Considering a career in audiobook narration?

If you’re among the increasing number of folks intrigued by the idea of audiobook narration, this guest post by ACX narrator Wayne Farrell is for you. Farrell had always been interested in voice work, but he was new to the craft when he discovered ACX. After some due diligence–including consulting with voiceover instructor Pat Fraley and checking out our series of educational videos, Farrell decided to give it a shot. We admit we can’t get enough of these kinds of success stories at ACX, but if you’re new to the field and thinking about jumping into narration, we promise Farrell’s post, below, will inspire you to take action. Enjoy!

Having always had an interest in the performing arts, and hearing the age-old line “you should be on the radio” from friends and family, I decided to have a closer look at the audio industry, primarily since I thought audiobook narration could be a way to supplement my income during periods of downtime.

(I work in the aviation industry and have a lot of time off at home between destinations.)

While researching options, I found out about ACX website thanks to a blog post by venerable author Neil Gaiman, and the whole thing seemed like a brilliant idea to me.

The question was: Would I be any good at narrating an audiobook?

There was no way I was going to just sign up and start advertising myself as a narrator without determining whether I could provide a quality product for the authors on ACX, so I set out contacting people ‘in the know’.

I started looking up popular narrators on Having listened to Simon Vance, Scott Brick and the legendary Frank Muller, I knew that my narration skills had a very long way to go.

But after visiting these stellar narrators’ websites and looking at training options, I was pointed in the direction of the outstanding performer and instructor Pat Fraley, and things started to take off from there.

Living and working in a very isolated location meant that I simply did not have the time to travel to his place and learn more about narration, but Pat felt that he could still assist me by sending reams of advice via email and downloads, and I really can’t thank him enough for his guidance and mentoring. I could not have achieved this level of success so quickly without him.

The educational icing on the cake was a very concise and understandable series of videos on ACX with award-winning producer and engineer John McElroy. His straightforward and no-panic approach to laying down an audiobook finally convinced me that I could do this myself.

With a more solid understanding of the industry, it was now time to jump in at the deep end. I set up a home studio and recorded my first audition on ACX, for a book entitled “Two Tocks Before Midnight” by CJ Martin.

Within a few hours, the author got back to me, told me that he thought I had a voice that would fit right in with his work, and together we agreed on character notes, set deadlines and arranged the release of the final production masters.

A few weeks later, the audiobook hit the virtual shelves of Audible, Amazon and iTunes.

The real surprise however, came in the days after uploading a sample onto my profile page. Within a week, I had secured offers for three more titles, all of which are currently in production. “The Djinn” by J. Kent Holloway, “The White Angel Murder” by Victor Methos and the hilarious, but also very bizarre book “The End of the World” by Andrew Biss.

If you are thinking about signing up with ACX and beginning a career as an audiobook narrator, take my advice and give it a shot. You won’t be sorry.

Thanks Wayne!

8 responses to “Considering a career in audiobook narration?

  1. Great job, Wayne. Looking forward to more of your productions.

  2. Thank you, Steven. Much appreciated.

  3. Thank you for the resources!

  4. Pingback: Audiobook Blog – Audiobooker, by Mary Burkey – Booklist Online » Blog Archive » News You Can Use

  5. Pingback: News You Can Use : The Booklist Reader

  6. What about people living in Canada?

  7. Kathryn Mccorquodale

    Hello, I am extremely interested in becoming a narrator within the Audio Book industry. I have no experience other than a little public speaking and a love of books, however I am willing to learn all I can within my financial boundaries. Could you please give me some advice as to the necessary tools I would need to enter the world of audio.
    Any information would be most appreciated.
    Kind regards Kath Macc

  8. Susmitha Gopinath

    That was inspiring! Gives a ray of hope.I am a novice but I have always wanted to lend my voice for narration.I would like to get started .

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