Audiobooks: A Voice Over Job

Some voice actors would find reading for an audiobook a new thing, an unexplored avenue.  Stamina of voice and a skill for narrating becomes important when reading an audio book. This time around, voice talents are, most of the time, not pitching to advertising agencies but to authors who have conceived their characters, know their characters by heart and have a firm idea of what their characters sound like and should be like when read by a voice actor.  And when they have a voice talent reading their books, they will know to say when they like how a voice talent reads it but that’s the thing, all the direction will be coming from the author and it’s the voice talent’s job to bring the book and its characters to life.

Voice actors will already have the skill to do audiobooks for a voice over job since training and coaching for a voice

Jeff Steitzer narrates David Rosenfelt's thriller "Airtight"

Jeff Steitzer narrates David Rosenfelt’s thriller “Airtight”

talents include being able to switch voices to voice different characters. Training on acting – current audiobook voice talents say – also help in the narration of reading for an audiobook. Especially for fiction where it is a made up world, acting skills are required. While not all audiobooks are fiction, the challenge with non-fiction is that sometimes, it is dry material. Obviously a voice actor will need to narrate as engagingly as possible and still meet the author’s vision for it.

There are some things an experienced voice actor – but new in voicing over for an audiobook – might need to pick up though like coaching on narration. Some books have plenty of dialogue some books don’t, either way, reading for an audio book is long hard work. Yes, reading for an audiobooks is very much unlike reading five to ten lines for an ad – audiobook reading is hours of reading that voice actors are actually advised to schedule recordings apart to give your voices time to rest. Editing skills also become essential as you will need to ensure that cuts are properly done and match the book. It is also a good idea to listen to audiobooks before auditioning for a casting for an audiobook.

Audiobooks have the reader as an audience and that is a distinguishable difference from viewers who are viewing images to complete the picture. Readers have the voice actor’s voice in their heads so painting the picture just right and capturing the emotion is important. There are several genres to choose from and perhaps a voice talent will have to find their niche. Adult content for audiobooks are numerous however it appears that voice talents find it easier to read adult content for audiobooks. Children’s books offer opportunity to those who can voice a child or an animal or a monster so there is plenty of exercise and mastery to be had. And then there are the conspiracy, cloak and dagger ones which call for a different type of voice – plenty for voice actors to settle in to.

As compared to voicing over for video games – now dubbed as possibly hazardous to a voice talents voice box, audiobooks might be a tamer avenue to add to your list of projects a voice actor can explore.

You may also like...