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  • 22 Mar 2020 4:52 PM | Helen Lloyd

    Please share and sign - the arts need protection for the future so theatres can reopen and so that there will be people to work in them when it is safe to do so.

    http://chng.it/KrLBRRZVYk

  • 13 Mar 2020 2:27 PM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    Please find here some advice for studios regarding things you can do to help keep your facilities clean during this difficult time. 

    This doesn’t constitute official or legal guidance/advice from the ACA, but rather it is a broad summary of the policies and practices that various studios and publishers are currently undertaking to reduce the risk of infection in the studios.

    We hope you find it useful. Thanks to those who have helped bring this info together.

    • Daily cleaning of communal areas and studios stepped up to include additional anti-viral chemicals, including:
      • Disinfecting booth between recordings (including pop shields and anything else the actor uses such as headphones, tables, lecterns and iPads)
      • Disinfecting shared surfaces daily (including door handles, touch screen devices, keyboards and mice, light switches)
      • Full deep clean of studio three times a week
      • Ensuring aircon filters are cleaned two to three times a week


    • Displaying public health advice on basic hygiene and effective handwashing around studio and in bathrooms alongside provision of handwash, paper towels and soap in bathrooms and hand sanitizer in studios
    • Instructing staff to thoroughly wash hands before using any studio or catering equipment after coming in from the outside
    • Ensuring there are measures in place that would allow anyone to work from home (including producing remotely where possible), should they come into contact with the virus and need to be quarantined, so they won’t ‘risk it’ and come in anyway

    • Staff and visitors showing symptoms (cough, temperature, shortness of breath) or who have recently returned from a high risk location in the last 14 days are asked to self-isolate
    • Visitor access restricted to narrators and staff
    • Washing all communal dishes in dishwasher rather than by hand

    If we can help any of our members during this period please don't hesitate to reach out.

    Neil - Founder


  • 3 Mar 2020 9:48 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    It has been brought to our attention that, once again, several publishers/production houses are attempting to hire editors at radically low prices AND are now also expecting the editor to take on the role of proofer within this price point.

    The ACA stands firmly against such practices and will fight to maintain the integrity, expertise and professionalism of all editors and proofers, and for their right to be paid a fair wage and for their skills to be recognised as integral to the audiobook production process.

    The offer being made is £20pfh for editing + proofing + mastering/fixes

    This is simply outrageous, and does not come even close to the industry guideline standard.  On average, the fees being paid should be:

    EDITING - £35-45pfh

    PROOFING - £15pfh

    And if you are asked to create Audio CD masters there should be an additional charge of approx. £50 per set to cover time, cost of materials and cost of postage.

    We know that people need to work, and when offered titles from respectable sources the urge is to say yes, thank you! We would urge you to stand firm and request decent fees. Your time and expertise are worth so much more than £20pfh. 

    And we ask our colleagues and clients offering these rates to reconsider their position. You know the value of these roles, and you understand the dangers of undermining the industry. Please look again at what you are asking, and increase your fees to the industry guideline standards. Respect those you employ on the technical side as much as you do on the narrating and author side.

    JUST SAY NO to low fees and #KnowYourValue

  • 29 Jan 2020 10:07 AM | Neil Gardner (Administrator)

    ACA Founder Neil Gardner and Working Group member Peter Noble are talking #audiobooks at the CONFLUENCE LONDON event on 7th Feb at 2pm.

    Hope to see you there!

    Grab a ticket at 25% off using ACA member code BYTE25

    http://confluencelondon.com/schedule/peter-noble.html


  • 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:

    surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GP7ZTQT

    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). 

    PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY BY CLICKING HERE

    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?

    JUST...SAY...NO!

    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

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