Sample Contract for Audio Book Narration and Recording

In the interest of transparency, we’re sharing this template of the contract use with narrators who record audiobooks with us. Please be aware that the version we’re sharing publicly is not final, not legally binding, and may be edited or modified before it is sent to authors for their signatures.

Memorandum of Agreement for Production of an Audio Book Narration of (TITLE OF WORK)

This contract is made between Duck Prints Press LLC, whose address is 1210 Glenwood Blvd, Schenectady, NY, 12308 USA, hereinafter referred to as the Publisher, and (NARRATOR NAME), whose address is (NARRATOR ADDRESS), hereinafter referred to as the Narrator.

In consideration of mutual promises and forbearances, the parties agree as follows:

Services Provided by the Narrator

   1(a). The Narrator agrees to personally provide narration and recording services, hereinafter referred to as the Services, as an independent contractor, and to deliver the finished master recordings of the audiobook version of the (STORY/BOOK/ANTHOLOGY) entitled “   (TITLE)   “, hereinafter referred to as the Audiobook.

  1(b). The Narrator agrees to complete the Audiobook by [DATE].

Compensation Provided by the Publisher

   2(a). The Publisher agrees to pay the Narrator at a rate of $50 per completed hour of Audiobook, as determined by the length of the finished, finalized, and agreed upon Audiobook. This amount shall be paid [WHEN IT WILL BE PAID – by X days after submission/approval, or X amount of time after crowdfunding regardless of if the crowdfunding campaign is successful, or something like that].

   2(b). The Narrator grants the Publisher the right to use the Narrator’s chosen publication name and biographical material for advertising, promoting, or otherwise publicizing the Audiobook. The Narrator may be asked to provide an image or likeness as well; the right to deny this request is retained by the Narrator. The Publisher shall only use personal information expressly provided and approved by the Narrator. The chosen publication name should also be included in the opening credits of the Audiobook, such as by stating “as narrated by NARRATOR’S CHOSEN PUBLICATION NAME.”

Copyright Assignment

   3(a). All rights to the Audiobook shall be owned by the Publisher, except those already contractually belonging to the Author(s) of the original work being recorded. The Narrator agrees that the Publisher and Author(s) own all right, title, and interest, including copyright and all rights under copyright, to the results and proceeds of the Services Provided by the Narrator, including the sound recordings of the Narrator’s narration of the Book (the Work Product).The Narrator agrees that the Work Product shall be deemed a work-made-for-hire for the Publisher under U.S.copyright law. If the Work Product is deemed for any reason not to be a work-made-for-hire, you hereby assign all of your rights, title and interest in and to the copyright in such Work Product to the Publisher. The Narrator waives all so-called “moral rights” relating to the Work Product and Audiobook, including, without limitation, any and all rights of approval, restriction or limitation of use or subsequent modifications.

  3(b). Copyright is at all times retained by the original Author(s) of the work being made into the Audiobook.


   4(a). The Publisher reserves the right to suspend or terminate the term of this contract if the Narrator does not render services due to illness, incapacity, or default; or if the production of the Audiobook is prevented or interrupted because of force majeure events.

   4(b). Should a dispute, controversy, or claim arise in connection with the production of the Audiobook, the Narrator and the Publisher agree to promptly and in good faith attempt to settle the issue amicably, and to participate in arbitration, the expense of which to be divided equally between both parties, should they be unable to settle the issue amicably. 

   4(c). Waiver of strict performance of any part of this contract shall not be deemed a waiver of, nor shall it prejudice the waiving party’s right to require strict performance of the same part of or any other part of this contract in the future.

   4(d). The Narrator is an independent contractor, and nothing herein shall be deemed to constitute a partnership or joint venture between the parties hereto, nor shall anything herein be deemed to constitute either party hereto the agent or employee of the other. The Narrator is responsible for making all reports, filing all returns and paying all taxes to all appropriate governmental agencies. The Publisher is not required to withhold any amounts from compensation paid to you hereunder, for federal, state or local taxes or for Social Security, federal or state unemployment, workers’ compensation or disability insurance or any related taxes, insurance, bonds or payments of any kind. The Narrator shall not incur any expenses for which the Publisher is responsible.

NOTE: There will be additional language here if the narrator is a member of SAG-AFTRA.

This agreement shall be interpreted under the laws of the State of New York in the United States of America.

By signing this contract, the Publisher and the Narrator acknowledge that each party has read and understood this contract prior to execution.

In witness whereof the parties have executed this contract on this (XX day of MONTH, YEAR)

Narrator                                                              Date

Publisher                                                            Date