“Yes, it is true. Audiobook narrator jobs, for beginners or experienced, can pay you a lot if you have the right skills.”
Truth be told, I’m a bit old school. Whenever a new technology comes on the market, I’m the last one to try it.
But listening to audiobooks is different. Why spend several days reading a book when you can finish it in hours?
However, if you want to get paid to read books, applying for an audio book reader job is the way to do it.
So, how do I become one? This write-up will help you find the best job sites, skills, training, equipment, salary, and industry insights for voice-over artists working for audiobooks.
What Does an Audiobook Narrator Do?
A narrator for audiobooks uses his/her voice and acting skills to narrate a written book – print or digital.
They make sure that their voice correctly matches the character’s personality, emotions, author’s intention, and scene of every single line in the book.
These voice artists work for the best audiobook subscription platforms, so the readers can ‘listen’ to books instead of spending time in ‘reading’ them.
Audiobook Narrator Jobs for Beginners: 7 Best Websites
Are you wondering whether you can earn from such an industry, especially when you are a beginner? Well, you can.
Below are some websites to find the best audiobook narrator jobs in the market.
ACX is the best place for beginners to start with the top service platforms in the market. Almost all of the voice artists have worked her at one time or the another. Let us explore its major features.
- At ACX, you may start by recording and submitting an audition for any book you like.
- If an author or publisher likes your quality, they will reach out to you.
- The payment will be based on an hourly or/and royalty-share basis.
If you are searching for freelance audio book narrator jobs, Voice123 might be your best bet. Currently, the platform has about 90,000 artists in the voice-over industry. Below are some of its features.
- Once you create your profile on Voice123, the clients will be able to find you through the browsing section.
- You can also send proposals for advertised projects.
- A free account is limited to four project invitations. While a membership account increases your chances of being discovered.
Voquent is a free platform for freelance job listings in the audio market. It is well-known among the voice publishing industry for high quality work at reasonable prices.
- This site hires high-quality narrators only.
- The payment is generally higher than on other platforms.
- Upon joining, you may explore projects and give auditions.
So to search for the best audiobook narrator jobs, Voices is the next big platform after ACX. Not just voice books, but the platform hires talent for all forms of voice-over jobs.
- This platform hosts voice actor jobs for audiobooks, commercials, courses, podcasts, and videos.
- The process is simple – Sign up → Record audition → Search job posts → Respond on posts → Negotiate deadline and rates.
- Payments are held in an escrow to prevent scams.
Fiverr is a competitive online marketplace for freelancers on hire. Even when the pay is generally lower than other platforms, still there are plenty of opportunities here for freelancers.
- On this platform, you can create posts and advertise yourself.
- The jobs are generally on a one-time basis.
- Pro tip: Offer packages and additional services to increase your chances of getting hired.
Just like Fiverr, Upwork also hosts freelance job opportunities for audio book readers. You are likely to earn good amount if you can provide high quantity work at reasonable prices.
- First, you will need to create a free profile and upload your samples.
- Then, you may bid on the job postings.
- Clients generally pay a fixed rate or on an hourly basis.
- It is especially good for artists who can use advanced tools like bionic reading apps for high reading speeds.
If you’re looking for voice over artist work, Voice Crafters is one such platform to get a job. Though, they don’t have a requirement for U.S. and UK voice actors, but artists from other regions can apply.
- The voice actors are strictly pre-screened.
- They deal in over 80 languages.
- The payment is generally higher than other platforms.
If you are unable to find any work on these websites, you may also try some of the methods mentioned below to gain entry into this field.
Other Places to Get Audiobook Narration Jobs
Apart from the intermediary websites, there are some other ways that can help you get a good audiobook narration job.
You may try some of the other methods mentioned below to increase your chances of getting work.
- Audiobook production houses: Find and connect with big audiobook production houses, through searching for them online or gaining referrals.
- Casting sites: For beginners, casting sites can provide a good opportunity to gain entry into the market.
