About this audiobook calculator

N. B. unlike Findaway’s calculator this one is all about the audiobook post-production procedures (meaning, it gives you an estimate on engineering part of the project):

  • Mastering to ACX or FindawayVoices technical standards.
  • Editing (bad takes removal).
  • Proofing.

So, if you are an indie author-narrator or a professional narrator seeking for an engineer to work with, this is a good place to start!

Okay, you’ll find two versions of the calculator — first one allows you to get an estimated budget if you know the words count, and a second one allows you to do that if you have already recorded your book or you are not sure about the words count.

Now, below you can see some explanatory things on how this calculator works. If it seems boring (I get it), jump right to the end of the page and play with the calculator. Want a bit more of details..? You always can get back to those explanations.

By the way, if you are totally new to this area and trying to wrap your head around it, maybe you’ll appreciate this check list for newcomers. Good luck!


Formulae behind

Option #1 — it is used if the audio is not recorded yet:

(Words Number/ 9,300) x 1.2 x Time Ratio x Rate = Estimated Budget


Option #2 — this one is used when the audio has already been recorded:

Recorded Hours x Time Ratio x Rate = Estimated Budget


Words Count and Recording Time

It is known that the average speech tempo for audiobooks in English is around 155 words per min (or 9,300 words per hour). If you know the total count of words in your book, you can etimate the running time of the future audio version of that book. Let’s say, 25k words book would take something around 25,000 / 9,300 = 2.7 hours.


Coefficient 1.2

It is almost inevitable that you make mistakes, false starts and that sort of things during the recording session. From experience (in avg) they add something around 20% of the time that would’ve been taken for “clean” recording, without those mistakes. And that is why this coefficient is being used in this formula, please be aware of this fact.


Time Ratio or how much time you need to process one recorded hour

  • Technical mastering (noise reduction, EQing, loudness normalization, etc) usually may take 1/2…2x of the running time. In other words, 1 hr of audio stuff usually takes 1/2…2 working hours (there are many nuances, which I cannot predict now). This statement is being used in Sum #1.
  • Mastering and editing (all that above and a bad takes removal) usually takes 2…3x of the running time. In other words, 1 hr of audio stuff usually takes 2…3 working hours. This is being used in Sum #2. And here’s important thing — all the bad takes have to be marked with sonic cues. Here’s what I mean.
  • Mastering, editing and proof listening (all that above and a final proofing or making sure that the recording matches the script) usually takes 3…5x of the running time. In other words, 1 hr of audio stuff usually takes 3…5 working hours. This is being used in Sum #3.

Engineer’s Rate

Please don’t forget about engineer’s rate. My current rate used in this calculator is US$20/hr.


What else?

Like I said, there are many nuances in this process and it may be that the real budget is going to be pretty different. It may be higher or lower… So, please don’t make hasty decisions and have fun!


Ready to discuss your project?

If, upon the calculation, you want to proceed by discussing your project or you want me to process a test sample, please drop me a message.

You can use:

  • The Contact Form right at the top of this page (̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶c̶t̶u̶a̶l̶l̶y̶, w̶h̶e̶r̶e̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶p̶p̶e̶n̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶s̶c̶r̶e̶e̶n̶… t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶’̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶b̶i̶g̶ ̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶b̶u̶t̶t̶o̶n̶),
  • Regular email and send me the direct message to s.vdovitski@gmail.com,
  • Linkedin.

Here we go!

Option #1. Based on a words number (taken from manuscript)


If you have already recorded your book, please use this one:


Option #2. Based on hours number (actually recorded time)