1. Include the script. This may sound obvious, but it does help the voiceover artist to have the script in front of them when creating a quote and proposal. Even if its just a working script at this stage, it will give the voiceover artist an idea of the final script length to work out a quote. It also gives the voiceover artist an understanding of the nature of the script. Particularly if its of a medical or technical nature. Will the voiceover need to spend time researching pronunciations of highly technical or foreign language words and phrases. This will have to be factored into the time and cost of the final recording.
If no script is available, do send an estimate of the number of words. Some clients send a page count, but a word count is often preferred as font size and style, margins and page layout will heavily influence the number of words on a particular page. A word count can give the voiceover artist a good indication of the final length in minutes or hours of the final recording.
2. Describe your preferred voice style and tone. Let the voiceover artist know the type of feel and pace you are hoping to get from the read. If you can refer them to one of their audio samples from their own website this is often helpful. Let them know if you want a serious, authoritative read, or a light, conversational tone for your script. Its important to offer this voice direction before the recording takes place so the voiceover artist is clear how the client would like the script to be read and hopefully avoiding the need for any re-records.
3. Specify the audio file format . There are many different audio file formats available and most voiceover artists are able to supply you with the recording in the format you require. If you can specify the format when you send the script, this would be most helpful. File formats can be critical , especially if the recordings are to be used for telephony systems. Its worth checking in your telephone handbook which audio format your system requires – some systems have very specific and rigid requirements and will only accept a certain bit rate, file format, mono recordings.
4. Background music or special effects. If you plan on using these with the narration, do let the voiceover talent know as this can affect the project quote and whether the artist is able to provide and/or edit in the additional sounds.
5. Let the voiceover know how you intend to use the audio recording. The usage will affect the quote and the licensing options for the final voiceover. For example, a 30 second tv commercial recording will have a different cost depending on whether it is to be used on a local tv station or national tv campaign.