Everyone loves exciting audio stories and narration of the old classics. Isn’t it? Since the introduction of personalized audio systems and smartphones, most people now prefer “listening” to stories rather than “reading” those in the old way. And due to this rapid change, the demand for audiobook narrator jobs is also increasing.
However, it can be pretty difficult to find legit narration projects, especially if you are eyeing the high-paying one.
But is that impossible? Not at all! So, we have tried and tested all the available platforms to filter out the bests. But before that, let’s clear your doubts first!
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What Does an Audiobook Narrator Do?
Since the last decade, people are now slowly inclining toward audiobooks and audio stories rather than physical books or even eBooks.
And with its growing demand, the demand for audiobook narrator jobs is also rapidly increasing. But, what do you need to do exactly?
You mainly need to turn physical books into audiobooks by reciting those.
But yes, it is a bit different from textbook reading as you need to put voice modulation and voice acting in place to make the audio story engaging for the listeners.
What Equipment Do You Need to Do Audiobook Narrator Job?
You can definitely do audiobook narrator jobs from home if you have the right setup. But you need to understand that companies don’t compromise on the audio quality or the recording output.
So, you need to have professional-grade equipment to deliver uncompromised results.
Although many companies providing high-paying book reading jobs may have specific requirements, the basic and necessary equipment are as follows:
- An updated computer with high-speed internet connectivity, preferably broadband
- Studio-quality microphone, preferably with an inbuilt audio interface to convert voice into audio files
- Sturdy microphone stand, preferably a freestanding or table-mounted one
- High-quality pop filter to eliminate volume spikes and breathing distortions
- Professional-grade headphones with noise cancellation feature
- Audio recording software (many voice-actors love the free version of Audacity)
Besides all these, you also need to have a smartphone, preferably an Android or iOS one, to access industry-related websites and apps.
You can also take audio classes on voice modulation right from your smartphone.
What Skills Do You Need to Apply For Audiobook Narrator Jobs?
First, you need to understand what audiobook narrator jobs truly demand. And then, you can work on those skills to become a better voice actor.
This job primarily requires –
- Ability to speak clearly without any fumble or unintentional pauses
- Optimum voice modulation ability to make any audio story engaging and thrilling
- Neutral accent until your character demands any specific accent
- Understanding and implementation of enunciation and intonation
- Rhythmic understanding of audio stories to make those soothing
Besides these, you also need to have native-level language proficiency and excellent communication skills. It is also better if you have expertise in recording software as well.
Types of Audiobook Narration
Although pretty similar, the narration is a vast segment that covers multiple variants of voice recording.
These days, audiobook narration is primarily categorized into five main types. And the details are as follows.
- Solo Narration: It’s a one-man show! You need to give voice to each character of a particular story. But yes, you do need to modulate your voice and tone to distinguish between characters.
- Duet Narration: It’s a two-man show, preferably a male and a female. If you are a male, you need to give voice to all the male characters. And if you are a lady, you need to stick to just female characters.
- Character Narration: You need to give voice to a specific character in a story. A group of voice actors plays different roles in this type of recording.
So, these are the three main variants of audiobook narration according to character assignment.
But, it can be further divided into two variants depending on the recording technique.
- Punch & Roll Narration: If there is a mistake in reciting, you can roll back to the specific timestamp, delete the particular mistake, and then record it again from the last correct point without recording the full audio again.
- Straight Narration: All you need is to record your voice continuously, without any pause. And you can correct the mistakes during post-production and audio correction.
How Do You Become an Audio Narrator?
You need to work on a few basic things if you want to earn big from audiobook narrator jobs. So, follow these tips to become a better voice actor.
- Practice while reading loudly and understand the weak parts of your voice modulation
- Control your breathing and try to breathe from the diaphragm
- Choose a specific character and read that part of the story to improve your characterization
- Neutralize thick accents like the Irish or the Scandinavian one
- Record your voice frequently and try to find the flaws while listening back
The basic rule is simple; you need to practice and correct the flaws. If you are unable to properly access your flaws, you should take voice lessons or watch voice-acting tutorials online.
