GKN Weekly Update 7/3/12 – Having a Spine in the Voiceover World!

Happy Fourth of July Eve! Does that sound right…?

So two weeks ago I got an offer to narrate an audiobook. Sounds great, right? Well, sort of…


When I was at APAC a few weeks ago, I discovered that I have been undercharging for my services. So I set a new audiobook narration rate for myself.  Technically, it’s three rates. One for when I record at a remote studio, one for when I record at home, and one for when I record at home AND edit the sound files. Of course the offer I got was for ten dollars per finished hour below my minimum home recording rate. Not much of a difference, right? So I said yes. I’m not gonna sweat ten bucks one way or the other so no big deal, or so I thought.

Then I got all the information regarding the project. It would be about six finished hours of material and it had a deadline of one week. ONE WEEK. For those not familiar with the ergonomics of audiobook production, it would take about about twelve hours in the recording booth to do this particular project; that’s a lot of talking in a relatively short amount of time. Then I discovered I would be responsible for editing it, too! So double the amount of time it would take to do the book. We’re talking about 24 total hours worth of work here. Remember that ten dollars below the minimum rate? Well, that is for doing the audiobook and NOT editing it so now we’re WAY below my new rate.

So I had a decision to make. Do I take a guaranteed amount of money for about 24 hours worth of work, break the promise I just made to myself, and risk turning down other projects that may come my way in that week, or do I turn it down and hope I get enough work to make up for it?

So as I struggled with this choice, my “Accountabilibuddy” Trish Basanyi said it was a very simple “Quality of Life” decision. Is the money worth the time, stress, and possible alienation of other clients? Once it was put in those terms it was a no-brainer. I turned it down!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Fellow voice talent Phillip Banks would regard this decision as a “Spiny Moment”.


This was a concept he started using a few years and it has stuck with both myself and many other fellow voice talents. You have to have the will, or “spine”, to turn down work sometimes. Having a career is about more than just making money, it’s about Quality of Life!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. Wayne Dyer

STUFF!: Here’s the epilogue to the story. Once I turned down the audiobook, I vowed to make the same amount of money last week as if I had accepted the audiobook gig. So I did my thing and I booked SEVEN VO gigs that week! I beat the audiobook revenue by a considerable margin. Happy ending, yo!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…

#VoiceoverBlog