Everyone wishes to have a job where they get paid to do what they like the most.
There are few such opportunities available where you can earn well while enjoying flexible hours– however, finding them isn’t easy. Fortunately, thanks to the internet, there’s no shortage of such opportunities.
If you’re a book lover and have a good voice, reading books aloud can be one of the most rewarding jobs. Besides a good payout, you get the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. But there are many things that must be kept in mind to be fully able to take advantage of opportunities like these.
We’ve put together this excellent guide to help you learn all about narration sites and how to make the most of them. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Getting Paid To Read Books Aloud
The popularity of audiobooks has never been higher than it currently is, which is why numerous companies are searching for people who can read books aloud. Those interested in such job opportunities can earn money while working remotely from anywhere in the world. And if you’re a book lover, you’ll find this job enjoyable.
So, if you’re deciding to showcase your talent by reading books aloud, here are certain things that can help you make the most of this job. They are as follows:
1. Acting Skills
A background in acting can provide you with some knowledge and skill required for audiobook narration. The reason is that the narrator has to play the part of various characters appearing in books and narrate the story in an engaging manner to grab listeners’ attention.
2. The Ability To Change Voices
Apart from playing the part of multiple characters, an audiobook narrator may have to switch between various accents and voices. The ability to change voices is a skill that only a few are blessed with. As a matter of fact, only people good at making impressions are deemed suitable for the task.
3. Writing Skills
You may be confused about why writing skills are required to become an audiobook narrator. The reason is that good writing skills open up another avenue for getting paid. You can earn more by writing book reviews and then reading them aloud as audiobooks.
Many people prefer listening to reviews before purchasing an audiobook, so you can earn more money if your writing skills are exceptional.
4. Using The Right Platforms
Several companies offer payment for reading books aloud, but knowing which ones are suitable for you is important. Using the right platform can not only help you earn a decent amount, but it also reduces the chances of getting scammed. Additionally, such platforms provide a great experience that can come in handy later.
But finding the right platform isn’t an easy task, which is why we’ve prepared a list of the best sites where you can make money as an audiobook narrator.
How Much Money Can You Earn By Reading Books Aloud?
There is no standard payment rate in this gig, which is why the amount you make will vary widely from platform to platform. That said, most platforms make payments per finished hour, so you are paid only for complete recordings, though this does not affect how much you can actually earn.
Even beginners can make at least $50 per finished hour, while experienced voice actors can make as much as $400 for the same period. But this depends on several factors, such as the experience level, the platform, the length of the audiobook, and others.
On platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, you can negotiate and decide on the rate with the client. This will generally depend upon the number of projects that you, as a narrator, are expected to complete. On websites like Voice123 or ACX, factors like the publisher you work for, qualifications, and experience will determine the payment rate.
Do You Need Special Equipment To Get Paid To Read Books Aloud?
The best thing about getting paid to read books aloud is that you can do this from home without making a lot of investment. However, you’ll have to use proper audio equipment while recording to make sure that the recordings meet proper quality standards. Apart from a quiet workspace, a computer, and an internet connection, you may need the following equipment:
While most computers and tablets have built-in microphones, these generally do not produce clear sound without the interference of background noise. So, you should get a good-quality microphone to make sure that your voice is crisp and clear in the recording.
2. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
For individuals who are serious about making this their full-time career, investing in a DAW is highly recommended. This is software that allows you to record, edit, mix, and master audio easily with the help of a computer.
3. Shock Mount
The purpose of a shock mount is to block out vibrations caused by mic movement during recordings. One of the best things about having a shock mount is that it ensures cleaner audio that is free of even the tiniest disturbances.
Top 5 Narration Sites Where You Can Get Paid To Read Books Aloud
Audio Creative Exchange, or ACX by Amazon, is among the most popular online platforms that offer payment for reading books aloud. One of the reasons is that audiobooks recorded here are available on other platforms as well, like Audible and iTunes.
On the flip side, building a reputation as a remarkable audiobook narrator can take some time on this platform. Also, this site makes a distinction between such a narrator and an author who wants to narrate their published book. The former is considered to be an audiobook producer, while the latter is known as the right holder.
To start recording audiobooks, sign up on the Audiobook Creative Exchange platform using an Amazon account and upload some samples of your work. Apply for gigs that you find interesting and set an hourly pay rate.
