Audio books have been popular in the mainstream since the early 80s, but the first audio books to appear were in the 1930s when the Library of Congress distributed them for the blind. An audio book is a reading of printed books onto tape or CD, sometimes by the author of the book and in many cases by professional actors or voice artists. Find out how you can make money recording books on tape and become a part of this growing industry.
Practice reading. A voice artist interested in reading books on audio tape should have clear diction and the ability to concentrate. Recording audio books costs the production companies studio time. They want professionals who can read the books in as few takes as possible. Practicing helps you become more in tune with reading correctly.
Record a couple of short demos. Use current novels in various genres, nonfiction pieces, and short stories. Audio book publishers hire voice talent primarily on the quality of their demos. The demo you record is your introduction to the audio publisher.
Sign with a voice talent agency (see Resources) that can help you find work. These agencies have lists of clients looking for voice talent and they can match you with an audio publisher, usually for 10 to 15 percent of the fee. Never pay up front to go through one of these agencies. They make their money when they find you work.
Promote yourself. Audio book publishers almost always have guidelines for submission on their web sites. They will usually want an audio demo from you and a cover letter detailing any previous experience you've had as an actor or a voice artist.
Be professional. Audio book publishers like to hand out work to voice artists who complete assignments in a timely fashion. If you have a good reading voice and can do the work required, you can make a good living recording books on tape.