In the last three months, I’ve been asked an amazing number of times about how to get started recording audiobooks. I suppose this is because I’ve had some success finding work in this corner of the voiceover marketplace.
One of the guys asking me for some comments was my friend Tony Craine from Chicago. In Tony’s case, he was asking specifically about the value of attending Pat Fraley’s audiobook class. I gave him my honest opinion, which is that Pat’s audiobook class was exactly what I needed to prepare to get work narrating audiobooks. Because it was. Within a few weeks of my class in July of 2006, I had been signed as a regular narrator for one audiobook company, and in the following months, I’ve signed with 2 more and I’m in conversations with 2 others.
What’s equally important is that Pat, and his teaching partner Hillary Huber, were bluntly honest about the fact that in general audiobooks pay the least of any kind of professional narration, given the amount of work involved. So, why do them? Because there’s so much work and because it’s usually not work tied to really tight deadlines. Which means that in your otherwise down times, you can be earning some money narrating audiobooks, while still having time for the commercial (and other voiceover) work you do that pays more per hour.
One valuable part of Pat’s audiobook class is that you record an audiobook demo as part of your classwork. Now let me be bluntly clear, if you are just getting started in voiceover work, taking Pat’s class isn’t the smartest thing for you. Because without a solid foundation in voiceover basics, (including mike technique, breathing, how to break down copy, making solid acting choices and so forth) you’re almost certainly wasting your time and your money. Get a solid foundation started. Study with a solid professional coach. (My top recommendation is Nancy Wolfson.) Then, if you’re still interested in audiobooks, take Pat’s class.
By the way, you can hear Tony’s audiobook demo on his site, (recorded during his class with Pat) along with his other demos. Good work, Tony. May you, and all the readers of this blog post, experience much success.