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Flat Fee For Recording/Mixing Audiobook??? Please Read Modular Synthesizers
Old 31st August 2015
  #1
Flat Fee For Recording/Mixing Audiobook??? Please Read

Hi Guys,

So last year I agreed to record, edit, and mix a 325 page audiobook for a very, very modest flat-fee price. It was one of those 'take it or leave it' situations where the only way to get the project was to agree to the client's flat fee terms. Stupidly and regrettably, I agreed. Needless to say, the amount of time I spent recording, mixing, editing, re-editing, and uploading the AB was far greater...triple...the amount of what I actually was paid for. But I made a commitment so I sucked it up and finished the project.


After that experience, I learned sometimes it's better to 'leave it'.

Just recently, the same client emailed me and told me she was getting propositions from other authors for her to read their own AB's. So I diplomatically wrote:

Quote:
...we might want to figure out on average how many pages we can get through in an hour, then divide how many pages there are in the book with how many hours it would take…that would give us a rough estimate of how many hours it would take to complete the project. So let’s just say that it takes one hour to get through 10 pages and the book is 200 pages, then that would take roughly 20 hours. I think you should consider how many pages you feel you can read within an hour. Once we have that estimate we can factor in what our rates should be. The idea being if it took 20 hours to complete a 200 page book, and lets say your rate is $50 an hour, that would be $1000. But if you could read 20 pages in an hour, your rate would be only $500. That’s why I think we first should figure out how many pages you roughly can get through, then figure out an hourly rate that reflects that. Does that make sense?

Once we have that estimate we can give them a figure with also clarifying that if we go over our estimate we shall add that to the project fee. That way, we both will get paid exactly how much we worked.

...I strongly feel that a flat rate is not a viable method for either of us. We most likely would be stuck in a situation where we are working much more than what we are actually getting paid for.

She said "I agree" then went on about flat fee's and that we should research other studio's flat-fee's for recording, mixing, editing, mastering, and uploading an entire audiobook. So she said she agreed then completely disregarded and contradicted everything I said.

What are your thoughts on flat-fees? Yay or Nay? I would love to show her a thread with what other engineers have to say.

Thanks guys!!
Old 31st August 2015
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Me_Likey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AposL View Post
Hi Guys,

So last year I agreed to record, edit, and mix a 325 page audiobook for a very, very modest flat-fee price. It was one of those 'take it or leave it' situations where the only way to get the project was to agree to the client's flat fee terms. Stupidly and regrettably, I agreed. Needless to say, the amount of time I spent recording, mixing, editing, re-editing, and uploading the AB was far greater...triple...the amount of what I actually was paid for. But I made a commitment so I sucked it up and finished the project.


After that experience, I learned sometimes it's better to 'leave it'.

Just recently, the same client emailed me and told me she was getting propositions from other authors for her to read their own AB's. So I diplomatically wrote:




She said "I agree" then went on about flat fee's and that we should research other studio's flat-fee's for recording, mixing, editing, mastering, and uploading an entire audiobook. So she said she agreed then completely disregarded and contradicted everything I said.

What are your thoughts on flat-fees? Yay or Nay? I would love to show her a thread with what other engineers have to say.

Thanks guys!!
Raise your flat fee? Reject their offer if it's too low and counter offer based on what you learned last time. Itemize it if you need to. You already found out you'd get ripped off.

But you're right, working on an hourly or day rate is best.
Old 31st August 2015
  #3
Lives for gear
 
slaves666's Avatar
Per page means nothing. It goes by word. Charge per word and your life will be much easier. Depending on the V/O talent it could take longer or shorter than you expect as well. Make sure you hire the right talent to do the job.

Also you can't expect your talent to talk for long periods of time without a break. Usually 2-3 hours then a little break which should be paid as well.

Lots to consider but if I was to give a flat fee, it would be well above what I was expected to work, because there are always surprises and time is money.
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