Radio Ads

(Ad copy for all these spots was written by Jarvis.)
Macho Guy - Biker Dude, Cowboy, Blue Collar Worker

Hot Fudge - Warm & Smooth

Hard Sell - High Intensity

Rock Concert Promo Mixes

Comedy & Characters

Audio-Book Narrations

(Search "Jarvis Hooten" on or for a full list of my audio-books.)
audiobook narrator cost
A More Unbending Battle - Excerpt from Chapter 5

audiobook producer Jarvis Hooten
Long Road To Abilene - Excerpt from Chapter 17 (Perhaps my greatest voice acting challenge yet - one of the characters was a French prostitute!)

excellent audiobook production service
The Libertarian Dictator - Excerpt from Chapter 31

Jarvis Recites US Bill Of Rights In 10 Different Voices!

1st Amendment - Brooklyn Guy

2nd Amendment - Texan

3rd Amendment - Frenchman

4th Amendment - Latino

5th Amendment - Georgia Woman

6th Amendment - Drill Sergeant

7th Amendment - German

8th Amendment - Surfer Dude

9th Amendment - Old Lady

10th Amendment - British Bloke

Rates & Services

You will not find simpler, more straight forward rates anywhere for Voice-Overs and Writing/Editing Services!

Narration Only (Audiobook)

("Dry" or "Single Layer")

$30 / Project
+ $.03 / Word

VO Production (Radio/TV Spot)

("Multi-Layer" - Voice-Over mixed with music bed and/or sound effects)

$40 / Project
+ $.04 / Word

Audio Editing:

Have an old recording that needs clean-up, or are you a VOA who doesn't have the patience to do your own editing? I'll make your adudio sparkle. Yes, I know all ACX standards.

$10 / Project
+ $1 / Per Finished Minute


"Ghost" Writing, Ad Copy, Web Content
Researched Articles, Interviews, Editorials


$50/Project + .05/Word
$90/Project + .09/Word

Editing, Proffreading

See what I did there? Proffreading - doh! Don't let mistakes like this happen to you and have people thinking you're a dope. Hire me to make sure all your text is flawless!

$20 / Project
+ $.02 / Word

BOOK NOW! It all starts with an e-mail to Include your project as an attachment or, if it's short, just paste it right into the e-mail message. I'll reply within 24 hours with a price quote and delivery time (not a guess or estimate - an actual, firm price and guaranteed turn around time), then you send confirmation and I get started! Small audio files are delivered by e-mail, larger clips will be uploaded to my web site and you will receive a download link. Payment can be made through PayPal or credit card. My mic is warmed up and ready, so send your Voice-Over project now!

What These Rates Mean To You -
We Make It Simple.

Easy Voice-Over Service Open your project in a word processor, run a word count, and you will know right now how much I would charge to Narrate it! I won't ask you to send me the project and your proposed budget. I won't spend half a day "discussing options" with you (which is code agencies use for "talking up the price"). You don't even need to contact me at all to find out what I would charge to produce your Voice-Overs.

Inexpensive Voice-Over Production This is how confident I am in my pricing and my service. You want less expensive? Knock yourself out. There are thousands of amateurs out there just begging to do cheap work for you. But for quality, reliable, professional Voice-Over Production, my rates are exceptionally low. In fact, my rates for quality VOA work are so low, some who know this industry think I can't possibly offer truly professional work so cheap. Please read my article below, "How Night Owl Voice Simplifies Voice-Over Fees," for an explanation of how - and why - I do it.
What Is A "Project"?
I consider a Voice-Over "project" to be any recording or group of recordings that are related and combine to make a unified package. An audio-book is an easy example. Most books have multiple chapters, which means the narrator records multiple audio clips. However, none of audio clips is useful without the others, so all chapters of an audio-book together would be considered one "project."

