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I’m sure you agree… most people, including maybe yourself are too lazy to read books. If given the option to absorb the contents of a very interesting book without really reading it, you surely will. Fortunately for us lazy readers, we live in an era where books will read themselves for us.
Okay, books don’t really do that. However, there are people who lend their voices so that books will appear to read themselves. (There, I said it much more accurately.) These people are called audiobook readers or audiobook narrators. The service that they provide is a good thing. But you know what’s an even more good thing? You can take that job too!
A person having this job is one who reads a book aloud and creates a recording of his or her voice. That recording will then be stored as a book in sound form. An audiobook narrator may be commissioned to read an entire book or just a portion of the book. This job is closely related to voice-over acting. Some voice actors actually end up working as book narrators.
If that's the case, then you have to look into the idea about how to be a good voice actor, if you want to be hired easily as an audiobook reader. This should lead us to the next question…
You can find them in radio stations, podcast business firms, and studios that produce animation projects such as TV shows, video games, and movies. Yes, movies! A-movies, B-movies, C-movies, and a boatload of other movie categories are so labeled as long as there are letters in the English alphabet.
You wanna star in a major Hollywood movie as a voice actor? Well, you’re in the wrong article. Although if you read these next set of guides, you might just be ushered into a major movie-acting gig, (at least in the voice-over category) because I’ll show you the traits that a good voice actor must personify:
Proper pronunciation and enunciation – They seem to have the same surname, but what’s the difference between the 2? I’ve asked a few experts and they said that the former is about how to speak a word correctly while the latter is about how a word should be spoken in accordance with accent and intonation. By learning how to truly execute these 2, an audiobook will be even more appealing.
Accurate emotional pouring – Why some books became bestsellers and why others don’t is mainly due to this very one important element: emotional targeting. If a book doesn’t poke readers emotionally, it won’t get enough sales. A good voice actor must have the skill of truly embodying whatever it is that he/she is reading in an emotional level.
Character versatility – Maybe you’ve heard about this trivia but let me reiterate it here: Many radio broadcasts and animated shows may appear to have multiple characters on them, but the voices you hear actually come from a number of people that are way fewer than the number of actual characters that you get to hear. Some radio drama serials are so compelling to listen to although they are just performed by no more than 3 voice actors who can make themselves sound like they are 10 characters altogether.
To be a truly marketable voice actor, you have to learn how to sound like a young man, an old man, a boy, or a girl. That way, the opportunities that you can grab in audiobook narration will be endless.
Acquire these 3 traits, and for sure, you’ll be on your way to a very profitable book-reading career.
What do you need as an audiobook narrator? Aside from a computer where you will conduct the recording process, you will need a condenser microphone or one with noise-canceling features. For obvious reasons, you want your recordings to be crisp and clean. The clearer they are, the more understandable they’ll be, and you’ll have a greater chance of course of getting hired.
Don’t worry, this job doesn’t require you to invest in a soundproof room and on expensive sound equipment that you can find in recording studios. Though they can certainly provide superb-quality audio recordings, they are not really required for making audiobooks.
For software, you need just a typical audio recording app. Many sound professionals use Filmora or Adobe Audition. These are really good ones, though, for the job we’re talking about here, they can be considered overkill. They are not free apps, and they’re quite heavy and resource-hungry for computers.
As an alternative, you may opt to use Audacity or Wavosaur. They are free and lightweight and are almost as powerful as their expensive counterparts.
If you already have a noise-canceling mic and the software needed, you may already start recording. It is just a very simple activity that you can learn easily in just a few minutes. For a step-by-step guide about recording your voice, read this.
Speaking of voice, you need to have some basic training on how to unleash it so that you can be a very good audiobook narrator. Unless you are naturally gifted with a captivating set of diction and intonation, you really need to have your vocal cords and speech mechanisms aligned properly. Thankfully, you don’t need to make yourself undergo a hard and expensive set of routines to achieve it, you can do the training by yourself! Click here to find out how.
How much can an audiobook narrator earn? Your possible earnings are of course dependent on the company or client that hires you, and on how hard you work. But on average, you could earn roughly around $30 per hour.
About the application process, here are the steps you have to expect in getting hired:
Profile creation – this is where you’ll be prompted to input personal information about yourself, a standard process for all online/freelancing jobs. This step might also include providing information about how you want to get paid if in case you get accepted.
Uploading voice recording samples – to discern if you have what it takes to be a book narrator, the company needs to hear you do the deed. For that to happen, you need to provide a few samples of your voice as you read something.
Voice Audition – Some companies don’t ask for a sample recording but may conduct an impromptu audition instead. In this process, you will undergo a live session in which you will read something aloud and they will record your voice remotely.
Once you get hired, you can then start with the real deal – you may do the recording at home and submit the finished product to them, or they may facilitate every recording session within a page of their website. For freelancers, the former method is most preferable.
Start reading and start recording, it could be the perfect side hustle that could help you earn!