Finding talent can be one of the most stressful things about a project. Believe me, I know. See, I'm a voice actor, but I'm also an author (under a pen name, so don't go snoopin'). This will come up again later, as I will totally write some stuff talking specifically about audiobooks, but for now let's just talk about the woes of booking talent.
Now, full disclosure, I haven't had to specifically book voice talent (yet) for anything, but I am an indie author and I have had to book models and photographers for my covers. Much like how there are sites that are databases of massive scores of voice talent, there are sites specifically for things like models, and the mechanics are basically the same. Now, on these sites, you can post an audition, and then step back as the most eclectic range of talent responds and you have to wade through all the bad as well as the good (I got a lot of bad bathroom selfies mixed with gorgeous pro shots; you'd be getting the audio equivalent). Or maybe you try your hand at scrolling through profiles using the search feature, listening to demos, trying to find the talent yourself. Either way, let's say you find someone, and then...oh, then you have to hope so hard that they actually respond promptly to things and get everything done on time and don't randomly drop out or disappear for a month without warning (yes, I'm talking from experience, and it resulted in me having to go back and start the process all over again to find a replacement. Twice.). This is especially frustrating when you have a deadline to meet.
The best way to avoid that is to instead go through an agent, right? Then you have someone who is vouching for the talent, so you feel more like you can trust them. Plus, you deal with the agent instead of directly with the talent, which can help a lot with the mediation of any issues either side has. The only problem with this option may be budget, as many agencies only really handle bigger projects to ensure they have a nice juicy cut. It's for this reason you may have found yourself at one of those database sites in the first place. You're not shooting some country-wide TV ad for a major brand, you're just trying to do an explainer video for your new company, or you're an indie game developer trying to get something ready for Kickstarter, or any number of things. Maybe you're like me, and self-publish, so you need to find your own talent for the audiobook.
Kind of like how I'm someone from both sides of the fence, Rosko Lewis, the guy who founded and runs FlyVoiceovers, is also a voice actor, and so is super aware of the growing range of projects needing voice talent in the digital age we live in. He gets that not everything is a major production that necessitates hours of auditions, and not everyone has big box budgets. Like all agents, he can vouch for his talent, many of whom he's personally worked with in the past on projects and knows first-hand are dependable. But what I think is probably the coolest thing is that he's got talent from around the globe, because he gets that technology is shrinking the world, and companies frequently need to reach a variety of audiences. Like, I'm gonna be honest here, I have another agent who's of the more traditional variety, and they don't even have that (typically they only have talent local to their region).
Now if only someone would open up a modeling agency equivalent to FlyVoiceovers, then it would make my publishing life so much easier...