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  • 8 Dec 2019 12:23 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    We are running a quick poll about introducing membership fees. Please take part and let us know your thoughts here:

    Thank you!

  • 7 Dec 2019 11:26 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Hi Everyone

    Well, blimey, Xmas and New Year 2019 is just a few weeks away and I can't believe this year has almost come to a close. I hope it has brought you happiness and oodles of work, and you've built great friendships and working relationships! I thought it might be useful if I gave a quick rundown of what has happened in 2019 for the ACA...

    [1] After an initial period of setting up and becoming established within the awareness of our industry, the ACA started in earnest, starting with the formation of the WORKING GROUP.

    [2] Following consultation with members and external interested parties, the WORKING GROUP formulated the ACA MANIFESTO. This document outlines our aims for 2020, and is a great way of briefly explaining the purpose of the organisation.

    [3] I was able to have some very helpful and enlightening meetings and conversations with people from across the industry, from publishers and clients, to creatives of all stripes. I was encouraged not just by the response from fellow creatives to the formation of the ACA, but also from the publishers and other organisations. It seems the time is right for us to be heard.

    [4] After one-on-one meetings, the ACA was proud to announce a formal partnership/alliance with Equity UK, through the sterling work of their Audio Sub-Committee.  The ACA has also had extremely productive talks with AudioUK and a strong relationship built on shared interests is being built.

    [5] Equity UK kindly invited me to speak at their Audiobook event in London, at which around 100 creatives were in attendance. This was a fantastic chance for me to engage in conversation with narrators and actors, and explain why the ACA will be a good thing for them, but also how their support of the ACA helps us ensure the technical/production creatives in our industry feel they are equally represented and supported.

    [6] As a member of the Publishers' Association audiobook committee, I have added an agenda item to the Feb 2020 meeting where I will formally introduce the PA to the ACA, and start a conversation about all of our manifesto aims.

    [7] Several publishers have started including production credits in 2019, something the ACA is passionate about, including PRH, Orion and BBC Audio.

    Moving into 2020, apart from the PA meeting, the ACA will be seeking meetings with the Writers' Guild, BECTU and others (a potential conversation with the DCMS is in the offing). I will also be meeting one-on-one with publishers to start pushing for our manifesto aims to be progressed, including credits, prep sheets...and of course, the thorny issues around fees.  2020 looks to be a big, busy year for us and we really want YOU to be a part of it. We are looking for more volunteers to help the WORKING GROUP,  people to submit articles and top tips, help with resources and social media presence. If you think you can help...even just a little every now and then, please reach out.

    Now...talking about thorny issues...since the creation of the ACA, we have held back from asking for membership fees.  It was important to me that we first learn if the ACA was something people wanted, and then to develop it to a state where members could see the benefit of supporting it.  The costs of the organisation thus far have been covered by support from LADBROKE AUDIO LTD (with our deepest thanks).  However, from Jan 2020 I would like to put the organisation on a more secure financial footing.  With this is mind the WORKING GROUP has voted to agree to the inclusion of membership fees as of Jan 2020.  I am running a quick poll on what you feel is a fair fee level (and we will, of course, continue to allow those who cannot afford to pay to remain as members). 


    This income will be spent on the upkeep and costs of the website, the cost of upcoming events, and possible outreach opportunities (sponsorships, etc...)  The ACA will remain a not-for-profit organisation and no member of the ACA WORKING GROUP will be paid for their services, including me. Ladbroke Audio will not be repaid for their investment to date. I will look to appoint a secretary to the WORKING GROUP who will maintain the books and we will give an annual report at the end of each calendar year.

    So...2020 is almost upon and it looks to be an exciting time. Please continue to be a part of this amazing creative family, and let's all work together to raise up ALL our voices!

    Warmest 2019 wishes,

    Neil (founder)

  • 18 Nov 2019 11:26 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Last Tuesday I was invited to speak at an Equity Audiobook event in London and I think it went incredibly well.  There was almost 100 people attending and I had the opportunity to speak about the ACA, our manifesto and aims, and where we and Equity need to go next.

    The event was held at Spotlight in Leicester Square, and was packed to the rafters with narrators/actors.  It was extremely nice to see so many old friends, and to have the chance to meet and make some new ones.

