Reading books remains to be the single best hobby in the world. It seems like many people find a sense of comfort and a hint of magic in reading different lives portrayed by other people and fictional characters.
Although most people share their love for stories, each still has his or her preference when it comes to reading. Many still prefer the smell and touch of physical books, while others are fond of the convenience and portability of e-books. But beyond these two main book formats, there’s a new format on the rise: audiobooks.
Humanity was already satisfied with reading unbound manuscripts and leather-bound books before, but the new generation is different. Today’s generation of readers is blessed with audiobook, a recorded narration of a specific book.
The rise of audiobooks allowed some of the biggest publishing companies to enter the production industry. Physical books and e-books were turned into audiobooks to reach more audiences and enable readers to read (or hear) their favorite stories anytime and anywhere.
The audiobook industry not only opened opportunities for readers but also for those aspiring voice actors who want to earn money through their craft. If you want to be an audiobook narrator and touch the hearts of readers around the world, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to become one:
Read More Books
Don’t just stop on what you’ve already read, read more books and get through the minds of different characters. Know the different writing styles of these authors and see how different reading books are from watching a movie or a play. You can easily be a good narrator if you’re also a voracious reader.
Practice And Narrate
Incorporate what you have observed from reading books to your practice. Narrate your favorite books or start with short stories and children’s books. Let your dormant or new-found love for reading be your stepping stone. Read books aloud, act the characters out, control your breathing, record your samples, and repeat.
Find Your Style
Every writer has a writing style. The same goes for audiobook narrators, they also have narration styles. Establish a hook, and make your listeners become addicted to what you can offer. Keep your voice and narration style engaging without losing the entire personality of the character. Just remember to carefully consider your own approach at the same time. You don’t have to follow a set of rules to deliver the voice of the characters or the plot of each scenario.
Take this advice from award–winning narrator Tavia Gilbert through her interview from Voices.com: “No matter what the book, the narrator’s work is to be a medium between the author’s intention and the listener. So, whether I’m performing a mystery, science fiction, philosophical nonfiction, or anything else, I’m being attentive to and intuitive about pacing, rhythm, emotion, specificity, character, the story arc, diction, relaxation, etc. I’m being present, moment to moment, thinking the thoughts of the character or the narrative, feeling the feelings.”
Invest In Equipment
If you’re entirely new to the industry, consider investing in equipment and software that can help you make high-quality recordings. Buy a microphone and a studio headphone to help you capture the authenticity of your voice. Also download or purchase audio editing software like Audacity, GarageBand, or Reaper to edit your raw audio recordings.
Start your narration journey online. Look for freelance jobs where audiobook narrators are needed, such as ACX.com, Voicebunny.com, and the aforementioned Voices.com. All these sites cater to audiobook readers and narrators, but if you’re looking for a marketplace with a diverse community, advertise your services at Rakuboss.ph.