Bian Ying, a former clothing professional, from Shaanxi province, reads audiobooks.[Photo provided to China Daily]
Different from Li, who entered the audio market on a whim, Bian Ying, another voice performer in her 40s from Xi'an, Shaanxi province, was smitten by the sector early on. Over a dozen years ago, before audiobooks were popular, she formed a group of friends online who shared her passion and practiced dubbing TV series and movies with them.
"Nine years ago, I learned that I could read books and earn money on audio website tingbook.com. I enjoyed reading them very much. It felt like I'm the sole performer in a grand drama where I play all the roles," says Bian, who later used online name Lanyu to perform audiobooks that are available on many platforms, such as ting55.com.
Her hobby has become so successful that in 2012, she quit her job in the clothing business, and signed up with Qingting to be a professional voice performer.
So far, she has read over 300 audiobooks. One of them, Housewives Are Also Crazy, was listened to more than 420 million times. Listeners on Himalaya praised her as "having a good voice", "showing emotions well" and "being good at displaying different characters".
After nearly a decade, Bian remains passionate about her work.
"Doing something I really like keeps me going. From dubbing films to reading audiobooks, I have always been enthusiastic and immersive. Sometimes I immersed myself so deeply into the story that I found it hard to withdraw after I finished the work."
Family support is also important for Bian. "My family, especially my husband, have been very supportive. They know I truly like it," she says. "Sometimes when I was so preoccupied in the story that I forgot to do household chores, my husband just did the chores without complaint."
Over the years, Bian has witnessed changes in the industry. "At the beginning, it was mainly biographies, but now the audio market caters to different and widespread tastes," she says.