Voice Over

Choosing The Right Voice for Your Audiobook

Finding the right source for your voice over project can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Luckily, finding the right talent or the right project has never been easier.

What Is Kindle Direct Publishing? 

Kindle Direct Publishing or KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing service. It allows businesses and authors to upload their material to Amazon and recently has expanded to include a variety of formats, including:

  • Large print 
  • Audiobook 

Because KDP bypasses traditional publishing houses, the impetus is on brands and companies uploading their work to ensure they correctly format everything from audiobooks and podcasts to large print manuscripts.

With that in mind, it can be useful to hire professional voice over artists for your product. That way you can be confident not only in the quality of the product but in a high level of listener engagement. 

Why Is KDP so Popular? 

There are many advantages to using KDP to publish, market, and create content. Here are some of the main benefits:

Royalties 

One of the most immediately obvious is that depending on the plan companies sign on to, they can earn substantially more royalties on their work than through a traditional publishing house. 

More Autonomy 

KDP also gives content creators complete control over their work. This means they have the power to design their own covers and decide between voice over artists for audiobook editions of their work. They can even do their own voice over, if so inclined. 

Ease of Use 

KDP isn’t the only option for people who want to oversee the publication of their work themselves, but it’s one of the easiest. The process for uploading material, whether PDF or voice over, is intuitive. Additionally, its overheads are low, making it an effective business model. 

Do Multiple Formats Matter? 

Depending on the content you create, you may wonder if multiple formats and voice overs are necessary. But there are good reasons for considering it as part of your brand. 

Accessibility 

There are many good reasons for launching your product in multiple formats. The biggest of these is accessibility. Authors understandably want their book to reach as many people as possible. eBooks and audiobooks help you do that. 

Both formats provide accessible alternatives to print books for readers who may be:

  • Partially sighted 
  • Print-disabled 

Large print books are heavy and expensive to produce. And while KDP does offer a large print option, it also offers more affordable alternatives. One of these is for audiobooks or podcasts. The only catch is that you need to find the right person to do the voice over or learn to do it yourself. 

The Rise of the Audiobook 

It’s not just the partially sighted community that responds positively to audiobooks with excellent voice over. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the demand for audiobooks skyrocketed

The early closure of bookstores meant that thousands of people looked elsewhere for their reading content. And because they felt isolated from the world around them, they turned to audiobooks and podcasts. 

Why? Because there’s a singular intimacy that comes from hearing an excellent voice over through headphones that you can’t get with books. Even if you are the type of reader who hears the words on the page internally, there’s another level of emotional proximity to the voice actor talking in your ear.

Many say it feels like the person is in the room with them. So at the height of COVID-19, cut off from friends and family, that is exactly the experience people needed. 

Choosing the Right Voice Over for Your Audiobook

So, yes, multiple formats matter. They make your material more accessible and, in some cases, affordable to a wider audience. But with more people than ever accessing your content, that makes it crucial you find the right voice actor to do the voice over work. 

Here are some things to consider: 

What Tone Are You Looking for? 

When looking for a voice talent to do your voice over, your first consideration should be for the tone and style of your content. Are you looking for someone to be playful? Maybe your story is a thriller.

Different voice actors have different strengths, and some will be better suited to some genres than others. As you investigate candidates for your voice over, pay attention to their experience. It will help you assess whether they have the particular skills you need to do your story justice and engage as many readers as possible. 

Reading Speed 

Another consideration for businesses and authors searching for voice actors to read their work is reading speed.  Reading speed partly depends on how many words there are in a book. 

That said, everyone has a slightly different reading speed, and whether you read faster or slower affects the overall tone and cadence of your book. 

If you can’t find a voice over talent who pitches things at the speed you want, a good rule of thumb is to err on the side of too slow rather than too fast. People are more likely to become immersed in a story that takes its time, especially if they’re listening while working around the house. 

However, as we discussed, genre and tone also play a part here, and if you need a voice actor for a high-stakes, action-packed thriller, you may choose to err on the side of too fast rather than too slow.  

Cost 

Finally, you want to consider a voice over actor for your product because it saves you time and money. 

Many people think anyone can narrate an audiobook or host a podcast. After all, all you do is sit down at the microphone and record. In practice, it’s more complicated. A professional voice actor typically spends three hours editing for every one hour of recording you hear. 

This shouldn’t discourage you. There’s no reason for you not to do your own voice over if that’s what you want. But, keep in mind that if you are a novice narrator, you may spend longer than average on post-production edits, and that’s valuable time you could spend on something else, like marketing your material. 

