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10 Top Tips and Other Great Ideas for Creating Your Audio Book

When you began writing your book, you probably visualized it in print , but did you know there is a ready audience for other formats, especially audio books?  Not only is there growing demand for audio books, but limited availability of them.

In a recent post, Joanna Penn, at The Creative Penn, featured a guest blogger, Brendan Foley, author of  The 5 States of Success: Create Meaningful Success in Your Career, Business & Life, who shared his experiences in creating an audio book. After reading Brendan’s tips examine the extra information Joanna shares.  You can read the full post here.

When I left a comment on Brendan’s blog post regarding my own experiences with trying to create an audio book, he generously expanded on the tips he had already given in the article. I’ve put my comment and Brendan’s response below.


Thanks for sharing the steps and tips to creating an audio version of your book. When I set out to create an audio version of just a 34 page ebook, I discovered what a monumental task it is.

First mistake: I didn’t create a script. After all, how hard could it be to read my own nonfiction work?
Second mistake: I found myself wanting to reword what was on the page as I thought of better ways to express the text.
Third mistake: I tried to record the whole ebook in one sitting. Exhausting.

I haven’t finished that recording yet, but with the tips and sources offered in this post I’m encouraged to return to creating my audio book.

As for turning my 213 pg print book into audio, I’m very definitely investigating the services who have proper studios and know what they’re doing.


Brendan July 16, 2012 at 2:22 am

Hi Flora,

Yes when you start to look at audio you begin to see how different it is as a medium. I can so empathize with your mistakes above, but they are worthwhile in pointing you in the right direction. To build on your learnings I would say;

Mistake 1 – No Script; rewrite your piece or mark up your text. By this I mean use a color coded system and series of symbols to show where natural pauses are, words that need emphasis, changes in tone and links where sentences should flow into each other.

Mistake 2 – Edit as you go. Here is where you really benefit from a director or sound engineer. We often take things for granted or assume our readers know what we are talking about. Having another person there when recording allows you to be challenged as to your flow or meaning and then you can do a live edit. Also when using a sound engineer there are two ways to edit as you go; ‘rock n roll’ or ‘fluff n repeat’. So ‘rock n roll’ is where you make a mistake and the sound editor drops you in at the point of the mistake and then you continue on, ‘fluff n repeat’ is repeat the entire paragraph until it is right. I used ‘rock n roll’ when I recorded because it saves time and edits if they need to be made can be added to the script quickly. see http://loreleiking.blogspot.ie/2011/04/its-only-rock-n-roll.html

Mistake 3 – Time and energy. This is the one that really got me. I speak for a living as a motivator, coach and trainer. I am fit and healthy. I thought this would be a walk in the park… I was amazed at the level of concentration and effort required. So here is what I would do;
1. Warm up physically by walking as you will be sitting for some time.
2. Warm up your voice signing HIGH, Middle, low.
3. Drink LOTS of water as your vocal cords can dry out quickly, it also stops you sounding ‘lippy’.
4. Read for no more than 40min periods then break, stretch out and relax your brain.
5. BREATH. Your voice is created on your out breath so find a way to breath deeply to give you a good length of phrase. (Roger Love the US voice coach has some good techniques in his book).

I hope that this helps and best of luck with your audio endeavors!

Yours in ‘meaningful’ success,



If you are ready, I’d love to be your travelling companion to make your writing journey a fun trip with a soft landing. Once you’ve completed your manuscript, you can convert it to many profitable formats. Begin with the 7-Step Roadmap to Publishing Success at http://www.abookin90days.com