With so many choices today to record your book, you’re left wondering, why the different costs, who is really the best company or individual to partner with on your next audio book recording and who is just plain charging too much? That’s a familiar question and one that we’ll explore for the next few minutes.
The fact is, when the economy took a down turn back in 2008 going into 2009, numerous individuals that lost their jobs, along with the help of low cost recording equipment and gear, thought they would try their hand as a voice over talent and career in the audio world. Nobody would fault anyone for trying to create new opportunities. That’s really happened in many careers and areas today in one form or fashion. Technology has made it easier to enter the field, but has certainly cluttered the playing field, confusing many authors and publishers.
The short and long of it, is depending on where the voice talent is on the food chain and how desperate they are for work, will determine how low they will go, cost wise. Well that sounds good, you say, and it certainly can be. The problem is the lack of recording experience, coupled with lower end equipment and lack of a good and quiet recording space, has really lowered the bar in quality. Have you heard some of the audiobook and pod cast quality out there lately? Some of it is pretty good, but so much of it is fair to poor quality.
And that’s the problem that faces many writers as they try and enter the audio book market. How much should I pay and what is really a good deal? You don’t want to buy the low end car, but you can’t afford or simply don’t want to purchase the Mercedes, only to find out that the Toyota Camry production company, actually sounds better, and it’s more affordable.
To make the process easier for you to wade through, let’s look at a few factors. To begin with, be cautious when working with someone who has come from one of the many “voice over farms” for a number of reasons. The biggest one is the audio sample that you are listening to – has it been recorded at their home studio, or has it been recorded at another studio, to make it sound more polished, to help get them started in the business? That’s really one of the big questions. The other problem with going with voice talent, who is being promoted by a general online company in the “voice over farm” business, is they are in the business of promoting and grabbing monthly fees from their voice over talent that lists with them, whether they’re any good or not, or whether their recording set up and gear is any good or not. Will you hear hum of the hvac, over head lighting, computer hard drive noises along with planes and dogs barking outside? It’s one thing to want an affordable production, yet it’s another to get poor quality production.
What you might look for in general, is searching for the sound of the voice talent you are looking for and go direct to that particular company. Companies don’t’ stay in business in this competitive environment too long, if they’re not any good, have poor service or just don’t perform. That’s not as true for the individual, who may have long given up on voice over work for a career, but still hangs their hat somewhere online, hoping for a small project here and there. Will they be timely, have great production skills and recording techniques – that’s a question and one that I would consider before hiring voice talent.
Lastly, think about the time your book has taken to write, edit and finalize. Would you really consider hiring an individual or company for that matter, that can’t or won’t deliver the quality and expectations that you have? Finding the most competitive voice talent or company to work with is one thing, but being cheap is another. I don’t think you want to be cheap about your audiobook production. It will sound cheap, come across that way and most likely won’t go anywhere fast.