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Should an Author Narrate Their Own Audiobook?

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

After months or even years of writing a book, you'll want to do everything possible to make sure it's a success. So when it comes time to produce an audiobook version, many authors wonder if they should step up to the microphone and narrate their work themselves.

On the one hand, there are definite advantages to having the author be the narrator, but there are just as many (if not more) drawbacks associated with taking on the work yourself.

With that in mind, let's weigh up the pros and cons and help you decide whether or not hiring a professional voiceover artist for your audiobook narration is a wise investment for you.

What Are The Benefits of Narrating Your Audiobook Yourself?

The advantages associated with taking on the audiobook narration yourself are apparent. You know the material better than anyone, so you can infuse the reading with extra meaning and understanding. You know every detail and every character inside and out, meaning you can give the performance added weight.

Also, many authors have already cultivated a fan base, and those fans would love to hear the author's voice telling the story. If that's you, then recording your book yourself could result in a nice little boost in sales.

Lastly, recording your own audiobook can appear to be a more cost-effective solution than hiring a professional (we'll cover this in more detail shortly). You certainly won't have to pay fees for the hours of work that go into the professional production of an audiobook.

However, there are several notable disadvantages of having to do it yourself.

Why Hire a Professional Voiceover Artist to Narrate Your Audiobook Instead of Doing it Yourself?

First of all, it's important to remember that audiobooks are a very different medium from print books. It's not just about reading the words aloud; it's also about creating a performance that will keep listeners engaged. A professional narrator has the vocal repertoire and acting chops to make an audiobook into a compelling listening experience.

It's one thing being able to read the words on a page, but can you bring them alive in the same way a professional can? Could you realistically voice several characters? These are all factors you need to consider before making a decision.

Another consideration is that recording an audiobook is a lot of work, and it can be very tough to find the time to do it well when you're also trying to promote your book and maintain some semblance of a normal life.

As a general rule of thumb, it takes four hours of work to deliver every one hour of finished audiobook narration. For most authors, that's more time than they can realistically commit. It's also a massive cost of your labour hours. So while yes, if you did it yourself, you wouldn't have to pay anyone else, you lose out in other significant ways.

Finally, you need to consider the technical aspects of recording an audiobook. It's not as simple as sitting in front of a microphone and reading aloud. You need a quiet room, good acoustics, the right equipment, and some recording know-how to get a high-quality result.

If you don't have experience with recording, it's easy to make mistakes that will result in a subpar final product. A dedicated voiceover artist, on the other hand, will have access to all the necessary equipment and know-how to deliver a slick audiobook production.

So, What's the Bottom Line? Should You Narrate Your Own Audiobook or Hire a Professional Narrator?

There's no easy answer, and ultimately it's a decision that each author will have to make for themselves.

But if you're on the fence, it might be worth considering hiring a professional voiceover artist to narrate your story for you. Not only will they have the professional recording equipment ready to go, but they will likely be better positioned to bring your story to life with compelling performances.

It's also worth considering that, as an author, your time is valuable. You could spend hours upon hours recording your audiobook instead of promoting your book or making headway on your next project.

As a professional narrator of dozens of audiobooks, I can help you make your story shine. From nailing the characters’ voices to adding emotion and flair, I can help you create an audiobook that fans of your work will love.

If you're interested in learning more about my female voiceover services, don't hesitate to get in touch with me directly via email at

I hope this article has been useful in helping you decide which avenue to pursue. If you do decide you need a professional narrator, I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Nicky Griffiths


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