What’s on This Page?

Over here you can estimate your budget on post-production procedures (leading to ACX or FindawayVoices technical standards, editing, proof listening). Also please note that we’re talking here about AUDIOBOOK post-production. If you want to calculate the budget for PODCASTS, please ask me via email, because there’s slightly different workflow.

Below you’ll find two calculators — 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.

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


Formula Behind

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). Now, 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.

Time Ratio (how many hours you need to process 1 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 4…6x of the running time. In other words, 1 hr of audio stuff usually takes 4…6 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 $20/hr.


And a Final Word…

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!


MAIN FORMULA: (words count / 9,300) * time ratio * engineer’s rate = estimated budget


Here we go!


And if you have already recorded your book (or you are not sure about the words count), please use this one: