Acceptable number of errors?

Hi, newbie here. I was hoping to get your perspective on a problem I’m having.

Short version of the story:

I’m an author. My publisher decided to contract out the audiobook production of my novel back in March. A few weeks ago we finally received the files. In addition to a (possibly fixable) recurring technical issue, the narrator is constantly misreading words. This sometimes means adding words, leaving them out, or using different words altogether. Often these changes don’t alter the meaning of the story. The word used will be “the” instead of “his” or “on” instead of “into,” but it’s enough to change the overall voice of the writing, subtle though it may be.

I flagged this and put a halt to the file auditing while the publisher passed on my complaints to the people facilitating the audiobook production. These people have come back saying that their “philosophy” is to not go back and correct errors like this. They’ve also said that correcting a larger error (which was due to not following an instruction about a character that was clarified before production began) would be at our expense.

My question to all of you is (particularly those of you contracted to read other people’s books): is this industry standard? Is this just something that I should be expecting or accepting? The frequency of these errors is between two and a dozen times per page as it appears in the hard-copy book.

I feel like this company is just trying to get away with something substandard and make us foot the bill. Am I being unreasonable expecting a far, far lower number or errors?


As this is the Audacity help forum, (providing help using Audacity), this question is not really a good fit for this forum (it has nothing to do with Audacity), but I think it’s an interesting question for this board on the forum, so I’m happy to let it run provided that it does not turn into a troll fiesta or flame war :wink:

Personally I’d not be too bothered about occasional mistakes of the kind that you mention, if the reading is good, interesting, in character, well recorded, well paced, engaging … Recording an audiobook is both time consuming and difficult to do well (have you tried?) Typically, the time spent editing will be many times greater than the time to read a book.

I’m sure that for an author it must be highly irritating when words that you have taken so much time and care to get just right, are changed by the narrator. To what extent does that occur when people read paper books I wonder. Nevertheless, I doubt that many radio, TV, film, theatre productions are word perfect - there’s a lot more to a great production than getting it word perfect.

and what does your publisher say about the quality of narration?

I’m also producing audiobooks as an author. While checking my narrator’s work I have the script open in front of me. If he drops or adds a word that doesn’t alter the context or create a “bump” a listener might notice, I don’t worry about it. I only send him corrections when words are mispronounced or wrong.