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How this 34-year-old mom makes 6 figures as a book narrator: ‘I get to work my dream job from home’ – CNBC

In 2017, I was 29 years old and making $30,000 a year as a church music director and private music teacher. My husband was a middle school music teacher, and made $48,000 a year.

With two children — both under four years ol…….

In 2017, I was 29 years old and making $30,000 a year as a church music director and private music teacher. My husband was a middle school music teacher, and made $48,000 a year.

With two children — both under four years old at the time — and $80,000 in combined student debt, we struggled to keep up with our finances.

But I’m in a much different place today. Switching careers to become an audiobook narrator has changed my life immensely. I now bring in six figures a year, and we have only $10,000 left on our student loans, thanks in part to the student loan forgiveness plan.

I get to do my dream job from home and spend more time with family in our cozy home, perched on a mountaintop in Northern Virginia. Here’s how I did it:

Switching careers: Going from music to books

I graduated with a master’s degree in vocal performance in 2014, with hopes of becoming an opera singer. But between the low wages and unpaid artist programs, I started to feel discouraged.

I considered going back to school to study dental hygiene or medical sonography — anything with a decent salary that would better help me support my family.

As I commuted to my church music jobs, opera rehearsals and private lessons, I’d listen to audiobooks to pass the time, often for three or more hours a day. I’ve always been an avid reader, and particularly enjoyed audiobooks. I loved the comfort of a familiar voice keeping me company, telling me a story.

One day, it occurred to me that recording audiobooks could be a real job for me. So on a whim, I Googled “How to become an audiobook narrator.” I learned that audiobooks were one of the fastest-growing mediums in publishing, and that most were recorded by voice actors in professional-grade home studios.

Audiobook narrator Natalie Naudus in her home recording studio.

Photo: Natalie Naudus

I was thrilled at the idea that all the things I loved about opera — the stories, the acting, the beautiful words — could still be a part of this new career.

When I brought the idea up to my husband, I was nervous about investing money into a brand new business. But he was supportive right away.

So I purchased about $300 of equipment and, in just a few weeks, we set up my first home studio in the hallway closet.

Finding my voice in the industry

I landed my first few book jobs through ACX, a platform that connects narrators with authors, agents and publishers. I started …….

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/06/this-34-year-old-mom-makes-6-figures-as-an-audiobook-narrator-i-get-to-work-my-dream-job-from-home.html

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