How to Become an Audiobook Narrator

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So, the rumor has been going around. I hear you want to become an audiobook narrator.

Are your friends and family telling you you have a “great voice”?

Are public speaking events a breeze for you?

Do you like to read books to your kids in silly voices?

Are you childless but still like talking in silly voices regardless?

If so, then you might be a GREAT FIT for audiobook narration!

...ok, so...

How do I start working as a narrator?

The very first thing when approaching a new industry is to educate yourself. Narrating audiobooks isn't like switching jobs. You'll need to learn how to run your own business and how to do things like:

- Seek out voice over coaching and network with audio professionals

- Build out a home studio and recording software (if you don't want to commute or rent studio time)

- Volunteer your voice over services to get your feet wet

- Learn how to sign up to offer narration services on websites like and

- Market via social media (social media marketing)

Voice Over Coaching

Like any new line of work, it's crucial to educate yourself on the fundamentals of the industry. That's what voice over coaching is for.

Because I know your parents, friends, and coworkers say you have a great voice...

But how will your voice sell in the market?

Coaching will go over the basics of the voice over art form and will train you:

- How to prepare a demo to share with potential clients

- How to analyze a script

- How to read different genres of material

- How to prepare your voice

- How to maintain proper diet and sleep routines for voice acting

- How to build a business around voice acting

Marc Cashman is an industry leader, not just in the audiobook space, but also in the voice over realm.

He has been involved in V-O for over 40 years, producing and directing Radio/TV commercials, teaching at USC, UCLA and California Institute of the Arts and coaching voice actors all over the world.

Check out his available voice over courses and trainings here. He has audiobook classes available as well. Let him know I sent you:)

Let's talk about building out a home studio

In audiobook narration, the quality of your voice is everything.

This means that your voice is clear, audible, and there is no background noise (like kids jumping and screaming) present in the recording.

If you want to sound great behind the mic, you'll need to either rent studio time or build out a home studio.

Here at Isaacson Records, we use high quality gear that lasts.

Although these items can be an investment at first, as long as you treat your work as a business, you'll recoup the money going forward.

Here is our studio setup (which began in my closet):

50 Pack Sound Proof Foam Panels, Upgrade Acoustic Panels

We use these acoustic panels, not to soundproof the room, but to minimize reflections of the voice against hard surfaces and detract from the audio quality.

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Double Sided Heavy Duty Mounting Tape

We use the mounting tape to mount the acoustic panels to the wall.

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(Pictured) Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone

You might have seen the Shure SM7B on your favorite podcasts lately. It's a great studio microphone that's geared towards the human voice.

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Dragonpad USA Microphone Pop Filter

A pop filter will minimize the P's, B's of your words. These are called PLOSIVES, and can cause clipping in the audio transients. Not good for the listener. That's why a pop filter is a must.

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InnoGear Adjustable Desk Microphone Stand

The microphone stand allows you to mount your microphone on your desk.

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Cable Matters 2-Pack Premium XLR to XLR Microphone Cable

This cable allows you to connect the microphone to the audio interface which is pictured below.

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(Pictured) Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

The audio interface is a giant audio card that connects your microphone to your computer. It allows you to dial in your gain and gives you output and input options. Mine has some more cables running in and out for music production.

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(Pictured) KAMRUI AMD Ryzen 7 3750H Mini PC, Windows 11 Pro 16GB RAM 512 GB SSD

Read our full review of this product here.

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(Pictured) Acer 21.5 Inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Ultra-Thin Zero Frame Computer Monitor

This monitor will let you see what you're working on.

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(Pictured) Sony MDR-7506 Professional Headphones

Stereo headphones are your opportunity to hear back what you've recorded and make edits.

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(Pictured) PreSonus Eris E3.5 Studio Monitors + E Sub 8 Subwoofer Bundle, 2.1 Speaker System

While studio monitors aren't necessary, it is nice to hear your voice going through a professional system.

