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Real Talk About Narrator Incomes


How do narrators get paid for recording audiobooks?

For most of our work, including The Wheel of Time, we are paid a flat fee,

using a SAG-AFTRA union contract.

We love our union: they provide

affordable health insurance, a small pension, and the rates are fair.

We have relationships with audiobook publishers that go back decades.

They send us amazing books, and are a pleasure to work with.

But here's the thing: 

We are independent contractors: self-employed, so no sick days for us!

If we don't work, we don't get paid, though our recordings

can be sold to other publishers multiple times, to generate income for them.

That's the business. That's how it works.

So, with a flat fee, it doesn't matter how many millions of copies are sold:

we never see another penny. An alternative is...

The Royalty Share audiobook

This is an independent, self-produced audiobook,

or an agreement between authors/publishers and narrators to share 

a portion of the sales profits, after the distributor takes their cut of 60-75%.  

How are they created?

Most of the royalty share audiobooks we do in collaboration with authors or publishers are created using ACX, for Audible-exclusive sales,

but we want our independently-produced audiobooks to be available in libraries,

so we choose global (non-exclusive) distribution.

We created The Prophet using the production company Spoken Realms.

We record the book, and the sound files are engineered, uploaded, and published.

Where do you buy or rent your audiobooks? Platforms include 

Audible, Downpour,, Google Play, OverDrive, (read more here).


How much does the distributor take?

It may surprise you to learn how much of the sale goes to the distributor: 60-75%!

We split the remaining 25-40% with the author, or publisher.

With our independent audiobooks, we keep it all.

A new way to buy Audiobooks, and support the creators!

We recently found a new company, Awesound, which hosts podcasts and audiobooks.

Awesound currently takes only 20% for their service - a big difference!

When you buy an audiobook on Awesound, you can listen in their media player online, or download to your podcast app.

If you are an educator, author, or podcaster, check them out: Mark Moriarty is committed to supporting creators and educators, and making sure everyone has access.

We are now selling The Prophet on Awesound!

The more books that are sold, the more income we and the author/publisher make.

It's a risk - what if the book doesn't sell? Ah, but what if it does?

Those sales could bring in an income for years to come.

It allows us time away from recording to pursue more projects,

or to travel, or take a vacation...


Click on the photo to read about our Audie Award!

It's a blessing. It's a gamble.

It's a vacation, or a weekend off,

savings, or paying a bill. 

When you buy a royalty share book,

you are paying a portion directly to us.

You are supporting our work,

showing us you appreciate it.

And we thank you, very much!

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Madison Productions, Inc.

We have launched our own audiobook productions!

At Madison Productions, our home studio, we publish our own audiobooks.

This way, we can maintain ownership of our work, create more income,

and choose the books we want to share with you.

We select books in the public domain and record them in cooperation with

Spoken Realms, a publishing platform offering world-wide distribution.

We also work with independent authors to bring their books to audio.

Announcing our first independent production!

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The Prophet, 

by Khalil Gibran, 

with music by Stefan Frankenberger.

You've heard it before, at weddings, and at funerals: 

whenever people are grasping for just the right words

to encompass a mighty event.

We hope you will get a copy for yourselves,

and some to share with your family.

It's a beautiful book, full of wisdom and compassion.

Two full versions of the book are included:

Part One is with music composed by Stefan Frankenberger,

Part Two is only the voices of Kate and Michael.

The Prophet is produced by our own company,

Madison Productions.

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