One of the questions I’m often asked is can you make a living as an audiobook narrator?
My answer is yes, absolutely. Audiobooks are an exciting and growing segment of the entertainment industry. And the good news is it’s not just the major publishers providing work. Audile’s ACX, indie authors, indie publishers and producers are providing tremendous opportunities.
Voices of all types can find a home in the world of audiobooks. Of course having the skill to do a great read is key to being successful. A project I’m producing and directing now, Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories demonstrates how important that is. I spent hours searching online voice samples until I found an actor I thought could be just the right kindly, grandfatherly narrator for the project. To be sure he could give the material the interpretation it needed, I sent him one of the stories along with directorial notes as an audition. He sent back a great audition implementing everything I’d suggested. The publisher, author and I agreed the actor, Googy Gress, would be the audiobook Grandpa Bernie.
We had the luxury of recording in a studio, where I was able to direct his reading. Increasingly, however, audiobook actors are expected to narrate from home studios without the benefit of a director. That means it’s vitally important that you possess the specific techniques needed to make an audiobook reading stand out on your own, both for your auditions, and for the productions. If the work is good, more work will come.
While skills are key, you’ll also need to learn how to set up a home studio. There are numerous online sites that can guide you through the technical aspects of creating a home studio.