The Timing of the Audiobook Editing Process

If you are going to have someone to edit your audiobook, you definitely want to know how much does it cost!

An audiobook editing price roughly may be formed on the basis of two polar cases.

Narrated by professional VAs

It’s assumed that the book was narrated in a studio (or at least acoustically isolated vocal booth), so there’s no extra noises like street tarffic, birds or a dog barking; also there’s no significant permanent noise like hiss or electric hum.

Also it’s assumed that the VA uses ‘silent’ furniture (no squeaks) and knows that the paper pages should be turned in between lines (if s/he uses the paper copy).

Also, usually, pro’s give the editor cues (claps, snaps, coughs and so) when they need to make a re-take. This very fact speeds up the editing stage DRASTICALLY. Even more, if they use ‘punch-n-roll‘ recording mode, the mastering stage alone takes very little time.

All that, along with total number of re-takes to be edited out, usually leads to the time ratio at about 1:1 – 4:1 (in other words, 1 hr of raw stuff might take about 1…4 hrs of the editing work).

The other pole — narrated by indie author who’s not a pro VA

Oftentimes stuff might be recorded in the non-treated room (hearable room reflections, street noise, fan noise etc), so it should be fixed on the post production stage (portion of time).

Also, non-pro might not be aware of extra noises (that they’re being recorded too – chair squeaks, pages’ rustling, stomach rumbling and so forth). All those things should be removed manually and it slows down the editing process significantly.

All that, along with total number of re-takes, leads to the time ratio at about roughly 4:1 – 6:1 (in other words, 1 hr of raw stuff might take about 4…6 hrs of the editing work).

And… anything in between.

Please don’t hesitate to use this calculator if you want to get an estimation.


So, honestly, while you got the idea, still the best way to calculate more-less adequate fix price is to accomplish a test chapter or two and measure the actual pace (and also assess the quality of the raw material). Then take the total raw duration of the project and multiply by this coefficient. The result should be multiplied then by hourly rate of your engineer.

I hope it makes sense.

If you need an advice or assessment, or you want me to prepare your audiobook for publishing, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

And always work with those you want to hug ツ

— Stan