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Eljin is a payment platform for publishers, producers, copyright holders, union audiobook performers and their representatives. It’s our mission to make payment to union audiobook narrators simple, fast, secure, and compliant.

The terms of union agreements are complicated. To pay union members, special calculations are required to make transactions accurately and report them properly. Eljin’s business logic compiles and processes user data to meet requirements for all stakeholders–payers, payees, and agents. See Eljin’s terms of service and privacy policy for more details.

Eljin welcomes union talent, their representatives, and anyone who wants to pay union audiobook talent. The only requirements are that users must:

Profile information is used solely to (a) facilitate payments and union contributions and (b) comply with banking and tax requirements. See also, “Why are SSNs (US) or SINs (Canada) necessary?”

Here’s Eljin’s fee schedule:

  • SAG-AFTRA payments – enterprise payers (type: company): a five-percent (5%) fee.
  • SAG-AFTRA payments – individual payers (type: individual): $25USD for payments less than $1200USD | $50USD for payments $1200USD or more.
  • ACTRA payments – all payers: a five-percent (5%) fee.
  • All rates are subject to change without notice.

Minimum rates for audiobook projects are as follows, as of June 2021:

  • SAG-AFTRA – Standard: 260USD per finished hour (pfh)

  • SAG-AFTRA – ACX US: 250USD pfh*

  • SAG-AFTRA – ACX US – Royalty Plus stipend: 100USD pfh*

  • ACTRA: 266CAD pfh

Some union agreements vary on minimums. Payers will be able to clarify the matter for payees and agents. All rates are subject to change.*

This rate is subject to reverse calculation. See the answer to What does the Reverse calculation/flat-fee checkbox do? below.

At present (July 2023) all audiobook agreements with the union require a 13.5% contribution on performer earnings.

The breakdown for ACTRA requirements is posted here and here. As you’ll see, the calculation is complicated and affected by various factors. There’s no set percentage.

The best resource for SAG-AFTRA audiobook agreements can be found here.

Signing Up

A verification email should appear in your inbox soon after you create credentials on the authorization page. (This depends on your local connection to the internet and your internet service provider.) Wait a few minutes before clicking the resend email link. If you still don’t receive the link, contact us at We’ll help you out.

First, enter your first and last names. (You can also add a middle initial, if you’d like.) You can edit this later in Edit account in the menu.

Then select the user type that best describes you – Performer, Agent, or Publisher/Author/Producer.

If you are paying for audiobook performance(s), choose Publisher/Author/Producer. You will then see another selection:

  • ‘Individual Use’ – Click this if you’re an individual rights holder or author. Or,
  • ‘Team Collaboration’ – Click this if you’re a publisher or a producer. You’ll be able to form a company team.

Please note, if you are a narrator, even if you are the client of an agency who will be receiving your payments, select the performer type.

Once you enter the account type, you won’t be able to change it. If you’ve made a mistake, just contact us, and we’ll make the change for you.

The difference is largely about scale, access to functionality, and fees. 

  • Scale – If you make five or more payments to union talent every year, we view you as a company that needs access to union talent as part of an ongoing business. If you make less than five payments, we treat you as an individual payer. 
  • Functionality – Companies have access to team features (see below) and to special payment arrangements that sync with corporate A/P scheduling.

Fees – A full schedule of fees appears in the answer to “What does Eljin charge for its services?

All payers and payees must create user profiles. In addition, agents must add client information cards, as needed. Information required for each user or client may include:

  • Unique email address 
  • Address
  • Social Security Number (SSN) or Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) or Business Number (BN)
  • Harmonized Sales Tax Number (HST) (Canada)
  • Name of loan-out corporation or LLC, if applicable
  • ABA routing and bank account numbers (US)
  • Institution, transit, and bank account numbers (Canada)
  • SAG-AFTRA or ACTRA number (opt.)

SSNs and SINs are required for all payees and clients. We need them for two purposes:

  • Unions use these numbers as the unique identifiers in their pension and welfare systems. Without them, performer earnings can’t be credited to their accounts.
  • For performers paid as individuals, tax authorities require SSNs or SINs for reporting.

EINs and BNs for loan-out corporations and LLCs are useful for our record-keeping and affect our tax reporting. They do not, however, satisfy union requirements, which call for SSNs and SINs.

Eljin exists to make electronic payments between parties. Individual payers and all payees must supply banking information to enable Eljin to route payments. All payments and collections conform to the standards and specifications of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and the Canadian Payment Association (CPA).

