrote the book for nothing wondering why I would pay someone $1500 just to read the book out loud ? Seriously.
Willing to pay $500 ‘with’ music.
My reply, which went unanswered:
You didn’t write it “for nothing”.  It took hours of research and time to write the book, I’m sure.
I’m an experienced voice professional, and I know the value of my contribution.  What goes into that quote?  Lots of coaching, experience, practice, and expertise; not to mention the cost of lots of top-notch equipment, a studio, and editing capabilities.
I’m also a published author, but narrating a written work is not an easy task.
Thanks again for contacting me.
So whadya think?  Did I practice humble relational diplomacy.
Just amazing to me how little respect people have for other professionals.
Honestly, sometimes I think people are spoiling it for everyone!



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