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Do you love reading and want to learn how to become an audiobook narrator?

You’ve come to the right place – because I’m about to dive into the steps you can take to profit from your love of reading and the compliments you may receive on your voice to become a narrator!

I’ll also share the necessary qualifications and places to look for narration jobs.

So keep reading to learn more!

How to Become an Audiobook Narrator

If it’s your dream to have a narrating career, we’re reviewing the necessary stays to become an audiobook narrator below.

Obtain the Right Equipment

There is an initial investment to becoming an audiobook narrator. However, how much time, money, and effort you’re willing to spend is entirely up to you.

Here are a few of the necessary equipment other voice actors recommend having:

  • A professional microphone for recording audio: Your microphone will determine the quality of your audio as a narrator. Choosing a high-quality voice-over microphone will create the foundation for your audiobooks.
  • Noise-canceling headphones: Eliminate background noise when working with helpful noise-canceling headphones.
  • Audio editing and recording software: You’ll need a program to record, edit, and store your finished audio files.
  • A professional studio space: You can make your own home studio out of an existing small room.
how to become an audiobook narratorhow to become an audiobook narrator

Equipment can get expensive very quickly, depending on what you choose.

When you’re starting your career in audiobook narration, you can purchase less expensive equipment. Then, once you’ve established a reliable client base, you can slowly update your voice-over equipment.

Like this popular microphone and headphone combo on Amazon!

Develop Your Skills

Before you start recording your first audiobook, take time to intentionally develop your skills.

Giving yourself time to practice reading aloud, develop different character voices, and perfect your breathing techniques will build the foundation for your success.

Start by listening to other audiobook narrators. Notice what they do well and what you like about their narrations. Looking at what the best audiobook narrators are doing well can help give you an idea of the unique voice and skills you want to develop.

Taking the time to learn the skills behind audiobook narration can also help you confirm that this career path is meant for you. You’ll know if you’re enjoying yourself if you start learning new vocal techniques, accents, and audio editing skills. If you enjoy the foundation and building blocks behind the career, it’s further confirmation that you’ve chosen the right path for you.

Developing your skills on your own time shows that you’re serious about your voiceover work.

Build Your Portfolio

Once you feel confident in your audiobook narration skills, it’s time to build your portfolio. Your body of work will be what you show potential clients to convince them to work with you.

Your portfolio is where you can showcase your different narration styles, ability to voice multiple characters, and other authors who have benefited from your skills as a voice actor.

You can also explore the genres you like while learning which ones your skills are best suited for. Building your portfolio will help you find your audiobook niche.

For example, if you want to narrate in the business niche, start by reading aloud the best audiobooks for business to grow your portfolio. You’ll have relevant samples to show potential clients in your desired niche.

Building your portfolio is also a period of exploration. If you’ve never read science fiction before, this is your opportunity to see if you’d enjoy narrating audiobooks in this genre. Consider trying something new when you start sourcing material for your demo reel.

Whether your first gig is unpaid or paid, building a portfolio to show future clients will help convince them to choose you over other narrators.

Grow Your Professional Network

Even though this is one of the jobs where you work alone, you’ll still need to develop relationships with other people. Whether you’re more introverted or extroverted, networking with other audiobook narrators and industry professionals can benefit your career.

Great professional connections are built on the foundation of helping the other person. When networking, think of how you can help other narrators and authors. Providing value will help them remember you, like you, and want to help you in return in the future. You might not see the benefits of these connections until later, and that’s perfectly normal.

Places to Network

Here are a few places you can start working on growing your professional network:

  • LinkedIn: This social media platform is a great place to start putting yourself out there and networking with other professionals in a virtual space. See what other voice actors are talking about and build an online community.
  • In-Person: Search for in-person meetings in your local area. Even if you don’t have a large community of audiobook authors and narrators, you could discover other opportunities for voice over work that you hadn’t considered. For example, voicing radio commercials or company videos.
  • Narrator Communities: Most importantly, consider building communities with other voice over artists. As you navigate the challenges of this industry, you’ll want to have a strong community you can lean on. Many audiobook narrators look at each other as competition, but you don’t have to do that. Alternatively, consider how other narrators could refer you for work when their schedule is full or if an audiobook isn’t a good fit for them.
  • Author Communities: Start introducing yourself to the authors you want to work with. If they like what you have to offer, they might keep you in mind for their future audiobooks. Authors will be more inclined to work with narrators they already know and like.
  • Audio Engineer and Other Industry Professionals: Outside of the author and the narrator, many other people will impact the resulting audiobooks. There are audio engineers, editors, and publishers. If they enjoy working with you, it’s more likely that they’ll continue to refer you. If the files you recorded from your home studio are very difficult and timely to edit, they probably won’t recommend you for future audiobooks.