This selection associates your payments with a “signatory,” a party signed to a union agreement. Different agreements stipulate specific rates for union Health & Retirement contributions. They also invoke different templates for calculating earnings and fees. Most users will want to select Standard Eljin from the dropdown. But if you’re paying narrators you’ve engaged through ACX, choose ACX US. For more on ACX business logic, see the note to “What does the Reverse calculation/flat-fee checkbox do?”

A best practice in which one cent is automatically deposited into the bank account you’ve entered into the profile. This ensures that the information on hand is accurate and that transactions can be made successfully. When you receive the penny deposit, please confirm receipt in the Settings II (Financial) page of your profile.

If you don’t see a penny deposit after five days, let us know. (Most banks credit the penny overnight, but policies vary from institution to institution.) We’ll check our logs to make sure that there wasn’t an error.

Yes. You can change any field whenever you’d like. The only exception: The account email is not editable. You can, however, add additional email addresses on the Edit account page.

Here are the ways Eljin distinguishes between these terms.

  • Performance name – The professional name by which you’re known to the public, your union, and your representative(s). This is the official alias you use when you’re working. This should be the name you use to set up your Eljin profile. 
  • Legal name – The name associated with your Social Security number and tax filings. When you or your agent uploads official documentation to your profile, your legal name should appear on the completed forms. Eljin verifies this information and maintains it for reporting. 
  • Pseudonym – A false name used to protect your identity. Many performers use them when working in particular genres or series and retain that pseudonym even when dealing with clients. You can use pseudonyms on Eljin once you have a primary account. Once you’ve created the primary account, use a separate email address to create a new account for your pseudonym, using the name of your pseudonymous entity. Complete the profile normally, uploading official documentation showing your legal name, address, and taxpayer identification numbers. Payers will now be able to select your pseudonym and pay you for your work. Important: For security purposes, notify Eljin at that you’re creating this account. Use subject: Pseudonym. 


Individuals and companies can pay union talent by clicking the Create Payment button under Payments in the navigation bar. When the Payment form loads, fill-in the required fields, then click Preview order. After reviewing the payment details in the pop-up window, click Submit to continue, if everything looks all right. Click Cancel to return to the Payment form and edit it.

Payments are made to performers or their agents when Eljin receives payment from the publisher / producer / rights holder–within 30 days of invoicing. If you’re experiencing a delay, please let us know immediately at

You can send payments directly to talent or through their agents, if they’ve been engaged. In the performer dropdown list, the information in parenthesis specifies the recipient as

  • an individual talent (“Direct pay – [union]”) or
  • an agency client (“[agency] – [union]”).

For example: Select Mary Welch (Direct pay – SAG-AFTRA), if you want to pay Mary directly. Or select Mary Welch (Artemis Fleet Talent – SAG-AFTRA), if you made the booking through Mary’s agent, Artemis Fleet Talent. You can confirm whether you’ve made the right selection by clicking or hovering over the information “i” next to Select Performer. That tooltip will display the partial address and masked email(s) of the performer or agent to whom the payment will be sent. You can also verify the payee address in the payment preview before submitting the form.

If the performer you’d like to pay doesn’t appear in the Select Performer dropdown, you can invite that person (or agent) to create an account. Click + Invite new performer in the menu bar or on the payment form, and enter an email address. At this point, one of three case obtains: 

  • The email belongs to an existing performer. If the system connects the email address to an existing performer, you’ll be asked to try the dropdown again. You may have missed something or misspelled the performer’s name. 
  • The email belongs to an existing agent. If the system connects the email address to an existing agent, you’ll be asked to continue to the next the pop-up screen and enter the performer’s first, middle (opt.), and last names. If the name exists as a client of the agency, you’ll be asked to try the dropdown again. If the name doesn’t exist, a notice to add a client will be sent to the agent. 

The email belongs to no existing user. If the system cannot connect the email address to an existing performer or agent, an invitation to create an account will be sent.

The Message on invoice field lets you include billing data or whatever information is necessary for your records—project numbers, POs, ISBNs, etc. It’s not a required field and can remain blank.

Unions require that we report the days on which the performer worked.

  • SAG-AFTRA requires only finish dates.
  • ACTRA requires both start and finish dates.

Use the calendar pop-up to set the dates as needed.

There are two ways to enter payment amounts: [Hours] x [Rate], or Lump Sum.

  • Hours x Rate: 
    • Enter the number of finished hours (to two decimal places) in Qty and the agreed-upon base rate in Rate. (For example, 8.18 and 250.) 
    • Hit the calculator icon to enter Hours and Minutes separately to generate an accurate decimal value in the Hours field. (For example, 8 hrs 11 minutes equals 8.18 hours.)
  • Pay Lump Sum:
    • Lump Sum field should be selected and visible.
    • Enter the agreed-upon lump sum.

