How to Get Paid To Read Books Aloud
If you can bring a book to life with your enchanting voice, you can get paid to read books aloud.
The audiobook industry has experienced explosive growth over the years. Book readers have become book listeners as more people have gravitated toward audiobooks as their preferred way to consume books. As an avid reader and audiobook listener myself, I reach for my headphones when I want to dive into a new book.
Without talented narrators, there is no audiobook market. Whether you’re looking for a low-cost side hustle or a potential new career, you might consider audiobook work using your voice. You don’t need experience, training, or studio-quality equipment to get started.
- How to Get Paid To Read Books Aloud
- 20 Sites for Voice Acting and Audiobook Narrator Jobs
- 1. Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)
- 2. Voices
- 3. Fiverr
- 4. Upwork
- 5. Freelancer
- 6. People Per Hour
- 7. Bunny Studio
- 8. Voice123
- 9. Findaway Voices
- 10. Bodalgo
- 11. Voice Crafters
- 12. The Voice Realm
- 13. VO Planet
- 14. Mandy Voices
- 15. Voice Jungle
- 16. Brilliance Publishing
- 17. Internet Jock
- 18. Spoken Realms
- 19. Voquent
- 20. The Audiofile Audiobook Talent & Industry Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Can You Get Paid to Read Aloud?
- How Much Does an Audiobook Narrator Make?
- What Equipment Do You Need to Make an Audiobook?
- Can Anyone Become an Audiobook Narrator?
- Final Thoughts on Making Money Reading Books Aloud
20 Sites for Voice Acting and Audiobook Narrator Jobs
You can start your journey to becoming a full-time narrator or voice artist right from home. You can look for jobs online and complete the audition process without leaving your house. Here are 15 websites you can use to find opportunities to get paid to read books aloud:
1. Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)
The Audiobook Creation Exchange is owned and operated by Amazon. The site helps authors get their books into audio form by connecting them with audiobook experts. Services include matching book authors and freelance writers with narrators, sound engineers, and producers involved with the creation of audiobooks.
You’ll typically find hundreds of book projects accepting auditions on ACX. From cookbooks to business titles and contemporary romance books, there are probably plenty of opportunities to suit your interests. Projects created through ACX get sold on Amazon, iTunes, and Audible Audiobooks.
You can sign up quickly with your existing Amazon account. Showcase your talent by uploading as many high-quality samples as you can. If you’re interested in a particular niche of non-fiction or fiction books, upload multiple clips in that genre.
Once you get hired, you can get paid per finished hour or share royalties from the audiobook sales. Start with the Audiobook Creative Exchange if you’re looking to make money reading books aloud.
Voices is a platform for aspiring narrators and voice actors. Brands like Microsoft, Hulu, and the Los Angeles Times have used Voices.com to find talent for their projects. In addition to audiobooks, there are jobs posted for all types of voice work, including:
- Documentary films
- Video games
- Corporate training videos
Voices.com has free and paid options for signing up as a voice artist. You can create a profile, upload your demos, and get invitations to audition from clients for free. If you go with the paid membership option, they will automatically match you to audiobook work and other jobs you can bid on.
Fiverr is a popular gig economy platform and one of the best freelance websites for beginners. It’s an excellent place to take your first step toward making money as an audiobook narrator or voice-over artist as soon as possible.
On most freelance platforms, you create a profile and then start bidding for jobs. On Fiverr, you create an offering, and the work comes to you.
That’s what makes it one of the best options for beginners. If you put out great audio samples and charge a fair price, you can get hired without loads of experience.
Joining Fiverr is free. You are not limited to charging $5 for recording audiobooks, but you might want to start cheap and then raise your prices a little at a time as you rack up good feedback. There is a 20% commission on any work you sell, so for every $5 you charge, you take home $4.
Upwork is one of the biggest online platforms for freelancers. It’s also a decent source of audiobook narration jobs and other types of job opportunities for voice artists. The pay varies widely, with many potential clients offering flat rates for their jobs.
With Upwork, you can set up a profile and include your voice samples to attract clients. Create a variety of demos to show off your talent and indicate what kind of work you’re interested in.
Don’t wait for them to come to you. Start bidding on jobs that interest you. Consider building your reputation by bidding on lower-paying projects or jobs you can complete quickly.
The funds go into escrow once a client selects you for a project. The client has 14 days to review your work. A client can release the payment as soon as they’re satisfied with your work, but after 14 days, the money is released to you automatically.
