It’s a very good idea for someone other than you to proof listen to your work for these reasons:
1) If you say a word incorrectly during the recording session, you’re likely to miss it again during proofing. Some people who hire a proofer even misspeak during pickups because your brain and mouth have been wired to say it a certain way. If you’ve been saying a word wrong for your whole life, you really don’t want to learn its correct pronunciation from reviewer after reviewer of the retail product.
2) If you pronounce a word inconsistently (like 2 ways for “either” or a character’s name), you may not notice the inconsistency throughout the recording.
3) An outside proofer will catch errors like booth noises that you are used to hearing. An experienced proofer may even hear issues with your technique that you aren’t aware of.
4) Even highly experienced narrators with 100s of books completed may average 5-10 misreads per finished hour, especially when working solo in the booth. At least 1 error every 10 minutes is common.
You should receive 3 things from your proofer: PDF, notation of errors, and voice match samples of the original audio.
The rights holder is NOT your proof listener. When working through ACX and Findaway, projects submitted to the rights holder should be the final, retail-ready product. It is incumbent upon you, the producer, to get your work proofed.
People who invest money in themselves, their business, and their production process move up more quickly in this business.
Doing lower quality work and avoiding industry best practices until you have more money will hold you back. Titles stay with you for 7 years. Audio publishers spend $1000s of dollars for the rights to produce audiobooks, so they must trust you before they will hire you to narrate for them. If you are producing sub-par work, you will be unable to earn that trust.
Other resources on this topic:
Since many narrators have asked me for resources so they can learn how to proof listen, I’ve included that information here.
- Proof listener Sarah Hannah Gómez wrote this detailed BookRiot article describing her job.
- This archived article offers some tips for the proof listening process.
- This interview with proofer Genevieve Louis and the sites for proofers Lynda Rossi and Dalton Lynne give other perspectives.
- I created this list of additional info, training, employers, and other ideas about becoming a proof listener.
- A spreadsheet of editors and proofers, as well as a time-saving app to aid in proofing, are listed in the Welcome Center.