Okay, so I actually stumbled upon this by accident. No joke! A friend of mine is a writer. She writes steamy romance novels and one day we were chatting about her books. I was telling her I was thinking of doing voice-over work but wasn’t really sure how to get started. Then she told me about a website owned by Audible and Amazon where authors go to get their books read by a narrator to be put up on Audible…

This was such awesome news. I had always thought about doing this, but really never knew how to get started. Because I also do podcasting, I already had an (okay) mic and the editing software that I’d need to get started. So, I decided I’d do it. You guys… No joke, within the 2nd… yes, the second day of having my profile up, on this website I already had a job offer. Then shortly after that, I got another one.

Here is all I did to get started. You will need a good enough mic, meaning one that is not going to pick up a ton of background noise…however, if you have the right editing software you can edit any of that noise out later, it’s just very and I do mean very time-consuming… More on that in a bit.

Create a profile on www.acx.com (this is not sponsored). This is a dedicated website owned my Audible and Amazon, where authors who want to make their books into audiobooks come to hire narrators. I put a nice professional profile picture of myself up, added 3 clips of my voice, and then I auditioned for a few books. The funny thing is the gigs I got hired for were not even the ones I auditioned for. The truth is there are more books waiting to be narrated than there are people to narrate them. So writers are actively searching for the right voice for their books daily. You will also need editing software. I use a free one called Audacity. I’ve had this program for many years because I used it when I was doing transcription work. It does help if you are familiar with the program before accepting any new gigs.

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Editing… 

Okay, so this was a nightmare for me. I’m being 100% honest, I literally cried after day 4 of me editing and feeling like I had done nothing but edit for 12 hours straight.  Even though I know how to use Audacity when you’re editing an audiobook, every click, breath, and dog bark counts. Now, I am in a walk-in closet, away from the chaos of the 4 dogs, and 3 children, but even then, I was still getting some distant hums of the washing machine. This can be fixed with the proper setup but we are talking, brand new out of the box newbie here. I am working with what I have. Because of this, I had to spend hours upon hours of time editing. There are so many helpful Youtube videos and Facebook groups that will help guide you. I learned very quickly what standards and settings I needed to have to be considered passing audio on ACX

Payday… 

This was sweet bliss. This morning as I was making my breakfast I got a phone ping. It was my Paypal telling me I got money! EAHHH this was the best feeling in the world. Granted, it took me 8 days to get the 4-hour audiobook done. I could not even imagine how long it would take for a book that was much longer. My big mistake was taking such a short deadline. Lesson learned for next time!

The author will tell you what they are willing to pay you. You will not be paid for the time it takes you to finish the project, you are only paid by the hours of audio you record, it’s called PFH (per finished hour). For example, I did a 4-hour audiobook, therefore I am only paid for those 4 hours. Pay will vary, especially as you are just starting out. From what I have seen for new narrators without any experience you can expect to be paid anywhere from $40 to $80 dollars per recorded hour. I was on the lower scale for my 1st one, but either way, I feel like this is a great way to make money from home.

If you’re a mom and you have a few hours where your kids are in school, why not pick up that mic and record yourself reading for a few hours. It’s a fun way to make some extra money.

You will get hired…

Here’s the thing, I did not do anything special or exciting to get my 1st gig. I can’t stress this enough. I know it may not happen like this for all of you, and I get that. It also depends on the voice type the author is looking for, but I can say from my personal experience, this was an easy gig to get. I used 3 audio clips that were of good quality. Because I have the WAHM RADIO podcast, I used a clip from that show as my 1st one. Then I read a book for a sample clip and the last one I used a British accent. I do pearl parties (Mommy Boutique) and I will sometimes dress up as a very cheeky British mermaid named Seashell Shelly. I used those 3 clips and forgot about it. That next day I got my 1st offer for a cookbook! I was so excited and shocked that it was so easy to get gigs. I’ve been on Fivver for years and only had a hand full of gigs.

This is legit a great way to make some pocket cash, or go all in and make it a career. I can see this being very lucrative once I am able to get the correct setup and get faster at editing. When you’ve got a portfolio and can ask for more money, then you could hire an editor. That’s what I hope to do because I was not thrilled with the editing. I loved being able to read but yeah, editing is not my cup of tea. I’m too hyper for that jazz haha! I already have two new gigs lined up and I did not go searching for them, they found me! This is for real… What are you waiting for? Go make some money using your God-given gift. Your voice!

 

 

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