Frequently Asked Questions From Voice-Over Clients

Nikki Saco
— Answers for People Who Want to Hire a Voiceover Talent
How much do you charge?
For commercial voiceover, rates definitely vary depending on the broadcast market and medium: TV, radio, Internet. For narration projects like voicemail and corporate videos, I generally charge .40 per word or a $40 session minimum, whichever is greater.
Are you a union voice over talent?
No. Though AFTRA and SAG offer their membership as a whole considerable support, they have less influence in the voiceover markets I derive most of my work from.
What is voice over accreditation? Are you accredited?
Accreditation in voice over has been around since 2007 and is a peer review process which vets performance and technical skills for the delivery of voiceover. I became an accredited voiceover talent in 2007 and my certificate number is 07007.
Do you charge the same for Spanish voiceovers as you do for English?
Yes. My rates vary due to the type of voiceover service, not the language you need. I charge more for technical narration and broadcast voiceover.
Are you a native Spanish speaker?
Spanish was my first language, although I was born here in the U.S. I learned English by the time I was four years old. I’m fluent in both Spanish and English and speak both languages every day.
Do you provide translation services?
Yes, but only on short voiceover projects I am hired to do. There is a separate charge for translations. I don’t provide translation for long projects, like audiobooks. I prefer not to do medical or highly technical translations with specialized terms.
How do you deliver a completed project?
It depends on the client’s preference. Mostly, through Dropbox or FTP. If the entire project is one or two small audio files, I can attach it to an email.
Can you deliver audio files in any audio format?
I support all standard audio formats and codecs for compressed and uncompressed audio: .wav, .aiff, .mp3, .aac, mp4, .au (PCM, A-law, µ-law), etc.
Do you speak with a regional dialect in English or Spanish? Do you have an accent?
Both my natural speaking voice and voiceover delivery are essentially neutral, or rather neutralized but clearly American. My English is non-regional North American English. Similarly, my Spanish is non-regional American Spanish as opposed to European. Neutralized languages choose the words and pronunciations that can be most broadly understood by speakers of a specific multinational, multicultural language like Spanish which is spoken in over 21 countries.
Can you do a Castilian Spanish dialect?
Yes. Half my family is from Cuba and half from Spain, so I grew up hearing the dialects from both hemispheres. My grandmother had a very pronounced Castilian accent.
What’s the difference between American Spanish and European Spanish? Is it just the way Castilians pronounce “c” and “z”?
Definitely not. First, European Spanish isn’t just the Castilian dialect though that’s the most common. An often overlooked difference is in word choices. American Spanish borrows from North American English. For example, here “cell phone” would be “celular.” But European Spanish routinely borrows from British English (and French). The Brits, for example, refer to a cell phone as “a mobile” and in Spain, it’s “un móvil.” Also “s” in European Spanish often sounds a bit more present because the placement of the tongue is further from the lips, slightly behind the bottom teeth. It’s subtle but can be noticeable, as are other variations in pronunciation.
I see you accept credit cards through PayPal. What if I want to pay by check?
My company accepts business checks from well-established U.S. businesses or individuals personally known to us. We would also need complete, verifiable contact information.
Do you charge late fees?
My company has a late fee policy, but we have yet to implement it thanks to our reliable clients. A late fee covers administrative costs in chasing down payments. It’s important that clients understand that my company retains copyright on all voiceover audio files we produce until the project invoice is paid in full. There is no permissible use of my unpaid voice over services.
Do you provide volume discounts?
Only on guaranteed volume. We can negotiate a price and a volume threshold. If the volume falls below the threshold for a particular period, the normal rate for the specific voiceover service would be charged. We would require a written contract that details the arrangement.
Do you have a phone patch?
Yes, but I don’t use it. At present, I’m not available to do live recording sessions at all. On short commercial projects with specific production direction, I can provide multiple reads. The bulk of my work is business narration that doesn’t require live direction.
Do you have any acting experience?
Yes. I was a performing arts major. I’m trained in acting, voice, singing, and improvisation. I’m a former member of Florida Actor’s Equity and was privileged to receive some training from Josh Logan many years ago.
Do you provide any pro bono voice over services?
Only voluntary pro bono. Like many voiceover talents, I contribute services from time to time for various non-profit causes on projects that are completely volunteer-based, especially for children’s projects like Holiday Magic CD. Great fun!
