A lot of people, if you look around the voice-over world, have opinions about narrating audiobooks. People want to know if it’s a good way to go in the voice-over industry. People want to know how they can get involved. Heck, there’s even a whole organization devoted to the Audio Publishing industry (www.audiopub.org.)
But, as with so many other things, it can be intimidating to just jump off the diving board into the deep end. So I’m here today to give those newcomers a quick introduction to getting started in the audiobook industry. Of course, as with every list of advice, this shouldn’t be taken as a Must-Do or Will-Get (there are as many ways to approach the voice over industry as there are voice over artists, and no sure-fire way to success other than hard work,) but it’s also important to give newcomers a direction to point before they head off.
So, without further ado, here you go!
Have an interest in voice over
It seems silly to say, but having an interest in being a voice over narrator is essential to becoming one. Not just the idea of doing this for the money, or because it seems easy, but because some part of the voice over industry well and truly appeals to you. I won’t lie–there are always going to be times when the job really seems like work, but if you’ve found something you love in the industry, you’ll always find a way to keep going.
Get experience or training
No matter what route you choose, it’s important to just start doing it. Maybe your friend is self-publishing a book, and you want to offer to narrate it. It can be a great opportunity for you both–if you don’t have much experience, it can give you a great trial-run of narrating a book, and they’ll get an audio rendition of their work for cheap (or free, if you’re feeling generous.) Regardless, start looking around you for any opportunity to work on your craft, to build up applicable experience.
If you’re looking for a different avenue, then consider looking for an instructor, coach, or a mentor. There are a few people out there with experience who can help you get a professional perspective and I’d be happy to refer you to some. (A shameless plug: A few are listed on my mentoring page. I’ve only done five audio books so I am certainly not an expert but the likes of Pat Fraley and Scott Brick, just to mention two, certainly are.)
Next step: A demo
After getting experience and investing in training, you’ll need to have a professional demo made by an expert who has a track record with such demos. If you insist on making your own, make sure the audio quality is clean and professional sounding. Do that by setting up your own studio or finding a place that will let you rent out studio time for recording. Once you’ve got a demo, you can start looking for work! But, of course, that’s marketing, which is a whole different subject.
The industry can be intimidating. But don’t worry! Nothing is as impenetrable as it seems at first. If you’d like to know more, or if you have a question just drop me an email!
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