Like many people during the pandemic, I joined TikTok. While I primarily use my own account to post about my Corgis, I found myself in several sub-communities across the app. My FYP (for you page) looks like an eclectic shelf at an antique road show, jumping from sheep shearing to kitchen organizing to cosplay. But in between horse sanctuaries and bead-making, I started to notice audiobook narrators popping up. Naturally, as soon as I followed one narrator, an avalanche of audiobook narrators poured through the app, completely immersing me in all things audiobooks.
Being a video-based format, TikTok gives audiobook narrators a whole new range of tools at their disposal. I can hang out with Natalie Naudus live as she records, or I can listen to Kelsey Navarro’s latest round of corrections. And don’t even get me started on all of the TikToks that cross my feed when audiobook narrators get together — content gold.
As someone who has spent her entire life listening to audiobook narrators, I’ve never really gotten to see behind the scenes, and TikTok gives me a new way to interact with my favorite narrators. I’ve also discovered new-to-me narrators who have introduced me to novels I never would have picked up otherwise.
While audiobook narrators have always been superstars in my mind, seeing them get so much love on TikTok makes my audiobook-loving heart so happy. If you’d like to fall down your own narrator rabbit hole over on TikTok, here are some of my favorite accounts to get you started!
Kelsey Navarro (@kelseydnavarro)
Kelsey Navarro’s TikTok of her corrections for her latest audiobook acted as my gateway to all of audiobook narrator TikTok. She also has an incredible TikTok of using her customer service voice to narrate a spicy scene — perfection.
Cindy Kay (@cindykayvo)
Cindy Kay’s TikTok asks the important questions, like, after narrating so much perfect dialogue, how are we supposed to talk normally? Plus, her sweary bloopers are EVERYTHING.
Kay has narrated The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn, Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada (Translated by Margaret Mitsutani), These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, and more.
Michelle Lee (@michelleleevo)
In addition to her long line of voice over credits, Michelle Lee gives her followers her latest narrator trip ups and sneak peeks into her everyday life. One time she made a TikTok asking her followers to see if they could say, “I arrived at an abandoned encampment.” I definitely failed at that one.
Chelsea Stephens (@narratorchelsea)
I found Chelsea through her recording process video. While I am the prime audience for TikToks like these, I particularly loved how she takes us behind the scenes of all the things she does before she ever actually enters the recording booth.
Natalie Naudus (@NatalieNaudus)
Natalie Naudus is by far one of my favorite narrators of all time, so when I found her on TikTok, I screamed at my phone, startling my Corgi out of her much-deserved nap. Because not only does she perform incredible audiobooks, she creates over-the-moon amazing TikToks. Also, her recording booth set up is the dream.
Naudus has narrated Ace: What Asexuality Reveals About Desire, Society, and the Meaning of Sex by Angela Chen, Fiona and Jane by Jean Chen Ho, Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan, and more.
Ronnie Butler Jr. (@ronniebutlerjr)
Also known as Ron Butler, Ronnie Butler Jr.’s most famous TikTok is his rewrite of a spicy scene from a romance novel he narrates. He is fairly new to TikTok, but already made a splash.
Heath Miller (@vheathmiller)
Just in 2022, I have spent at least three days worth of my time listening to Heath Miller narrate the He Who Fights with Monsters series. So before I even saw him, I heard his voice and was like, that’s Heath Miller on TikTok! I don’t know what it is about watching narrators fool around in the recording studio, but it makes for great content.
Miller has narrated Over the Woodward Wall by A. Deborah Baker, He Who Fights with Monsters: A LitRPG Adventure by Shirtaloon, Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente, and more.
Rob Brinkmann (@readbyrob)
Brinkmann’s voice is a delight to listen to, making for great TikToks. He creates a lot of content around his voice warmups.
Travis Baldree (@travisbaldree)
In addition to narrating fantasy novels, Baldree also writes his own! I love seeing the behind the scenes of a narrator who knows what it’s like to write as well.
Kimberly M. Wetherell (@voxkimberly)
I love Wetherell’s sparkly black booth and her sassy TikToks on literary manshaming where she reads some ridiculous passages of men writing women characters. She also gives a shoutout to other women in the bookish world.
I wish you happy trails as you head into your own delightful rabbit hole of audiobook narrators (thank you, scarily accurate algorithm). If you’d like to see even more audiobooks by some of my favorite narrators, check out 8 Audiobooks Narrated by Adam Lazarre-White, 8 Audiobooks Narrated by Natalie Naudus, and 8 Audiobooks Narrated by Adjoa Andoh.