our everyday life

How to Get Paid to Make Audio Books

by Helen Holzer, studioD

The popularity of audio books has opened up a market for talented readers and makers of the books. This hands-free way of reading is ideal for drivers, young children or people who cannot read due to poor vision. Audio books can also make a book come alive when read by a talented voice-over artist. If you enjoy literature and have a knack for speaking or acting, this growing industry could be a money-making occupation.

Determine which type of books you would like to make. If you are an author and would like to read your own book, you know the content better than anyone else.

Practice reading out loud for friends. Ask for an objective opinion of your voice. It must be pleasant to listen to for long periods and you must be able to make the story come alive. Take diction, speech or acting classes to improve your talent.

Record your voice using a microphone to make a three- to five-minute CD that you can send to audio publishers. Select a portion that shows off your ability to take on different characters and moods.

Research publishers to see which ones will accept CD demos from newcomers to the industry. Start with smaller companies. Find out their demographics so you know which genres they publish. If they specialize in mysteries, do your demo reading interpretation from a mystery novel.

Create a profile of yourself that you can submit to publishers along with your demo CD. List any affiliated experience such as acting or speech classes. Be prepared to audition for a specific book.

Produce your own audio book by using a service such as ACX.com that guides you through the process. Record the first 15 minutes of the book and edit it before uploading it to the service. Send it to the publisher for quality approval before proceeding.

Choose your form of payment with either an upfront fee or future royalties from the audio book.

Items you will need
  •  Microphone
  •  Computer
  •  Computer Disk

About the Author

Helen Holzer is a veteran journalist who began writing in 1972 and has lived all over the country. She has written and edited on nearly every topic for major daily newspapers and other publications. She has also been a book reviewer and currently lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images