Did you know you can get paid to read books aloud?
Audiobook narration is a real thing and it can help you earn extra cash from anywhere. You don’t need to be a professional voice-over artist to get paid to read books aloud. But you must have a good voice and excellent reading skills.
There are many websites that will pay you hundreds of dollars to be an audiobook narrator.
A great example is Katie Hagaman who is one of the top voice actors on ACX.
Not only is she one of the top professional voice actors on ACX and Audible, but she’s also been a voice-over artist for many productions across YouTube, video games, commercials, books, and audiobooks.
To ‘get paid to read books aloud’ means that you will be reading an entire book – cover to cover – and in exchange, you will get paid.
Millions of book lovers prefer listening to books being read out instead of reading traditionally published books. And with its growing popularity, book authors don’t want to miss the opportunity of capitalizing on that segment.
So, authors, self-published authors, and publishing houses are actively looking for voice actors who will read books aloud. In exchange for your time, as a book reader you earn money.
Instead of fixed-rate cash compensation, as a voice actor, you may receive a lifetime royalty. The fixed-rate pay can range up to $500 PFH or per finished hour. Therefore, if it takes 4 hours to finish reading a book, as a voice actor you can receive up to $2,000 for one book.
There are many websites where you can get paid to read books aloud if you have the necessary voice talent. Here are the top 10 sites to get paid to read books aloud:
ACX or the Audiobook Creation Exchange (aka Audiobook Creative Exchange) owned by Amazon is one of the best platforms to get paid to read.
The platform manages narration for Amazon, Audible, and iTunes; hence, there are many opportunities to get paid to read books aloud.
You can easily sign up for an ACX account with your Amazon account and start applying for audiobook narrator jobs.
Once a book author likes your narration and hires you, you will need to provide 15-minute audio of the book.
After the book author approves the audio, you can proceed with the rest of the book.
ACX refers to audiobook narrators as Audiobook Producers. If you are one of the self-published authors willing to narrate your recently published books and maintain the rights to the audiobook, ACX will refer to you as the Rights Holder.
You can choose to get paid per finished hour or to earn royalties based on the audiobook sales.
Voices is yet another popular platform to get paid to read books. Many popular brands use Voices, such as The History Channel, Microsoft, and Shopify. For any audiobook voice talent, this freelancing platform offers thousands of audiobook narrator jobs.
You need to start by creating a membership account. You can choose their basic plan or a premium plan.
Once you set up an account, you upload multiple high-quality samples and wait for the platform’s search feature to match you with potential clients. You can then reply to job postings and send samples.
You can also receive invitations from clients who like the samples you provided.
If the client likes your voice acting and hires you, you have the potential of earning anywhere between $200 and $300 per finished hour.
Another great place to get paid to read books aloud is Bunny Studio. This platform will even pay you for auditioning. There is no subscription fee for freelance voice actors, but the platform will take a cut out of the money freelancers earn.
To start, you must register an account with the platform and add all your skills. Once you are done, Bunny Studio will send you a task that you must complete within 48 hours. This will be your audition.
You will get four chances to prove your voice talent and become a pro (professional – that’s what they will call you). If accepted, you can create a portfolio and audition for various projects.
One of the best features is that you will receive a payment for every deliverable even if clients reject your work, but the prerequisite is that you must pass the quality control check on the site.
Spoken Realms is another popular platform to get paid to read books aloud. It is a thriving community of professional and captivating storytellers.
Voice actors who are members of ACTRA, SAG-AFTRA, or Equity have an edge on this platform but that doesn’t mean other voice artists are not welcome on the platform.
On Spoken Realms, you can read podcasts or narrate graphic novels and you can choose between royalty share or per finished hour payment structure.
Findaway Voices is another massive distribution network for authors and narrators. This platform allows an author to narrate his or her recently published book or the author can hire a voice-over talent to complete the voice-over work.
To become an audiobook narrator on this platform, you must create a profile and then read their audiobook narrator guide to know whether you meet the guidelines or not.
As for the payment, the platform uses the per-hour-finished model. However, you have the right to change your rates whenever you want.
Findaway Voices has a built-in system for tracking the final runtime of the audiobook, thereby eliminating the need for invoices.
Another platform to get paid to read books aloud is Voice Crafters. However, you must have 5-years commercial experience in the audiobook production and voice-over industry. You must also be a full-time voice actor with an enchanting voice.
Audio production must be of the highest quality, so you’ll need professional recording equipment, and the demo recordings you send can’t have any background noise.
This leading company in the audiobook industry expects a turnaround time of up to 48 hours for a 300-to-500-word recording.
Voice Crafters is a multilingual platform and hence, you can find a full-time job even if you are not a native English speaker.