- Workshops: Taking part in different workshops for voice-over actors is a wonderful way to build your network.
- Volunteering: In order to get a foot into the door, you may opt for volunteering for the blind.
- Online website: Creating your own online website might be hectic work. However, with the right marketing strategies and high-quality samples, you will be able to rank in search engines.
- Social Media: Leveraging social media to gain visibility is now quite popular among voice artists. You may even provide value to your audience with book-related posts, like the best book puns or tips to annotate a book.
- Attending events: Good networking can also be done through several book-related events, where there are chances of finding agents, representatives of publication houses, and authors.
Therefore, you may try out the above ways to apply for audiobook reader jobs in this industry.
How to Become an Audiobook Narrator? – Skills, Training, and Equipment
Becoming an Audiobook Narrator is not exactly a cakewalk, as it requires certain specialized skills to be exhibited by you.
That said, let us look at the key skills required in this job:
- Breathing: Swallowing, gulping, fading, throat clearing, gasping, and even mouth noises should be kept to a minimum.
- Delivery: The pitch, energy, pacing, timing, and overall narration style must match the characters, emotions, intent, and text features of the content.
- Coordination of Eye-Brain-Mouth: Only good eye-brain-mouth coordination can help you to read the script with minimum mistakes.
- Articulation: Over-articulation, under-articulation, lisping, whistling, and hissing must be prevented.
- Language skills: Having a great knowledge of different words and styles of writing can help you a lot in producing error-free content.
- Consistency: The overall style and energy of voice-over artists for audiobooks must be consistent throughout several hours of work.
- Separation: It involves using the voice and words to separate individual sentences and paragraphs within narration.
- Characterization: Bringing life to characters through the use of different tones, accents, and energy.
- Analysis: Correctly using reading comprehension to understand the meaning of content, its feelings, and overall story, whilst employing it in final delivery.
- Stamina: To be able to work long hours in a studio, you need good physical stamina, emotional stability, unwavering energy, willpower, and passion.
Worried about how to build the above skills? Well, you can train yourself to be able to apply for audio book narrator jobs from home.
How to Train Yourself for Audiobook Narration?
Audiobook narration training is not as difficult as you may think. All it needs is knowledge of a few techniques and rigorous practice.
Let us look at the measures that you may adopt for becoming an audiobook voice-over actor.
- Use breathing exercises to build endurance in your speech.
- Take care of your throat through natural remedies like warm and saline water.
- Practice narration of several fiction or non-fiction books. You may also record the audio and try to find mistakes in your style.
- You may also join a coaching institute or attend workshops to gain greater knowledge of best practices.
- Learn essential techs like editing software and recording tools.
- Read as many books as you can – either offline or through platforms like Kindle Unlimited, Z-library alternatives, or LibGen alternatives.
- Develop self-awareness about your style and energy. It will help you to identify your niche later on.
So, to train yourself on different audio styles, you should also analyze the top audiobook narrators who are currently slaying the market. They are listed in the table below, along with their best narrated books.
|Key Narration Style
|Best Narrated Book
|Quirky comedic and sarcastic wit
|The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; by Douglas Adams
|Elegance and refinement in voice
|Outlander; by Diana Gabaldon
|Magical and mysterious voice
|The Night Circus; by Erin Morgenstern
|Indian accent with a mix of warm and comedic feelings
|Accidentally Engaged; by Farah Heron
|Deep, heavy, and tenacious narration
|The Tattooist of Auschwitz; by Heather Morris
|Skilled in fast reading and shifting accents
|Portrait of an Unknown Woman; by Daniel Silva
|Quick voice modulation to depict rapid changes in emotions
|Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up; by Alexandra Potter
|Calm and slow voice to make readers feel at peace
|The Four Winds; by Kristin Hannah
|Enthralling inflections and pacing in the voice
|The Wager; by David Grann
|Sing-song cadence to help readers reach accelerating levels of bewitchment
|Where the Crawdads Sing; by Delia Owens
|Attention to detail and focused cadence
|Children of Blood and Bone; by Tomi Adeyemi
Now, let us look at the necessary equipment required to produce good quality content in this industry.
