What’s Involved?

Voice Artist Work – What’s Involved?

We Are Currently Seeking Experienced Professional Voice Artists!
We have more titles than our existing team of voice artists can produce.
So if you are a voice artist/ actor/ actress and would like to fit voice work into your spare time between other jobs then please read everything on this page and see if this is something you might be interested in doing.

We can only offer work to voice artists who:

  • Have their own recording equipment
  • Have their own editing software
  • Have the ability to produce recordings of their voice to a high technical standard (i.e. no hiss or buzzing, no background noise etc.)

If you have all three of the above then please read on!

The instructions of how to proceed are included on this page – but read everything else first!!

One of our voice artists, JazzFM presenter, Bob Sinfield, explains:

There is no charge to join the team, but we are picky about whom we accept. So you have to be able to deliver a book in the appropriate style. You also have to be clear about what time you can commit, and stick to it.

You do not pay us any money at all ever. Not ever. The whole point is that everyone makes money by investing time.

You MUST read everything on this page. If you don’t then it will demonstrate that you do not have the patience and attention to detail that we require!

Is it really Free to Join?

How Does It Work?

You Get Paid a Lifetime Royalty

How Much Does That Actually Mean?

Real Earnings Examples

How Do I Know Which Books Will Sell?

When Do I Get Paid?

What Equipment Do I Need?

What Type of Files are Preferred?

How Much Time Does it Take?

Insider Tip

What Help and Support Will I Get?

What Books Can I Record?

What Choice Do I Have in Terms of What I Produce?

Who are the People I’m Dealing With?

How Does Prospero Make its Money?

What is the Next Step?

 

Is it really Free to Join?

Yes.

We do not want any money from you at all,
ever.

Any organization that asks you for money in order for you to join and subsequently earn money from is one that I would always walk away from (or possibly even run).

In order to become one of our voice artists producing audio books you do have to have certain qualities, but handing over cheques is not one of them – that’s what we do!

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How does it work?

OK now that’s out of the way we can explain what we want and how this works.

In short we work with a number of voice artists to produce audio books. These audio books are sold in both digital download (i.e. from websites) and in pre-loaded MP3 players.

We do not pay an hourly rate or salary.

We do pay lifetime royalties (minimum ten years) to voice artists on all the audio books that they have produced (subject to copyright and all the usual legal stuff).

In short this is what happens:

  1. We provide you with a choice of books to record.
  2. You record and edit* an audio book.
  3. We adapt it for sale, sort out the cover design, distribution and all the complicated technical, sales and marketing stuff.
  4. We pay you a royalty EVERY time that book sells.
  5. See number 4.
  6. See number 4 again…

*Yes you edit as well as record the book – don’t worry full training is provided and it’s very straight forward once you get the hang of it. Voice artists Bob Sinfield and Lynsey Frost explain:

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All our contracts with publishers are for a minimum of 10 years. Most of these contracts are renewed year-on-year. So we aim to provide all voice artists with a minimum 10-year royalty on all sales of books that they record, but this is not guaranteed.

The actual amount you get paid depends on the following factors:

  1. How much the book sells for.
  2. How much commission is taken by the retail outlet – usually a website.
  3. How much author and other commission fees are due.
  4. The ‘lifetime’ of the audio rights arrangement for each individual book – this varies from a few years to for ever.

Actress and voice artist, Lynsey Frost, explains:

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How much does that actually mean?

You can reckon on earning approximately 5% to 10% of the retail price. This is almost exactly the same amount that the author earns – but your time input is far less than that of the author!

So if a book sells for £10, you might earn about 50p for every single sale.

What’s more, there is no limit to the amount you can earn. That’s worth repeating:

There is NO LIMIT to the amount of money you can earn off each audio book that you record.

The more copies that sell, the more money you make. So if earning money is your priority then the key is to record books that have the best chance of selling.

Voice artist Bob Sinfield in his own words:

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Real Earnings examples

IMPORTANT The actual first full quarter earnings quoted are genuine. The Projected earnings are estimates and do not allow for variations in demand, or the fact that the book could continue to sell for much longer than ten years. So the amount you could earn could be higher or lower than the projections.

Example 1

“The Naked Trader”

Time taken to record – 3 days

Time taken to edit – 6 days

Actual earnings for artist in first full quarter £112.31

Projected annual earnings (£112.31 x 4) £449.24 for nine days work

Projected ten-year earnings £449.24 x 10 = c£4,500.00, divided by two to allow for drop off in demand = c£2,250.00 for nine days work

Example 2

Sex and Seduction: Erotic Stories Collection 1

Time taken to record – 1 day

Time taken to edit – 2 days

Actual earnings for voice artist in first full quarter – £76.14

Projected annual earnings (£76.14 x 4) £304.56 for three days work

Projected ten-year earnings £304.56 x 10 = c£3000.00, divided by two = £1,500.00 for three days work

Example 3

“Being Positive and Staying Positive”

Time taken to record – 1 day

Time taken to edit – 2 days

Actual earnings for voice artist in first full quarter £19.62

Projected annual earnings (£19.62 x 4) £78.48 for three days work

Projected ten-year earnings £78.48 x 10 = c£785.00, divided by two = c£400 for three days work

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How do I know which books will sell?

