Where do audiobook narrators come from?

For the last 8 years I have been consistently working in audiobooks. Starting in 1983 and through 2006 I had been making a good living in voiceover, but I knew nothing about narrating audiobooks. I also worked in radio for some of those years. Had done some professional theater. And worked a corporate day job for a while.

Then, through a series of circumstances, I was given an audition to narrate the entire Bible for Thomas Nelson Publishers. (The world’s largest publisher of English language Bibles.) When I was hired for the job, I had recorded a few short stories for a small publishing company; but really I knew essentially nothing about narrating audiobooks.

Now, starting my first full audiobook project with the Bible (774,000 words, many of them in ancient languages!) was like learning to swim by jumping in the deep end of the pool. I was either going to succeed, or die in the attempt. Needless to say, since I’m here typing this note to you in January of 2015, I did in fact survive. But, I most definitely do not recommend that as the best method for starting your journey as an audiobook narrator.

Here is a better plan. Check out this video which features a number of people who took advantage of an opportunity to learn about narrating audiobooks through a series of teleseminars last year. Among the people in this video is a retired air traffic controller.

Air traffic controllers are forced to retire at age 56, but this guy wasn’t ready to just sit around twiddling his thumbs all day. So he started narrating audiobooks. A year ago he was a complete beginner just like you are today. Now, he has more books waiting for him to narrate than he has time to get them all done.

Don’t jump in the deep end of the pool. Really. There are better plans.

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