So you want to narrate your own book: congratulations!

I’ve found this process rewarding, fun, and it actually can help your overall writing as well monetizing your books, but that’s a topic for another day. Let’s get you started on getting your audiobook together.

As you likely know, first you’ll need recording equipment. You’re going to need a few basic things.

  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Software to record onto
  • Tools to make the best sound possible

I’m going to share with you the tools I use because here at Self-Publishing for Free out goal is to help you publish with as little cost to you as possible. I did a lot of work to find the cheapest way, so remember there area a lot of other tools you can get that can be helpful, and some of my tools can even be done without, but I find it gives me far better quality. So this is the best balance of quality and price. When all was said and done I spent under $100.

  • My microphone is Fifine 3.5mm Plug PC Microphone. It comes with a stand, usb audio plug, (though reviews say it doesn’t, but it does promise) and a anti-wind foam cap (the black things that goes over the gold colored mesh) Note: Does not work on Mac computers. I love this microphone! It works very well, doesn’t take long to set up, and has amazing quality, but you do need to make sure to record in a good quiet spot to make sure it only picks up what you want, but it’s cheap only about $25 last I checked, and for a microphone of this quality that’s a steal. If mine stopped working, I’d just buy a new one of this. I have no reason to want to ‘upgrade’
  • My headset isn’t the best quality; many will say you need better, but I just use my everyday headphones. I use a simple phone plug in set to test sound there, then I test my computer speakers, then I use my blue-tooth headset I use every day. It’s this set if you’re interested. Jogger Headset
  • I use Audacity to record. It’s free, works great, and has a plugin meant to check the quality of your audiobook just for ACX (which is the most most popular means of publishing your own audiobooks online, most of all if you’re book is from an Amazon platform.)

This section are things you many not ‘need’ but can make a big difference.

  • USB Stereo Sound Adapter – I have one because the reviews for the microphone said it didn’t come with one and my laptop doesn’t have a microphone plug. I like this one a lot, and when I find my microphone isn’t working well I will try this one because it is a bit better quality, but that’s up to you. The one it comes with works well too.
  • Microphone Suspension and Shock Mount/PopfilterThe pop filter is the biggest one. It’s that funny round thing with the mesh in the middle that covers a microphone. It helps lessen sharp sounds like Ps, Ts, and other harsh sounds that can make a ‘pop’ affect in your recording. This filter helps fix that. The otherpart is the suspension arm. It’s  mount that allows you to hang your microphone over the computer and closer to out mouth. Also known as a mounting arm. This helps your microphone not shake and pic up those vibrations when tapped, as well as keep the microphone up high for a better position to get your voice. I LOVE mine! Always use it and highly recommend it. Can make a huge difference. Note: This set comes with both the mount and the filter, so I put them as one, but you will want both if you choose to buy them separately; again, I feel like these are must haves.

And that’s my list of must haves, but yours maybe different. You can even just use a high quality headset with a microphone that cost upwards of $50-$200, but I find this mix of different parts makes the best audiobook recording.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and next time we’ll talk about where you should record to save yourself the trouble of background noise and other problems that come from environment.