Audiobook Series (Part 3): Creating the Audiobook

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Smith, Wheeler, Cooper, Fisher. These are all English surnames that once upon a time told you what a man does for a living. These names also remind us that once upon a time it paid to be skilled in a specific area.

This one skill or your ability at it made you prosper. You all know the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It does seem as if it was penned during this time, does it not?

But according to our omniscient friend, Wikipedia, that is only half of the story. “Jack of all trades, master of none, Certainly better than a master of one.”

Wikipedia continues to explain this expression in this way: “Such a Jack of all trades may be a master of integration, as such an individual knows enough from many learned trades and skills to be able to bring his or her disciplines together in a practical manner.”

Where am I going with this?

Multitasking is exactly what the indie-writer needs. In this post we will help you develop one of your many skills. And we will call this skill: The Technical Know-How to create a professional audiobook.

You intend to make money out of this product. With the flood of options available, why should people choose your audiobook if it is technically inferior? The InstaScribe team will give you the tools on how to produce a professional product.


You already own a computer. We say this with a fair amount of confidence, because it is unlikely that you wrote your eBook on a Nokia 3310. This is the most expensive pieces of equipment you need.


Obviously, you need a microphone. Your laptop’s built in microphone is more than good enough for Skype but won’t cut it for a professional sounding recording.

We suggest that you seriously consider a headset. You do not have to spend hundreds of Dollars. To help you to make an informed choice the InstaScribe team suggests that you have a look at this article. The guys at makeuseof make some valid points in favor of a USB microphone or headset.

InstaScribe’s Pro Tip


Get or Make a Pop filter. The verbosity of the Wikipedia definition tickled our fancy so much that we had to include it:

Popping sounds occur particularly in the pronunciation of aspirated plosives (such as the first ‘p’ in the English word “popping”). Pop filters are designed to attenuate the energy of the plosive, which otherwise might exceed the design input capacity of the microphone, leading to clipping. Pop filters do not appreciably affect hissing sounds or sibilance, for which de-essing is used.

What they are trying to get over is that a pop filter will make your recording sound much more professional.

Again, you can buy one. Or you can make one. Lifehacker tells you how.


The truth is that Audacity has got the free market cornered. What is Audacity? According to Webopedia:

Audacity is the name of a popular open source multilingual audio editor and recorder software that is used to record and edit sounds. It is free and works on Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems.

Audacity can be used to perform a number of audio editing and recording tasks such as making ringtones, mixing stereo tracks, transferring tapes and records to computer or CD, splitting recordings into separate tracks and more.

The author can attest to the ease of use of this piece of software. And, he being a know-it-all would not even read the instructions. But there is a comprehensive Wiki available on how to use Audacity.

There are also hundreds (we calculated that by using advanced osmotic derivative mathematical theory) of websites that offer free tutorials. Here we suggest that Google or Bing be your friend.

File Format

This is a difficult question to answer. Not because the question is difficult, but because the answer depends primarily on your chosen distribution platform.

Amazon uses a form of DRM (Digital Rights Management) to attempt to provide protection against piracy.

iTunes uses something else again . The Apple-pickers have chosen AAC and Apple Lossless or also known as m4a. Apple’s proprietary DRM is applied to these files. (Apple devices can play a variety of formats including mp3.)

You can also use the plain old vanilla mp3 format. Just remember, mp3 files do not allow for bookmarking.

Do a Course

There are a whole host of websites where you can do a course on the whole recording process or parts of it, for as little as nothing or as much as a lot.

These websites include: Coursera, Udemy,, and Khan Academy.

Have a look and you will find a whole variety of options. Many of these courses are aimed at beginners and will help you to quickly find your feet.


You can do it, so just do it. (10/10 for not infringing copyright.) We showed you in Part 1 of this series how the Audiobook market is growing. In this post we explain that if you already own most of the equipment, nearly everything else is free or very close to it.

What suggestions can you make, based on experience? We always love to hear from our readers.



One Comment

  1. Pingback: Audiobook Series (Part 4): Marketing the audiobook | InstaScribe

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