Stories have been shared before men began observing time on a wall clock, but the way we tell them is constantly changing. The rise of audiobooks is leapfrogging how we share stories that matter to us. Away from the age-long confinement of print pages, people can now immerse themselves in the captivating experience of narratives that appeal to them simply by listening. Audiobook narrator jobs are at the forefront of these captivating narrative experiences.
In 2021, the global audiobook market reached $1.7 Billion in value and is projected to hit $19.7 billion by 2028 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.0%. The ease of accessibility of audiobooks in an increasingly multi-tasking world, spiced by the transition of pre-pandemic ways of knowledge-shopping of tangible media from physical stores to downloadable formats readily available on the go on IoT devices, is driving the growth of the audiobook markets to the roof.
As is with surging acceptance of a new medium of storytelling, the growing demand for audiobooks has led to the rise of audiobook jobs, offering new opportunities to creators, producers, audio engineers, audio editors, and directors to earn from a fast-growing industry that promises to grow bigger as the years go by.
Why Are Audiobook Jobs Suddenly Gaining So Much Traction?
Audiobooks are not new; they've been around since the late 1800s. But the widespread adoption of smartphones and portable devices has made audiobooks easily accessible to a broader audience like never in history. For context, the number of IoT devices worldwide is currently pegged at over 15 billion, a figure that surpasses the population of the planet, with the number of active devices expected to double by 2030, an estimate that bodes well for the future of audiobook jobs.
Technological improvements powering the production of audiobooks have also massively enriched the quality of output. With the input of professional narrators and voice actors giving print characters vividly imaginable lives, users are increasingly showing tendencies they may switch audiobooks for cumbersome print due to the immersive experience that is soothing to the listening mind and makes multi-tasking while learning (without having to grapple with the leaflets of books) easier.
Covid-19 Left Some Positives
The memories of the pandemic may not be all that savory, but 2020 is reputed to be pivotal to the boom of the audiobook industry as it marked a record high in the volume of demands. With limited access to physical stores and libraries, audiobooks gained more acceptance among Americans looking to satisfy reading cravings without calling in sick.
Streaming Platforms Rode the Waves
In 2021, the global audio streaming service earned revenues of $31.35 billion, a report cites, culminating in a percentile increase of 18.8% compared with the previous year. Audiobook platforms such as Audible rode the waves of the pandemic and the proliferation of smart devices to offer a vast selection of titles, including bestsellers and classics, attracting new listeners to pilot the boom of audiobook demands and, consequently, audiobook jobs.
Why This Is the Best Time for You To Get In
Business Wire reports that from 2023, the audio streaming service is expected to grow in double digits until 2028. Data from Infinite Dial in 2019 showed that 50% of Americans age 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, marking a sharp increase from the 44% reported in 2018.
In the Audio Publisher Association (APA) survey of 2021, data suggests 56% of audiobook listeners are under the age of 45, implying a continuous acceptance culture into the next decades.
Available data, surveys, and forecasts see skyrocketing growth of the industry in the years ahead, and considering that younger people make up the majority of listeners, it is practical to conclude that the popularity of the audiobook industry could grow bigger in the coming decades.
Hungry for a profitable niche in the audiobook industry but don't know where to start? These audiobook job roles can get you started.
Audiobook Narrator Jobs: The Voices Behind the Stories
Easily the most typical role in the audiobook industry, narrators are paid between $10 to $350 an hour, depending on their experience level.
Audiobook narrator jobs are at the heart of the industry, and becoming a successful narrator will require a merger of individual talent, raw passion for the craft, and a desire to learn and relearn. As a newbie, you can consider a career as a narrator by working on the following:
Hone Your Skill
Do you think you've got a great voice? You could be right. But a great agent is only sometimes enough; neither is the love of audiobooks. A narrator's job will require that you hone your skill till it is razor sharp.
One way to do this as a beginner is by attending acting workshops that teach how to capture the essence of print characters, thereby helping you to bring dialogues to life while maintaining a soothing tone when listeners listen.
Create a Voice Acting Demo
Showcasing your skill is essential in attracting gigs, and an excellent voice-acting demo reel can be a good place to start. You could display how much you read aloud and navigate different accents and voices.
Build a Portfolio
Your prospective hirer may need a portfolio; as a beginner, it may be hard to provide one. You may audition for audiobook projects to amass a portfolio that makes you attractive for an audiobook narrator job.
Audiobook Producer and Director: The Hands Behind the Voices
A substantial understanding of audio recording, editing, and mixing techniques is crucial to producing or directing audiobook production.
Consider these starters as a beginner in production and directing niche:
Volunteer in Studios
Find recording studios that need volunteers where you earn by learning the basics of editing and mixing. It could be radio stations, musical studios, or audio production companies.
Get Comfy With the Equipment
Unlike an audiobook narrator job, your job as a producer or director transcends a soothing, character-infusing voice. The extent of the narrator's interpretation of stories could depend on your input, and you may need to familiarize yourself with industry-standard equipment like the microphone, pop filter, headphones, and audio interface.
Your prospective employer would also expect you to show competence in using Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), editing, and post-production tools such as iZotope RX, Adobe Audition, and Script Management Software.
One Portfolio Speaks Louder Than a Thousand Pitches
Adding showcase projects demonstrating your range to your portfolio is an excellent place to start. Consider a diverse blend of audiobook genres and styles that may include fiction and non-fiction. Sample clips are also great for displaying your directing, pacing, and sound design.
How to Get Audiobook Jobs
Now that you understand the essentials of starting a career in the audiobook industry, you may need more than just learning to be a great narrator, producer, or director. Getting jobs transcend the acquisition of skills and portfolios, and you may need to get conversant with specific marketing strategies to kick off your audiobook career.
Create a Professional Website
Online portfolio platforms for creatives may house your works, but they may not give you the edge that owning a personal website may give when advertising your brand. As a budding narrator, producer, or director, you can project top-level professionalism using a unique website with sections dedicated to your audiobook journey that should include your projects and experiences. You should also add relevant skills, exhausting the detail of your offering.
Freelance Market Places Are Still a Thing
It's true freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork are often saturated, but the traffic of outsourcers looking to hire freelance narrators, producers, and directors is enormous. You can set up a profile on those platforms in minutes, and you may get your first client in a matter of days or weeks due to the high demands of audiobook services.
Optimize Your Online Presence
Your website, as all-encompassing as it may seem for your works, may need to attract more traffic to land you the dream audiobook jobs. Having an online presence on social like Facebook, linked, and voice-acting websites can help redirect traffic to your site while attracting clients that may need your service.
Network With Industry Professionals
Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops. You should also join online communities of professionals to meet and connect with authors, audiobook producers, and publishers. Networking can pilot you from directionless job hunting to gaining valuable connections and new audiobook narrator job opportunities.
Leverage on Audiobook Production Platforms
Platforms like voices.com, Voice123, and ACX and great shots to connecting with authors and publishers who may need your service. Some audiobook projects may require a fresh audition; your best approach would be to research the detail of the individual project before sending your pitch.
Use Testimonials and Reviews
When you get your first audiobook job, request testimonials from your employers. You may display them on your website or social handles like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook for prospective clients to see. Positive reviews are your quickest route to building credibility and trust in your ability as a narrator, producer, or audiobook director.