A "project" could also be multiple broadcast commercials that use the same production mix. Advertisers call this a "campaign." A car dealership might be having a holiday weekend sale and want to run five commercials for the same sale; each commercial might feature a different aspect of the sale or different category of vehicles, but all "spots" would use the same background music and sound effects. I would consider those five commercials to be one project. Compare that to what most ad agencies would charge!

(Incidentally, I offer free music beds under the opening and closing credits of all audio books I produce. My production library includes hundreds of music beds in dozens of styles. I'll choose a bed that fits the theme of your book and mix it under the opening and closing credits to add just that little touch more quality and pizzazz to your book's narration. And I do this for no extra charge.)
What Counts As A "Word"?
This is not a silly question. Books and scripts almost always have sections of text that are not read aloud as part of a narration. However, there are also instructional words that may not be read aloud but are part of the script. I do not charge you for the words in your company letterhead or general instructions and character voice descriptions at the beginning of a script. The "per word" rate applies to all words within the body of a script, including unspoken cues and pronunciations that are considered part of the audio book or narration script.

For example, inflection cues such as [With excitement] or [Puzzled] or [Becoming angry] are considered part of a script. Also, unique pronunciation notes, such as [pronounce DECA as a word: Deck-A] and [pronounce EDS as letters: E-D-S] are part of a script. As your VOA, I may not read such portions of a script aloud, but such instructions are all relevant to the work of performing a narration, thus all are included in the word count. Besides, it would take far to much time to omit those few portions of text while running a word count to try to save you a few pennies.
Tips To Save You A Few Pennies
I just closed the previous paragraph stating it's silly to go to a lot of effort just to save a few pennies. On the other hand, if it's not much trouble, might as well not pay for extra words if you don't have to, right? There are several ways to give cues in a voice-over script that do not require extra words. If you want a word or phrase emphasized, use a highlight color or put it in italics or, if you want me to yell it, PUT IT ALL IN CAPS!

How Night Owl Voice Simplifies Voice-Over Fees

©2016 - Jarvis Hooten

My first agency gig as an announcer was a Burger King commercial I did in 1993 for that chain's central Colorado region. It was a fun commercial for which I was paid the agency standard at the time - $75. That, folks, was the easiest seventy-five bucks I had ever earned. And that's why I decided way back then never to charge that much, if I were the one setting my fees. I believe $75 for twenty minutes of my time is too damn much money.

Lots of VOAs are gnashing their teeth right now, wondering where I'm going with this. "Agency" rates and, horror-of-horrors, union rates are what most VOAs dream about. There are thousands upon thousands of pretty good announcers and narrators who submit thousands upon thousands of auditions, hoping to land just one of those cherry jobs that pay top rates.

Meanwhile, there are thousands upon thousands of pretty good announcers and narrators who submit proposals on those horrible freelancer sites like, hoping to live the dream of being a professional VOA for all of five bucks.

The Space Between Exorbitantly Over Priced Pros And Woefully Under Priced Semi-Pros

There is a huge chasm between the top end professional Voice-Over Actors and the low end amateurs trying to break into the biz. At the top are people like Jim Dale (Voice Actor for all the Harry Potter Books) and Mark Linn-Baker (Voice Actor for Little Green Men, an audio-book I highly recommend, and he was Larry in the TV sitcom "Perfect Strangers). These are true artists with celebrity status. I am a professional, and I am quite good at what I do, but I never pretend to be a super-star or expect to be paid like one.

I am not opposed to professional people making decent livings from their skills, and I certainly weep for those poor saps at who are willing to throw themselves at the mercy of cheap-skate clients who take advantage of their eagerness to get into the business. But what is a client to do when some Voice-Over Artists expect fifty times more for their service than others, and the difference in quality from the low price to the high price is hardly noticeable? Answer: You find one of the growing numbers of freelance pros like me; people who don't expect to get rich off of you but charge a fair rate for a quality product.

