Audiobook Narrators: A List of Our Recommendations

If you’ve done any research into audiobook production, you probably know that it’s a whole world in and of itself. It’s as nuanced and complicated (at least at first) as the wide world of independent publishing. There are all kinds of services boasting benefits and ways to help you get your book produced.

But when you think about it, the most important factor in a great audiobook (other than a brilliant book, of course) is a great narrator. To that end, I’ve gathered a big list of narrators that you can check out. I’ve also included some other pointers on finding a narrator after the list, just in case you want to keep looking.

So, let’s get to it!

In this article, you will find:
  1. A list of Audiobook Narrators
  2. A Note About Audiobook Production Companies
  3. What to Look for in an Audiobook Narrator
  4. Where Else to Find Audiobook Narrators

List of Audiobook Narrators

NameGenresPast Work
Pamela AlmandChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, WesternHusbands and Other Sharp Objects, The Subversive Copy Editor, The Irrational Season, Come to Me Alive
Gary BennettDrama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyThe Letters of Shirley Jackson, Dearest Mother and Dad, Once We Were Here, Midnight in the Graveyard
Kris KeppelerNonfiction, Self Help Wicca Moon Magic, Reading the Tarot, Wicca: Finding Your Path
Scott EllisMystery, Suspense, Thriller, Children’s, Sci-Fi & FantasyThe Second Secret, Breakdown, Frozen Brush
Paul BellantoniChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyThe 6:41 to Paris, Lolita in the Afterlife, Mater and the Easter Buggy, Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight
Edoardo BalleriniDrama, Nonfiction, InspirationalBeautiful Ruins, Watchers, The Long Petal of the Sea, Speaks the Nightbird
Lisa CordileoneRomance, Mystery & Suspense, NonfictionGemina, That Boy series, And Playing the Role of Herself, The Fall
Shaina SummervilleCozy Mystery, YA/Teen, Romance, NonfictionAva the Brave, The Dance of Life, Skating on Thin Ice, Just as You Are
Troy DuranDrama, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, WesternThe Heart of Him; Alex (In the Company of Snipers, Book One); Dragon’s Trail; When the Walls Come Down
Krystal WascherMainly NonfictionFree to Heal, Crossed Lines, Ugly Me, CPC Audio Study Guide, Empath
Tim DixonComedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyCanary in the Coalmine (A Forgotten Rural Community, a Hidden Epidemic, and a Lone Doctor...); Paris, City of Dreams (Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Creation of Paris); The Nevada Job (A Case Lee Novel, Book 7)
Pearl HewittCozy Mystery, Science Fiction & FantasyBewitched by Chocolate Mysteries, The Ascension Myth Series, Oxford Tearoom Mysteries
Jack de GoliaMystery/Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Nonfiction, RomanceNoble Chaos, Beyond the Higher Ground, House on Turner Lane, Dirty Deeds, Gray Shadows
Nathan AginNonfiction, historical fictionHow We Change, The Kick-Ass Writer, Icy Cape, 5000 Words Per Hour
Elisabeth RodgersMystery/Suspense, Thriller, Cozy Mystery, LiteratureMapping the Heavens, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Naked Eye, The Crooked Staircase
Kirsten Dunn Fiction, NonfictionWait For Me
Matthew Lloyd DaviesComedy, Drama, NonfictionHow to be Good, Marley, Oddjobs 2 (This Time It’s Personnel), Band Sinister
Michael Kramer & Kate ReadingScience Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Nonfiction, Thriller.The Wheel of Time series, A Conjuring of Light, Wanderer of the Wasteland, The Fall of Radiance series.
Rachel PerryNon-fiction, Romance, Young AdultDeath on Ocean Boulevard; Arsenal of Hope; Repent; Think Confident, Be Confident
Fiona HardinghamTeen & Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature, Nonfiction, Self HelpAnd I Darken, The Scorpio Races, The Summer Before the War, An Ember in the Ashes
Will DamronMystery/Thriller, History, Romance, Literary FictionHour of the Assassin, An Ocean Without a Shore, Range
Renee ChamblisChildren's, Comedy, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Young AdultBleeding Tarts, Wrong Turn, The Amateurs: Last Seen
