How To: Create Your Own Audiobook

When publishing an eBook, it’s smart to promote it with sample chapters or an author interview. But what about producing your own audiobook to accompany it as well?

Producing an audiobook can be time consuming, but it’s extremely fun and makes your book available in yet another medium. You can just choose a brief excerpt to use, maybe a funny scene or illustrative passage, which will help promote your book when you give it away on your personal website

Here’s a short guide to how to create your own audiobook, entirely for free

  1. Get an audio editing program. If you don’t have professional audio recording programs, like Protools or Ableton, don’t fear! A simple, free program called Audacity is incredibly simple to learn, and can be used on almost any computer. If you have an internal microphone, you’re all set to record.
  2. Pick a passage to record. For starters, pick a manageable goal. Try not to aim to record your entire book. Consider focusing on a scene or chapter you find particularly strong, and maybe one that includes a variety of characters, to allow for some fun voice acting.
  3. Cast and record. Cast your audiobook by either reading it yourself, or sharing the narration with a variety of friends or colleagues who have been assigned roles. You don’t even have to be in the same room — you can record different parts at different times.
  4. Edit. Try to make the recording as clean as possible by eliminating pauses, editing out background noise, and re-recording unclear parts. If you haven’t edited audio before, it should take just a little practice to get the hang of it.
  5. Add some character. Here’s where you get to have a lot of fun. Add some background music and sound effects to liven up your narration. Just a few additions can completely change the quality of the audiobook. For some free background music published under Creative Commons license, check out the Free Music Archive. For sound effects, be sure to explore FreeSound.
  6. Post. After making sure everything sounds right (make sure to play it for a few people), post that audiobook! Be sure to post in a compressed format, such as .mp3. You can even post streaming audio at Soundcloud.

So now that you have the tools, the red light is on!

14 thoughts on “How To: Create Your Own Audiobook”

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  5. Mohamed GadAllah

    Hello,
    This is Mohamed from EGYPT – Cairo.
    Really thanks a lot and too much appreciated the lovely in depth article which really helped me a lot to get a better understanding for various techniques for audio book.
    Please I’d like to ask about something related to the way for making the audio book itself.
    Please may you tell me for the best required hardware I may use to get the best result?
    Thanks a lot.
    Mohamed

  6. Great tips, I will take into account as soon I’ll be doing an audio book to help others solve day to day problems

  7. I managed to create an audio track to support my illustrated kid’s book, Crocodile Attack – on LULU. We recorded the music and my husband was able to add music and sound affects that he composed and bought. The end result is very professional and we’ve received some very positive feedback.

    1. @Sandra – We love to hear that! Congrats and thanks so much for sharing that great feedback with other authors here.

  8. This is a great topic!
    I created my first audio book in 2009. So far, the book is doing doing well. As a musician and video editor, my goal was to create a book that was relevant for our time, interesting, and a topic that people would want to discuss in social media. With that said, I selected the Book of Enoch.
    Thank you for this blog!

  9. I’ve tried it about 20 times for children’s books. I’m not sure if it boosted sales, but it’s a nice keepsake.

  10. Zechariah Barrett

    I’ve done audio recordings before. I tend to post them on my YouTube channel, under the name I use for my publications.
    I also found promotional videos work really well, and if you can make your own music, makes it even better.
    Another tip: post one of the videos to your Lulu Spotlight! That’s what I’ve done.

  11. For my children’s book excerpt (The Secret Lake), I used Garage Band which comes free with Mac – and then iMovie to convert it for the appropriate file to upload to YouTube – extract here on my book blog page!

  12. Capri Montgomery

    I have wanted to try audio book recording and haven’t really figured out how to do it as an indie publisher, but this is a cool idea to start small and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing :).

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