Audiobook Narration & Production

Professional audiobook narration and production for your book. If you are an indie author or a small publisher, you need to create audiobooks of your titles to attract a whole new set of fans. Rocket City Books can help you create high quality audiobooks.

I provide full-service audiobook narration and production services to turn your book into an exceptionally high-quality audiobook. I have a professional home studio complete with a studio-quality microphone, pre-amp, and editing and mastering software. All audiobooks I record and produce have a great sound! The files I create are all within the very specific Audible requirements for sound level, peak level, and background noise level so you won’t have to worry about any of the technical details.

Rates:

Rates for audiobook narration and production vary depending on the services you require and the length of your book. The options I will consider include:

  • Flat fee by word count or finished hour
  • Royalty share

To make it easier for you to figure out how much audiobook production will cost, we offer quotes by the final hour and by the word count of your book.

Quote by Word Count:
Our rate is $15 per 1,000 words. For example, if your book if 50,000 words long, the total cost will be $750. If your book is 80,000 words the cost will be $1,2600. This is the easiest way to determine the cost of your book.

Quote by “per finished hour”
Many audiobook narrators quote by “per finished hour.” This means that your fee will be based on the total time of your completed audiobook. My “per finished hour (PFH) rate is $139.50. I usually read 9,300 words per hour, so a book that is 50,000 words long would be approximately 5.3 hours long and cost $750. To estimate the overall length of your complete audiobook, divide the total number of words in your book by 9,300, then multiply that number by $139 for an estimate.

Royalty Share:
We offer royalty share to some clients. For the royalty share option, we will evenly split royalties from your audiobook. For this option, there is no up-front cost for the author or publisher. I only consider this option for authors with a good platform and strong sales (and I love working with self-published authors!). If you have a strong platform with strong sales from past books, please send me a note about helping with your existing books and new projects.

The Audiobook Creation Process

If you’re new to audiobook production, it usually takes about 4 hours to produce one hour of finished narration. That’s because it takes me about 2 hours to record 1 hour of narration. As a narrator, I always read the book first, make notes about changes in my voice for different sections or characters, and look up any words I’m not sure how to pronounce. If you have unusual character names, I will ask you for guidance on pronunciation. I also correct any mistakes or awkward pauses as I’m recording, which take a little bit of time.

When I’m done recording, I move into the role of producer. To produce your audio files, I listen to the entire book and compare the audio to the original text to make sure they are exactly the same. I will then start correcting any unwanted sounds in the recording, and re-record anything as required. I will split up your book into one file per chapter, as required by Audible. Finally, I will will “master” the audio file, which means tweaking the sound level, background noise levels, and other settings to make sure the audio file is excellent quality. I will also double-check the files against Audible requirements to make sure the files meet all of the requirements for quality audiobooks. Because this process takes a while, the rates may look high–but they really are not!

The Author’s Role in Audiobook Production

If you are interested in my services, I will record ten minutes of your book for you for free. You can choose a section of the book you’d like to hear. This will give you a good idea of what your book sounds like in my voice.

Once we start working together, I will check in with you frequently about the progress of the book. I will upload each chapter as I finish it for you to review. I will provide you with a spreadsheet that will help you track any sections in your recording you would like to tweak or update. I will fix all of the issues you noted, and you will then have an opportunity to review and provide final feedback on the final files.

Samples:

Here are some samples for you to review to get a feel for our audio quality and narrating voice. These are all from open access books that are no longer under copyright (we take copyright protection very seriously!) and one segment is from our book Fern Cave.

The Time Machine by H. G. Wells excerpt

The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Henry Ketchum excerpt

The Sound of Silence by Barbara Constant excerpt

Sound of Silence: child’s voice, female reading male character

Black Amazon of Mars by Leigh Brackett excerpt

Fern Cave by Jennifer Pinkley excerpt

You can also listen to episodes in my new podcast of open access science fiction books for examples of completed book audio files, including introductory music.

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