— Answers for People Who Want to Hire a Voiceover Talent
How much do you charge?
For commercial voiceover, rates definitely vary depending on the broadcast market and medium: TV, radio, Internet. For narration projects like voicemail and corporate videos, I generally charge .40 per word or a $40 session minimum, whichever is greater.
Are you a union voice over talent?
No. Though AFTRA and SAG offer their membership as a whole considerable support, they have less influence in the voiceover markets I derive most of my work from.
What is voice over accreditation? Are you accredited?
Accreditation in voice over has been around since 2007 and is a peer review process which vets performance and technical skills for the delivery of voiceover. I became an accredited voiceover talent in 2007 and my certificate number is 07007.
Do you charge the same for Spanish voiceovers as you do for English?
Yes. My rates vary due to the type of voiceover service, not the language you need. I charge more for technical narration and broadcast voiceover.
Are you a native Spanish speaker?
Spanish was my first language, although I was born here in the U.S. I learned English by the time I was four years old. I’m fluent in both Spanish and English and speak both languages every day.
Do you provide translation services?
Yes, but only on short voiceover projects I am hired to do. There is a separate charge for translations. I don’t provide translation for long projects, like audiobooks. I prefer not to do medical or highly technical translations with specialized terms.
How do you deliver a completed project?
It depends on the client’s preference. Mostly, through Dropbox or FTP. If the entire project is one or two small audio files, I can attach it to an email.
Can you deliver audio files in any audio format?
I support all standard audio formats and codecs for compressed and uncompressed audio: .wav, .aiff, .mp3, .aac, mp4, .au (PCM, A-law, µ-law), etc.
Do you speak with a regional dialect in English or Spanish? Do you have an accent?
Both my natural speaking voice and voiceover delivery are essentially neutral, or rather neutralized but clearly American. My English is non-regional North American English. Similarly, my Spanish is non-regional American Spanish as opposed to European. Neutralized languages choose the words and pronunciations that can be most broadly understood by speakers of a specific multinational, multicultural language like Spanish which is spoken in over 21 countries.
Can you do a Castilian Spanish dialect?
Yes. Half my family is from Cuba and half from Spain, so I grew up hearing the dialects from both hemispheres. My grandmother had a very pronounced Castilian accent.
What’s the difference between American Spanish and European Spanish? Is it just the way Castilians pronounce “c” and “z”?
Definitely not. First, European Spanish isn’t just the Castilian dialect though that’s the most common. An often overlooked difference is in word choices. American Spanish borrows from North American English. For example, here “cell phone” would be “celular.” But European Spanish routinely borrows from British English (and French). The Brits, for example, refer to a cell phone as “a mobile” and in Spain, it’s “un móvil.” Also “s” in European Spanish often sounds a bit more present because the placement of the tongue is further from the lips, slightly behind the bottom teeth. It’s subtle but can be noticeable, as are other variations in pronunciation.
I see you accept credit cards through PayPal. What if I want to pay by check?
My company accepts business checks from well-established U.S. businesses or individuals personally known to us. We would also need complete, verifiable contact information.
Do you charge late fees?
My company has a late fee policy, but we have yet to implement it thanks to our reliable clients. A late fee covers administrative costs in chasing down payments. It’s important that clients understand that my company retains copyright on all voiceover audio files we produce until the project invoice is paid in full. There is no permissible use of my unpaid voice over services.
Do you provide volume discounts?
Only on guaranteed volume. We can negotiate a price and a volume threshold. If the volume falls below the threshold for a particular period, the normal rate for the specific voiceover service would be charged. We would require a written contract that details the arrangement.
Do you have a phone patch?
Yes, but I don’t use it. At present, I’m not available to do live recording sessions at all. On short commercial projects with specific production direction, I can provide multiple reads. The bulk of my work is business narration that doesn’t require live direction.
Do you have any acting experience?
Yes. I was a performing arts major. I’m trained in acting, voice, singing, and improvisation. I’m a former member of Florida Actor’s Equity and was privileged to receive some training from Josh Logan many years ago.
Do you provide any pro bono voice over services?
Only voluntary pro bono. Like many voiceover talents, I contribute services from time to time for various non-profit causes on projects that are completely volunteer-based, especially for children’s projects like Holiday Magic CD. Great fun!
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