Audio Book Production on the Cheap

We are often contacted by students interested in creating audio versions of their course material for study purposes. Also, many independent authors are attracted to the idea of creating an audio version of their book. However, creating an audio book product to a high standard requires a decent budget.

If you are interested in having an audio book recorded and produced then visit our audio book production section, however, this article is about cheaper alternatives.

Cheaper DIY Alternatives

Study audio

If you are just looking for an audio version for your own study the first route that I recommend is a piece of text to speech software called TextAloud.

TextAloud is a screen reader that I use daily as I find that I benefit more from listening than reading.

I purchased the software many years ago and use the A&T Natural Voices Crystal. I am in no way affiliated to this company but highly recommend the company’s product. I often convert documents into mp3 with TextAloud and listen to them on my mp3 player while walking.

You can set the reading pace to your preference. I listen faster than I can read and usually have it set to read quite fast. Listen to this post created on TextAloud (I have slowed it down slightly from the usual speed I listen at).

Record your own

If you don’t mind getting in front of a microphone yourself, you could always have a go at recording your own. There are many good quality USB mics on the market that enables a PC to record good quality audio.

Here is a relatively inexpensive USB microphone on Amazon UK: Samson CO1U – USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Alternatively, you could use a hand recorder that has built in microphones. The one used by many professionals is the Zoom H4n (Amazon UK link), however, there are many lower cost alternatives too.

In Conclusion…

Taking the DIY approach to creating an audio book is probably not going to get you a high end product. But having said that, if its purpose is just to create study material or test an alternative market for your book then these alternatives might work for you.

If you have the budget to invest and want to produce a high quality audio book then check out our audio book production service.

Feel free to comment and share your experiences.


  1. Ian bell says

    The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Easily converts blogs, email, audio books, and more to MP3 for listening on the go.

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