Frequently Asked Questions
An audiobook is an audio recording of a book or other written work read out loud by a narrator.
After purchasing or renting an audiobook from your preferred vendor, you can listen to your audiobook using an app for your smartphone, tablet, eReader, or desktop.
An abridged version of an audiobook is a shortened version of the original work that may leave some of the smaller details out. Word for word readings that spare no details from the original written work are known as unabridged audiobooks.
There are pros and cons to narrating your own book. For a smooth, consistent read, it’s typically it’s better to get professional voice actors to narrate your audiobook. However, some authors, specifically those who have celebrity status and/or have a strong voice, may prefer to personally narrate their work.
No, they don’t have to sound like the author, but their vocal performance should mirror or enhance the author’s written voice and intention. This can help lead the audience through the book just as the author would.
Generally, voice actors have nothing to gain and everything to lose by leaking your work. It should not be a concern. However, you can have the voice actor sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure that it doesn’t get talked about or shared.
Look for the following qualities in the actor’s audition: You find the read engaging the whole way through: This may seem obvious, but if you’re losing interest after hearing an audition, then chances are, the voice actor won’t be able to hold your attention for the duration of an entire audiobook. They have experience with long form projects such as elearning, audiobook narration, or more. Long form reads are a unique kind of voice over work, which requires endurance. Voice actors who have undertaken these projects previously have proved they can go the distance. Know your audience. Your listening audience may enjoy a certain style of voice or expects words to be pronounced in a particular way or is accustomed to hearing a specific voice type. Knowing your audience will help you to decide who should be narrating your audiobook.
Typically, most audiobook publishers want one narrator who can do character voices. This is called a fully-voiced reading. However, those who wish to create an audio drama experience with multiple voice actors may also choose this approach too.
Platforms like Voices makes it easy to find a range of voice actors. When hiring a voice actor, set expectations by communicating the time frame you’ll need them for, including ongoing work, before you hire them. Once you’ve assessed that they’ll be available, you can proceed to hiring them. If you want exclusive rights, then ensure the voice actor signs a contract. That way they won’t be snatched up by a competitor or inadvertently lend their voice to your competition.
The common opinion amongst publishers is to always publish the physical or e-book version of your book before you tackle the audiobook.
There are multiple audio file formats Audible accepts .aa or.aax file types for audiobooks.
It depends on how many words are in your book. The average rate of speech is 150 words per minute. You can take the number of words in your book and divide it by 150 to get a rough estimate of how long your finished audio file will be, or you can use our words to time converter tool. Please note that this amount of time does not take into account any editing or post-production work, which of course takes extra time.
No problem! You can easily communicate back and forth with the voice over talent on the Voices platform to make those necessary changes.
When deciding whether to publish an abridged or unabridged version of your audiobook, here are a few things to consider: The genre of your audiobook: Some genres are better suited to abridged versus unabridged books (e.g. a guide on how to become an entrepreneur might perform better as an abridged version). The demographics of your audience: Are most of your audience members children who may have a shorter attention span for long-form content? If so, abridged may be a better choice. Thinking about your intended audience can help you decide if an abridged or full length version will be best for them.
All About Audiobook Narration
Audiobooks are more popular than ever and it would seem their popularity isn’t slowing down any time soon! If you’re a publisher or writer looking to take your written work off the page and into your readers’ ears, our professional audiobook narrators are just what you need.
Audiobook narrators voice every type of long form written work imaginable, including books, magazines, and even how to manuals. Whether it’s a children’s book, a sci fi thriller, or this year’s best selling romance novel, professional audiobook narrators skillfully transform the written word into an immersive auditory experience that delights the senses.
When it comes to narrating audiobooks, the process is a marathon, not a sprint. While looking for the right voice over professional to bring your written work to life, you’ll first want to consider the narrator’s audiobook experience to make sure they’re up for the task.
Creating an audio version of a book takes more than just reading, and audiobook narrators are often required to log long hours in the studio (or home studio) every day — meaning stamina and consistency is key. From the first page until the very last word, audiobook narrators need to keep a consistent pace, tone, and energy to keep listeners engaged.
How to choose the right audiobook narrator
By browsing a voice actor’s profile on Voices, you can listen to their audiobook demos and read reviews from their previous work as a narrator, helping you find an experienced audiobook voice actor for your project.
Audiobook narrators have the task of keeping the audience’s attention for long periods of time. The right audiobook narrator has the power to captivate readers and keep them tuned in long after they’ve reached their destination or finished their household chores.
Professional narrators know how to perfectly articulate a story and understand the importance of pacing. When listening to the custom auditions for your job on Voices, you’ll want to assess the voice actor’s fit as an engaging storyteller who can deliver a captivating performance that drives your plot forward and brings your characters to life.
The 4 different types of audiobook narration
Depending on the content of your audiobook and your intended target audience, there are four different types of narration you can consider for your project.
- The first type to consider is the fully voiced reading, which is a form of solo narration. This is the most common type of audiobook narration, with all characters voiced by the single narrator with a creative and dramatic flair. The genres best suited to this style of narration include fantasy, middle grade, and young adult books.
- The next type of audiobook narration to consider is the partially voiced reading. This is another example of a solo narration, but it differs from a fully voiced reading by focusing on giving certain characters, like the protagonist, a distinguished voice. Partially voiced readings are well suited to audiobooks that feature many characters and may be hard to keep track of. General fiction, mystery, and fantasy are some of the genres best suited to partially voiced readings.
- The third type of narration to consider is the unvoiced reading, which is another form of solo narration. While the name might imply this style of narration is silent, that’s not the case. Instead, the narrator simply reads the story in a straightforward and natural tone and does not assign dramatized voices to characters. This type of narration lends itself to more serious works, but like all storytelling, it still calls for an element of emotion. The genres best suited to this style of narration include non fiction, romance, and thrillers.
- The final type of narration is the multicast reading or full cast reading. As the name implies, this type of audiobook narration features more than one voice actor. In a multicast reading, each voice actor will take on a different role — think of it like an audio play or dramatization. Multicast reads are typically suited for plays, fantasy, and children’s books.
No matter the type or style of audiobook narration you choose for your project, you can find what you’re looking for on Voices. Our professional audiobook narrators have voiced over 6,000 audiobooks to date and counting. Take a listen to our voice actors’ demos to find the right sound for your written work.