How to get a voice over for an audiobook

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in VoiceOver on November 02, 2022
Getting a good voice over for your audiobooks can be tough, but fortunately, we’ve got all the answers. Here’s how you can get the perfect voice over.

    How to get a voice over for an audiobook

    Audiobooks are getting more and more popular each day, and so the demand for voice acting talents has never been bigger. However, hiring voice over artists does not have to be the only solution — you can turn to text to speech (TTS) tools that can function as your own home studio. Of course, the way you go about creating that perfect voice over will depend on your needs, ideas, and budget, but we have a few tips and tricks that you’ll definitely find useful, no matter what you choose.

    The details about creating a voiceover

    The voice over work that goes into creating an audiobook will depend on many things, such as genre, for example. However, you can compare it to voice overs used in content creation, podcasts, video games, and marketing videos to make money because the premise is essentially the same — you hire an audiobook narrator to read the text out loud and record it.

    When it comes to, say, fiction books, you might even look for multiple actors to voice different characters, which might not be necessary for non-fiction. What usually is the case in both scenarios, though, is that you’ll probably need multiple recording sessions to go over everything, especially if you’re working with full-time, professional audiobook narrators in well-equipped recording studios.

     Once the recording is done, you’ll need to tune everything up during post-production. You can use apps like Audacity or hire an audiophile to do it for you. A smooth playback is essential, so all the editing is as important as having a quality microphone, and a great voice over talent working with you if you want your audiobook to reach a wider audience.

    Finding the right voice over

    So, you can hire voice actors or do everything yourself. Let’s start with the former.

    How do people find someone to do character voices? More importantly, how do beginners in this kind of field do it? The easiest way would be to check out some of the freelance websites where people gather to look for voice over jobs and similar kinds of narration work.

    You can look around Upwork, Fiverr, and These and other similar places are full of people looking to find work and get into audiobook voice acting, and some of them are highly experienced, with dozens of projects under their belt. You can check out their voice over demos and schedule some casting calls when you find someone whose voice seems fitting.

    If you’re more of a solo player, you can maybe do different voices yourself, or you can turn to other solutions, such as TTS apps. The upside to going down the TTS route is that you can have absolute freedom while recording and later editing your audio files. However, you’ll still need great equipment to make it work. Pop filters, quality microphones and top-notch recording software are just some of the things that go into making a proper home studio.

    Tips on how to make sure your audiobook sounds great once it’s been recorded

    If you want to attract audiobook publishers, you’ll need to make sure your product is presentable and pleasant. In other words, depending on your goals, you might want to stick to hiring instead of experimenting alone.

    Never stop learning

    The best tip we can give you is to never stop learning more about voice overs. Pick up some books on voice editing or listen to some tutorials online to make sure you’ve got everything to a fine art before you start making a push in the audiobook industry.

    That goes for both the creative aspect of this kind of work as well as the more technical side of things. If you want to learn how to become an audiobook narrator, you simply have to listen to others who’ve already made a breakthrough in the industry. For example, you can listen to voice actors you admire, maybe someone who voiced your favorite video game character or someone who narrated your favorite audiobook.

    Don’t stay in your comfort zone

    Every audiobook is different. There are tons of genres, and each of them demands a different kind of approach. If you’re used to voicing thrillers and horror stories, you might have a hard time making a voice over for some kind of non-fiction book on astrophysics. To be sure you stay versatile and up to any task, try practicing and improving your acting range.

    Don’t be afraid to experiment

    Stepping out of your comfort zone is important, but even when you’re sticking to one genre and one type of work, you still have a lot of room to experiment. Don’t be content with doing the same thing over and over again. Instead, look into other techniques and try using different tools to make your projects more engaging and interesting. 

    Invest in your equipment

    When you start improving and branching out, it’ll be wise to invest in new equipment. Buy new, better mics, try upgrading the sound isolation in your home studio, invest in better mixing equipment, etc. The rule of thumb is that the more money you spend, the better your voice overs are going to be, but you don’t have to go all out immediately. Simply save money over time and invest in new tools. It will pay off. 

    Use different tools

    You can also try using new software. TTS tools such as Speechify can help you fine-tune your end product in just a few clicks, which is great if you’re still inexperienced and don’t have enough time to learn the ropes of dozens of sound-editing programs.

    Speechify is super intuitive and it comes with a bunch of customizable settings that’ll help you adjust tempo, speech rates, pitch, accent, and everything in between, making your recordings life-like and authentic. It also supports dozens of languages, so you can use it to make your foreign-language recordings pop and sound as natural as possible.

    Sounds good? Try Speechify for free and see if it’s right for you.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

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