Interested publishers and authors will contact you and may provide an opportunity to narrate their audiobooks. One of the great things about this is that you can earn up to 20% of royalties on the audiobook, in addition to the payment for narration.
What makes Audible an excellent platform for audiobook narrators and voice actors is the fact that it has the largest selection of audiobooks online. It sells audiobooks directly through Amazon, so it’s a great place to start your career as an audiobook narrator.
To get paid to read books aloud on Audible, you need to sign up through ACX. Hence, you can take advantage of both platforms for earning through this side hustle. And with ACX, the content will be distributed not only on Audible, but also on other platforms like Amazon and iTunes.
For audio freelancers, Voices might be the best platform for earning money by creating and sharing audio content. It works with more than 42,000 well-known brands like The History Channel, Microsoft, and Spotify and offers over 5000 jobs every month. This means that there is no scarcity of jobs for freelancers.
To get started at Voices, you first need to create a profile and upload high-quality audio samples and demos. The platform, through a built-in engine, will then match your samples with potential clients to help you find a gig. This is also a great platform for non-English speakers since the content is offered in several languages across various countries.
At Voices, the payment can range from $200 to $300 per finished hour, depending on the length of the book.
4. Bunny Studio
Bunny Studio, earlier known as VoiceBunny, helps freelance voice artists search for audiobook narration and similar gigs. What sets this platform apart from the competition is that it offers payment for those who audition for such jobs and promises clients a turnaround time of about 12 hours.
This means it is most suited for those with professional audio equipment who can complete narrations in a limited time. To use this platform, you will have to create a profile and provide information about your narrating skills and preferences. Once done, the company will send a project for auditioning purposes that you must complete within 48 hours.
If you get accepted, you can audition for projects, set rates, create a portfolio, and get matched with potential clients. Payment is made for each audio clip submitted as long as they pass a quality check. The website also allows setting up notifications for various jobs, so you don’t miss even a single opportunity.
Whether you’re just starting out as a voice actor or have several years of experience working in the industry, Voice123 is a fantastic platform to use. It is a great pick for beginners since creating an account is free, and there are no charges for booking jobs. However, you will need to provide information regarding your skill level when signing up.
For experienced narrators, the platform is a great way to connect with clients across various industries. Speaking of which, Voice123 caters to several famous brands, including Coca-Cola, NBC, and The New York Times. This means that the potential to earn well is very high here.
Apart from narrating audiobooks and graphic novels, Voice123 offers jobs such as creating voice-overs for movies, cartoons, commercials, and even video games.
Additional Websites Offering Audiobook Narration Jobs
Aside from the five websites mentioned above, there are several others that offer similar opportunities and are worth checking out. They are as follows:
Findaway Voices is a free platform that works by connecting voice actors with the most suitable gigs. This means that you do not have to audition for a job, as authors are matched with the most suitable narrators.
Since self-published authors primarily use this website, most projects are smaller-sized indie ones. This means that the competition is not as intense, which can be a major advantage for voice actors just starting out.
To begin, you need to create a profile as a narrator and check out the audiobook narrator guide to understand the requirements for working here. Payments are made on the basis of per finished hour (PFH), which for beginners, can range from $85 to $100.
However, these rates can be changed anytime, and the built-in feature automatically tracks the total time for which the audio is produced, eliminating the need for invoices. Payments are made within two weeks of uploading the finished sample.
Unlike most other websites on this list, Backstage is not just a website for audiobook narrators. It is a performing arts company that specializes in providing job opportunities, career advice, and even casting. For voice actors, it operates similarly to how other such sites operate.
You can become a member by paying a monthly fee and applying for various vacancies for audiobook narration and podcasts. For some voice actors, this may be more suitable instead of the website, which takes a cut out of your earnings.
Backstage offers several genres of audiobooks, including horror, science fiction, mystery, and more. And there are other opportunities as well, including voice acting for TV shows, documentaries, and screenplays.
Spoken Realms might be the best option for voice talent searching for an Amazon alternative. This is a platform where experienced professionals search for jobs where they get paid to read books aloud.
Like many other similar websites, Spoken Realms makes payment to audiobook narrators on the basis of each finished hour of work. Everything else works in the same manner as it does on ACX, but you can find more voice-over work related to graphic novels and podcasts. And the completed work will be published on other platforms like iTunes and Audible.
Spoken Realms also offers a percentage of royalties that are paid to authors. However, since the company only works with experienced professionals, it may not be suitable for newcomers.
