Welcome! Whether you dream of becoming an audiobook narrator or already are one, you’ve found THE destination for audiobook narrators of all levels!
Everybody has a nice voice. Knowing how to use it to express the author’s intent is what matters.
All of the info and links on this site have been carefully curated for credibility and value. You’ll find invaluable advice from industry pros that you will want to read and absorb. Success leaves tracks!
If you’re new to this career, every resource below on this page — articles, books, connections, and videos — answers the question “How can I get a job reading audiobooks?”
The sign posts in the site navigation above point to avenues throughout the rest of the site that are of greater interest to experienced narrators. Some sections are free to all, while others are offered only to subscribers.
- Need a guide to everything available on the site? Click here to see the Roadmap of NarratorsRoadmap.
- The Welcome Center has all the details about membership costs and benefits, the registration link, and even MORE links! You can also join the site by clicking here or on the LOGIN button above.
- If you’re an author who wants to put your work into audio, you’ll also want to head to the Welcome Center for resources selected especially for you.
I’m constantly developing content for the site. Sign up for updates and/or subscribe to this site’s Twitter account to be alerted about site additions. Questions or comments about this site? Please send me an email!
Tour Guide and Chief Cartographer
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “consider the source”. That advice is especially true when starting or improving your career as an audiobook narrator.
When searching Google about reading audiobooks, you’ll find a boatload of articles and courses on the topic. However, so many of those search results are from people who don’t have much, if any experience, in doing the work. If the site is about making money from home or some other general term, you can be sure it’s not a credible source.
These articles were written by people who have solid, verifiable experience in the industry.
- Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz — Karen Commins
- How to Become An Audiobook Narrator— Karen Commins
- How to Become an Audiobook Narrator — Audible.com blog
- Getting Started and Narrators Guide — Audio Publishers Association
- Two Cents — R. C. Bray
- How to Break Into Narration — Scott Brick
- 10 Skills You Need for Audiobook Narration + Voice Work — Marc Cashman
- How To Be An Audiobook Narrator (In Many Steps) — C. S. E. Cooney
- Step Up to the Mic/Become a Narrator — Erin deWard
- So you want to record Audiobooks — Marissa DuBois
- So You Want To Be A Narrator — Tanya Eby
- How to Become A Narrator — Robert Fass
- Breaking Into Audiobooks Part 1 and Part 2 — Rachel Fulginiti
- How to Become an Audiobook Narrator — Tavia Gilbert
- Audiobook Narration Tips That Don’t Suck — Johnny Heller
- Simple Rules for Audiobook Success…That You Already Know and Ignore — Johnny Heller
- Is Audiobook Narration Right for You? Part 1 and Part 2 — Tom Jordan
- Letter to Newcomers — Jeffrey Kafer
- How to Get Started Narrating Audiobooks — Steve Marvel
- Curious About Becoming a Narrator? Learn to Fish… — Ann Richardson
- Audiobooks — SAG/AFTRA
These articles provide information about starting work as a voice talent.
- So you want to get into voiceovers — Karen Commins
- Info Sheet for Newcomers — Pamela Almand
- VO Strategist FAQ — Tom Dheere
- Parade Magazine — And the Myth of Easy Voiceover Money — Randye Kaye
- The Voice Over Entrance Exam — Peter O’Connell
- Why is doing voice-overs so difficult Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 — Paul Strikwerda
The first thing any prospective narrator should do is LISTEN to audiobooks. AudioFile Magazine is the premiere source of professional reviews of audiobooks in its magazine, newsletters, and podcast. The web site includes a talent and industry database which lists publisher information.
Then, watch award-winning narrator Sean Pratt‘s video below and take his test. Answering my Audiobook Narrator Self-Assessment Quiz and reading through the explanations will further help you evaluate whether this career is a good fit for you.
I also recommend you take these 2 free mini-courses on Narrator.Life:
If you decide to move forward, I highly encourage you to volunteer for your state’s reading service for the blind or Learning Ally to gain and improve skills, as well as provide a needed service to the world.
The Audio Publishers Association is the industry trade organization and offers numerous benefits of membership to narrators including frequent webinars, news updates about the industry, opportunities to meet publishers and producers, and an annual conference. NarratorsRoadmap proudly sponsors the APA.
A listing of vetted audiobook coaches and consultants for both audiobook performance and business issues can be found in Audiobook Village.
Narrator Rich Miller hosts the informative and entertaining Audiobook Speakeasy podcast with guests from across the audiobook industry, including many of the coaches in the spreadsheet above. Listen to their episodes to help you choose the best person to help you.
In his Audiobook Narration for Beginners podcast, narrator and host J. Rodney Turner and his guests share tips and info they’ve learned on their path.
New narrators can create a narrator profile or submit demos on 2 sites listed below. However — and I cannot stress this point too much — you only have 1 chance to make a good first impression! In fact, this point is so important that I want to highlight this excellent advice from award-winning narrator Ann Richardson:
Make sure it is a positive one that reinforces your professionalism and expounds on the excellence you’re bringing to the table. If, however, it conveys you’re new, inexperienced, not prepared, it would behoove you to resist the urge. It has been my experience that people grow weary quickly of multiple bumbling attempts, insecurity, and demonstrated lack of proficiency. In addition, they’re not usually willing to let you learn and iron out the kinks on their project.
In all cases, you need to be sure your demos are competitive in both your performance and sound production. Also, follow the submission instructions EXACTLY.
- ACX.com Marketplace site with titles available for audition
- FindawayVoices.com Findaway may send you auditions
If you have a profile on ACX, you can join the Indie (ACX and Others) Audiobook Narrators and Producers Facebook group. Narrators of all experience levels are members of this active group, and it’s a great place to ask questions and learn from others. Before you make any posts, check out the extensive group FAQ, which I created and maintain.
NOTE: Numerous industry veterans with years of experience and/or 100s of books completed participate in that Facebook group. The professional narrators there are not simply offering opinions. We are trying to guide newcomers into using industry best practices instead of making unnecessary mistakes that hurt the industry. Half of Americans have not heard an audiobook. If their first experience is a bad one, they may never come back to the media. Authors who have bad narrator experiences may not continue making audiobooks of their titles. Therefore, I implore you to also read this article and its comments before challenging or dismissing the advice a veteran narrator shares with you.
Subscribe to my Twitter lists to keep up with industry news in tweets from audiobook narrators, producers, publishers, and reviewers.
Ira Glass on The Gap
APA Webcast: What I Wish I Knew...