My short bio: I'm originally from Little Rock, Arkansas but now reside in the Detroit, Michigan area. I was your basic "radio nomad" for the early part of my career, with stops in, Richmond, VA, Omaha, NE, and Minneapolis, MN before landing with CBS Radio in 1996 as Program Director and On-Air Host for Smooth Jazz V98.7 in Detroit. I had a great 13 year run with the company, and we eventually took the station to number 1 in the market, becoming one of the few Smooth Jazz formatted stations to ever achieve that rank.

Throughout my radio career I've voiced countless commercials and narration projects, hosted radio shows, narrated audio books, and have been a voice actor in plays and commercials. In addition to the voice work I'm now doing from my home studio, I also fill in as a host for Michigan Radio, the University of Michigan's award winning Public Radio Station trimulcast.

I recently completed all the voice work and production for the audiobook release of Amazon's sci-fi horror bestseller Black Book by Dylan Jones, and currently ranks in Amazon's Top 20 Hot New Releases. (also on iTunes and Audible).

Black Book went to No.4 overall on Amazon when it was released on Kindle and has since been downloaded over 50,000 times.

You can listen to 5 minutes of the narration (including a couple of the main characters) on the Amazon page, just click on the 'sample' button:

My Proof: There's a hello message for Reddit at the very top of my homepage:

Comments: 24 • Responses: 9  • Date: 

Romnonaldao5 karma

What is the good way to practice and train for voice-over work if one is considering to do voice-over work professionally?

TomSleekerVoices7 karma

Pick up a good book, and read out loud is a good way to practice. You could also look into getting a voice coach, or consider taking a class. Most of the people I know who are in the business either started out in Radio or Television, or have some background in theatre or drama. There are also websites that can help you get started...

suaveitguy4 karma

Do you have a unique voice for all the characters when you read a book? Are there different schools that do it differently? How often do you have to stop and rerecord or edit to get a voice just right?

TomSleekerVoices6 karma

Ah, good question. I only have so many "voices" that I can do. So at some point, I have to go back to my speaking voice... usually with characters that only have a couple of lines. It's very important to research and read the book before you commit so that you know what your getting in to. Trying to keep the characterization consistent throughout the book is the challenge. In regards to how many times I have to edit to get it just right... sometimes a lot!!! I'm the worlds worst revisionist!!

charlielovesyou4 karma

Hey Tom, love hearing you on WUOM! I'm assuming you work narration/voiceover work on a 'freelance' style basis - how do you and clients find each other?

TomSleekerVoices5 karma

Thanks for listening, charlielovesyou!! I work for WUOM when they need me as a fill in host. Love the Public Radio audience and experience. Yes, freelance Narration/voiceover is how I make a living. Clients find me on my website,, and I do a lot of auditions for "play to play" web sites and for various producers.

extralessordinary4 karma

How many sessions or how long does it take to finish narration for a book of that size? I love audiobooks and always wondered. Thanks!

TomSleekerVoices3 karma

I'm working as both the narrator and the producer, so after I've read and recorded a segment (to my liking), I go back and edit it. Remove mouth noise, flubs, etc. I can usually average around 2500 to 3000 words a day... sometimes less. Black Book was around 40,000 words. There are are folks who can work faster, especially if they have someone else produce and edit for them, but that's my pace.

giganano4 karma

I have a good voice (so I'm told). I am, however, a very busy bee, but would consider a career change into your domain of voice-over work. Could you give me any pointers or words of advice to point me in the right direction? Did you/do you have a coach? Do you have any "exercises" or techniques that you would recommend, or just "practice, practice, practice"? Finally, thanks for doing an AMA, and keep up the good work!

TomSleekerVoices3 karma

Thanks for your question! Having a good voice is essential, but more important is the delivery. I've never considered myself to have a great voice, but I work really hard on trying to sound conversational and real. When I programmed radio stations, I looked for talent who sounded natural... not necessarily the person with the "radio voice." My advice would be to find some time to take an acting class or something that would introduce you to the world of voice acting. And then take it form there. I wish you the best of luck with your endeavor. It's a really fun and rewarding way to make a buck!

giganano3 karma

I really appreciate your advice and motivation; hopefully I'll get a few free hours a week to dig deeper and take steps in the right direction. I only hope that I may be able to bug you if I need to ask you particular question for which I need an honest answer. I promise not to abuse this request, and again, thank you sincerely for doing an AMA and doling out nuggets of wisdom. Cheers, Tom!

TomSleekerVoices1 karma

Absolutely... feel free to reach out!

suaveitguy4 karma

What is the best reading of a book you have heard? A lot seem to say Harry Potter? I really liked Night Squad as read by Kevin Spacey.

TomSleekerVoices5 karma

Wow... that's a hard question. There are so many great narrators out there! I'm with you on Jim Dale and Kevin Spacey... also (the late)Maya Angelou... Garrison Keillor... Donald Sutherland... Liev Schreiber

MargieYoungHunt3 karma

Hi! I'm an audiobook narrator (I've narrated somewhere around 150 books, almost exclusively fiction) and I think we have the best gig on the planet. I'm interested in branching out into cartoon voiceover work and recently recorded a demo to that end. Any advice on how to approach cartoons versus audiobooks, both behind the mic and in the business? Thanks for doing this AMA! Also - go Spartans! :)

TomSleekerVoices4 karma

Sorry... don't have experience in that area! But, I agree with you on audiobook narration! I love getting up in the morning and going to work!! And I have the best boss in the business... Me!

AlBacon19743 karma

Eastside or Westside of Detroit?

TomSleekerVoices4 karma

Westside... 'burbs!