Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

Hey there!

Kate Marcin watched one of these videos on audiobooks and how you get paid, and had a question about how paymasters work.

Here’s the answer, and what to expect when you use a paymaster for properly accounting for and getting paid for the hard work you do for your audiobook clients.

The paymaster I recommend:
Noah Michael Levine at Skywire Paymaster Services

(Click/tap ↑↑↑↑↑↑ that red YouTube button to subscribe to my channel. You’ll get notified when I release new videos.)

Hope this helps!


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I got an email from one of you
viewers after I did a video on
audiobooks and health and retirement and
the ability whether you’re Union or not
to have a health and retirement plan
open kate marcin marcin wrote me and
said hey david could you do an
explanation of how much you might make
after the health and retirement and also
the paymaster fee is taken out if you
accept with H&R of course i already pay
an editor a portion of my / finished
hour rate and it’s seeming like i’d need
to raise my rate by quite a bit to make
that make sense thanks so aside from
whether or not you should be using an
editor to do your editing work we teach
you in our classes how to do the editing
yourself and make it really easy for you
to do that leaving that aside
paymaster’s vary all over the place
there are very expensive pay masters and
their pear masters that are a lot more
reasonable what a paymaster does is they
become the distribution point so you do
the work and then your rights holder
instead of sending you a check they send
a check for the amount that you’ve
agreed upon to the paymaster and the
paymaster then calculates how much will
be taken out of that and sent to the
various constituencies and then the
remainder gets sent to you and there’s
two different ways that that works it
depends if you are charging as an
individual if you’re doing the work as
an individual or if you’re doing the
work via a loan-out company that you’ve
created if it’s an individual then it’s
w-2 and taxes are taken out as well as
the paymaster fee as well as the H&R and
then the other one is if you’re doing
your own corporation and then just the
paymaster fee and the H&R is taken out
and what happens is the paymaster does
that calculation and then it the
paymaster sends the taxes to the tax
authorities and the H&R to after a
health and retirement and your remaining
payment to you so they’re responsible
for all those calculations and most of
the time you don’t have to tell the rh
oh you need to pay an additional 13.5
percent or whatever the current
percentage rate is that would be in in
use at that time with a CX because a CX
has that has that contract with sag
after you can take it out of the gross
so I prefer one particular paymaster
over all the others and that’s a guy by
the name of noah michael levine
he created a pay master service a couple
of years ago specifically to service his
fellow audiobook narrator so not only is
he a pay master he’s also one of us he’s
also a performer so he gets it and he
charges amazingly low rates and does a
great job i’ve used him for every
project i’ve done since he created his
his company he charges $25 if your gross
is less than $1,000 if you’re doing a
shorter book is $25 and then if your
gross is anything above $1,000 and mine
sometimes go into five figures it’s only
50 bucks so it’s negligible it’s noise
in terms of how much you should raise
your rates I’m not sure you need to
raise your rates at all it is 12 13 14
percent depending upon what publisher
you’re producing foreign in this case
usually it’s AC x4 audible so you can
raise your rates by 12 or 15 percent if
you want to but it’s it’s it’s whether
or not you want to put that burden on
the rights holder rather than take that
on yourself and I realize that in your
case you’re also spending money on an
editor so if I were to give you advice I
would say learn how to do your own
learn how to do it well and efficiently
and save what could be significant
dollars being paid to an editor but that
again is a different a different
question that you asked so that’s how it
works that’s what I recommend sky wire
payment service no sorry sky wire
paymaster comm that’s what it is
sky wire paymaster comm I’ll put the
link in the area below the video or
above the video if you’re watching on vo
to go go if you have questions about
this let me know I mean there are some
audio book narrators who say okay it’s
gonna be x+ it’s gonna be the additional
H&R if you want me to to do your book
for you and that’s fine I should get
paid what you’re worth but most of the
time narrator’s pay that themselves out
of the gross that they have so I hope
those numbers make sense to you Kate and
if you who are watching this have any
questions feel free to leave a comment
below if you have a comment about
paymaster’s maybe some that you’ve used
that you like or some that you’ve used
and you’d rather wave people off of we’d
be happy to get those comments and if
you have any comments in general about
audio book narration being paid for by
rights holders and being paid to a
paymaster let me know any other
questions give me a comment below if
you’re not watching on video – go go
comm go over to vo – go go comm we’ve
got all kinds of great stuff there all
kinds of resources for audio book
narrators and other voiceover and
on-camera performers if you’d like to
subscribe to my my channel on YouTube go
ahead and click on my head there if
there’s no head look for a subscribe
button somewhere below the video if you
want to see the latest episode I’ve done
go ahead and click on that frame and
YouTube will play it for you I’m David H
Lawrence xvii I so appreciate you
watching and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

5 Responses to Audiobook Narrators: How Paymasters Work, And The One I Recommend

  1. Kirsten May 2, 2019 at 9:46 am #

    Hey David, is this the same system (paymaster) as in Canada or just the US?

  2. David H. Lawrence XVII May 2, 2019 at 11:52 am #

    I’m sure it would work in both countries, but I’d contact them to be sure.

  3. Stephanie May 3, 2019 at 8:51 am #

    Excellent post. Thank you.

  4. Jill Maglione May 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm #

    As always, super useful info, David! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Jonathan S April 15, 2020 at 10:59 am #

    Thanks for this! I was sent to them and googled to find this post. Very reassuring to see you’re a fan!

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