Practical Ways to Succeed in Audiobook Narration

Audiobook narration may seem a bit different, but it’s actually a part of the acting industry. While there are a lot of non-actor audio book narrators who do well with their natural storytelling talents, a solid background in acting can really put a narrator above the rest. A good training in acting is actually considered the standard in the voice acting profession nowadays. The following aspects are essential for the success of an aspiring audiobook professional:




A narrator that aspires to excel should develop the ability to convert a script in playable actions. He should observe and learn a variety of genres and he should be able to portray or express specific situations with his body and voice to make a “scene” authentic and credible. These are three of the most important components of voice acting or audiobook narration. You can obtain and master these only through serious training.


There’s little argument when the issue is about good acting. There’s not much difference in the standards whether it is performed on stage or on screen. But when it comes to audiobook narration, things become a bit different. It requires a different set of skills. These should be on top of your acting ability to be able to perform impressively. There are some actors who think they can easily cross over to audiobook narration because they can read and act, only to find out right at the very first day of recording that it is not that easy.


Audiobook Recording Talent


Audiobook recording is not just a “marathon.” It is an acting feat that requires the narrator to be a one-man cast that needs to play all the parts. This requires great talent because a narrator needs to “internalize” the emotions, expressions, accents, voices and personalities of each character to be able to portray them believably well. And he has to be consistent with it all throughout the entire story or the product will be a flop. This requires great focus and lots of practice. As an aspiring audiobook narrator, there’s one important thing you need to remember: While rehearsals are allowed or sometimes necessary in film and television, that privilege does not exist in audiobook recording.


It is therefore important for narrators to make an adequate preparation for every project. While each narrator develops his own technique of marking scripts or remembering various voices, the one common thing they do is read the book before it is scheduled for recording. This gives the narrator enough time to create character personalities based on the author’s description. It also allows him or her to get familiar with the author’s voice and writing style.


Ability to Portray the Author


You may not know it, but even if the narrator needs to relate both sides of the conversation, it is not the most challenging part of an audiobook. For most narrators, one of the most demanding aspects of recording an audiobook is the narrative where he needs to project the author’s voice.


The author is the real storyteller. A good narrator should be able to project the author’s voice and style in the audiobook.  To be able to achieve this, some narrators even practice yoga or meditation to exercise particular muscles. This is a part of the preparation serious narrators do to complement their training and innate skills. This gives them the ability to engage their audience and immerse them completely in a story that can take them to another place and time.


Becoming an audiobook narrator with success is not just about storytelling talent. It is a combination of many aspects. This includes acting ability, projection, flexibility and good preparation. Any aspiring narrator can achieve these with consistency and practice.


photo credit for featured image: Washington State Library (

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