Supposed you’ve taken some voice acting classes, have a little bit of knowledge about the audiobook world, and already know the basics of recording. But you’re stuck finding that first gig. Finding audiobook narrator jobs for beginners can really be hard especially if you don’t know where to start. You’re in luck because I’ve got some places where you can find audiobook narrator jobs from home!
But before we get to that, I talked to a couple of established audiobook narrators for some tips on bringing out your A-game.
Audiobook Narration for Beginners
For beginners getting started in the audiobook industry, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the styles. “Listen to a lot of audiobooks! If you don’t already do this, get familiar with the pace, rhythm, what you like and prefer as a listener, and also what you don’t like… This will all help inform the type of reader you want to be,” says Danice Cabanella, the narrator of Mia P. Manansala’s Arsenic and Adobo.
Cabanella also recommends narrators to get a good starter microphone such as the Blue Yeti, which is available in many stores. Another tip from her is to build a home studio. “Build your voice-over studio in your closet or another small, enclosed space that will be conducive for better sound quality. Start recording yourself and hearing playback so you can adjust accordingly. Play with characters, sounds, reading out loud. The more you practice with intention, the better voice actor you’re able to become,” she shares.
The voice actor also encourages beginner narrators to take some classes, if they haven’t already: “There are studios and successful voice-over actors that teach classes on all types of voice-over… Work your creative muscle, get consistent in your work, and learn from others. It’s also a great way to network and build relationships with others in the industry.”
Award-winning audiobook narrator Natalie Naudus agrees with what Cabanella says. “My biggest recommendation for new narrators is get coaching with established narrators, narrating the kinds of books you aspire to. There’s no substitute for industry insider knowledge on networking and best practices,” she tells me.
Websites to Find Audiobook Narrator Jobs for Beginners
This is the go-to place for beginners who want to get into audiobook narration. You don’t need agencies or casting agents here. All you need to do is find a book you like and audition for it. It works like this: many independent authors are looking to publish audiobook versions of their books. Since they can’t do it themselves, they post it on ACX to find someone who can record it for them.
There are many, many titles for audition on ACX, so I’m sure you can find something that interests you. In terms of payment, narrators get paid per finished hour or by royalty share.
If you want to get started as an audiobook narrator on ACX, here’s detailed documentation.
The biggest downside is that aspiring narrators from around the world may not be eligible to join this platform. Right now, ACX is only available for residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Ireland.
Voices.com is probably the number one marketplace to find voice talents. You name it — podcast, commercials, videos, and other projects that require a human voice — you can find it here. When I produced an audiobook, this was where I found someone who did voice-overs. It makes sense that it’s a valuable platform to find audiobook narrator jobs for beginners and experts.
All you have to do is to sign up for an account, record demos, read job postings, and respond to them. What I love about this platform is that it holds payments in an escrow. Hence, the funds are secure and you won’t fall for scams, just in case.
Fiverr is an all-around marketplace for just about anyone who needs something done. Anything you can think of is probably here, which makes it very competitive. And the competition is cutthroat: you have to be really creative to stand out among the established voice-over artists here.
In Fiverr, you can create posts advertising your service as an audiobook narrator. The potential income depends on the project, but it could be around $25 and up, which is based on the word count, and sometimes, by per finished minute.
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some sample profiles.
AudioFile Magazine’s Audiobook Talent & Industry Guide
AudioFile is the only magazine in the publishing industry dedicated to covering audiobooks. From reviews and recommendations, to podcasts and articles, AudioFile covers the vast world of audiobooks.
The magazine has this amazing tool called Audiobook Talent & Industry Guide wherein readers can find a list of audiobook narrators. The service is not free, but AudioFile says that it gets narrators in front of many audiobook producers and publishers as these professionals use the service. So, it may be worth your time and money.
PGM VO List
Danice Cabanella recommends narrators join the PGM, or People of the Global Majority, VO List. Though it’s not really a platform to find audiobook narrator jobs for beginners, it’s a great place to network with industry professionals.
“The main purpose of the PGM VO List is to present a large-scale showcase of global majority voices that is both representative and accessible to support increasing efforts for inclusion in the VO space. But it is also more than just a showcase. The PGM VO List is a community, a place of safety, and a foundation to which education, opportunities, and social awareness can take place,” Cabanella says.
People Per Hour
This freelance jobs board based in the UK also has audiobook narration gigs. As with most freelance jobs websites, the pay depends on the project. Some are paid by a flat rate, while others are paid by the hour.
As a freelancer, you send proposals to a project. The client reviews the proposal, and if they like it, they will hire you to do the job. Like Voices.com, this site also uses escrow, so the funds are safe while you do the work.
The caveat is that People Per Hour is very strict with applications. Yes, they review profiles, and you only get to access a list of projects after approval.
This is another freelance job boards for voice-over artists, and it’s not that different from Voices.com and other similar sites.
In Voice123, the client has the chance to look at your profile, so you get invited to do voice-over work. You also get to send proposals to promising projects. However, maintaining a profile on Voice123 requires a membership fee if you want consistent projects. Though there’s also a free tier account, it’s only limited to four project invitations. By using a free account, you also won’t show up when a client performs a search, decreasing your chances to be noticed. Additionally, there are over 90,000 voice actors to compete with.
A membership fee on this platform may increase your prospects.
This popular freelance job boards also has many opportunities for audiobook narrators. As a freelancer, you don’t need to pay membership fees and be approved to have an account. But, of course, you need a stellar profile.
The site works just like any freelance job websites out there. You create a profile, and then start sending proposals to jobs. Some clients pay by the hour, and some pay a fixed rate. According to the recent jobs I’ve seen here, you can earn from $30 to $50 per hour.
This website is another freelance job boards dedicated to audio, and it has listings for audiobook narrators as well. Unlike others aforementioned, it’s totally free to join here.
If you want some inspiration for your profile creation, here are some voice-over actors to check out.
While BunnyStudio specializes in many fields, it caters to voice-over work and audiobook projects as well. There are no subscription fees to join, but before you become an audiobook narrator with them, you have to submit an application and get approved. Here are BunnyStudio’s guidelines and their quality control standard. Take note that you only have up to four chances to join if you get rejected the first time around.
There are three ways to get a job in BunnyStudio: Speedy, wherein you get invited by clients for projects; Booking, in which clients directly book your services without you auditioning; and Contest, wherein you have to audition for a project.
You can earn from $60 to $150 for 30-second audio or 75-word projects. If you want some profile inspiration, check out these voice-actors.
Voice Crafters is another freelance job boards geared toward audio, and they do have an audiobooks section as well. They pre-screen voice actors here, so expect their requirements to be stringent. To find out if you qualify, check out the requirements.
Unfortunately, they don’t accept U.S. and UK voice actors at the moment. But if you’re based out of other countries, you’re welcome to sign up.
This website’s rate for voice-over jobs typically starts at $150. And if you want some inspiration to get you started with your profile, here are some awesome actors.
Audiobook narrator jobs for beginners may seem very difficult to snag at first, but with the right training and mindset, you could go from a beginner to expert in no time.