You’ve probably heard that audiobook narration is a marathon, not a sprint.
That phrase not only describes the type of work, but it also conveys the amount of time you may need to reach the level of success that you desire. Like any business, audiobook narration has start-up costs, and it may take a while before you begin to see a profit.
Each person follows a different path. Some people do a handful of books on ACX and soon get cast by audiobook publishers like Blackstone and Tantor.
For others, the climb may take years. People who are viewed as “overnight successes” usually have been working diligently for 5-10 years.
An audio publisher might have invested $20k in a title they are going to produce. You need to build a relationship with people in a position to hire you. They don’t cast books on the basis of 1 random email from a narrator. They have to know they can trust you with the project before they will cast you.
In addition, they are working with 100s of other narrators. You need to distinguish what you bring to the table that they don’t already have.
You must continue doing your best work and marketing yourself to those who can hire you for as long as it takes.
Therefore, you must patiently persist and persevere by setting goals which include:
- obtaining coaching and improving your performance
- setting up and treating your recording space
- auditioning for titles you’re suited for on ACX
- completing a strong portfolio of audiobooks that demonstrate your strengths. If you aren’t getting cast to narrate an audiobook, look at producing your own work, perhaps with Public Domain texts.
- researching publishers and contacting them once your skills are at the level of the narrators they cast
- attending industry events to meet people and build relationships
- sending regular emails to update casting people whom you’ve met about new skills, awards, and other areas that may help them cast you
- believing in yourself
- enjoying your life
The last 2 bullet points are important because it’s easy to feel frustrated, disappointed, etc. when it seems that it’s taking a long time to gain traction. Remember, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it.