When fees are subtracted from the subtotal, fees are deducted from the rate or a lump sum entered to produce an “effective rate” or “effective lump sum.” Both are displayed on the Preview page. 

SAG-AFTRA payments can be processed either way. Unless the signatory contract stipulates otherwise, the effective rate must meet the union minimum. As for ACTRA payments, fees can be subtracted from the subtotal only for lump sum payments.

Effective rates and effective lump sums are the source from which SAG-AFTRA earnings and contributions are calculated. In ACX payments, the performance allocation is credited as union earnings, while production allocations are not. See here for more about ACX payments to SAG-AFTRA members.

This depends on the payment type / signatory:

  • Standard Eljin: If your reverse calculation/flat-fee produces an effective rate below the appropriate union minimums, the payment doesn’t qualify for SAG-AFTRA or ACTRA contributions. 
  • ACX US: If the input rate meets the $250 pfh minimum (or $100 pfh Royal Share Plus minimum), the payment will qualify for SAG-AFTRA contribution.

Agency clients aren’t required to complete a personal profile if they don’t wish to have their own Eljin accounts. But to track your payments and keep abreast of business matters, user profiles (including banking information) must be completed. If you’d like, preferences can be set to ‘Display agents only,’ which will disable direct payments. (See ‘What information will I need to sign up?‘ and ‘I want all payments to go through my agent. . . . What do I do?‘).

Navigate to the menu in the top right and select preferences, proceed to select ‘Display Agents Only’ before hitting updating. With that, all payments will be routed to your agency.

When checked, the Agent – add 10% checkbox adds ten percent of the Talent fee to the payment. It is not a requirement for creating a payment.

In SAG-AFTRA programs with more than one narrator, some payers agree to a $100 fee to compensate the payees for extra time spent in coordinating their performances. It is not a requirement for creating a payment.

ACTRA payments contain these three additional fields as union requirements. The Place of Performance is linked to a province-specific taxation rate (HST) and affects the calculation of fringes and payment.

If you would like to cancel an order, simply navigate to the payments page and click on the order in question. Click ‘void’ in the top right corner to cancel the order.

Alternatively, you can contact us at We’ll void the transaction. No problem.

Coogan payments to performers who are minors are possible on Eljin, though they can’t be achieved in a single transaction. 

Here’s the process:

  • The performer or the performer’s guardian will need to set up two Eljin accounts, each with its own unique email address:
    • One linked to a personal bank account and
    • Another linked to a blocked account. 
  • For the second Eljin account (b.), use the last name field on the Edit account page to enter the last name and the label – COOGAN. For example, if the performer’s last name is Smith, enter Smith – COOGAN.
  • The payer will locate the two activated accounts in the Select Performer dropdown.
  • The payer will now generate two, separate payments:
    • First, select the performer personal account and enter an amount equal to 85% of the total owed.
    • Second, select the performer’s – COOGAN account and enter the remaining 15% of the total amount owed.

For more on Coogan payments, there’s an excellent resource here.

Import Payments

Eljin makes it possible for enterprise customers to upload a single CSV worksheet to generate up to 150 orders at a time. Once you’ve logged in, start by clicking Payments > Upload Payment CSV in the left menu. Then find the “download this template” link in the blue callout box. Once you’re able to work with the formatted spreadsheet, just follow the guidelines below to complete it.

But first, here’s a quick overview of the process. There are three steps:

  1. Upload CSV – Once you’ve competed the CSV, you can upload it to the Upload Payment CSV page, by selecting the file or dragging it into the page. Processing begins immediately.
  2. Validate CSV – Wait until the loading bar shows that validation is complete. Validated orders display with a green check in the right column. Unvalidated orders display with a red exclamation point. To validate an unvalidated order, you can edit orders by double-clicking anywhere on the order, making necessary changes, and saving those changes. If you cannot validate the order, click the x at right to remove the order from the list. Once all orders show green checks, click Next. (You can always click Back to edit, then re-upload form.)
  3. Complete Order – The application does a final round of housekeeping, tallying up the number of payments created and their total value. If those totals look correct, just click Complete. Emails (with invoices and receipts) will be sent to all the necessary parties. You’ll be able to review your orders in the payment history.

You can pay both SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA performers in a single worksheet. Just make sure that you place the right information in the right column. Make sure that you save the worksheet in CSV format before you upload it.