How Much Do Audiobook Narrator Jobs Pay?
Freelance audiobook narrator jobs are among the highest-paying projects. According to a new Ziprecruiter report, the average income is around $77k/year, while the top earners are now fetching up to $217k/year.
As a beginner, you can expect around $20 – $30/hour on average. But if you are a pro in this industry, you can easily demand around $100 to $150/hour.
Where to Find Freelance Audiobook Narrator Jobs?
There are many platforms available these days that assure legit narration and voice-acting jobs.
But here, we have only selected those platforms that pay at least $20/hour this year.
1. Amazon’s Audiobook Creative Exchange (ACX)
Website: Audiobook Creative Exchange
Earning Potential: Up to $170/hour
Amazon has recently ventured into the audiobook market to create an ecosystem. It mainly works as the mediator between clients and talented voice-over artists. Here, a typical narration project is around 5-minute long.
Right now, ACX offers several narration jobs, including dubbing and live projects. However, eBook reading is the most lucrative audiobook narrator job Amazon is now offering.
As a union narrator with native pronunciation, you can expect around $160 to $170/hour. However, you can fetch around $90 to $120/hour as a non-union narrator.
Many people reported earning around $1500/audiobook, which takes almost 8 hours to complete on average.
Earning Potential: Up to $5k/audio project
Although it is a freelance marketplace, Upwork now has a dedicated segment for voice-over and narration projects. However, you now need to purchase “connects” to bid for open projects.
A small narrator project that takes around 30 minutes to complete can fetch $25 on average. However, it can go up to $5k/project in lengthier projects like audiobooks and background dubbing.
You need to strictly follow the TAT mentioned by the client in each project. And once you submit, your client will approve or disapprove the work within 14 working days.
Earning Potential: Up to $1.5k/audio project
Probably the most reputed platform for voice-over artists, Voices, is now inviting joining applications from around the globe.
Not only just novellas and short stories, here you can get children’s audiobook narrator jobs as well.
Start here by opening a free account, although you can opt for a “Premium” membership that costs $24.99/month.
You need to showcase your previous projects (if any) and your skillsets to attract high-paying clients. You can easily fetch around $100/project, although it depends on several factors.
But, many voice-over artists also reported earning up to $1.5k/project. Right now, this company pays through PayPal transfer or direct deposit.
4. People Per Hour
Website: People Per Hour
Earning Potential: Up to $150/hour
It is not just a great place to find audiobook narrator jobs but for getting almost any online projects paying $20+/hour this year.
All you need is to create a free account on People Per Hour to start accepting voice-over projects.
Once a client posts any requirement, the AI engine automatically searches and finds the best-suited profile to match. So, you need to showcase your narration skillset to increase that chance.
It is not very difficult to earn around $10/hour on average, although it can go up to $150/hour. Several freelancers here also reported making more than $1.5k/month just doing this as a side hustle.
5. Brilliance Audio
Website: Brilliance Audio
Earning Potential: Around $34/hour on average
If you are looking for high-paying audiobook narrator jobs online, nothing can be as good as Brilliance Audio.
Since its establishment in 1984, it has consistently delivered great narration projects to talented voice-over artists around the globe.
However, the selection procedure is tough, and you need proper pronunciation, a neutral accent, and clear diction to crack it. This company also encourages its artists to read and practice each day for a minimum of 6 to 7 hours.
According to a recent estimate, a full-time voice-over artist can earn around $40k/year here. However, the average lies around $34/hour in most cases.
Website: Voice Bunny
Earning Potential: Up to $150/hour on average
VoiceBunny is currently giving stark competition to even platforms like Voices. It mainly specializes in various kinds of voice-over jobs, including dubbing, book reading, translation, and a lot more.
Right now, you can easily make around $100 for a 15-second clip. And for a 30-second commercial, it can go as high as $250. You can fetch around $150/hour on average while working on lengthier projects like audiobooks.
However, you do need to have high-quality audio equipment to get selected. And there is no way to bypass it as they take live audio and hardware acceleration test before giving you the final approval.
