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Voice Over Sellers: What do you do when you get a poor script?

Hi everyone!

I’m a German voice over artist and have kind of a problem I’m not sure how to deal with: very poor scripts.

I’m not talking style, I mean lots of grammar errors, sentences which make no sense, Google translate scripts. etc.

I get a lot of these and always tell my clients when a script is bad before I start, but this has led to cancellations, delays in my own schedule, and sometimes clients actually get a little annoyed. I even once lost a voice over client who had his script proofread by me and then asked another voice over artist, who offered cheaper rates, to have it recorded.

Sooo … I was wondering whether some of you have the same issue and have figured out the perfect way to deal with it? :slight_smile:


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Hi ndeahna!

I get scripts like those all the time. My gig specifically states to make sure that scripts are correct and free of grammatical errors, but some clients ignore that. I used to just correct them as I read them, but I realized I was doing way too much work for the money. Especially when I usually charge to proofread. So, what I do is read the script as it is written. Believe me, that’s the most difficult thing ever, because everything in you is offended by the bad script. But I found that the client doesn’t even notice it’s bad. Every time I’ve voiced a bad script and delivered it, the client has no problem with it and is very happy. Then I just move on. So, bottom line? Just suck it up and read the bad script as is. I hate doing it, but it saves a lot of time and aggravation.


Hi Nat,

I am sure your clients are super thankful if you point out mistakes. Most of them probably don’t speak German and just happened to hire the wrong translator.

Offer them a gig extra for proofreading, if they decide not to take it then it’s their decision. I often ask if they would like to fix it or if they would like me to record it as is.

I had times where I had to reject scripts as well because they were just so bad. Some of these clients came back after they had their script fixed.

It happens, don’t be discouraged. That’s Fiverr ;).


Hi there Bob,

Thanks so much for your reply! Yes, it really does save a lot of time if we just read the script as it is. The other day a client even actually told me not to care about the mistakes. That was so weird! It’s the exact opposite of what I’m used to do…

Hi Anna,

Yes, that’s what I usually do, but sometimes people take ages to get back to me and then I’m the one who needs to hurry to make sure I meet the deadline.

And when a job is cancelled because the script is so awful, it shows in your stats (or maybe I just clicked the wrong button, I’m not sure).

Anyway, it’s actually already comforting to know others are having the same problem. I’ll add a “proof-read scripts only” note to my gig and will offer a proof-reading extra with a 1 day expiration setting in the future.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer :-).

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I send them a message that essentially says, "As you know I record your script “as is”, however there are a few places that sound awkward. I can either record as is, or if you would like, I offer proofreading as a service. I send this when there are obviously non native english issues.

  1. Always be selling
  2. Always be closing.
  3. Coffee is for closers.

Great points Mike! This is an upsell opportunity. USE it! :slight_smile:


I always remember the McDonald’s drive thru “You want fries with that?”



Yes, we all deal with that from time-to-time. It gets better after you have enough sales and raise your prices, since the worse scripts often come from the people looking for lowest prices. They cheap out on the script writing AND want the VO for almost nothing.

If they are a first time client, I usually just read it as written, doing my best and only making minor tweaks. Once there is a working relationship, and they have heard my quality, THEN they are open to suggestions. The exception to that is if it’s a higher priced gig. Then they are investing more, so I’ll often make a few more suggestions.

I have a few script writers I refer them to if I think they are open to it. The problem is I used to lose business as some of them simply cancel, or don’t budget for what it would really take to do it right.

If they ordered my minimum gig, I make the most of it, establish the relationship, then do a revision (they pay for it) after they know I’m producing results for them.

I used to over think it… Trying to make every script better. Now I pick and choose, refine where practical, and use revisions. Once they order a couple times, THEN it’s time to make suggestions and up-sell. I’ve already established I can deliver.


Hi Lisa,

Good point about revisions. I offer them as a paid-for service but have never actually used them in this way. And you are right about the low-budget clients. Things got a little better after I’ve raised my rates.

Oh, this is funny! I’ll remember McDonald’s from know on! :slight_smile: Thanks. Mike! :grinning:

I always think "Fries with that? haha

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I suggest having a separate Fiverr scriptwriting gig that you can send them a link to. That way any delays in bouncing the script back and forth with revisions won’t affect the delivery time with your VO gig.

I had to sweat it out a few times before I realized to keep them as separate gigs.

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I know, right? It kills me to read bad scripts, but I like not being frustrated better. :slight_smile:

That’s a great solution if you offer that service, but I have enough VO work I’d rather send them to someone else.

I’m not clear how separate gigs helps if they already placed the order for VO, and we are reading the script to see the details. Plenty of my buyers order without me having a chance to pre-read their script.

They order a $10 gig, then I find the script is barely readable, and makes little sense in terms of grammar. If they are new… I do minor clean up on the fly, if they are an existing client then I work to get them cleaned up (either a referral, or maybe I re-write it if they buy the gig extra…)

I can’t fix everything, sometimes I hold my nose and just fix the most obvious issues. Totally dependent on the overall order.

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I offer script re-writing and proofing as a Gig Extra and it works for me. Every single client (so far) has taken me up on it when I’ve told them that I can make their script sound better. My day job is working as a television writer, and I state that in my profile, so maybe that adds a level of innate trust which makes them more amenable to accepting the upsell.

(Also most people seem to be self-aware enough to know they can’t write very well for broadcasting)

I’ve also bumped up my base price (at the suggestion of the folks on this forum) for regular VOs, so it is a little higher than most, and that has also been a factor with regard to the kind of clients I’ve been working with recently.


You know, I got a poor script yesterday which the client already wanted proofread. It was a machine-translation so I told him I could either make it sound a little better since he ordered the proofreading gig, or that I could translate from scratch. I offered an extra which he accepted.

So funny, until know hardly anyone ever took me up on that kind of offers but after reading all your responses I maybe got more confident and less willing to just do the job without getting paid for the extra work … and clients have started to book extras. Thanks everyone! :slight_smile:


Totally agree. Try to upsell, but if they don’t want it, grit your teeth and read it as is. It’s tough, but you can do it!

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Awesome!! So glad it worked out for you. Confidence will get you a lot of places in life. Always go for it and trust in your abilities!

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