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Audiobook time

 
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Moosevoice
Contributore Level V


Joined: 16 Nov 2012
Posts: 193
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:32 am    Post subject: Audiobook time Reply with quote

Have a potential client asking how long it would take me (calendar days) to record a 60,000 word novel.
Obviously everyone's life and schedules are different but if I get a couple examples here I can get an idea of how long it would take ME.
How long did it take you to record, edit/produce your audio for a book and how long was the book?

Thanks for any input.
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ballpark 10,000 words equals one hour of finished audiobook (many like a number like 9,500 words). If your accuracy rate is good, as in 5 to 10 flubs per hour of recording time and you do your own editing you’re looking at up to 3 hours to initially complete each finished hour of audiobook. More mistakes equals more hours recording and editing. Someone else should QC your book (family members offer the best rates) and then there’s mastering the final product for Audible, or whoever, if you take this on, which should take less than an hour per finished hour if you were consistent with your recording practices.

Other factors that can add work time are researching names and place names and getting author/publisher approval, or if the book is badly written.

So, 4 to 5 hours of your time per finished hour is a fair ballpark number. That works out to 24 to 30 hours for that sized book. If you’re getting paid $200 pfh your net pay is $40 to $50 per actual hour of work.

B
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS if you want to know how long it will take YOU to read it, read the audition piece, and do some math on length and error rate and make an educated guess.


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SteveToner
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Joined: 03 Oct 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't believe these typical numbers. They certainly don't work for me. First, you've got to read through the entire thing and check pronunciation on anything you're uncertain about. Then you can do the actual recording. I figure 2 hours recording time per finished hour. Not too bad there. It's the assembling/editing that takes all my time here. I don't use a clicker or anything like that to help in removing the mistakes, and I take out breaths and adjust the pacing (or spacing between lines/paragraphs). I gather most people don't do that because this phase takes probably 10 hrs/finished hour...
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SteveToner
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, and then when you think you're all done, you go back and listen to it (another 1X) while scanning the book and find all the little mistakes where you said the wrong word and need to record pickups... I think I once lost an entire page of text. Amazingly, it still made sense, so just listening wasn't sufficient to catch it Gasp Shocked
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We seem to do books a bit differently. I never pre-read a book especially novels. I like being surprised when big events happen. I will scan a chapter really quickly for quirky names and locations but that's it. Now, I did a lot of rip 'n read news in my radio days so I find pre-reading on the fly easy to do. I also have a low error rate just because I've been doing this voiceover things for donkey's years.... all right, a couple of donkey's worth of years.

I usually edit right after I finish one or two chapters. That way the copy and the errors I made are fresh in my mind as in, "oh, I remember my third take during that stumble was the correct one". Instead of using a clicker I often make a click with my tongue, or again, because I've done this forever I can actually "see" repeated words and phrases while looking at the graphics in the editor. I also like doing my own editing because occasionally I'll hear a line read that I don't like, or a mistake, and can change it right there and in the same voice tone as I did it earlier that day. No waiting for notes from an editor or publisher.

I've learned to use my editing software so well (again mucho experience) that I can edit an hour of my narration in well under two hours. There are a lot of shortcuts in most programs, and I'm still learning an occasional one after 15+ years of using my DAW.

Another time saver is I don't edit out most breaths. I've learned to make them softer as I read or I even use them for special emphasis (rarely). If you use the compression and gating recommended by Audible for mastering, most breaths totally disappear without any editing.

The actual pay per hour in studio is so low with audiobooks, that anything you can do to save time and still issue a quality product is a bonus.

B
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SteveToner
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only done two fiction titles. The rest are non-fiction. So that may account for some of the difference. As far as error rate goes, I've been in the studio with Scott Brick and I would say my error rate is not significantly better or worse than his...

I tell people if they haven't done an audiobook before to start with something short - like 2 hours or less finished - so they can learn the workflow that works for them without killing themselves. Oh, I also tell them not to do audiobooks for the money because yeah, it stinks Wink
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Moosevoice
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Joined: 16 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce, that sounds a lot like my workflow and method.
I pre-read, mark as I flub and go back after a chapter or so and make the edits.
I'm aware audiobooks are a marathon and not a race and that the money's not 'big' but it'd be nice to do a few books for some steady $.

I got back to them with a quote of getting this done in 25 hours. Between my voiceover experience and my many years of producing/editing in radio: 'hold my beer. I got this!'
Wink
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, bra.


B
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ConnieTerwilliger
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, there is value in pre-reading when one of your characters is said to be an older Italian woman, and then after recording her dialogue for a chapter or two, you THEN find out she doesn't have any Italian accent, so you have to go back and redo all of her stuff...
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Bruce
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a semi-popular story or two about authors leaving out important details like accents until 2/3 of the way through a book. My thinking is what a terrible writer! Shameful! Their job is to describe characters and locations pretty quickly and completely (if it doesn't ruin the story) to help readers/listeners formulate the rest of the scenes in their minds.

I've been fooled once by not pre-reading and it wasn't the author's fault. It was a fantasy book with giants in it. They weren't huge but definitely bigger than the human characters, so I added some gruff to my voices for them. Then a few chapters later they had an even bigger class of giants so I went deeper and gruffer. A few chapters later an even BIGGER type of giant. Could it get even worse? Yep. The last chapter featured the titans, the kind of creatures that take up bits of countryside wherever they stand. With them I went airy instead of deeper since they would have been high up in the clouds.

And then try a 3-way conversation with three different giants, trying to differentiate them!

B
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Lee Gordon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is why, if I do a book at all, it's non-fiction.
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todd ellis
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i hate audio books. i have done a total of 6 of them. the non-fiction books were ok enough, but the ONE fiction book was one of the worst experiences of my life. dozens of characters including two Jamaican men holding a conversation through two chapters ... it was excruciating to read AND listen to ...

quote from review:

Quote:
"this is an idiotic book and the narrator was simply awful."

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Moosevoice
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

todd ellis wrote:
i hate audio books. i have done a total of 6 of them. the non-fiction books were ok enough, but the ONE fiction book was one of the worst experiences of my life. dozens of characters including two Jamaican men holding a conversation through two chapters ... it was excruciating to read AND listen to ...

quote from review:

Quote:
"this is an idiotic book and the narrator was simply awful."


MUST. HEAR.THIS.BOOK
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