Nicol ZanzarellaLiterature, Science Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, NonfictionThe Second Season, Mortal Sight, Ten Low, The Last Watch
Tanya EbyNonfiction, Mystery/Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Comedy.Man Card, Man Hands, I Know A Secret, Second Chance Girl
Andrea J. PierreRomance, Mystery, Nonfiction.Love So Heavenly, Count Those Blessings, The Devil’s Whisper
Callie BeaulieuCozy Mystery, Mystery, Inspirational Fiction, Nonfiction. Hostile Intent, Childhood Disrupted, Acceptable Risk
Tom ZingarelliComedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy.Dead Presidents, Unexampled Courage, Substitute, Citizen Kane, Dark Places of the Earth
Julie EickhoffNonfiction, but open to fiction genres.N/A
Caitlin DaviesFantasy and ThrillerHouse of Night, Penryn & the End of Days, Dragon Blood, The Warrior Chronicles, and The Talon Saga.
Karen ComminsFiction, History, Self-Development, Nonfiction.Dixie Divas Cozy Mystery Series
Kathrin KanaNonfiction in English and GermanLilac Girls, Conversational German Quick and Easy
Susan EricksenDrama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyDark in Death, The Abundance, Critical Mass, American Edin, Survivor in Death
Clara AbbotRomance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young AdultConjure the Storm series, Furever In Love, Her Christmas Wish
Sarah Grace WrightComedy, Inspirational, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young AdultOnly the Lonely, Steeped in Love, Chicken Soup for the Soul (Campus Chronicles), Barefoot Season, Fallen Elements
Daniela AcitelliMystery/Suspense, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyFlorida Folk Magic Stories; The Scorned Series, Book 1; The Dear Maude Trilogy, Book 1
Neil ShahChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young AdultThe Test, I Am an Executioner, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Suzie AlthensMystery/Suspense, Inspirational, Nonfiction, Young Adult, DramaJesus and John Wayne, Booked for Death, The Great Indoors, Disturbed in Their Nests
Jonathan BevilleMystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, WesternSkills to Kill, Chimes at Midnight, Inner CEO, Death in the Congo
Mark BramhallComedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Young AdultBenediction, Everybody’s Fool, Trajectory, The Fire Witness, Dissident Gardens
Holly AdamsChildren's, Comedy, Mystery/Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Young Adult, DramaManhattan Dragon, Temple Secrets, Lucifer’s Pride, Heart of the Mage, Hounded by the Gods, The Supernatural Bounty Hunter Files
Peter BerkrotChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Inspirational, Western, Young AdultThe Accident, The Yid, Without Fear or Favor, Unholy Night
Deanna AnthonyChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyN/A
Elise ArsenaultChildren's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Memoir, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young AdultA Familiar Tale; The End of the Perfect Ten, A Winter Wedding, Lost Wolf, Super Red Riding Hood
Steve MarvelComedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/FantasyBreach of Protocol, Who Murdered Garson Talmadge?, Frozen Past
Matt BraverChildren's, Comedy, Nonfiction, Young AdultThe Very Patient Caterpillar, The Little Butterfly That Could, The Double Drastic Time Capsule Caper, Trespassers, Escape from Shudder Mansion

A Note About Audiobook Narration Companies

The narrators on the list above are just a few available voice actors out there. Some of them boast nominations for the Earphones Award and the Audie Award. You'll even find a professional actor or two in the bunch. And approaching them via their website is perfectly fine to do.

However, don’t be surprised if the narrator suggests taking the production over to ACX, Findaway Voices, or another audiobook production platform. Many of these narrators find work through these companies, which comes with the added bonus of protection for both parties through standard contracts.

But before you ever get to that point, you’ll need to know what to look for in an audiobook narrator.

What To Look for in an Audiobook Narrator

You can’t just pick any audiobook narrator like you’d throw a dart at a map for your next vacation. (Well, you could, but people don’t like having darts thrown at them.)