Broadcast agency commercial rates for VOAs are now over twice the $75 I was paid for my first agency job, and agencies shoot the price higher depending on the size of market in which the the commercial will play. The voicing, recording and production are no more difficult, but the price is higher if a commercial plays in Chicago than if it plays in Springfield. Such absurdly high rates and arbitrary methods for setting prices are prohibitive to the huge number of folks in the middle - people who just need one or two or a few projects recorded per year. Small businesses, organizations, beginning to mid-level authors and video producers want voice-overs and audio productions that sound professionally done, but they don't need outrageously overpriced celebrity voices or top-end productions from NYC or LA studios.

If They Don't Post Their Rates Up Front, Don't Bother

VOAs are again gnashing their teeth at me for this, but I strongly believe it. If you visit most voice-over announcers' sites, they will not tell you their rates up front. They tell you to send them your project and your budget, and they'll get back to you with a quote. We're not constructing custom houses here. If you called Burger King, they could tell you over the phone what one of their hamburgers costs. They would not ask what your budget is or how you plan to use the hamburger or what the cook should be thinking of as he grills the patty. A burger is a burger and the price is the price.

Same concept applies to my method of pricing for VOA services and audio production. Voice-Over Narration - that is, voice only with no other "layers" - is $30 per project plus three cents per word. That's right, I don't even make you guess by using a per finished minute (pfm) rate, which means you don't know for sure what you will be charged until the project is finished. Open your book or narration script in a word processor, run a word count, multiply the number of words by .03, and that amount plus thirty bucks is what my voice-over service will cost. You need a product description narration of only 100 words? That'll be $33. I'll narrate your 100,000 word novel for $3,030.

For Voice-Over Production projects that require editing and mixing with music beds and sound effects - what folks in the audio production business call "multi-layer" - my rate is equally simple: $40 per project plus four cents per word. And I don't complicate my commercial production rates with different fees for additional layers. Whether your "spot" is just one voice-over and a music bed, or you want me to perform five character voices over a mix of five music beds plus fifteen wacky sound effects, my Voice-Over Production rate remains the same. Your fast paced 60 second commercial (about 180 words) for snowmobiles with a techno-rock music bed and SFX of snow sleds and small engines would cost $47.20 [$40 + (180 X .04) = 47.20]. A slower paced twelve minute narration (about 2,000 words) over a mellow music bed for a walk-through video of your bed and breakfast would cost $120 [$40 + (2,000 X .04) = $120].

Yes, I Am Inexpensive, But I Am Not Cheap!

Some folks see my rates and wonder how I can offer quality, professional audio production at such low prices. It is a known fact in psychology that many people will think an item that costs more is better, even if the quality of a lesser priced item is identical. This is what I call the "Starbucks Phenomenon," and it has been proven over and over. Just pour the same quality coffee into two different cups - one Starbucks branded cup one cheap convenience store brand cup - and most people can be utterly fooled into paying a higher price for the same product based entirely on image. If you're one of those talent buyers who can be gulled into paying way too much for Voice-Over Production because you think a higher price always equals higher quality, there are plenty of flashy agencies eager to dig deep into your pockets.

Similarly, people who have no concern for quality and only consider price will gladly buy flawed products, if the price is cheap enough. If quality, experience and professionalism don't matter to you, there are plenty of amateurs who will work dirt cheap on I'm not a beginner who is desperate for exposure and experience. This is how I make my living. I don't gouge my clients with exorbitant fees, but I also don't sell out for less than I am worth.

Bottom Line - My Bottom's Not On The Line!

Here's how I see my profession: I can do several real projects a day at my low rates, or I can spend all day submitting auditions hoping to get just one high paying project from an elite client. I'd rather spend my time doing voice-over recordings than doing pitches and sales calls. I'm not getting rich, but I am making a decent living doing something I enjoy, and I get to do my craft from my home studio on my own schedule. I figure this is a pretty sweet deal, so why should I mess it up by being greedy?

Your Thoughts

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