Upwork’s fee structure starts at 20% and can go all the way down to 5%, depending on how much work you do for a single client. If you do a good job and land repeat business, your fees will be lower.
Freelancer.com is a general freelancing platform with thousands of jobs available spanning most fields. Once you create your profile highlighting your talents, you can create a job search for audiobook narrator jobs, save it, and have alerts sent to you when a relevant project comes up.
For projects that pay a fixed price, the fee is 10% or $5, whichever is greater. The fee is a flat 10% of your earnings for hourly projects. Most voice work and book narration gigs are posted with a fixed rate attached.
6. People Per Hour
PeoplePerHour is a platform that matches clients with freelancers. The site features all types of freelance work, but audiobook narration jobs do pop up on the site from time to time. Most of them pay a flat rate set by the job poster rather than an hourly rate despite the site’s name.
Make sure your profile is complete and thorough. People Per Hour uses artificial intelligence to match clients with service providers. Clearly define your skills and detail the type of work you provide, as an excellent profile could be the difference between being hired and not showing up in searches.
7. Bunny Studio
Bunny Studio is an online platform where customers can hire vetted voice artists, writers, translators, transcribers, or producers for their creative projects.
They expect high-quality voiceovers recorded on professional audio equipment and fast turnaround times. There are no fees to apply or join, and you can set your rates.
The application process involves submitting a profile and completing an application project. The application project tests your skill that gets reviewed by the quality control team at Bunny Studio.
Voice123 is one of the largest marketplaces for professional voice actors. Independent authors as well as some of the most recognizable companies in the world have used Voice123 to find voice talent, such as The New York Times, Coca-Cola, and Airbnb. You can find projects in narration, commercial voiceovers, cartoons, video games, and more.
Voice 123 offers several tiered membership options for vocal talent. Along with a free standard membership, they offer several paid membership options that range in price from $49 a year up to $4,950 annually. The main differences between the memberships are the number of audition invitations you receive, the number of times you appear in search results, how competitive the jobs you receive are, and the level of customer support you receive.
9. Findaway Voices
Findaway Voices is an audiobook producer and distribution service. They help self-published authors connect with narrators, manage audio production, and reach a wider audience.
Unlike being a freelancer on platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer.com, you do not search for work on Findaway Voices. They recommend narrators for projects based on fit. You get paid based on the rate you set, as there is no option for royalty share agreements.
There are no signup fees or annual membership charges. Start by creating an account here, completing your portfolio, then responding to their survey questions.
Bodalgo is a German company that supplies voice talent for audiobook narration, commercials, explainer videos, and more. They’ve worked with some of the most recognizable brands in the world, including Apple, Amazon, and BMW. Bodalgo showcases voice actors in over 80 languages. If English is not your first language, you might be able to book jobs through them.
If you intend to make a career out of voice acting and invest in your training, you might have a future with Bodalgo. Bodalgo wants professionally trained, experienced voice actors. If your profile clearly shows you’re a beginner, they will delete your account without notifying you.
11. Voice Crafters
Voice Crafters is a voice-over agency founded in 2008. They supply voice actors in over 80 languages. They also offer other post-production services including transcription, subtitling, translation, audio editing, and video editing.
Voice Crafters thoroughly screens potential talent and works only with professional voice actors. They provide clients with talent for audiobook narrator gigs, promos, online courses, and more.
They look for full-time voice actors with at least 5 years of commercial experience. You should have your own professional recording studio with the ability to produce broadcast-quality audio with no background noise, echoes, or background hiss.
They’re not currently adding any more U.S. English-speaking voice professionals to their roster. Keep an eye out as that could change in the future.
12. The Voice Realm
The Voice Realm is an online directory of voice-over talent and freelance translators. They have a global client base, and all sorts of recordings are sought, including audiobooks, radio ads, voicemail greetings, video narrations, and more.
They have a set rate card, so you don’t bid against others. You’ll need a demo recording and a credible profile to sign up. They select new talent based on experience, the quality of your audio, and your ability to follow instructions.
13. VO Planet
VO Planet is a voice-over casting site that provides voice talent for audiobook narration and just about any other type of project that requires voice talent. They only accept voice actors with previous experience, outstanding skills, and professional-level demos.
All applicants are vetted, but there is no specific experience requirement for access to jobs. If you’re an exceptional talent with only one year of experience and impeccable references, you might be accepted. Once you get some experience under your belt, you might consider applying here.
You can register for VOPlanet here, then fill out a voice actor application once your account is created. There is an annual membership fee of $199, but voice actors get 100% of the fee posted for every job.