You may also like, 25 Best Voice Over Jobs For Beginners – ($1500 Per Project)
Earning Potential: At least $5/Gig
The Israel-based freelance marketplace, Fiverr, is now widely known for audiobook narrator jobs for beginners. It is a popular site that now has its global presence with a 40% market share in the freelancing industry.
But, this platform doesn’t work in a conventional way of bidding. On the contrary, you need to create your gig and set your asking rate.
And potential clients can directly contact you if they like your profile and the voice samples.
Right now, you can set the price as much as you want. But, it is better to stick to $5/gig for the first few months as competition is pretty tough here. They now charge a flat 20% commission.
Earning Potential: Depends on projects
It is probably among the handful of freelance websites that consistently get an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau.
Flexjobs is a marketplace that offers not only audiobook narrator jobs but other types of projects as well.
It is a paid-subscription site where you need to spend around $15/month or just $49.95/year. But there is a benefit to this; a lot less competition than other marketplaces.
You can start applying for open projects as soon as you get a membership. And this company also guarantees 100% legitimacy of the projects and the end clients.
Earning Potential: Depends on the type and length of the project
You can open a free account on Voice123. But now, you also have the option to open a premium account that goes up to $4,950/year.
But the advantages; it offers a refined search, better visibility, and the highest hourly rate.
Although it accepts global members, it mainly works in tier-1 countries. So, if you are looking for audiobook narrator jobs in UK or USA, it is surely the one to go for.
But yes, it pays one of the best rates on the market, as a few voice actors reported earning up to $400 for a 60-second recording.
Earning Potential: Depends on the project
Unbelievable it may sound; Freelancer now has a user base of a staggering 50 million!
Besides, it is now available in more than 200 countries around the globe. So, if you are looking for audiobook narrator jobs in India online, it is surely the one to try first.
You can easily create a free account with just a few simple clicks. But don’t forget to highlight your voice acting qualities and accomplished projects to attract better-paying clients.
Once you open one, you can directly start bidding on available voice acting and audio narration projects. But sadly, this company charges 10% to 20% commission.
11. Voice Crafters
Website: Voice Crafters
Earning Potential: Minimum $40/short clip
Voice Crafters is a multilingual audio agency that mainly specializes in audiobooks and character dubbing. Since 2008, it has produced thousands of audio stories and AVs.
Initially, it mainly offers short projects having 300 to 500 words in total. But, you need to deliver it within a maximum of 48 hours. And for each of your short recordings, you can fetch around $40 on average.
However, the selection criteria are tough! You need at least 5 years of experience as a professional voice-over artist. Besides, you should have studio-quality recording instruments as well.
Website: Bunny Studio
Earning Potential: Minimum $20/hour
There are hundreds of available voice-over and audiobook narration projects on BunnyStudio at any point in time. However, you need to meet the exact standard that they are looking for.
Besides clear diction and crisp pronunciation, you also need to have professional-grade audio recording instruments. And you should have the ability to deliver the project within specified TAT.
Right now, they are offering at least $20/hour. However, many also reported fetching way beyond that. And the best part, you don’t need to pay any subscription fee.
Can I Really Make a Living Working as Audiobook Narrator?
Yes, you can definitely make a pretty good living from these audiobook narrator jobs. It is very much possible to fetch around $20 to $30/hour on average if you take it as a side hustle.
And if you take it as your full-time profession, you can easily fetch around $5k to $6k/year on average to maintain a decent living standard.
Where Can I Learn More?
Like any other industry, you do need to have the right guidance to really shine here. And to help you, famous voice artist Julie Eickhoff recently launched her free voice-acting course.
It will answer all your queries regarding narration and voice acting in just 15 minutes, guaranteed!
She has already published more than 100 audiobooks on various platforms. Besides, she is also an Audible-approved producer. So, book your seat now to learn from the master craftsman.
You need to invest in audio equipment if you are planning to take audiobook narrator jobs seriously.
So, don’t expect to earn huge in the first few months of learning and earning. You can only fetch the best rate once you prove your talent in this competitive field.
So, that’s all, folks! Feel free to drop your suggestions and feedback in the comment box below.
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.