You should imitate this sample:


  1. Column A (defer_id) – This is linked to an alpha feature. Not required.
  2. Columns B to G – Enter:
    1. the title of the project (required)
    2. the performer’s first (required), middle (optional), and last (required) names
    3. the talent agency (required, if performer is a client)
    4. any memo information that’s needed (optional)
  3. Columns H to J – Enter:
    1. hours as whole number or whole number and two-place decimal (e.g., 12.44 or 7.25)
    2. hours in one column, minutes in the other. (If decimal value is used in a. then minute value is not required)
    3. rate as whole number or whole number and two-place decimal (e.g., 260 or 275.75)
    4. lump sums can be entered by placing 1 in the hours field and the agreed-upon sum in the rate field
  4. Column K – If a cast collaboration fee is necessary, add “TRUE.” If not, nothing is required.
  5. Column L – If an agent’s fee is necessary, add “TRUE.” If not, nothing is required.
  6. Column M – If fees will be subtracted from the total (a reverse calculation), add “TRUE.” If not, nothing is required.
  7. Columns N to P (see inputs for Canadian Orders below) – These columns are required for Canadian / ACTRA payments. Enter:
    1. province where the performance occurred
    2. nature of production
    3. performance category
  8. Columns Q to R – Start and end dates are required for Canadian orders and optional (and are not recommended) for US orders. (US orders use the invoice date as the default end date.) All dates can be entered in either of these formats:
    1. YYYY-MM-DD (year-month-day) or 
    2. MM.DD.YYYY (month-day-year)

Inputs for Canadian Orders

Place of Performance:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

Nature of Production:

  • Audiobooks
  • Audio guides
  • Narration
  • E-learning

Performance category:

  • Narrator
  • Principal
  • Supporting
  • Crowd sounds
  • Group Singers (paste the number into CSV cell):
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

There are two ways to find what you’re looking for:

Case 1: Use the talent dropdown on the create payment page

  1. On the “Create Payment” page, start typing the performer’s name in the designated search field.
  2. If the name is in our system, it will appear in the dropdown list. Select the correct name, and it will automatically populate the recipient field.
  3. Highlight and copy the full name directly from the recipient field. You can paste those names into the appropriate fields on the multi-order CSV. 

Case 2: Search past payments 

  1. On the “All Payments” page, use the search field to find the performer you’re looking for.
  2. You can narrow down your search by using “Filters” and querying particular criteria.
  3. You can download results and copy values from the Payee Name and Agent Name columns.


When you log in, the Payments page loads. All your clients’ transactions through Eljin are listed here.

  • Click Clients in the menu, then click the Add client button. 
  • In the pop-up, enter the client email (or the unique in-house email your firm has assigned to that client), then click Continue.
  • Complete the client information form.
  • Make sure to check the box at the bottom: Agree to the terms below. This is the equivalent of a check authorization.
  • Click Submit.

That’s it. Your client will now appear in the list on your agency’s Clients page (status: In-Progress). Payers will be able to select that performer for payment. Your client will receive a one-time notification that he or she has been added to your agency’s roster. If the client has no link to another agency in Eljin’s database, the notification requires no response from that performer.

In Progress is displayed when a client must authorize a new agent and hasn’t yet done so. For security reasons, Eljin flags new agency connections to ensure that they’re verified. If Re-send request is displayed, it may be wise to let the client know you’re trying to make the connection. You can then click the button and resend the request. The client should be expecting the message and will be able to authorize the new agency link.

The performer received notification that he or she was added to your agency’s list and opted-out. If this happens, follow-up with the performer to see what’s going on. The status button will reset to Re-send request 24-hours after the performer’s response. At that point, you’ll be able to the send the notification again, and the client will have a second opportunity to confirm the agency link.

On the Clients page, find the performer’s name, either by scrolling or using the search bar. Click on the clients card. Make the changes you’d like, and click Submit. The values in the email, country, and union fields are not editable.

Eljin respects the relationship between you and your client as contractual and private. Still, we need to assure that the platform performs properly, securely, and compliantly, and this requires that every user have a unique email address.

  • Properly. Unique email addresses are necessary to routing transactions correctly.
  • Securely. Unique email addresses allow Eljin to control access to the platform and to protect the private data of its users and their clients.
  • Compliantly. Unique email addresses allow Eljin to notify performers about commercial connections made on the platform. This grants them the ability to to give legal consent to those connections or to opt-out. (Eljin also views these notifications as a security feature. See the discussion of “spoofing” below.)

Eljin sends email notifications when payments are generated and paid. Global email preferences enable agencies to choose who receives these. 

