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About Audiobooks

Audiobooks are audio recordings of published texts performed by professional narrators. Formerly recorded exclusively under the AFTRA Sound Recordings Code, today there are also more than 25 separate SAG-AFTRA agreements with audiobook publishers and producers. In recent years, the amount of work for members has increased steadily with the advent of audiobook digital downloads. SAG-AFTRA has negotiated fair contracts that cover all types of audiobook work.

For Members

SAG-AFTRA contracts provide narrators:

Guaranteed Minimum Rates for Recording

  • These rates are tailored to the particular publisher/producer so please check with staff for details about your upcoming job.

Health Insurance

  • By working under SAG-AFTRA agreements, you can earn credits towards quality, affordable health coverage (including wellness care, medical, hospitalization, prescription drug, mental health, chemical dependency and preventive dental benefits). These benefits are provided by the AFTRA Health and Retirement Funds; for more information visit

Life Insurance

  • Individuals who qualify for AFTRA medical insurance also get life insurance coverage of $30,000.
  • Coverage for accidental death, dismemberment, or complete loss of voice is included too.

Retirement Benefits

  • Through the SAG-AFTRA contracts, you can earn credits towards a real pension. Again, visit for more information on eligibility and benefits.

Additional Benefits

  • There are additional benefits available exclusively for members of SAG-AFTRA through programs such as the AFL-CIO’s Union Plus. From mortgage and refinancing savings to auto insurance to discounts on flowers and more, these benefits are available at no cost to the union or its members. Visit for more information. Click here to visit the SAG-AFTRA benefits page.
For Employers

Here’s what just a few employers have said about their experience with SAG-AFTRA: 

“In my 12 years with Random House Audio, I have had the pleasure of hiring hundreds of SAG-AFTRA members to narrate our audiobooks. Random House has had a great working relationship with AFTRA and now SAG-AFTRA for over 20 years, and it has always yielded positive results for our productions. I can’t say enough about all of the fantastic collaborations we have had with their representatives, and their members.” --Dan Zitt, Director of Audio Production, Random House Audio/Listening Library/Books on Tape/Living Language

“Audiobook narrators are professional performers and should be treated that way. Like all pros, they want to protect their families' health and plan for the future. SAG-AFTRA membership helps them to do that. As a long-time producer of audiobooks, I owe my livelihood to bringing my clients the best talent available. And that's SAG-AFTRA talent--forward-leaning professionals who consistently deliver at rates that work for their clients and for themselves."-- John McElroy, three time Grammy Award winning producer

"Signing a SAG-AFTRA contract and becoming a signatory is one of the best business moves I've ever made. I am in a position now to help the actors who work with me to obtain health care and rates they can depend on.  And, it opened up a pool of quality actors to me that I did not have before. The SAG-AFTRA representatives were kind and amenable and I feel they listened to my needs and were able to easily negotiate terms that were mutually beneficial for me, the companies I produce for, and the actors I hire.  All in all, an excellent experience."-- Bob Deyan, three time Grammy Award winning producer

If you would like further information about signing a SAG-AFTRA Audiobook Contract, please contact one of the staff specialists listed on the Contact Information page.