How I Created An Audiobook Using AI

Audiobooks are the preferred method for many readers when it comes to reading books. And while my favorite method of reading is still the old fashion way of reading a physical or ebook copy with my eyes, I do love audiobooks. I have listened to over 100 books via audiobooks. Books that I probably would have never read if they weren’t in an audiobook format. The audio format has allowed me and my fellow readers to read while we have worked on chores, assignments, and other tasks.

For authors, it is incredibly important to have an audiobook format of your book available. Not just for readers who prefer to read that way, but for visually impaired readers who rely on audiobooks to enjoy books. Most authors would love to have an audiobook created for their books, but that isn’t always possible. Audiobooks cost a lot of money to make. Between paying for a narrator, determining how it should be distributed, and other costs, authors can look to spend up to thousands of dollars to have an audiobook produced. And the worst part is that most of them don’t ever make their investments back.

Some authors fear they will lose money. A justified fear. But because of this a lot of authors decide to forgo making an audiobook altogether. I planned on being one of them. Although I really wanted to create an audiobook, I did not have enough money to invest in producing an one. I had decided that I would make an audiobook for Living Rent Free In My Head down the line once I gather enough funds. Then I found out about a cool feature Google Play offers that would allow me to create an audiobook without paying any money. That feature is, of course, their auto-narrated audiobook option.

Google Play recently introduced a feature where authors who have their ebook available on Google Play can make a free auto-narrated version of it and sell it on their platform and other book platforms that allowed AI-generated audiobooks. There has been a debate in recent years on whether AI audiobooks are a good or bad thing. Everyone will have their opinion. I personally am in favor of them. No, I don’t think they will or should replace real human narrators. Audiobooks narrated by humans will always be better than AI. No matter how good AI gets, nothing will ever compare to books narrated by people with real human emotions.

However, I do think that AI audiobooks are a good alternative for authors who don’t have the money to produce an audiobook but want to have their book in that format for visually impaired readers and for readers who just preferred audiobooks. AI audiobooks may not be able to capture the emotions you hear from a human narrator, especially the emotions present in a fiction book. But I do think they are better than nothing. And for non-fiction books, where emotion doesn’t necessarily need to be there, AI audiobooks could translate your work very well. Lucky for me, the book I just published is non-fiction and was the perfect test subject for this experiment.

Wanting an audiobook for Living Rent Free In My Head, I jumped at the chance to make it with Google Play. The whole process was easy and done in one day. Using the ebook file of my book, I picked an AI voice out of the options they had, I previewed the audio file and made pronunciation edits as needed, then it processed for two hours, and it was ready. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was, and how good the audiobook ended up sounding. It’s obviously an AI, but it sounds better than what I thought an AI audiobook would sound like.

If you would like to listen to the auto-narrated audiobook of Living Rent Free In My Head, I have provided a free snippet of it below. You can buy the full version on Google Play for $5.99.

Living Rent Free In My Head: Essays On Pop Culture is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Scribd, and more.

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