A blonde woman holds her hands against headphones on her ears. Voice Acting

How Much Does an Audiobook Narrator Make?

Have you ever lost yourself in an enthralling audiobook and found yourself pondering what it’s like to narrate one? Are you intrigued by the world of audiobook voice overs? 

Do you wish to explore the earnings potential within this fascinating field? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive guide will delve into the multifaceted world of audiobook narration. 

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We’ll explore the characteristics of audiobooks, the dedication required to create them, the pay scales, what influences earnings, and how you can amplify your income. Let’s begin by distinguishing audiobooks from other voice-over endeavors.

The Uniqueness of Audiobooks

Audiobooks are distinguished by their length, both in terms of the finished product and the extensive process of creation. 

They can be either abridged or unabridged, with the latter averaging a whopping 100,000 words and 11 hours of runtime. Abridged versions are condensed, providing a shorter listening experience. 

The production demands roughly five times the number of hours as the runtime, with two hours of recording and three hours of editing required to produce a single hour of finished audio.

Before you even press record, a preparation period of two to three weeks is essential to familiarize yourself with the material. Assess your passion for the content, as narrating something you find unengaging can lead to a lackluster performance, adversely affecting the recording quality. Find an audiobook project that not only excites you but also compensates you fairly for your skills and experience.

Pay Grades in Voice Over Work

The general pay scale in voice-over work follows a progressive path, aligning with your experience level. In the U.S., beginners can expect to earn around $50,000 per year, with intermediate and veteran voice actors making significantly more. The specifics for each experience level are:

– Beginners: $50,000 per year, $24.50 per hour

-Intermediate: Starting at $52,000 per year

-Veterans: $40 or more per hour, approximately $83,000 per year

Audiobook Production Pricing

In audiobook production, pricing is often calculated per hour of finished audio. Entry-level talent may charge around $200, whereas veterans can charge $600 or more. It’s vital to consider not only word count but also the reading speed requested by your client. 

Slow reading will increase the finished audio hours, thus increasing pay (and vice versa). Determine a rate that you deem competitive and fair, considering factors like production costs, time, and effort. 

Justifying your price can foster a harmonious agreement between you and your client.

Factors Influencing Your Earnings

Your income as an audiobook narrator can be influenced by various factors such as experience, equipment quality, technical skills, and your role in the production. 

Learning to process raw audio and polish it yourself can dramatically increase your earning potential. 

Voicing numerous characters can also be a valuable asset. A prime example is Jim Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter audiobooks, where he voiced over 300 characters.

Your Audiobook Narration Journey Awaits!

With this knowledge at your fingertips, you’re well-equipped to embark on your audiobook narration adventure. Record demos, network with other voice actors, and don’t hesitate to dive in. The world of audiobook narration offers endless opportunities for growth and success. 

Now is the perfect time to explore this captivating field and discover where it may lead you!

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