14. Mandy Voices
If you’re looking to get paid to read books aloud and you want to expand into other forms of voice work, Mandy Voices might be for you. You won’t find freelance audiobook projects, but if you can read a script with enthusiasm and emotion, Mandy Voices has voiceover opportunities available for radio spots, corporate training videos, animated shorts, documentaries, and more.
Mandy offers tiered membership. You can sign up for free to create a profile and see job postings. You’ll have to upgrade to see the full details of their job postings and apply.
15. Voice Jungle
Voice Jungle is another platform that doesn’t focus specifically on freelance audiobook narrator jobs. If you’re willing to look for jobs beyond recording audiobooks, you might consider applying your talents to other forms of voice-over work, such as e-learning, explainer videos, or podcasts. VoiceJungle offers those types of gigs and more.
With VoiceJungle, there is no fee to join, and you don’t have to audition for gigs. You need a home studio capable of producing quality audio and the ability to turn projects around in 24 hours upon request. You also need to upload a voice sample in MP3 format when you sign up.
16. Brilliance Publishing
Brilliance Publishing is a book publisher and subsidiary of Amazon. Through their Brilliance Audio imprint, they produce, distribute, and market audiobooks.
As a full-service publishing and audiobook company, they maintain a roster of audiobook voice talent. If you’re interested in working with them, you can email them through their contact page.
17. Internet Jock
Internetjock.com wants to hire experienced voice talent able to work during the day and do fast turnaround times during business hours. They require a one-minute demo attached to their application form.
For narration, they charge clients between $25 and $65 a minute. They take a 40 percent commission and pay monthly.
18. Spoken Realms
Spoken Realms is an audiobook producer, packager, and distributor that describes itself as a community of storytellers. Spoken Realms connects authors with experienced narrators and actors for audiobooks.
They’re looking for experienced professionals to join their circle. The application is thorough and requires verifiable completed projects.
The site is free to join, but they are very particular about who they work with. Once you gain a high level of experience and can call yourself a professional voice-over artist, you can sign up here.
20. The Audiofile Audiobook Talent & Industry Guide
AudioFile is a magazine for audiobook fans. The magazine is written by book lovers and book reviewers who cover all genres of audiobooks. Each book review focuses on the audiobook listening experience and narrator quality.
While the staff is not involved in audiobook production and are not audiobook creators, they do maintain the Audiobook Talent & Industry Guide. Having a listing like this one can get you in front of people casting or creating audiobooks. A listing costs $160 and includes a subscription to the magazine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding getting paid to read books out loud:
Can You Get Paid to Read Aloud?
You can earn anywhere from $50 to $400 per finished hour as an audiobook narrator reading books aloud or a voice actor reading scripted material depending on skill and experience. As a budding voice actor or narrator, you might have to take lower-paying jobs to get experience and build a portfolio.
How Much Does an Audiobook Narrator Make?
A freelance audiobook narrator can make anywhere from $50 to $400 per finished hour. Pay varies based on talent, experience, and reputation. If you’re a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union, the minimum per finished hour rate on Amazon’s ACX platform is $250.
What Equipment Do You Need to Make an Audiobook?
If you’re just starting, here’s the equipment you need to make a demo in MP3 format or an audiobook:
- A laptop or desktop computer
- A good USB microphone
- A pop filter to make your audio sound cleaner
- Audio editing software like Audacity or Garageband
- A quiet space
That covers the very basics. A microphone stand and soundproofing materials for your home studio will further help you create audiobooks.
Can Anyone Become an Audiobook Narrator?
Anyone can potentially become an audiobook narrator. You can start in your spare time and work toward a career in audiobook narration. Your chances of being hired will increase with training, working with audiobook coaches, practicing, creating demos, auditioning often, and gaining experience.
Final Thoughts on Making Money Reading Books Aloud
The audiobook business is thriving and audiobook professionals get paid to read books aloud. Narrators and voice professionals can make good money, startup costs are low, and you can work from home. If you have a passion for reading, becoming an audiobook narrator is a viable way to make money reading books, either as a side gig for extra money or as your full-time job and career.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash. Screenshots courtesy of the author.
Jerry is a personal finance enthusiast, side hustler, and freelance web developer who began his career in financial services. He co-founded KindaFrugal.com, a personal finance and frugal living blog. His insights have appeared on MSN, Newsweek.com, HerCampus.com, Mashed.com, and many others.