Another great place for making money online by reading books aloud, Voice Jungle allows both full-time voice actors and starters. However, this platform is more focused on narrating podcasts and the e-learning industry.
But there are plenty of opportunities for professional voice actors looking for voice work for commercials, animation projects, automotive ads, explainer videos, IVR, etc.
To capitalize on the online job opportunities found on Voice Jungle, you must have a home studio and must be able to deliver within 24 hours when requested.
Voice 123 is another popular platform to get paid to read books aloud. While they have various types of audio narration jobs, you can also be an audiobook producer and read children’s books aloud or select contemporary romance books or books in any other genre.
When you sign up, Voice 123 will assess your experience level by asking you a few questions.
As with any other platform, you need to demonstrate your capability and submit samples of your voice work.
One of the best things about this platform is that you don’t need to pay any commission or agent fees. Clients will pay you directly for your voice-over work.
Another popular place for audiobook narration, The Voice Realm has managed over 100,000 voice-over jobs. With thousands of job opportunities, an audiobook narrator can get paid to read books aloud and earn extra money.
However, if you decide to join The Voice Realm, your voice recording samples must be of studio quality and you must have a decent track record. Not only that, you must be able to provide quick turnaround times.
While registering as an audiobook narrator or a voice-over artist, you need to mention the audio editing software you use along with your microphone brand. If you have your own blog or website, you can mention that, too.
A part of Amazon Publishing Group, Brilliance Publishing is a place where book lovers go for a memorable audiobook listening experience.
While it is mainly a place to buy audiobooks, you can also get paid to read books aloud and earn some extra money.
There is no direct registration process available for audiobook narration, you can simply apply by sending an email to email@example.com.
If you don’t want to make money reading books aloud, you can do so by writing book reviews.
It is a great way to earn money if you don’t have the necessary voice talent to get paid to read books aloud but you are an avid reader.
On this website, you can write book reviews and earn cash. Start by registering an account and sending a few writing samples. If they like your writing flair, they will assign a book for you to read and write a 350-word review within 14 days.
This is another great platform for book reviewers. You can earn anywhere between $5 and $60 for every book review you write depending on the book’s length.
For the first review, you will receive a copy of the book for free. From your next gig onwards, you will get paid and are free to review books that you like. Just make sure that you leave an honest review even if it is critical.
Book Browse is another great place to earn money by writing book reviews. They will ask for a 300-word sample and use it to approve or disapprove your application.
Once approved, you need to write a small book review for the book they assign.
Additionally, you must also write a ‘Beyond the Book’ article where you’ll explain your learning experience with the book you just reviewed.
Tips on How to Get Paid to Read Books Aloud
Obviously for something as important as audio quality you’ll need the right equipment. Even if you’re a traveling digital nomad, I suggest investing in a professional-grade microphone for the best recordings. (I use the DJI mic, which is small, convenient and incredible quality – not cheap, but worth every penny if you want to be able to record on the go!)
Then when recording, make sure that the microphone is shielded from electrical appliances, fans, etc., that make white noise or brown noise.
So many cities around the world have co-working spaces, if not, just find a small, quiet room that’s got a flat sound, as opposed to an echoey room. Small hotel rooms, inside a car, even tapping up a local radio station to use a booth! A friend of mine records all her podcasts in her clothes closet!
Other equipment that you may need is a laptop (I do quite a lot of recording straight onto my phone though, so might not be necessary), headphones, a pop filter (depending on your mic), a mic boom arm (can attach to the side of a desk and attach mic and a pop filter), a shock mount, and audio compressor software.
If you are recording at home and you are anticipating a lot of outside noise from family members or pets, it is important to soundproof your recording environment so that you can get quiet and balanced audio.
Sign up for a platform where you can read books aloud and complete your profile. If you are asked to submit a sample during registration, move on to the next step.
Record a sample with proper voice modulations. Ensure that there are no external sounds and that your audio is balanced.
If necessary, record multiple times and use audio editing software wherever needed. Take the best recording and submit it as a sample.
After your profile is accepted, audition for available tasks. If chosen, record and create audiobooks. Make sure you read the entire piece before you start recording to get an idea about the characters.
You will not just read books aloud. It will be voice acting and hence, voice modulations are necessary for readers to enjoy a pleasant listening experience.
Once you have a clear understanding, record the audiobook and submit it for approval. Once approved, you will get paid!
I love the world we live in now and the opportunities available online!
You can indeed get paid reading books aloud, and if you are a star voice actor, you can make it your full-time career.
The amount you will get paid to read books online may not be high at the beginning, but as you keep building your portfolio and keep gaining experience, you can gradually increase your rates.
Make sure that you are using only legit platforms to get paid to read books. Reading books aloud on platforms like YouTube or Facebook Live can land you in legal trouble.
I hope this article helps you to get started. Good luck!