Flat rate per finished hour
If you would like to retain all rights and royalties to your audiobook production, then you'll want a flat rate that covers script markup, narration, editing, and possibly also custom vocal effect development. For every finished hour of audio, there is anywhere between four and eight hours of production time. We estimate each finished hour of audio at 10,000 written words, so if your book is 65,000 words, you can expect the audiobook to end up at about 6.5 hours in length, with some minor variance depending on the content. If there's a lot of dialogue, for instance, that tends to slowly add to the finished hour count over the course of the project.
(All rates are for English productions only)
|Non-Fiction with many names, non-English quotations, lists, etc.||Request quote|
|Speculative Fiction (Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Horror)||$450 PFH (includes vocal effects)|
|General Fiction (Romance, Thriller, etc.) <10 hours, <10 characters, up to two accents||$350 PFH|
|General Fiction >10 hours, >10 character voices, multiple accents||$500 PFH|
|Change fee (significant change requests that have previously passed review, or significant new material such as a rewritten chapter, new chapter, or other content that adds substantially to production time that was not accounted for in the initial agreement)||$50 plus additional pay-for-production time at the project's rate|
|Poorly-edited fiction (more than five significant errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation) <8 hours||$600 PFH, and we'll provide a list of corrections for you|
Except for the last item, these rates assume that your manuscript has been professionally proofread and copyedited. It's probably cheaper to outsource this to professional book editors than to have us do it as we go through the production process.
Non-fiction projects that contain many names (especially American names, few of which have predictable pronunciations) and/or foreign language quotations will have to be estimated on a per-case basis. Some non-fiction books do not make very good audiobooks because they rely on a lot of graphics, tables, and lists. If this seems to be the case, we'll let you know and offer suggestions for modifying the content for audio.
Audio Publishing Rights Sales
We may be interested in buying the audio publishing rights to your book. Typically this would mean that we'd pay a one-time fee in exchange for the right to exclusively produce an audio version of your book and thereafter collect the royalties from it.
Royalty sharing through ACX (Audio Creation eXchange)
If you publish exclusively through Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing, Createspace, Audible) and would prefer to partner with us on audiobook production, we can produce audiobooks through ACX on a 50/50 royalty share split. The term of this agreement is 7 years and automatically renews for another term unless cancelled. You will keep both the written and production copyrights to your work, but half of all audiobook royalties and new subscriber bounties will be paid to us.
How much will you earn in royalties? That depends on how long the book is and how people buy it. There's no way of predicting how people will buy the audiobook (Audible credits, Audible member discount, full price). However, a reasonably conservative estimate is $2 per sale for each partner, for audiobooks between 5 and 10 hours in length (shorter books earn a lot less, longer books earn a little more). So for every sale of your 6.5 hour audiobook, you get about $2 and we get the same. If your audiobook is the first one purchased by a new Audible listener, then we each get a bounty of $25 in addition to the royalty.
How many audiobooks will you sell? A conservative estimate is about 1 audiobook sale per 10 ebook sales; if you are selling about 100 copies of the Kindle edition per month, you can roughly estimate 10 audiobook sales, but that could improve dramatically if you market your audiobook adequately and your readership enjoys audiobooks. Print book sales numbers don't provide any indicators of audiobook sales potential, though we have seen several situations in which a high number of print sales indicated very poor audiobook sales.
Royalty share agreements are a huge risk for us; we may do weeks of work and end up making less than minimum wage. We're willing to take some risks under certain conditions:
- Your book must be professionally edited and have very few mistakes. This is a problem in audiobook production because mistakes cause drops (the narrator has to stop, figure out how to fix the mistake, and start recording again). Each drop costs about 5 minutes of production time because the problem cascades from narration to editing.
- You must have a sustained Amazon BestSellers Rank of 20,000 or better (lower is better). However, we'll consider books that have a sustained rank of as high as 50,000, but we require an additional fee of $100 PFH. This is for the paid Amazon Bestsellers Rank only, not the free rankings.
- We prefer not to see "fake reviews" on Amazon and Goodreads. We don't want to see any indication of inflated sales potential.
In general, we want all of our audiobook productions to sell fantastically and be heard by all the right people. Unfortunately, this takes time and in some cases there are fees (such as for the Audie Awards), so our "marketing services" are really just a reimbursement for those costs. We're not interested in marketing audiobooks we don't produce.
There are separate rate schedules for flat-rate and royalty share projects. This is because we are directly invested in the sales outcome of royalty share projects and, as publishing partners, we're willing to absorb some of the costs.
|Release announcement on our Web site||Free||Free|
|Release announcement to our email list||Free||Free|
|Release announcement on social media||Free||Free|
|Excerpt on SoundCloud with a "buy on Audible" link||Free||Free|
|Entry into the Audie Awards (3 categories)||$300||$150|
|Promo video (approximately 3 minutes, must provide some artwork to use)||$200||$100|
|Interviews for podcasts, blogs, etc. (up to 3)||$100||Free|
|Submission to review sites and magazines||$50||Free|
|Extras: 3-5 minute audio extra (narrator interviews the characters, custom voice mail greeting, or whatever you can think of!)||$150||Free (one only)|
This may look like an upsell to royalty share projects, but that is neither the intention nor the desire. The intention is to enable you to choose what you'd like us to do for you without charging fees for things you don't want. The long-term success of royalty share projects affects our bottom line, and since the entire project is already done on spec, we're willing to do a little extra work to ensure that sales are maximized.