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!
- A list of Audiobook Narrators
- A Note About Audiobook Production Companies
- What to Look for in an Audiobook Narrator
- Where Else to Find Audiobook Narrators
Table of contents
List of Audiobook Narrators
|Eric Priessman||Fiction, Nonfiction||The Vampire Lestat, Apollo 11: The Inside Story|
|Pamela Almand||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western||Husbands and Other Sharp Objects, The Subversive Copy Editor, The Irrational Season, Come to Me Alive|
|Gary Bennett||Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||The Letters of Shirley Jackson, Dearest Mother and Dad, Once We Were Here, Midnight in the Graveyard|
|Kris Keppeler||Nonfiction, Self Help||Wicca Moon Magic, Reading the Tarot, Wicca: Finding Your Path|
|Scott Ellis||Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Children’s, Sci-Fi & Fantasy||The Second Secret, Breakdown, Frozen Brush|
|Paul Bellantoni||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||The 6:41 to Paris, Lolita in the Afterlife, Mater and the Easter Buggy, Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight|
|Edoardo Ballerini||Drama, Nonfiction, Inspirational||Beautiful Ruins, Watchers, The Long Petal of the Sea, Speaks the Nightbird|
|Lisa Cordileone||Romance, Mystery & Suspense, Nonfiction||Gemina, That Boy series, And Playing the Role of Herself, The Fall|
|Shaina Summerville||Cozy Mystery, YA/Teen, Romance, Nonfiction||Ava the Brave, The Dance of Life, Skating on Thin Ice, Just as You Are|
|Troy Duran||Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western||The Heart of Him; Alex (In the Company of Snipers, Book One); Dragon’s Trail; When the Walls Come Down|
|Krystal Wascher||Mainly Nonfiction||Free to Heal, Crossed Lines, Ugly Me, CPC Audio Study Guide, Empath|
|Tim Dixon||Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Canary 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 Hewitt||Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction & Fantasy||Bewitched by Chocolate Mysteries, The Ascension Myth Series, Oxford Tearoom Mysteries|
|Jack de Golia||Mystery/Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Nonfiction, Romance||Noble Chaos, Beyond the Higher Ground, House on Turner Lane, Dirty Deeds, Gray Shadows|
|Nathan Agin||Nonfiction, historical fiction||How We Change, The Kick-Ass Writer, Icy Cape, 5000 Words Per Hour|
|Elisabeth Rodgers||Mystery/Suspense, Thriller, Cozy Mystery, Literature||Mapping the Heavens, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Naked Eye, The Crooked Staircase|
|Kirsten Dunn||Fiction, Nonfiction||Wait For Me|
|Matthew Lloyd Davies||Comedy, Drama, Nonfiction||How to be Good, Marley, Oddjobs 2 (This Time It’s Personnel), Band Sinister|
|Michael Kramer & Kate Reading||Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance, Nonfiction, Thriller.||The Wheel of Time series, A Conjuring of Light, Wanderer of the Wasteland, The Fall of Radiance series.|
|Rachel Perry||Non-fiction, Romance, Young Adult||Death on Ocean Boulevard; Arsenal of Hope; Repent; Think Confident, Be Confident|
|Fiona Hardingham||Teen & Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature, Nonfiction, Self Help||And I Darken, The Scorpio Races, The Summer Before the War, An Ember in the Ashes|
|Will Damron||Mystery/Thriller, History, Romance, Literary Fiction||Hour of the Assassin, An Ocean Without a Shore, Range|
|Renee Chamblis||Children's, Comedy, Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Young Adult||Bleeding Tarts, Wrong Turn, The Amateurs: Last Seen|
|Nicol Zanzarella||Literature, Science Fiction, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction||The Second Season, Mortal Sight, Ten Low, The Last Watch|
|Tanya Eby||Nonfiction, Mystery/Thriller, Women’s Fiction, Comedy.||Man Card, Man Hands, I Know A Secret, Second Chance Girl|
|Andrea J. Pierre||Romance, Mystery, Nonfiction.||Love So Heavenly, Count Those Blessings, The Devil’s Whisper|
|Callie Beaulieu||Cozy Mystery, Mystery, Inspirational Fiction, Nonfiction.||Hostile Intent, Childhood Disrupted, Acceptable Risk|
|Tom Zingarelli||Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy.||Dead Presidents, Unexampled Courage, Substitute, Citizen Kane, Dark Places of the Earth|
|Julie Eickhoff||Nonfiction, but open to fiction genres.||N/A|
|Caitlin Davies||Fantasy and Thriller||House of Night, Penryn & the End of Days, Dragon Blood, The Warrior Chronicles, and The Talon Saga.|
|Karen Commins||Fiction, History, Self-Development, Nonfiction.||Dixie Divas Cozy Mystery Series|
|Kathrin Kana||Nonfiction in English and German||Lilac Girls, Conversational German Quick and Easy|
|Susan Ericksen||Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Dark in Death, The Abundance, Critical Mass, American Edin, Survivor in Death|
|Clara Abbot||Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult||Conjure the Storm series, Furever In Love, Her Christmas Wish|
|Sarah Grace Wright||Comedy, Inspirational, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult||Only the Lonely, Steeped in Love, Chicken Soup for the Soul (Campus Chronicles), Barefoot Season, Fallen Elements|
|Daniela Acitelli||Mystery/Suspense, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Florida Folk Magic Stories; The Scorned Series, Book 1; The Dear Maude Trilogy, Book 1|
|Neil Shah||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult||The Test, I Am an Executioner, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Haroun and the Sea of Stories|
|Suzie Althens||Mystery/Suspense, Inspirational, Nonfiction, Young Adult, Drama||Jesus and John Wayne, Booked for Death, The Great Indoors, Disturbed in Their Nests|
|Jonathan Beville||Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western||Skills to Kill, Chimes at Midnight, Inner CEO, Death in the Congo|
|Mark Bramhall||Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Young Adult||Benediction, Everybody’s Fool, Trajectory, The Fire Witness, Dissident Gardens|
|Holly Adams||Children's, Comedy, Mystery/Suspense, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Western, Young Adult, Drama||Manhattan Dragon, Temple Secrets, Lucifer’s Pride, Heart of the Mage, Hounded by the Gods, The Supernatural Bounty Hunter Files|
|Peter Berkrot||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Inspirational, Western, Young Adult||The Accident, The Yid, Without Fear or Favor, Unholy Night|
|Deanna Anthony||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||N/A|
|Elise Arsenault||Children's, Comedy, Drama, Inspirational, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Memoir, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult||A Familiar Tale; The End of the Perfect Ten, A Winter Wedding, Lost Wolf, Super Red Riding Hood|
|Steve Marvel||Comedy, Drama, Mystery/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Breach of Protocol, Who Murdered Garson Talmadge?, Frozen Past|
|Matt Braver||Children's, Comedy, Nonfiction, Young Adult||The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Findaway Voices
- Lantern Audio
- Author’s Republic
- AudioFile Magazine
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!
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!