Before I auditioned for my first audiobook recording on ACX, I had been wondering how long it would take me to record a quality set of mp3’s for a book. I erred on the side of caution with my first audition since I had read on the web that creating 1 hour of content takes about 2 hours of work (recording and mastering). So , I chose one with a low 1.5 hour estimate and that was non-fictional in nature. I assumed, correctly, that non-fiction required a more steady, authoritative voice rather than one that was more performance oriented, like a novel. I felt that it would take me about 3 hours. That ratio I read was a little off…
What’s Recording Ratio?
Recording ratio is just that, the ratio of time it takes to record and edit the audio versus the amount of finished recorded time there is in the book. I recently read about a woman who landed a narration contract for a large 100,000 word novel. The estimated listening time of that book was about 11 hours. It took her nearly 55 hours to get it all recorded! Granted, she admitted she had some technical difficulties in getting set up and she struggled a bit with the software she used. However, I would say from my own experience that non-fiction tends towards a recording ratio of 2 to 3 and fiction tends towards a ratio of 4 to 5. With more experience, I think I can drive the ratio down a little bit by getting into a rhythm when recording.