Have you ever listened to books on the audiobook subscription services and wondered about their surprisingly clean audio?
This is because people in audio book reading jobs use some high-quality equipment, mentioned below.
|Soundproof Recording Space
|Computer with minimum 8 GB RAM
|Digital Audio Workstation
|Mic Boom Arm
|Digital Audio Interface
Hence, to answer your question, “How to become an audiobook narrator?”, you can easily make it with the right training and equipment.
How Much Does an Audiobook Narrator Make?
Wondering about the audiobook narrator salary? Well, generally, it depends on the region of the job, clients’ budgets, artist’s experiences, book genres, and competition in the market.
Let’s look at the points below:
- A beginner artist could get between 10 and 100 USD per finished hour of work.
- Experienced artists can look for a range between 100 and 350 USD per finished hour in audiobook recording jobs.
- On an annual basis, the lowest salary in this field could be 42,000 USD.
- The highest annual salary could be 122,000 USD.
Now, let us gain an overall view of this industry in the next section.
Audio Book Recording Jobs: Importance, Challenges, and Future
If you are searching for audio book narration jobs for beginners, you must also understand the nitty-gritty aspects of this industry.
Be it dark academia books, personal training books, or a popular high school books, a book narrator plays an important role for book lovers and authors.
- They help book lovers form a greater emotional connection with the content.
- A book that can be heard saves a lot of reading time.
- Audio content is also highly helpful for people with reading disabilities.
- For students, reading and listening to a book at the same time can significantly increase their rote learning abilities.
- Famous voice artists can also help a beginner author to get noticed in the market.
However, let us also not forget the major challenges of audiobook reading jobs.
- Particularly for beginners, this industry has become quite competitive and low pay.
- Maintaining one’s vocal health and energy is also one challenge.
- The working hours are usually long – between 12 and 18 hours spent in a studio.
- For freelancers in this industry, achieving a steady workflow is difficult.
- The introduction of AI, which can perform text-to-audio and audio to text conversion, can threaten the opportunities for artists working in niches that do not require high voice modulation.
As complex as it may seem, there is still a wide and wild future for the audiobook industry ahead.
- Technological advancement has made it possible to produce very high-quality audio content with minimum expenditure.
- The popularity of Indie books is creating a whole new market for freelancers who desire audiobook narrator jobs from home.
- Better technology infrastructure in rural areas means more consumers are likely to be tapped by audio production houses.
- The popularity of e-reading devices like Amazon Kindle Oasis or Paperwhite is creating greater opportunities for voice books also.
- To tap the local markets, companies prefer greater diversity in this field.
- AI-enabled editing software is creating a whole new possibility for both small and big artists.
- More and more book lovers prefer to listen and even share audible books, instead of reading them.
Hence, if you are someone who is truly passionate about this industry and is not afraid to ride through a few challenges; there are wide chances for you to succeed and become a master.
To Sum it Up
If you are a beginner yet a passionate audiobook narrator with above-average reading speed, job opportunities are plenty in the market.
You can get work via several online websites, production houses, or by creating your own strong online presence.
However, to earn the top salary, you will need to train yourself rigorously on key skills and invest in the right equipment.
Ans: Narrating audiobooks is a good side hustle if you are passionate and willing to learn the necessary skills. Otherwise, it is quite a competitive field now.
Ans: To beginners, Audible pays around $50-$100 per finished hour. While, to experienced narrators, it pays between $200-$400.
Ans: If your phone has good recording quality, you may record audiobooks on your phone using a microphone.
Ans: ACX pays its audiobook narrators on a monthly basis.
Ans: You cannot and should not record an audiobook without permission from its author, publishing house, or any other copyright holder of its content.
Ans: ACX distributes its audio content to Audible and iTunes.