Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in digital publishing and are a billion dollar industry. There are no shortage of services that allow authors to outsource the production and narration to other companies such as the Audiobook Creation Exchange, Findaway Voices, ListenUp Audiobooks but it will cost almost $1,000 to have one developed. There are numerous tools available for the PC that make it easy to create your own audiobook.
It is important to note that most audiobook submission services such as iTunes will not accept a 12 hour long file. You have to record your books in segments, chapter by chapter. Each uploaded file must have between 0.5 and 1 second of room tone at the head, and between 1 and 5 seconds of room tone at the tail. Each uploaded file must be free of extraneous sounds such as plosives, mic pops, mouse clicks, excessive mouth noise, and outtakes. Each uploaded file must measure between -23dB and -18dB RMS.Each uploaded file must have peak values no higher than -3dB. Each uploaded file must have a noise floor no higher than -60dB RMS. Finally each file must be 44.1 kHz and each file no larger than 170MB.
The Best Audiobook Creation Apps for PC
Chapter Verse – Chapter and Verse is a free software tool to create chapterized audiobooks for the iPod, iTunes and Quicktime on the Windows operating system. Starting with Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) formatted files or any other audio file supported in iTunes, the user can combine multiple input files into a single audiobook file with chapter marks. Most companies do not accept the ACC format so you can use Audacity to convert to MP3 or other formats, this is also a good post production app because you can remove silences at chapter breaks and filter out tape hiss.
Audacity – Audacity is an incredible free, open source audio editor that’s just as good as many premium paid-for applications. You can use it to make your own recordings, remove noise, cut and combine clips, apply special effects and much more, and achieve truly professional results.
If all that isn’t enough, you can expand Audacity with plugins that add new effects, or integration with other applications. There are no limits on the size or length of your projects, and nothing is locked behind a paywall. Whether you’re making music, podcasts, audio books, or any other kind of project, Audacity is a truly fantastic tool. The Good e-Reader Radio Show and Podcast is created with Audacity and I recommend it for Audiobook production.
ffmpeg – FFmpeg is an astonishingly powerful open source command line tool for converting, streaming and recording audio and video. That “command line” will put many people off, and of course it does mean that the program is more difficult to use than a GUI converter. But don’t let that put you off. Although FFmpeg requires a little work to learn, you can still get productive very quickly.
AAC Audiobook Creator – AAC Audiobook Creator is software for creating audiobooks in the AAC format.
- Tips on Audiobook Production
- Joanna Penn from the Creative Penn explains how to use audio for book sales and marketing in her podcast.
- 5 Steps to Create an Audiobook from Jane Friedman
- ACX have video lessons and more that will help you make an audiobook faster.
- Audible cover art requirements
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.