How to Become An Audiobook Narrator

The world of audiobooks has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with sales reaching an impressive $1.6 billion in 2021. This increase in demand for audiobooks has led to a growing need for skilled audiobook narrators who can bring stories to life through their voices. If you have a passion for storytelling and a talent for vocal narration, then becoming an audiobook narrator may be the perfect career for you.

Narrating audiobooks is an art form that requires a combination of vocal talent, technical skill, and creative interpretation. It can be a rewarding career for those who are passionate about literature and enjoy performing. However, breaking into the industry can be challenging, and it requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn.

In the following sections, we will discuss the steps you can take to become a successful audiobook narrator, including finding gigs, perfecting your vocal skills, and building a portfolio that showcases your talents. So, whether you are a seasoned performer or just starting out, read on to discover how you can narrate your way to success as an audiobook narrator.

Key Takeaways

  • Audiobooks are a growing market, with sales reaching $1.6 billion in 2021 and double-digit growth for 10 years.
  • Becoming an audiobook narrator requires solid equipment, acting skills, and practice, with nonfiction narration being particularly challenging.
  • Tips for becoming an audiobook narrator include finding a niche, starting with smaller jobs, and networking with other voice actors.
  • Narrators can earn $10-$350 per hour, with annual earnings varying based on experience and job type, and Amazon’s Audiobook Creative Exchange is a good platform for building a portfolio and finding work.

Audiobooks as a Market

Audiobooks have become a significant market for both learning and entertainment, with sales reaching $1.6 billion in 2021. This market has experienced double-digit growth for the past ten years, indicating its popularity and potential for expansion.

Popular platforms such as Audible and iTunes have contributed to the industry’s growth, allowing consumers to access a wide range of audiobooks easily.

The rise of audiobooks can be attributed to various factors, including the convenience they offer. Audiobooks allow individuals to consume books while performing other tasks, such as commuting or exercising. Moreover, the increasing availability of audiobooks in different genres and subjects has attracted a diverse audience, further contributing to the industry’s growth.

As the demand for audiobooks continues to increase, it presents a viable market for individuals interested in becoming audiobook narrators.

Becoming an Audiobook Narrator

The world of spoken literature has become a thriving market, with a demand for individuals who possess exceptional vocal and acting skills to bring stories to life for listeners. Becoming an audiobook narrator requires more than just a good speaking voice. It involves mastering the art of storytelling, understanding the nuances of different genres, and developing a unique style that sets you apart from the competition.

To succeed in this field, it is important to find your niche and experiment with different genres to hone your skills. Voice coaching can also help improve your delivery and timing, while energy management and avoiding certain foods and drinks can enhance the quality of your recordings.

Starting with smaller jobs can help you gain experience and build your portfolio, and networking with other voice actors can lead to more opportunities. Ultimately, the key to becoming a successful audiobook narrator is to have a real desire for the work and a willingness to put in the time and effort to perfect your craft.

Earnings and Compensation

Earnings and compensation for individuals working in the field of spoken literature can vary greatly based on experience, job type, and form of payment. According to Amazon’s Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX), narrators can earn anywhere from $10 to $350 per hour, with annual earnings ranging from a couple hundred to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Royalties are a common form of payment, although ACX is known for offering lower pay rates. Narrators who work directly with clients have more autonomy in setting their rates, allowing them to potentially earn more.

To increase their earnings and compensation, audiobook narrators need to continually improve their skills and find work opportunities. This can involve voice coaching to enhance vocal techniques and energy management to improve recording quality. Narrators can also experiment with different genres and find a niche to stand out in a crowded market.

Starting with smaller jobs can help hone skills, and networking with other voice actors can lead to more opportunities for work. Ultimately, successful audiobook narrators have a real passion for the work and are willing to invest time, effort, and resources to build their careers.


The rise of audiobook sales has created a lucrative market for skilled audiobook narrators. Becoming a successful audiobook narrator requires a combination of vocal talent, technical skills, and networking.

By leveraging platforms like ACX and building a portfolio of work, aspiring narrators can gain exposure to publishers and authors looking for narrators for their books. It’s important for narrators to perfect their vocal skills and be adaptable to different genres and styles of writing.

In terms of compensation, audiobook narrators can earn a significant amount of money for their work. However, it’s important to note that the industry can be competitive and not all narrators will achieve the same level of success.

One anticipated objection to pursuing a career in audiobook narration may be the level of competition and uncertainty in the industry. However, for those with a passion for storytelling and a dedication to their craft, the opportunity to bring books to life through narration can be a fulfilling and rewarding career path.

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