    For my half hour, I ran through the ACA Manifesto, explaining the purpose of the organisation and how it helps us all if we bring together the interests and aims of EVERYONE involved in the creation of audiobooks. There was a genuinely warm reception to what I had to say, and I was given some time to do a Q&A and share a few industry tid-bits, including the way production budgets break down.

    Following me, our very own Helen Lloyd gave an illuminating talk about remote-recording. This was, again, very well received and the audience learned a great deal about this important sector of our industry,

    After Helen and I, Cathy Sweet ran through the new Equity audio manifesto. This ties-up closely with the ACA one, with more obvious focus on narrator-specific issues. This is a fantastic move on Equity's part, and will strengthen both our proposals moving forwards.

    This was the first time I have had a chance to bring the ACA out into the real world, and it was a great first event.  I would like to thank Cathy and the Audio committee for inviting me, and for their continuing support and partnership. We have some plans for how to start 2020 and move the manifesto aims forwards.  It is going to be an exciting year for all of us.

    If you would like to help the ACA please reach out to me at any time and I'll be grateful for your advice and wisdom.

    Neil :-)

  • 12 Sep 2019 3:32 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Calling all freelance audiobook editors...

    ...are you being asked to edit/proof/master/CD master for a fee as low as £20pfh?


    Don't undervalue yourself and your skills. The industry average for editing is £35pfh. Proofing should be an additional £15pfh. And mastering to anything other than digital standard should be a further fee.

    Of course...anyone can charge anything they like. But please be aware of just how low this fee offer is, and help us safeguard the value of the editor's art by saying no to such low fees.

  • 6 Sep 2019 8:34 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    After an initial year of building the ACA membership and awareness of the organisation, as well as researching what issues our members would like us to tackle, the ACA Working Group is pleased to announce our Manifesto for the year ahead, taking us until the end of 2020:

    • UK rates (narrator and production) to be increased to reflect international sales revenue (either buy out + % of sales, or increased buy-out)

    • Standardised guideline minimum pfh rates for editors & proofers

    • Prep Sheets from Authors/Publishers + access to authors/editors for info)

    • Fees for Prep Work where above the norm

    • Credits to include production (e.g. Producer + Editor + Proofer)

    • Standardised increase to proofer fees (e.g. £15pfh minimum)

    • Standardised scheduling (e.g. 10-14 days prep time/access to final pdf)

    • Industry standard contract + terms & conditions

    • Industry standardised editing guidelines

    • Creation of shared resources – pronunciations, experts list, research resources, etc…

    • Create ties and partnerships with other organisations (Equity, SoA, PA, WG, etc…)

    • Seek to find new ways to promote UK audiobooks and audiobook creativity to the public through press, publicity, events and outreach

    If you have any views, insights or thoughts on any of these issues, please reach out and feedback. If you'd like to help with any of these issues, please do get in touch.

    The ACA represents all creatives within the UK audiobook industry, from narrators and producers, to editors, proofers, studios and others. The aim of the organisation is to build stronger collaborative ties between these creative professionals, and between the creative side of the industry and the commissioning/publishing side.

  • 16 Aug 2019 10:57 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Hey everyone, our friends at the Equity Audio Committee are throwing a summer picnic on Sunday 1st September, and it is free to attend for all audiobook creatives and their friends and family.  Here are the details:

    2.30pm St Andrews Gate, Regents Park, London (opposite Royal College of Physicians) - look for the EQUITY flag.  Nearest tube - Gt. Portland Street.

    For more info please check out the Equity Audio Committee's twitter account: @EquityAudio

  • 9 May 2019 12:50 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    NEWS RELEASE - Thurs 9th May 2019

    The Audiobook Creators Alliance is honoured to be partnering with Equity, through the Audio Committee) to raise the voices of all creatives working in the UK audiobook industry. This exciting, growing marketplace has a long, proud history of incredible talent working together to produce entertaining and incredible audiobook titles.  Every day talented narrators partner with highly experienced producers, engineers, studios, editors, proofers and other creatives. Audiobooks are a truly collaborative artform, and everyone in the process deserves recognition and representation. Together, the ACA and Equity, aim to build a collaborative creative community, build best-practise resources, offer knowledge and advice, and push for improved fees, rights and terms for audiobook creatives.

