How to become a reader for audio books

Written by robert vaux
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If you have a nice voice and people enjoy hearing you talk, you may want to consider a position as an audio book reader. They narrate novels or works of nonfiction, which are then recorded and sold as a set of CDs or MP3 files. It's very difficult to land a job as an audio book reader, but it can be extremely fulfilling for those who succeed at it.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Listen to as many audio books as you can and pay attention to how the speaker uses his voice. Audio book readers are adept at evoking specific characters through their tone or inflection, as well as creating moods through the pace and diction of their voice. The more your familiarise yourself with their work, the easier it becomes to emulate it.

  2. 2

    Volunteer as a reader in a library, elementary school or home for the elderly. They often need people to read books aloud, which provides you with an excellent place to practice.

  3. 3

    Take acting classes. Many audio book readers are professional actors, and audio book producers often go through talent agencies to find the right people for their projects. Enrol in classes that can help you enunciate properly and create characters through the tone and delivery of your voice. If you can, become involved in your local theatre community and endeavour to work professionally as an actor. The experience helps your resume stand out.

  4. 4

    Speak with talent agencies, small publishing companies and casting agents about possible work as an audio book reader. Keep an expansive list of your contacts and check in with them periodically to see if they can open any doors for you.

  5. 5

    Make a demo tape of your voice and send it to your various contacts. It should contain excerpts of your voice reading passages from a number of different books, using as many different character voices, accents and tones as you can manage. A wide range helps sell your talents to audio book producers.

  6. 6

    Keep at it. Working as an audio book reader is similar to acting, which means it's tough to make a go at it. Perseverance and optimism will serve you extremely well.

Tips and warnings

  • While it's not entirely necessary, you may want to move to New York, Los Angeles or London if you want to become an audio book reader. These cities have publishing companies, acting communities and talent agencies that can help you reach your goals, and it's easier to take advantage of any opportunities if you live in these areas.

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