How to Choose the Right Narrator for Your Audiobook

For many, it has become a natural part of their daily routines. It might be while cycling to work, doing the dishes after dinner, or before going to sleep; they play an audiobook. Listening to audiobooks is becoming more and more popular today, as it often fits better into a busy lifestyle, and there are also more and more audiobook services to meet the demand. However, it’s not inconsequential which voice you choose to narrate your audiobook – whether you have a non-fiction book, a collection of poems, short stories, or a novel you want to be narrated. In this post, we will discuss how to choose the right narrator for your audiobook and what you should pay attention to. We will also touch upon whether all texts should be turned into audiobooks and how our many years of experience in the industry can assist you in finding a narrator for your audiobook.

Should Your Work Be Turned into an Audiobook?

There can be many advantages to releasing your content in multiple formats. However, it depends on the type of content you have created. By converting a work into an audiobook format, you increase accessibility. As an author and publisher, you want your book to reach as many people as possible, and e-books and audiobooks can help with that. Both formats are alternatives to printed books, which can be ideal for people with visual impairments, dyslexia, or other reading difficulties. At the same time, you can also reduce costs since producing large printed books is heavy and expensive. Here, you should instead find the right narrator for your audiobook, whether you hire a professional voice artist or learn to do it yourself.

The Increasing Popularity of Audiobooks

The popularity of audiobooks surged during the COVID-19 pandemic when the entire country, and indeed the world, went into lockdown in March 2020. The closure of many bookstores and physical libraries meant that avid readers had to find alternatives if they wanted access to literature while feeling isolated from the world around them. Many turned to audiobooks, which created a unique intimacy by offering a professional voice through headphones, an experience not achievable with physical books. It fostered a different level of emotional closeness to the voice actor and narrator, who spoke directly into their ears. It felt like there was another person in the room with them during a time when they were isolated from friends and family.

When Choosing the Right Narrator for Your Audiobook

It can have a significant impact on having your story and book in multiple formats, especially if you want to spread your message and reach a larger audience. It’s important to choose the right narrator to voice your content, so you end up with a voice that fits. When choosing the right narrator for your audiobook, you should consider the following:

The narrator’s gender

First and foremost, consider the narrator’s gender, taking into account the characters and storyline in the narrative. It’s simple: if it’s a novel with a first-person narrator from the protagonist’s perspective, choose the gender accordingly. If there isn’t a specific main character, or there are multiple main characters, choose based on which voice and tone will be best for the content. For non-fiction books, consider the genre. Male audiobook narrators often have a steady and authoritative storytelling voice, while female artists often have a gentle and pleasant narration style. However, professional narrators can adapt to the needs of the audiobook.

The tone of the content

The tone sets the overall mood of the narrative, so consider it carefully. Is it a playful voice? Is the story a mystery? Or do you want a straightforward tone for your non-fiction work? Each voice artist and audiobook narrator has their strengths, and some may be better suited for specific genres. Therefore, research the portfolios of different narrators to learn about their past experiences and the genres they’ve worked with.

Reading speed 

Another consideration is the reading speed. The reading speed depends partly on the number of words in a book, but it’s also influenced by the narrator’s natural reading pace, as everyone has their unique way of reading aloud. The speed, whether fast or slow, can influence the overall tone and cadence of your book. Again, consider the genre; an action-packed thriller may benefit from a faster pace, whereas a romantic poetry collection may require a slower reading pace. Note that it’s usually better to choose a narrator for audiobooks who reads a bit slower than too quickly, as people tend to immerse themselves more in a story that takes its time, especially when multitasking.


Last but not least, consider the price, as it should fit your budget. Many mistakenly believe that recording an audiobook is as simple as sitting in front of a microphone and reading aloud. This is far from the truth, and it’s much more complex in reality. A professional voice artist typically spends around three hours recording one hour of audiobook content that you hear. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring a professional speaker agency to handle the recording for you. In the long run, this can be both cost-effective and time-saving, while ensuring high-quality audio.

Get Help with Your Audiobook at VoiceArchive

At VoiceArchive, we have many years of experience with professional speakers, and we can assist you with recording your audiobook. You are always guaranteed a professional end result, and we can be involved in all phases, from casting to post-production. On our Voicefinder platform, you can listen to samples from the voice artists we collaborate with, offering more than 150 languages to choose from.

Anna Sticken

Global Key Account Manager