How to turn books into audiobooks

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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An audiobook is an audio narrative version of a book that you can play on your desktop, mobile or tablet. You can listen to the books on your mobile much the same as any other audio file whilst jogging in the park, washing dishes, etc. These aren’t really something new, but the audiobook industry has expanded considerably since the rise of ebooks. There are now myriad audiobooks retailing on Amazon. However, you can also convert your e-book collection into audiobooks with text-to-speech software.

Text-to-speech software converts e-book file formats into audio files that you can playback in media players. There are also freeware TTS programs that turn ebooks into audiobooks. Balabolka is a freeware text-to-speech tool that supports numerous e-book formats, which include EPUB, AZW, AZW3, HTML and LIT. This is how you can turn e-books into MP3 audiobooks with Balabolka.

  • First, press the Download button on this Softpedia page to save the Balabolka Zip.
  • Open the Zip in File Explorer, and press the Extract all button to decompress the Zip folder.
  • Then open the Balabolka setup wizard from the extracted folder.
  • When you’ve installed Balabolka, open the software’s window.

  • Click File > Open and then select to open the e-book file you need to convert to audiobook.
  • You can now play the e-book file in Balabolka by clicking the SAPI 5 tab and selecting Microsoft Hazel Desktop from the drop-down menu. Then press the Read Aloud button on the toolbar to play the narrative.
  • You can further configure the audio narrative by adjusting the Rate, Pitch and Volume bars.
  • To configure the audio file output, click Options > Audio Files to open the window directly below. There you can adjust the bitrate settings for various audio formats.

  • Click File > Save Audio File to convert the e-book to an audiobook. Select the MP3 format for the audiobook from the Save as type drop-down menu.
  • Select a folder to save the audiobook to and press Save.
  • Now you can play your new audiobook in a media player.

Create Your Own Audiobooks With Audacity

Balabolka is fine if you only need to convert ebooks to audiobooks for your own playback. However, authors will need recording software to set up an audiobook for distribution on Amazon or Audible. You can submit your own audiobooks (that you hold rights to) for distribution on Amazon or Audible to the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). ACX only accepts audiobooks with recorded narratives.

Audacity is among the best audio-recording software for Windows that has plenty of post production options to edit recorded output with. So you can record a narrative for your audiobook from the original text manuscript with that software and a PC microphone. Some laptops have built-in microphones that you can record with. Click Audacity 2.1.3 installer on this website page to add the software to Windows.

Then you can record your narrative for the audiobook with Audacity’s recording tools and microphone. Record each of the chapters separately and save them as MP3s. Each file should be no larger than 170 MB. This web page provides further ACX audio submission details.

When you’ve recorded the book, click Sign Up Now on the ACX website to set up an account. However, note that ACX is only open to audiobook submissions from Americans. If the audiobook meets required specifications, you can accept a distribution agreement and upload each chapter.

So that’s how you can transform e-books into audiobooks with text-to-speech and recording programs. Now you can playback the e-books with media players or audiobook player software. Alternatively, you can submit your own recorded audiobook to ACX.

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