Connie Terwilliger – ISDN Voice Talent

June 11, 2010

Audiobook Insights from VOICE 2010

Filed under: Auditioning, Marketing — Tags: , , , , , — connieterwilliger @ 9:03 am

“Narrating audiobooks is one of the fastest growing niche areas of voiceover!”

This is a quote from Hilary Huber’s Audiobook panel materials for her Friday, June 4th Breakout session. On hand were Scott Brick and Pat Fraley to discuss what skills you need to actually work in this area.

The biggest hurdle for many people with aspirations of recording audiobooks is the simple fact that you have to read aloud for a LONG time. Most people THINK they can do this, but when faced with 500 pages of book – with multiple characters of different genders, ages, ethnicities, etc. – the reality is that it takes much more than thinking about it.

If you have gotten to the point where you can comfortably read for several hours a day for several days, without an excessive number of stops and starts or abundant mouth noise, then perhaps you are ready to market your services.

The current trend for demos (and this is not an exact science) is at least three – 1 minute excerpts with a slate before each. Pick from familiar books – good books, but not best sellers done by well known audiobook narrators. Although it was suggested that you could send a specific producer a snippet from something they have produced. This would require several demos customized to each producer, of course. Your demo should also have pristine sound – rent a studio if necessary – and use a director.

Got your demo(s) done – look for a publisher who will take a chance on you – probably not the big houses, but the smaller publishers.

Some links for researching audiobook publishers:

One final thought from the panel…

“Slow down on action scenes.”



  1. Connie,

    I’ve had a bit of experience with audio books. While I have voiced some, I’ve actually more experience directing authors reading their own books. (Something very common with business and non-fiction authors)

    One question I’ve had is whether any of this work runs through talent agents. My work has always come from direct contacts in the publishing industry or with production houses. I don’t believe I have ever seen an audiion for an audio book come via any of my agents.

    Within the past year – 2 years though I have seen things somewhat “dry up”.

    Also, with audio book work being perfect work for stay at home moms and dads and those with disabilities, I have noticed rates dropping significantly, along with competition rising.

    With more and more publishing companies consolidating, does this work seem viable for more than but a handful of people? I also wonder if geography plays a part, with so much of this work apparently being handled in New York and Los Angeles.

    Any further insights anyone?

    Comment by J.S. Gilbert — June 12, 2010 @ 10:55 am

  2. There are so many books (fiction and non-fiction) and it takes so much time to record, that there has to be room for people, it would seem.

    But you are right – competition is up and the rates are going down. The gap between the upper tier of talent and the working class (or in some cases the “working for the fun of it” class) is getting larger.

    How does someone jump that gap? Having the chops for it is only part of the puzzle. I too, wonder about agent involvement in this part of the voiceover market.

    The panel all agreed that cultivating relationships was one of the best ways – attending APAC, getting to know the publishers, etc.

    But there is probably more.

    Comment by connieterwilliger — June 12, 2010 @ 11:07 am

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