Do I Need a Voice Actor? 

To help you decide if a professional voice over artist is right for your product, we weighed the pros and cons of hiring someone versus doing the work yourself. Each system has its advantages and drawbacks and finding the system that suits your work is crucial to creating a successful product. 

Benefits of Recording Your Own Audiobook Voice Over 

While there are advantages to hiring a voice over talent, many companies prefer to do their own voice over. 

And while doing the work yourself may take time, it can also be rewarding. So, why should you consider doing your own voice over? 

You Save Money 

Much like writers, a voice over actor’s paycheck depends on their ability to produce a product. For writers that’s books, and for voice over talents, that’s audiobook narration and related work. 

By choosing to do the audio voice over for your book, ad, or other product, you save money you might otherwise spend on hiring a professional. That frees you up to use the money on other things, like marketing. 

You Keep Complete Control of the Rights

This varies depending on the kind of agreement you strike with a voice over actor. Typically, people seeking professional voice talent on their work arrange beforehand whether the actor gets paid for the work they do or whether they share the royalties generated by the audiobook. 

Since many authors opt to self-publish with platforms like KDP to keep control of their royalties, it’s understandable that sharing income generated by the success of their audiobook would give them pause. 

This is equally true for businesses that want to maintain control of their produce.

Doing your own voice over enables you to keep control over the royalties, as you would with other KDP formats. 

Disadvantages of Doing Your Own Recording 

While choosing to produce your own voice over for audiobooks has its advantages, it’s not a perfect system. Here are the most significant disadvantages to doing the work yourself. 

Editing Time 

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage to authors producing their own voice over is the editing time they expend in editing. 

As discussed, recording can be the easy part. Editing takes significantly longer because you must:

  • Edit out mistakes
  • Clean up unnecessary pauses 
  • Remove background noise 

Not only that, but if you commit to your own editing, you have to listen to the sound of your own voice for hours. Not everyone minds this, but lots of people do. It can be disconcerting until you get used to it. 

So, what are the benefits of hiring a voice over talent to do the work for you? 

Benefits of Hiring Voice Over Artists 

There are various reasons for companies and authors to decide to hire a voice over talent instead of doing the work themselves. Here are some of the most prevalent reasons people and businesses make this choice:

Professional Product 

Learning to talk into a microphone is an art. It takes time and commitment to learn how to narrate a story in a way readers find compelling. This is true not only of fiction but of ads and podcasts, too. You want to produce something that draws readers in, and learning to do that may take several tries. 

If you take the time to select a voice over actor who matches the tone of your product, you are more likely to produce a successful audiobook. 

Saves Editing Time

The other advantage of hiring a voice over talent is that someone else does the editing. Just as a professional voice over artist has an instinct for where to pause or speed up the narrative, someone with editorial expertise can clean an audiobook significantly faster than a novice recorder. 

Voice Matches Subject Matter 

Yet another reason to hire a voice over artist is that authors can find a professional who specializes in their particular genre, whether it’s non-fiction or romance, software, or ad campaigns. 

Much as businesses and authors might want to narrate their own work, their voice may not suit the subject matter as effectively as a professional’s. 

Disadvantages to using Voice Over Talent 

As with producing your own recording, hiring voice over talent also has disadvantages. 

Voice Over Risk Factor 

In addition to the expense of hiring a voice over talent, there’s always an element of risk involved. Voice over actors do their best to narrate your work as intended, but it can still feel like a gamble until you hear the final product. 

Voice Matters: How Voice Actors Represent Your Story 

You must trust the actor doing the voice over for your work because they will become the voice people hear as they read hard or soft copies. In no small part, they represent the story an author tells. 

Not only that, but the sample of their voice over may be the deciding factor in whether or not listeners purchase or respond to the work. There’s a strong link between the voices readers hear and the books they read, just as there is between listener and podcast host. That makes it crucial you find the right voice over talent for the job. 

How We Can Help 

KDP and similar industries have opened up the marketplace for freelance writers looking to publish. Accordingly, the work for voice over talent has soared. 

But finding the right voice over actor for your story or brand can be tricky. Voices is an excellent resource that helps authors do just that. 

We have a wide range of experienced voice over talents carefully curated to help you find the voice best suited to your product, whether it’s an advertisement, book, or something else entirely. 

Our voice over actors can read in various languages and will help ensure your product reaches as many people as possible, as effectively as possible.

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