The right voice for audiobook narration

3 min read

Audiobook narration is a burgeoning industry. Today, people live fast-paced lives and rarely have time to sit down and enjoy reading a book. With everyone trying to balance work, social life, family, and personal development, there is a need for the ability to multi-task.

The rise of audiobooks means that there is a growing need for voice acting and voice actors.

Audiobooks make multi-tasking easy. You don’t have to sit down and dedicate hours of your day to reading alone. You can enjoy books while doing other things such as working out, doing chores, or even walking to your workplace. This convenience is what makes audiobooks so popular. 

With audiobook narration, you can make your book reach a new audience. However, choosing the right voice actor is critical. There are many audiobook narrators out there, but very rarely do you come across true, authentic storytellers whose voice sounds naturally pleasing to listen to and perfect for your book. This can make all the difference. 

Male vs. female narrator: which should you choose?

Photo by Findaway Voices on Unsplash

The first question you need to answer is probably whether you should choose a male narrator or a female narrator for your audiobook. If your book tells a story and is written in first person, then it should be fairly easy to make aa choice. It would be best to go with a narrator who is the same gender as the main character of your book. 

Even if your book is written in the third person but it’s clear who the main character is, then you know which gender to go with for your audiobook narration. 

However, if there is no leading character, and instead, you have multiple characters, ask yourself which voice you heard in your mind while you were writing the book. It’s best to trust your instincts.

For non-fiction books, it’s always smart to consider what the book is about. For instance, for self-help books on depression and anxiety, a soothing and calm female voice may be better than an authoritative male voice.

Tips for choosing a narrator for your audiobook

Voice acting is not easy, and choosing the right voice actor for your audiobook is no easy task. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice. 

Consider the style/genre of book you have written

First, you should think about the style/genre of your book. There are narrators who specialize in certain genres such as thrillers, romance, or children’s books, and it’s best to consider such voice-over artists for the best results. 

Consider your characters

character staring at the camera
Photo by Sedaki Yassaa from Pexels

Next, consider the characters in your book. Is your main character a male or female? How old are they? Do their ethnicities and where they live affect their accents or dialects? These are some of the important considerations you need to make for your audiobook narration. 

For non-fiction, these rules cannot apply, so you may want to consider choosing a voice over artist that sounds similar to you, especially if you are a well-known writer in your field. 

Consider your audience

Next, consider your audience. Who have you written the book for? Is it a young adult novel? Is it a children’s book? Maybe it’s a self-help book for executives and business people, or maybe your book is targeted at the elderly. 

For example, you may not want to use a children’s book narrator if your book is about a self-help book for CEOs unless the narrator is extremely versatile and talented.

It’s better if the narrator reads a little too slow than too fast

An important tip to remember is that it’s better if the voice-over artist reads a little too slow than a little too fast. Nailing the correct pace of audiobook narration is crucial, but can be very hard. So even if your narrator cannot land the perfect face, it’s better to be a little too slow than to err on the faster side. 

Remember to check reviews 

Last but not least, make sure to check reviews online and offline. Check their websites, social media pages, and other online platforms. Talk to people who have hired their voice acting services and see whether they would be a good fit. 

Who are the best audiobook narrators today? 

Today, several artists in the audiobook narration industry are among the best at what they do. Some of these include –

Jim Dale, who is best known for narrating the Harry Potter series, A Christmas Carol, Peter Pan, and more. 

Julia Whelan, who is best known for narrating Gone Girl, Since We Fell, The Conspiracy of Us, and more. 

Jeremy Irons, whose most notable voice acting works include audiobooks like The Alchemist, Lolita, and more. 

Finty Williams, whose impressive portfolio include audiobooks such as The Girl With All The Gifts, The Years, and Fellside. 

3 Replies to “The right voice for audiobook narration”

  1. A very good guide, with the most important points to consider when embarking on turning your book into an audio book. I will bookmark and share this excellent resource.

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