How to Create An Audio Book

Audio books are growing in popularity at a fantastic rate. It’s quickly replacing radio as the thing to do during your daily commute. I’ve created one. You can too. Here’s how!

First, although Audible.com is an Amazon company, the rules of the road are quite different than those for uploading to Kindle.

Frankly, any fathead who can string together a sentence or two can create a Kindle or Nook e-book and sell it over the internet. And apparently many do because I’ve started reading a number of them and wound up deleting almost all but a select few by the 2nd or 3rd chapter.

Anyway, if you want to turn your already popular novel into an audio book you can and Audible won’t charge you, (there is a royalty deal like Kindle regarding sales however.) But there are certain skills you’ll need to acquire before venturing into that realm, because you only get two tries to get it right. Meaning the narration must be clear, at a normal pace and easily understood. In addition there are no pops, crackles or car horns in the background.) If it’s not professional quality by the second try, you will likely be banned from further submissions.

Also, they don’t like self-published books. But if you have regular books on Amazon or e books on Kindle that have positive reviews, you probably won’t have any trouble.

Second reason is all audio books must go through their quality control process before being released for sale, (the process takes from 3 to 5 weeks on average.) So if you submit before getting a good handle on what you’re doing, you could be shooting yourself in the foot and damaging your rep as a skilled and talented writer.

They give you several options on how to have your book recorded. The most preferable is having a professional narrator do it. They have a number of pros to choose from and you may review their work before deciding which one is right for you. The narrator will have to be paid so that’s something you will have to work out with them. But one distinct advantage is that the audio version of your book probably won’t be rejected because these people have done it before and know what is required.

Another option is to narrate it yourself as author.

This is what I did. But I had an advantage, having been in a recording studio for the better part of my life, I know how it’s done. And if you don’t have any experience recording, you’re going to have a bit of a learning curve.

Here’s another important point. Before you do anything, go to the library and check out an audio book that is similar in genre as yours. Different genre’s have different lead-ins. ‘How-to’ books are generally cut and dried, meaning the narrator reads it exactly as written. Fiction generally has music snippets at the end of each chapter.

So get one (or several) audio books and listen to see how it’s done.

The next thing you are going to need is a recording program. If you have a recent version of Windows it likely contains Windows Movie Maker which has a basic recording program or you can download Muvee Reveal which is another free movie making program. I suggest you use these to create the ‘first draft’ of your audio book. It’ll give you a chance to get your feet wet and not worry about screwing up because it’s only practice.

You say you don’t have any recording experience? No problem, Go to Google and type in ‘How to create book trailers with free editing software.’ There are several tutorials to get you started.

But once you get serious, it’s time to download a professional studio program.

Keep in mind you don’t have to go all out price wise, those high-end programs are for musical groups that are recording CDs that require a number of tracks and editing software. You don’t. At best you’ll be using only 2 tracks and once you get the swing of things by watching the tutorials you’ll find it really isn’t all that difficult.

Shop around and pick the one you feel comfortable with. I chose the NCH software called MIXPAD because they give you the program free for a few weeks to see if you like it. I found it easy to navigate and had no problem converting the finished product to their specs. I would suggest you also give a look at Apple’s recording software (I haven’t used it so I have no idea of how good it is) only because you have to use Apple’s iTunes program to convert and upload to Audible.

So there you have the basics. Your next step is to go to https://www.acx.com/help/how-it-works/200484210 and READ THE ENTIRE THING ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM. (and take notes along the way. There are a lot of useful tips that will save you a great deal of re-recording time if you follow them. One last thing you need to know.

Record all chapters separately!

That’s how you’re going to upload them and if you record the whole book on a single track, you’re going to have to do the whole thing over!

One last important note.

It will probably take you a few weeks to record your novel should you choose to do it yourself. So have you given any consideration to how you’re going to market the audio book when it’s done?

Marketing is the MOST important part of the creative process. Because without it, no one will know about that wonderful thing you brought in existence. In fact marketing is so important Bill Gates paid The Rolling Stones 11 MILLION DOLLARS for the right to use their song ‘Start Me Up’ to launch Windows 95.

So if you’re serious about getting your audio book, regular book or just about any product before the buying public, download some videos on internet marketing.

Well that’s it. Just remember that an audio book can be a real moneymaker if done right, so make sure your novel is professionally edited and narrated clearly, cleanly and at a comfortable pace.

James Parkinson