While networking can feel intimidating for new audiobook narrators, remember that they’re just people. Your goal is to build genuine connections.

Promote Your Unique Services

It’s time to put your work out in the world so you can start gaining paying clients!

You can do this in several ways, and we discuss a couple of the options below.

Your Own Professional Website

Established narrators create a more professional appearance for themselves by having their own website. Having a website makes you look skilled, experienced, and serious about your career as an audiobook narrator.

While it doesn’t require more work at the beginning of your career, it can help you stand out from other audiobook narrators.

Here are a few pieces of information you could include on your website to showcase your skills as an audiobook narrator:

  • Specific voices, accents, and character types that you can do
  • Genres you have experience narrating audiobooks in
  • Samples of your work

Your own website is also a great place to house your portfolio. You can easily include links to your work, authors you’ve worked with, and sales numbers. This is where you showcase your audiobook work and sell your services.

To help you get started, check out our guide on how to create a website for your business.

We explain domain names, hosting, search engine optimization, and so much more!

Social Media

While having a large following to obtain audiobook work is unnecessary, it can be helpful.

So, tapping into your social media following can be very helpful to voice actors.

Having an engaged social media presence is enticing for potential employers and authors because it means you can bring your audience to their finished work. An audiobook narrator with a social media following will potentially be more enticing than someone with no following at all.

Qualifications for Audiobook Narrators

Aspiring audiobook narrators need more than just a lovely voice and a love for reading.

Check out the qualifications for audiobook narrators below.

Voice Acting Skills

Even though you’re not in front of a camera, audiobook narration is considered to be an acting gig. The most important skill you need to have as an audiobook narrator is your voice acting skills.

Having skills as a voice actor can look like:

  • Innately having a great voice that is enjoyable to listen to.
  • Having the ability to come up with different voices for each character.
  • Portraying the appropriate emotion in each of the characters’ voices.
  • Speaking clearly in a way that listeners find easy to understand.
  • Telling stories in a way that keeps the reader engaged.
  • Speaking consistently from start to finish as you read aloud.

While you can’t change the actual voice you were born with, you can develop these important vocal skills to obtain narration jobs.

Breath Control

Being able to control your breath is a key component of developing your narration skills. Breath control is the foundation for all the voice over work you’re going to do.

Controlling your breath means you won’t run out of air while reading. To make sure the reader has an enjoyable experience, you need to be able to maintain your breath throughout your entire narration.

If you’re not familiar with how to control your breathing as you’re reading aloud, there are so many places to learn. Pausing for a few seconds before you begin recording to steady your breath and voice can make your audiobook recordings sound better.


To make it in the audiobook industry, you need to be resourceful.

When authors approach narrators, they don’t expect them to know everything. You also shouldn’t pretend to know how to pronounce every word and name across all languages. If you don’t know how to pronounce a difficult word or the author’s vision for the story, you need to be comfortable conducting your own research.

Being resourceful, able to admit when you don’t know something, and capable of researching how to pronounce something will greatly benefit you in your audiobook work.

Beyond understanding the audiobooks you’ll read aloud, you must be resourceful to be self-employed. Sourcing clients, building out your home studio, and being a freelancer requires resourcefulness on their own. You must proactively search for the information you need to set yourself up for success. No one else will do it for you when you’re a freelancer.

An Open Mind

In your career as an audiobook narrator, you will read a wide range of audiobooks.

You work will span different genres as you tell the stories of a variety of different characters. It’s your job to be as impartial as possible in your work.

Whether you’re ready to read science fiction audiobooks in faraway worlds or romance audiobooks with deep stories, you should maintain an open mind when considering which of the different voices you would like to bring to life.

As voice-over artists, it’s your job to maintain an open mind to all the types of work you can read for. Understanding a day in the life of an audiobook narrator can show you what to expect and why you need to keep a flexible mind.

Places to Look for Audiobook Narrator Jobs

Now that you’re ready to begin auditioning, where do you look to find audiobook narration jobs?

Here are a few places for up-and-coming narrators to start looking for voice over work:

  • Audible, Amazon’s audiobook platform
  • Generic freelance work sites like UpWork, Fiverr, and Freelancer
  • Freelance work sites that are specific to audiobook narrators, like ACX, Voice Bunny, and Voices
  • Job boards on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Monster
  • Directly with authors, both self-published and through traditional publishers

Check out our guide on how to make money on Audible to get started.

Your Career as an Audiobook Narrator

Now that you know how to become an audiobook narrator, we can’t wait to hear your voice on our next favorite audiobook!

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