A part of the Amazon Publishing Group, Brilliance Audio is one of the leading companies in the industry and offers the best hourly rates. There is a wide range of audiobooks for which you can provide narration, but the company only hires exceptionally skilled voice talent for its projects.
Brilliance Audio offers its range of products independently as well as on other platforms like Audible and Amazon. To work with the company, you need to send them an email requesting an audition. Remember that getting selected is not easy due to the intense focus on quality.
That said, the company does hire beginners who perform well, so there are several opportunities where you can get paid to read books.
5. Voice Jungle
Another excellent platform for professional voice actors, Voice Jungle, specializes in podcasts, advertisements, eLearning tools, and explainer videos. However, there are certain requirements that you need to meet only then will you be able to work here.
Any professional voice-over artist applying for a gig here should have a home studio and be able to produce high-quality demos and samples. They should also be able to provide a 24-hour turnaround.
To apply for a job here, create a sample that meets the quality standards of the company and upload it to the website. The good thing about this is that Voice Jungle does not charge any listing fee for auditions. Once the demo is accepted, you will be contacted for various jobs, and payment will be processed automatically after the job is completed.
What sets Internet Jock apart from the competition is that this company offers the fastest turnaround time for its clients. Audiobook narrators who can deliver completed recordings on time, have a home studio, and are looking to get paid to read aloud can check out this website.
The company charges $65 per minute of work, which can include voicemail messages, commercials, and more. 40% of the amount is retained, and the rest is paid to the voice actor. Those just starting out on their voice-acting journey can try out this website to build a resume before moving on to better-paying opportunities.
Bodalgo is among the most well-known and largest international companies in the audio content industry. Based in Germany, the company has over 10,000 voice actors and offers audio products in more than 80 languages. They also cater to famous clients, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Gucci.
For offering products in various languages, Bodalgo hires native speakers internationally. Also, there are different voice actors for eLearning products, podcasts, audiobooks, commercials, etc. This means that there are multiple opportunities available here.
To get started, create a profile, upload demos or samples, and send offers to jobs you find interesting. Then audition for those jobs, and you can start working if selected.
8. Mandy Voices
Earlier known as Voices Pro, Mandy Voices offers numerous voice-acting opportunities for creative professionals. There is an impressive selection of freelance jobs available on the website for voice-over artists and book readers, with more than 6500 new ones appearing every month.
Apart from hiring voice talent from different countries, Mandy Voices is available in various countries, including the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and more. And since it provides opportunities to get paid to read books aloud to newcomers, it can be a great starting point.
Creating a profile is free, but you only get a 30-day trial, after which the website charges a premium membership fee. Those serious about looking for online job opportunities in this sphere should get a premium membership, which provides access to all features and projects available.
Upwork is best known for connecting freelancers with potential job opportunities, depending on their skill set. There are numerous well-paying clients and several types of jobs available on this platform. It is a fantastic option if you are just beginning as a voice talent and looking to gain experience.
Like other similar websites, such as Fiverr, Upwork allows you to post job listings or search for suitable gigs. It also charges a fee, which starts at 20% of the cost of the job, and you will need to compete with several other freelancers who may complete gigs at low rates.
To search for audiobook narrator jobs, you can either reach out to clients and submit proposals or wait for them to contact you, though this might take longer. Being able to create a professional-looking profile that can be customized in detail is one of the biggest strengths of this platform.
10. Voice Crafters
Voice Crafters provides voice-over services to clients across several industries, which often include audiobook narration. Other services for which they need voice actors include eLearning products and commercial advertisements.
The company offers audio products in multiple languages, so it is a great platform for those who are multilingual. However, unlike most other businesses in the industry, Voice Crafters only hires individuals with at least five years of experience. Also, you need to have a studio with professional recording equipment and should be able to offer faster turnaround times.
Due to these reasons, this may not be a suitable option if you’re a newcomer in the field of voice-over work. But for experienced professionals planning to make audiobook narration a full-time career, this platform is definitely worth a try.
Fiverr is best known for offering freelancers a platform where they can connect with potential clients and search for jobs. This platform is particularly advantageous for those looking to earn money by reading books aloud. The entry requirements are minimal, and both beginners and experienced professionals can use the platform to search for gigs.
However, since many freelancers are looking for gigs on Fiverr, it is one of the most competitive platforms. The charges for gigs can also vary widely because of this reason and can start at $5 and go up to $10,000. But as with other platforms, those just starting out should keep their charges low so they can bag maximum projects and gain experience.
