There are a few good reasons to narrate you own book, and many more why you shouldn’t.
Why you should:
- It’s your book and your words, so you can tell your story best.You know your characters, your story or subject, and the thinking behind your words better than anyone else.
- You keep more money. If you pay a narrator, you will either share royalties or pay them upfront to produce your audiobook. When you narrate your own book, your audiobook royalty payments go to you (after your publisher or Amazon takes a big chunk of it).
- You can be your own narrator if:
- You are a trained voice actor
- You are a professional actor
- You have a background in public speaking
- You are a radio air talent or news anchor
- You have read a lot of books for volunteer studios like Learning Ally and feel comfortable behind a microphone.
None of the above? Then get a professional to do it—please. It really is a lot harder than it looks. You could perform surgery on your own brain, but wow, what a mess!
What if you have been told what a great voice you have? Having a good voice is a very small part of audiobook narration. Even experienced voice-over talent can struggle when they try the long-form audiobook narration format. Imagine a bunch of reviews on your book page complaining about the narrator. That’s not something you want your readers to see.
Amazon’s ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) makes it pretty easy to find a narrator. You can share your royalties, or keep all royalties and pay a narrator/producer per “finished hour.”