5 Steps to Help You Self-Publish an Audiobook Edition of Your Story

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With some dramatic changes in recent years, the audiobook industry has revolutionized its content-delivery systems.

In fact, many key publishing companies are making huge investments in expensive audio productions.

So what’s holding you back?

After all, an audiobook adds great appeal to your literary work. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, an audiobook can help you capture all the attention you need from your readers.

You may want to create a version of your own book in your own voice, or make an audio-only variant of a family story delivered by the person who experienced the event.

Creating and self-publishing your audiobook is an interesting task that many find difficult to implement. Setting up an audiobook for success relies primarily on you. I know this might sound a bit daunting, but don’t worry, I’ll help you get through this!

1. Find the right voice

Your book might have no dialogue (in the case of some nonfiction) or a whole gang of characters with different voices.

The voice is considered the most important indicator to help readers anticipate the kind of story they’re going to hear.

That’s why you need a voice that reflects not only the tone, but also the book’s entire background and plot.

If you intend to use your own voice for your audiobook, great! Assuming that you don’t sound like Gilbert Gottfried, it shouldn’t be a problem. It’s time to move along to the next step.

2. Find the right location

Where do you want to complete your reading session? In the office? Bedroom? Study area?

I would not advise those locations, because it’s likely your final product won’t have the quality you expect.

With all the babbling in the office, your neighbor’s dog barking outside, or the chattering of your kids in the background, your audiobook might lack the charm and professionalism that you’re looking for.

One of the most critical decisions you might make in this process is choosing an acoustically-sound recording site. You don’t want to end up with a poor recording because of outdoor wind, room echoes, or infuriating ambient noise.

Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a private recording studio — not many people do. Consider using a spacious closet full of clothes for this purpose. It might sound funny, but it really works! The clothes absorb a vast portion of the annoying background sounds as you read and record.

If that sounds a little too crazy to you, and you must record in your home, another option is to use lots of cushions or bedding to create a “dead” area in your home office or bedroom. You can even record at night, since there should be fewer background noises.

No matter the location, make sure you are able to relax as you prepare for your session.

3. Find a decent microphone

It’s good to know that microphones are available in all sizes, shapes, and price ranges. You can choose anything from a headset to a USB microphone, and from a condenser microphone to dynamic microphone. The choice is yours.

If you’ve decided to go for a non-USB microphone, you might need an interface, preamplifier, and mixer to get the sound properly into your computer.

4. Get the right recording software

There are numerous quality, yet affordable (or free, in some cases) recording software options that can prove to be your personal best bet.

For instance, many American authors use Audible to create and self-publish their audiobooks. A few other options to mention are GarageBand and Audacity. With different features, they all give you a great opportunity to test your voice recording skills.

You might be brilliant in some recording sessions, but they all can’t be equally amazing. With recording and editing software, you can cut and splice different recorded sessions to eliminate any unwanted audio.

So don’t worry if you flub a word or sentence while making an original recording. It is possible to cut and correct it later.

5. Get ready to publish

If you prefer using a turnkey solution, ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the most widely known platform authors use to publish audiobooks.

But it’s certainly not the only audiobook-publishing platform. With so many other choices such as Infinity Publishing, eBookIt, and Dog Ear Publishing, you can easily compare their packages and features to determine the best option for your audiobook.

If you have not already self-published your book, now you have it all — information to create your own audiobook, gadgets to own, recording and editing software to use, and publishing platforms to trust.

Follow the steps we discussed here. Listen to the first recorded sample before you move forward. Get ready to step into the world of audio and give your readers something they’ll love listening to!

Have you considered producing an audio version of your book?

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Cloe Mayfair is a successful personal trainer and mom. Her hobbies include design, fitness, fashion, cooking, writing, and raising her kids. She is eagerly planning their next family vacation.... .

| @MayfairCloe

Traveler and blogger Chris Guillebeau

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Unconventional Guide to Publishing

Chris Guillebeau introduces the plan you need to finally share your book with the world. Make this your year of becoming an author.

Comments

  1. Ron Tillotson says:

    Thank you for taking time to research and post all of these audiobook resources. I’ve been told by some media professionals that I have a voice conducive to performing voiceover commercials; my wife suggests I pursue this craft. Mainly, I am a writer, with 40+ years of technical and nontechnical writing. I’ve been exploring the world of fiction and self-publishing for more than a year, collecting and cataloging ideas. Some would call it “procrastinating.” I plan to dive into short story writing in September.

  2. ana micaela babao says:

    I have not really explored my voice yet. my husband would say i have good voice. others would too. i am just afraid maybe. I think this could be a great challenge.

  3. Jacqueline Odero says:

    Very enlightening. Great article!

  4. Thanks for writing this article. I plan on publishing an audio version of my book The Dynamic Introvert: Leading Quietly with Passion and Purpose sometime in the next year. Cheers!

  5. I really appreciate these tips! I feel confident that I can get started now. Perhaps you can write an article on how to get over nerves, jitters, and perfectionism as it relates to sharing our material with the world? I find that is what has held me back for so long.

  6. Thank you for the informative article. Although I don’t have a good voice for recording, this article gives me hope and terrific insight. I have my manuscript that still requires tweaking, but I was interested in offering it via audio format along with other typical formats. Thanks again for the information!

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