 

The sales on each book will vary considerably and cannot be predicted. Books of a ‘How to’ nature, especially when concerned with sensitive or private issues such as depression or low confidence, have performed reasonably well. Similarly books about making money and, inevitably, sex also sell quite well.

But it’s not an exact science which is why we recommend that you build up a portfolio of a dozen or more books as quickly as possible. Not only does that increase your chances of producing one or more titles that perform well in terms of revenue, it also means that you will become much quicker at producing audio books.

Ultimately you shouldn’t do this if you are expecting to become a millionaire overnight. If you stick with it and produce enough books then you stand a good chance of bringing in several hundred pounds a month.

 

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When do I get paid?

 

Payment is made by the online digital sales websites quarterly in arrears. As soon as they send us payment we forward it to the respective voice artists.

This means that there is an initial delay of up to 6 months before you get your first payment. But after that you can reckon on a payment every three months.

For example, if the websites pay us by 30th June for the period 1st January through 31st March, then we will have despatched the payment to you no later than 15th August.

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What equipment do I need?

 

You will need to be set-up already with recording and editing equipment, and an area in which to record your voice so that there is no hiss, interference or background noise.

However, we do not recommend that you spend any money up front unless you are going to be using the equipment for lots of other projects as well.

We do not provide guidance on buying equipment. But we have found that Dolphin Music (online and in Liverpool and Manchester) are pretty good.

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What type of files are preferred?

You should record all audio books as *.wav files. These are large files and can be converted to the appropriate format for either digital download or CD/ DVD production.

 

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How much time does it take?

This is another one to which I can’t give you a definitive answer. So here are some points by way of guidance:

- The first book you produce will take you much, much longer than any other. This will serve as your training book. It will allow you to get your computer and recording set-up correct. It will also give you a very clear understanding of how best to record a book in such a way that it is easier to edit.

- Non fiction is quicker to prepare and record than Fiction. The latter requires more character preparation and a more sophisticated vocal performance.

- The fewer mistakes you make during the recording the quicker the recording and, more importantly, the less editing is required.

- A reasonably experienced voice artist can record a 30,000 word non-fiction book in one day.

- Editing time varies between 1½ and 2 times the amount of time it took to record the book. The time taken to edit depends upon:

~ How quick/ experienced you are at editing

~ How much extra editing (e.g. music, effects) the final product requires.

 

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Insider tip

The slower you speak during the recording, the fewer mistakes you make and the less editing time is required. So slow down if you want to take less time producing a book!

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What help & support will I get?

 

You will be given guidance on what books will best suit your vocal ability and give you the best possible return on your time.

Vocal technique guidance – both in terms of using the equipment and ‘artistic’ delivery

Editing – as you can see from this website there are comprehensive training videos showing you how to produce an audio book. The software in question is Cubase but the principles apply to whatever software package you choose to use.

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What books can I record?

  1. We have a huge range of books for you to choose from – we work with Pocket Essentials, Accent Press, Hunter Publishing, Summersdale Publishers and loads more.
  2. Your own material.
  3. Out of copyright material (the author must have been dead for at least 70 years).

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What choice do I have in terms of what I produce?

 

You have complete independence on what you choose to record. We will advise you according to what we believe will sell fastest and thereby make you the most money. But you can take or leave that advice.

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Who are the people I will be dealing with?

Prospero Media Ltd is the company you would be dealing with.

Prospero has a number of relationships and agreements in place with audio book outlets – both online (e.g. the audio book arm of Amazon) and offline. This means that we can ensure first class national and international distribution for every audio book that we receive (assuming that it is legitimate i.e. does not break any copyright rules etc.)

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How does Prospero make its money?

Exactly the same way you do – we earn a commission on every book that is sold. So it is in our interests to make sure that the books you record and edit are likely to make you money.

We do all the selling and marketing. All you do is record the book, edit it and send it to us. We take care of the rest.

You will receive a detailed report at the end of each quarter showing you how many copies of your books have sold and what commission you have earned as a result. And, if you want to, you can request an audit on these numbers to make sure that you are being paid what you should be (there is a small admin charge for these audits which is reimbursed if it turns out that you have not received all the money that is due to you.)

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What is the next step?

Go to the Contact page and complete the form. As soon as it arrives with us you will be sent a short piece of text to record and send back to us via email.

We listen to these voice samples once a week so it might be a few days before you hear back from us.

Once we’ve listened to your voice sample we will tell you what the next steps will be depending on whether your delivery is sufficiently professional to proceed or if you need to work on your voice skills in which case we’ll give you some feedback to be going on with.

Even if you are the best voice artist the world has ever heard, you will be given some points of direction and asked to record and submit the sample script a second time. This is to see how well you respond to direction.

So EVERYONE has to record the sample script a second time!