There's an art to narration, and many people spend years learning the skill of voice acting. Not only that, but “audiobook narrator” is a term that often means “audiobook producer.” In fact, ACX calls their narrators producers. This means that a voiceover artist not only needs to be able to do different voices and various accents, but they also need to know about sound recording and they often need to have their own recording booth.

So there are several factors you need to consider in order to get the best narrator, which, in turn, will help you get the best audiobook version you can. Here are some of the common factors to consider when choosing voice talent for your audiobook.

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1. Audience Expectations and Similar Books

Just as how it’s good to stick close to genre tropes when writing your book, it’s also important that you consider audience expectations when it comes to your narrator. The best way to do this is to listen to some samples of similar audiobooks.

Thrillers with a male protagonist will likely have a male narrator with a distinct voice. The majority of romance novels are narrated by female voice actors. Literary novels can go either way, depending on the main character and the feel of the story.

So get a feel for what other successful audiobooks are doing, and look for a narrator with similar skills. If the narrator you’re looking at has done many books similar to yours, you may have a winner.

2. Compatibility

While not the most important factor, compatibility should be considered. You’re going to be working with the narrator for a month or more to get the book done. If you don’t get along or you sense red flags in regards to communication, punctuality, or worth ethic, he/she might not be the right narrator for you.

It's also a big plus if they're excited about the story. Obviously this is not a requirement as any consummate professional will do good work when excited or not. But if the narrator identifies with the main character and has a great voice, you may have a winner.

3. Cost

Cost is a big factor in any investment. Ideally, you want to get the most bang for your buck. But, like any other industry, the most talented and experienced people often command higher prices. So you’ll have to balance cost and experience when determining your ideal narrator.

Some narrators are open to doing a royalty share deal, which means you’ll have to go through ACX or Findaway Voices. But many narrators prefer to do things on a per-finished-hour (PFH) basis. This cost can range from as low as $50 PFH to as much as $500, although both these extremes are somewhat rare. You'll likely find that good narration comes at a price of around $250 to $350 per finished hour.

4. Experience and Samples

Cost and experience go hand-in-hand. It’s up to you if you want to take a chance on a new voice actor with little experience or go with someone who has several audiobooks under their belt.

You should always ask for a sample read of one or two pages of your book before signing a contract, as this is one of the best ways to determine if the narrator is right for you. Many narrators will do this for free or for a low upfront price. It's a chance to hear the narrators character voices and listen to the words of your story come alive in their voice.

You'll probably want to do a few of these with different narrators and get other people's opinions. Even the most prolific audiobook narrator that has voiced your favorite novel may not be right for your novel.

5. Recommendations

It’s never a bad idea to ask anyone you know who has made audiobooks if they can recommend a good narrator. Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that the narrator has done books comparable to yours first. But, as always, recommendations are a great way to find narrators. Who knows, you may even get a friends-and-family discount this way!

6. Availability

This may seem obvious, but many popular narrators book up months in advance. So before you get into the nitty gritty of negotiations, make sure they’ll be able to get your book done within a timeframe that works for you.

Where Else to Find Audiobook Narrators

If you don’t find a narrator that will work for you on the list above, there are plenty of agencies, aggregators, and marketplaces where you can look. Here are just a few platforms you can check:

If you have a favorite narrator, it's worth checking if they do freelance work with indie authors. Most of the big name narrators don't, but some do!

Final Thoughts

The audiobook market has been seeing excellent growth in recent years, and experts predict that it will continue to grow. So turning one or more of your books into audiobooks is a great way to add additional revenue streams.

However, it’s definitely an investment. Depending on the length of your book and the narrator you work with, it will cost you somewhere between $1,000 and $4,000 on average. If this sounds like too much, keep in mind that there are royalty share options offered most prominently by ACX and Findaway Voices that may be a better option for you. But that’s an article for another day.

Luckily, there’s a bevy of narrators looking for work that you can approach. Just take your time finding your narrator and make sure you thoroughly read any contract you sign (even through big companies). When done right, making an audiobook can be a fun and profitable experience like no other!



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