The Owner of the agency account can choose global email preferences for the agency. From the menu, select Preferences. There are two checkboxes here:

  • Send order-related email notifications to all clients – [Default: unchecked.] If checked, transaction emails will always be sent to clients as well as the team member who added the client. 
  • Send order-related email notifications to the agency owner – [Default: checked] If checked, the Owner of the account will receive all emails regarding the agency’s clients.

Two important reminders:

  • If both checkboxes are unchecked, emails will be sent only to the team member who added the client. Neither the client nor the Owner will receive an email.

Both settings can be overwritten on the Clients page for individual clients. See the next FAQ.

To override global email settings and customize them for individual clients, go to the client’s card in your client list and click preferences. Click the toggle to override global preferences. Now select or de-select one or both of the checkboxes as necessary.

On the clients page, navigate to the client’s card and click ‘Deactivate’ in the top right. The client record will become inactive and sort to the bottom of the client list. All past transactions associated with that client will still be viewable on the Payments page. 

You can re-activate the client by following the same procedure.


Companies and agencies can create teams. You can create a team at any time, but you can start right at the end of the profile creation process.

  • Click Team in the navigation bar along the left-hand side
  • Click + Add member. 
  • Enter the email of the person you’re inviting, then click Continue
  • Select a role for the member, then click Submit. The new member will now display as In progress.
  • The invitee will receive an email inviting them to join your team. (The recipient can also decline joining.)
  • You’ll know that the new member has accepted (or not) when you see the balloon for the member role displays the permissions level you assigned.

Member roles let team members perform a variety of functions. Here are the activities granted to the different roles:

View order history
View client history (Agents only)
Receive emails
Edit client information
Create order (Payers only)
Change individ. client email prefs (Agents only)
Add client (Agents only)
Remove member
Add member / change member role
Change global client email prefs (Agents only)
Add admin member
Edit company/agency profile
Create company

You can change a member’s role by clicking the edit tool in the team member’s record. Go to the dropdown menu in the Member’s role field and select the new role. Click Submit.

You can remove a team member by clicking the x in the team member’s record. Click Confirm in the pop-up window to complete the process.

The payment type / signatory dropdown is found in Profile settings. Only agency and company account Owners can edit this setting. Team members do not have access.

You can do that, but it’s better and easier to do this: Enter the A/P recipient’s email (either a person’s address or a departmental mailbox) as a secondary email address in the account page.


Users can be members of many teams, and a context is any team in which you participate. You can be a performer with your own account and profile. You can also be a member of an agency or a publisher’s team. You can move between those contexts without exposing your private information to people with whom you collaborate.

Eljin lets you work in as many contexts as you’d like.

Your current context is listed in the top of the left-hand side navigation bar – it will display as the name of your profile/team. Click this dropdown to select among your contexts. If no additional options appear, it is because your profile does not exist in multiple contexts.


Eljin relies on the best-in-kind services of AWS Cloud Security. For more about AWS Cloud Security, check here.

Eljin maintains a TLS / SSL certificate issued by Sectigo (formerly Commodo), a leader in the certificate authority industry. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are protocols that enable secure communications between two machines—yours and ours. Anything that you send from our platform is encrypted in the security layer and decrypted when it reaches our servers. For more on Sectigo, check here.

Auth0 is a leading provider of authentication and authorization products. It has a wide variety of features that will allow us to offer new customizations as we grow. We’ve integrated their software into our own with great success. For more about Auth0, check here.

You’re talking about “masking.” This feature is managed by our application programming interface (API), and yes, it’s a necessary safety feature. Masking prevents would-be spies and data thieves from seeing or otherwise gaining access to your private information. A tip, though: When you’re editing data in a masked field, be sure to enter the entire number you want to change. Then update the profile step.

Eljin uses automated SFTP and FTPS queuing to push and pull (pay and collect) transactions. For more about compliance with NACHA and CPA, check here and here. SFTP and FTPS are both secure protocols, and the transmissions to the banks are protected by TLS/SSL. See “How does Eljin protect the data I submit through my browser?”

This is part of a safety feature that guards against spoofing–that is, faking identities. Malevolent users may enter the site and attempt to link a performer to their fraudulent talent agency. To prevent this from being approved automatically, our system emails the performer requesting that he or she authorize or decline the new agency’s request. Without the performer’s explicit confirmation (by clicking the Confirm button in the email), no link to the agency will be created. This checking process can result in a short delay, but in our view, better to be safe than sorry.

The three-tier architecture and cutting-edge tech stack of Eljin incorporates a user interface (Angular), the application itself (Java) with its API layer, and a database (MySQL).

Other integrations include:

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