Oh, I am a little fired up right now, had some finger pointing going on and was thrown under the bus to a client from another vendor and we are going to talk about that and how I handled it.
So, yeah, stick around.
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OK, now, what I really would like to talk about today is what just happened to me this week.
So let me back up a little bit. I recorded an audio book recently for a very well-known book publishing company. They have some fantastic releases under their belt. And there is an author near me who would like to narrate his book. So he came in and we spent all week and recorded had a fantastic time. And then I received an email from my client, from her editor.
Now, I usually will edit and record the audio books that I work on, but in this case, a little bit of budget constraints. And I just wasn’t in the same ballpark. So they found another company, another business that was a little cheaper. Take that for what you will. So this other company apparently decided to unload on me. Yeah. Was this ever happened to you? First time it ever happened to me. So it kind of took me by surprise.
But basically, they basically said that I should be rerecording the entire audio book for free. The engineer maybe should be replaced. We shouldn’t record it in a bathroom this time. OK, on and on and on, attacking the work, saying there were more edits than they could spend time fixing, so it needed to be rerecorded.
So needless to say, this took me completely by surprise. And I want to give credit to my client because she was actually really cool about the whole thing. She didn’t come at me going, what’s going on? You know, how could you do this? She was sort of confused, too, you know? I mean, she kind of scoped out my place and she, you know, appreciated the experience that we brought and the clients that we’ve had and before and references and so on and so forth.
So she felt confident with the higher. So this came out of left field for her, too. So I said, you know what, let’s take a step back here.
Can you send me their edit list? So I got this list and I started to go through it. And basically what was going on was a lot of the edits were noises under the sentences being read. Now, I don’t know how many of you have recorded audio books. It’s a lengthy process. This particular one was 12 plus hours long. Once it was finished. It takes a while to record these things. And in this particular instance, the author was narrating the book, like I said, and the author is not particularly young, which poses some problems.
And in this case, he wasn’t very mobile. He came with a cane, he had a bad knee, and he was very uncomfortable sitting for long periods of time. So we tried different chairs, pillows, tried everything we could think of, couldn’t really get him comfortable just due to his knee and his medical condition. He was a super great guy to work with, really. A trooper had a great work ethic. You know, he just didn’t want to stop, you know, trying to take some breaks to get him comfortable.
But anyway, where I’m going with this is he was moving around a lot, OK, so start to hear some things.
And that was another thing in the email. Well, there is all this paper noise. Well, there were no there was no paper in the booth. We don’t record audio books with paper. It’s an iPad.
But what it was, was a little bit of cloth noise. This was not a problem that could be avoided. We all knew there was going to be pickup’s happens. So what I wasn’t expecting was that they would immediately attack the quality of my work. So where I’m going with this is. If you are ever working with another person, another company. Think twice before you start pointing fingers and making accusations about the other company, because it can backfire.
So here’s how this went. I got on the phone with the client after listening and hearing what the issue was and doing a little bit of work on my own to see what I could do with the audio. And what I told her was, let me edit this book. You know, I know that, you know, the quote that I gave you before was outside of your range. We have a problem here. Let me fix the problem.
The fix will not be me re recording this book for free or re recording it at all, because that’s not fair to our narrator who did a fantastic job. And also I stand by the quality of my work.
I know what I gave you and it does not require every record point blank. So she thought about this for a moment. She’s like, yeah, but you know, I don’t know if I have the budget for you. Like I said before and I said, whatever you were going to give these other people, I’ll do it for that. Now, personally, I didn’t really want to do that if I’m being perfectly honest, but I’m trying to solve a problem.
You know, what we do in this business is solve problems. We shouldn’t be creating them. So I’ve got a problem that was just thrown in my lap. It wasn’t one that I created. But as a problem solver, I’m taking care of it. You know, like I mentioned before, I’m not going to be swayed is not my first day. So I’m not going to be pushed around by somebody claiming that I didn’t do a good job.
I’m a problem solver, not a problem creator. When your back is against the wall, I would encourage you in the situation to do the same thing. No, the value of your work don’t smear the other person. I never did that. I know I’m talking a little funny right now, but I didn’t do that with my client. That’s very professional the whole way. Basically, the whole conversation went along the lines of sounds like this isn’t something they can handle.
I can totally handle it. I’ve never had an audio book come back to me from Audible that didn’t pass their quality check. So let me do this for you. Don’t worry about the money. Just give me what you’re going to pay them. If you’re comfortable paying them that, then I’ll just do it for that. And we’re going to fix this problem. We’re not going to need to bring back our author for another several hours. Really, what would have accumulated to probably a day and a half to two days worth of pickup’s had we done what they asked?
That’s not fair to him. You know, he did a fine job. You know, I understand there were some noises that he was moving around, but that is unavoidable given the circumstance. And having him narrate the book brings an incredible value to the audio book rather than having another narrator narrate. And if you heard the guy’s got a super cool voice, he’s got this old Anglo Australian accent kind of Game of Thrones. You kind of got type of thing that’s super cool.
So that’s hard to replace. But again, solving a problem. Not getting defensive, just defensive enough, standing your ground and being confident enough to tell your client, hey, you know, the work that you hired me to do was done exceptionally well. And let me continue that work for you right now. I’m going to solve this problem for you. This is not a problem I created, but I’m going to solve this problem for you anyway.
Is getting a little long. But I just wanted to point out be careful pointing fingers at the people you’re working with because those people just pointed their finger out of a job. And I will bet you they are not going to be hired by this person again, because it was, you know, a lot of stress for my client to deal with this. It was completely unneeded and it kind of showed their lack of expertise in this domain. You know, they really just sort of created a problem where there wasn’t and they, you know, wrote an email and let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe they’re just having a bad day. You know, maybe they sent the email a little too soon. They were getting frustrated because maybe they had a big job to do with an audio book. Editing an audio book is a big job. Maybe they weren’t thrilled with the rate they negotiated for themselves. And maybe they felt that because that rate was so low. I mean, it was literally a third of what I initially quoted because that rate was so low.