What’s the meaning of PFH, or per finished hour, in the audiobook and podcast industry? Read on here to find out.
What’s the meaning of PFH, or per finished hour?
If you just completed your book and want to offer your audience an audio version, you first need to find an audiobook narrator. Those new to the audiobook industry often wonder how much an audiobook narrator charges for the services. Before hiring a narrator, you need to know how they get paid.
Here we’ll explain the concept of per finished hour (PFH) and help you understand how audiobook production works.
What does per finished hour mean?
Per finished hour (PFH) refers to the standard way the audiobook, voice acting, and voiceover industry calculates payment. Many narrators or voiceover actors are paid for each hour of the finished recording. One finished hour of audio usually equals around 9,000 words.
As you can assume, an experienced narrator will have a higher pay rate. You may want to be wary of narrators who charge drastically lower rates, as this is often a red flag that the quality they provide isn’t up to industry standards. Of course, this isn’t a universal rule.
While the PFH is the industry standard for calculating payment, it’s not the only method. Another popular way of calculating is the royalty share. In this case, narrators don’t get any money upfront but share a certain percentage of royalties with the rights holder (you) after your audiobook gets published on Audible or other platforms.
PFH in action
Calculating the final rate for audiobook narration is fairly easy. All you need to do is multiply the number of hours of finished content by the narrator’s finished hour rate (PFH rate). So, how does the process work?
Let’s say that your audio file is eight hours long. If the narrator you hired charges $225 per finished hour, you’ll need to pay them $1,800 (8 x $225).
You’ll often get an estimate of the final price based on the word count of your book. For example, if your book has an 81,000-word count and the average number of words per finished hour is around 9,000, the audio version will last approximately nine hours.
How PFH differs from “by the hour”
Keep in mind that calculating payment by PFH differs from payments by studio hours or “by the hour.” Getting paid by the hour means the narrator will be paid for every hour they spend working on your project in the studio. This method isn’t the best way to calculate rates, as it’s almost impossible to predict the budget—especially for more complex projects.
Namely, studio time can vary depending on the text, the narrator’s level of focus, the functionality of the equipment, time spent on proofing, and many other factors. That’s why the per finished hour method of payment was created. This method encourages narrators to prepare for the job and work more efficiently to complete the project. It’s also beneficial for clients because they’ll know how much they’ll need to pay the narrator.
While the PFH method has numerous advantages compared to paying by the hour, it also has a few potential drawbacks. Many people point out that this method’s main issue is that it looks like narrators are getting paid more than they actually are. For example, a narrator may charge $240 PFH, which sounds like a lot. However, completing an audio file that has a one-hour run time usually takes around three times as long to record and edit. What a narrator (voice talent) charges as a per finished hour rate is, in fact, the rate for about three hours of work. To convert the PFH rate to “by the hour,” you can roughly divide it by three. In this case, that’s $80 ($240/3), which is still a good rate, but it’s nowhere near $240 per hour.
Therefore, if you come across a narrator that charges a $50 PFH rate, it means they earn a bit over $16 per hour on average.
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What is a good PFH rate?
This depends on the narrator’s experience. Those who don’t have years of experience will likely have a $50-$100 PFH rate. Experienced narrators will likely ask for a PFH rate of around $250-$300.
What does PFH mean on ACX?
ACX is a place where authors, publishers, and agents can connect with narrators, producers, and recording studios. On ACX, PFH means “per finished hour,” or the finished length of an audiobook.
Is ACX a good way to make money?
Yes, ACX can be a good way to make money. The platform offers numerous royalty models, powerful retail placement, an introductory bonus, and many other perks for both the rights holders and narrators.
What is the difference between ACX and Amazon?
ACX is a subsidiary of Amazon and the company’s audio production platform.
What is a good number of hours to work per day?
There’s no universal answer to this question because it depends on many factors like the job itself, the person in question, the conditions, etc.