    Neil Gardner, founder of the ACA says, "I have always admired the tireless work that Equity does, and as a technical audiobook creative, have wished they could represent me and my fellow technical colleagues.  As audiobooks continue to grow as a worldwide business, it is only right that those who create them come together to represent our artform, our craft and our professionalism.  Together we are stronger, and together we can help raise all of our voices."

    Sheila Mitchell, Chair of the Equity Audio Committee says, "Equity’s Audio Committee thoroughly endorses a united ACA campaign for fair remuneration and working practices for everyone who contributes to the making of an audio book."


    The ACA is a collaborative organisation representing UK audiobook creatives, with over 260 active members, comprising narrators, producers, editors, proofers, authors, sound designers, abridgers, engineers and other professions.

    For More Information Please Contact: Neil Gardner,

  • 19 Mar 2019 2:37 PM | Neville Teller

    I joined ACA today under the category "abridger", well aware that the concept is obsolete.  The past is indeed a different country.  I am interested, however, in any views on the relationship in today's world between audiobooks and podcasts.  Is there a meaningful distinction?  Would you say Audible recognizes one?

  • 27 Feb 2019 3:01 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    It is with pride that the ACA today can announce the members of the initial Working Group. The group will help formulate the aims and direction of the ACA in 2019, as well as offer advice, expertise and insight to the ACA membership. In addition, the members of the group represent the various creative roles in our industry, and will help Founder Neil Gardner take the ACA out into the wider world and forge partnerships with other interested parties (e.g. Equity, SoA, PA, etc...)

    The members are:

    • Neil Gardner (Founder) - Ladbroke Audio/Spokenworld Audio - Studio Owner/Producer/Editor/Narrator
    • David Monteath - Narrator (Studio/Home)
    • Billie Fulford-Brown - Narrator (Studio)
    • Morrison Ellis - Producer/Editor/Proofer/Narrator
    • Greg Patmore - Narrator (Studio/Home)
    • Chris Thompson - Heavy Entertainment - Producer/Editor
    • Victoria Riley - Narrator (Studio)
    • Christian Gates - Editor
    • Claire Calverley - Producer
    • Ana Clements - Narrator (Studio)
    • Malk Williams - Narrator (Studio/Home)
    • Rachael Beresford - Narrator (Studio)
    • Helen Lloyd - Narrator (Studio/Home)
    • Peter Noble - Narrator (Studio/Home)
    • Kate Aldworth - Sound Proof - Proofer/Editor

    The ACA would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Working Group members for volunteering their time and experience.

  • 13 Jan 2019 1:06 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Well, 2019 is already here, and after six months of existence, the ACA has now reached over 200 members! That's simply incredible, and something we are very proud of. The membership consists of audiobook creatives from all areas of the industry - narrators, editors, proofers, producers, studio owners, authors, composers. This is exactly what we aimed to create, and thanks to you all, we have a strong, powerful collective voice!

    So, now that the membership is at a high enough level, and of such a varied background, it is time to really get the motor running. In 2019 the ACA will have its voice heard. To do this, we need to build a team of volunteers to help organise and run things. The work won't be onerous, and no-one is expected to travel to meetings! E-meetings/Skype/tele-conferencing will be our modus operandi to begin with. To start with we are looking for:

    10 people - a mix of narrators (home & studio), editors, proofers, producers, studio owners, and others.

    These ten people will form the initial Working Group, which will put together the AIMS and AGENDA for 2019. This will all be done in consultation with the membership.

    In addition, the ACA will begin to reach out to our fellow organisations and unions (Equity, AudioUK, WG, PA, BECTU, etc...) to establish working relationships and see where partnerships can be formed. We have already begun this process with Equity and AudioUK and hope to have more to report in the coming months.

    There is a lot for us to be looking at, and a lot for us to work out how to approach...but with YOUR help, we think 2019 will be the first of many exciting years for the ACA, and UK audiobook creators - working TOGETHER to make audiobook voices heard!

    So, if you'd like to offer you expertise, time and help to form the Working Group, please get in touch with me ( and we'll get this ball rolling.

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