When creating a profile on Fiverr, make sure to highlight all your voice acting skills and preferences. In this regard, you can check out the profiles of other people for ideas. This can help you create a profile that stands out from the crowd.
12. Vo Planet
Vo Planet offers voice-over services in more than 20 languages, which is why it hires professional voice talents who can speak multiple languages. On this platform, clients post various jobs for which voice actors can audition. Besides experience, having a professional studio with audio recording equipment is necessary to work as a voice actor at Vo Planet.
After creating a profile on the website, you need to upload a few samples and demos. Vo Planet also charges an annual subscription fee of $199, but the good part is that it does not take a cut from your earnings. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of jobs that you can apply to, which is impressive.
Some Additional Ways To Get Paid To Read Books Aloud
Signing up on an audio content platform and recording audiobooks is the most common way to make money in this arena. But there are some other ways that you can try out as well.
1. Starting A YouTube Channel
For book lovers, creating a YouTube channel is another way by which they can make money. They can discuss various books and read them to their audience, and such individuals are known as booktubers.
However, you must avoid reading best-selling books on your channel, as that can lead to legal problems. To prevent that, booktubers generally summarize the gist of the book instead of reading it directly.
YouTube also provides an excellent platform to practice your voice acting skills, which can be helpful if you want to work as a full-time audiobook narrator.
2. Review Books Through Podcasts
Another excellent way to kickstart your voice-acting career is through podcasts, which have become very popular in recent years. You can review nonfiction or fiction books and earn money from sponsored content and advertising.
People listen to podcasts on Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud, and many other platforms every day, so the opportunity of making money is huge. And podcasts can even be used to spread the word about your content on different platforms.
3. Start Blogging About Books
You must already be aware that blogging is an excellent source of making money. But what most people do not know is that blogs can even be used to share audio content, which makes them ideal for voice actors and audiobook narrators.
Furthermore, you can use blogs to start book clubs or review books, but it doesn’t have to be limited to that. Unlike audio content platforms, you have full control over the content on your blog and can use it to share whatever you want.
Like, you can create tutorials and courses about voice acting or other topics and share them on the blog to help others.
4. Using Social Media Platforms
To be able to make money online as a voice actor, it is important to get noticed. And the best way to get noticed is to make use of social media platforms. You can post audio clips and content on such platforms using the right hashtags.
Businesses searching for voice talent often use such platforms, so your likelihood of getting noticed is high. Or, you might be contacted by authors directly who are looking for someone to narrate their books.
Useful Tips To Help You Get Paid By Reading Books Aloud
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind that can help you earn well by reading books aloud.
1. Selecting A Niche
One of the most important things to do when starting out is to select a particular niche to work in. Selecting a niche will make it easier to decide which books you would like to read. This, in turn, will help you produce high-quality content on time.
2. Investing In Good Audio Equipment
Most reputable platforms that hire voice talents have certain quality standards that every artist must meet to start working as an audiobook narrator. And to produce high-quality demos and samples, you need professional audio equipment. This does not mean spending thousands of dollars, as even a good-quality microphone may just be enough.
3. Recording In The Right Environment
Another factor that affects the quality of audio recordings is the environment in which you record. To ensure good quality, make sure to record in an area with very little to no background noise. This will result in clear, high-quality audio files while reducing the time you spend editing them.
4. Begin With A Single Platform
When you’re just starting, focus on a single platform instead of signing up on multiple ones. This will make it easy for you to understand how the process works, and you’ll be able to manage clients more efficiently and keep track of work. After working for a few years, when you gain experience, you’ll be able to handle multiple accounts on various platforms without any issues.
5. Ensure Proper Care Of Your Voice
Most websites also have certain requirements regarding voice quality, so you need to take proper care of your vocal cords. To do that, keep yourself hydrated at all times and consume teas with marshmallow or licorice root because they are known to soothe the throat.
With the large number of platforms offering content like audiobooks, becoming an audiobook narrator can be one of the most exciting and satisfying jobs. And the scope for earning well is tremendous in this sphere, which is why more and more people are becoming voice actors.
The best thing is that you need not go through any formal training to become an audiobook narrator. Initially, it may take some time to build a reputation as an audiobook narrator, but once you make a mark, you’ll earn much more than you did as a starter.
So, working as an audiobook narrator might be the perfect job for those who enjoy reading books.
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