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Audio Recording & Editing Software

Now that you've got the hardware for a home studio, let's take a look at the software.

Here at Isaacson Records, we use the free and globally acclaimed Audacity to record, edit, proof, master our audio files for our clients.

Pro Tools


Adobe Audition

are widely used softwares in the audiobook production space.

To proofread our audiobooks, we have used Pozotron (which uses AI) to locate errors in the audio (or in the manuscript).

This software creates a pickup file which tells you what part of the audio file needs to be re-recorded and, I just received word that they are building out an editor in their application.

How can I volunteer to gain more experience as an audiobook narrator?

It's a good idea to test your voice out in the marketplace before trying to find work. That's why I recommend volunteering.

Check out these online platforms to offer your services.

Gatewave is a volunteer organization to provide audio resources for the blind in the form of a radio program. The program includes things like newspapers, magazines, and websites.

Learning Ally produces audiobooks for all types of visually-impaired students of all ages to help them in their learning.

Librivox produces audio versions of books in the public domain. They help promote their volunteers by allowing them to include their website info.

If you reside near Toronto, CA, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind might be an option for you. They produce fiction, nonfiction audiobooks, and magazines for the blind population.

Audio Internet Reading Service of Los Angeles is looking for narrators in LA and beyond. Airsla produces podcasts of product reviews and magazines.

References taken from this article by Such A Voice.

Where can I can sign up to offer narration?

BEFORE reading further, go to your phone and contact your author friends and offer to narrate their books for free to gain some valuable experience in the process under your belt.

Or, ask your business owner friends if they need some free narration for them to promote their business on social media to obtain some practice in audio production.


Onto paid opportunities...

Perhaps the elephant in the room is Audible. Here's how to sign up to narrate with Audible:

Audible, an Amazon company, has its own dedicated platform for audiobook production called ACX, which stands for Audiobook Creation eXchange.

To sign up as a voice actor through ACX, visit the following link:


It is FREE to sign up as a narrator on ACX.

Here are a few "pay to play" websites that will charge you a fee in order to participate in bidding for audiobook and other narration jobs:



Findaway Voices

Bunny Studio

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is the place to be when it comes to finding work.

As I mentioned earlier, a great way to build credibility and gain experience in the voice over world is to offer samples of your product.

Contact your business owner or marketing friends.

Offer to give them free 60 second voice overs for them to promote their products and services.

Ask them to provide you a script to read.

Have them tag you in the post.

Narrate your own social media posts! Again, more proof builds confidence and experience as you contact authors offering services.

Which leads me into my final recommendation.

Contact authors on social media who have not yet created audio versions of their print books.

You can ask them if they want a free 60 second voice over to use on their social media for their new book descriptions. It's a great way to network and showcase your skills.


Storyteller: How to Be an Audiobook Narrator

by Lorelei King and Ali Muirden

In "Storyteller," Lorelei King, an audiobook narrator, is narrating an audiobook about narrating audiobooks. Talk about inception. She and her co-narrator and producer Ali Muirden talk about all things audiobooks: like how to know if narration is right for you, how to develop character voices, and how to develop business relationships.

Read the full book review here.

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The Narrator's Guide to the Universe of Audiobooks: A 42-page guide to get you started in audiobook narration without falling on your face

by Brian Wiggins

Brian's small (yet practical & honest) book is a GREAT resource for getting started with audiobook narration. Brian does a great job of showing you the realities of the business.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via email or text. My contact info is down below and I'd be happy to help in any way on your audio journey.

Cheers to your first audiobook masterpiece!

-Sam Isaacson

Isaacson Records

HEY, I’m Sam…

... and if you're anything like me, you hate big introductions. I'm just a regular guy who loves all things audio. I've worked as an audiobook narrator and studio musician (that means you can re-record if you make mistakes:) for a few years and now I'm educating myself in online marketing. Fun stuff and learning lots. When I can get away from work, I enjoy getting out of the city to go camping & hiking with friends and family.

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