How to Make an Audiobook using AI in 2024 (Ultimate Guide)

Learn how to create an audiobook from scratch with AI voice and text to speech tools like ElevenLabs.

Audiobooks are revolutionizing the way we consume literature. They offer a dynamic alternative to traditional reading, allowing people to enjoy books while out on the go. 

This shift has sparked a surge in audiobook production, with technology like artificial intelligence (AI) playing a pivotal role. AI text-to-speech (TTS) tools like ElevenLabs are at the forefront of this digital revolution, transforming written text into engaging audio narratives. 

Let's explore how this innovative approach is reshaping the world of storytelling, and give you some top tips on turning your book into an audiobook with AI. 

How Long Does It Take To Create an Audiobook?

There are two ways you can create an audiobook: employing a human voice actor (the traditional method) or by using AI voice generation software like ElevenLabs.

Let’s compare how long each method takes. 

Human Voice Actor (A Few Weeks/Months)

The process starts with selecting the right voice talent, which itself can be time-consuming. Once selected, the recording process begins. This includes reading the book, performing multiple takes for accuracy, and ensuring emotional resonance. The time taken depends on the book's length, but it typically ranges from a few days to several weeks. Post-recording, there's editing to remove mistakes and ensure sound quality, adding to the timeline.

AI-Generated Voices (A Few Hours)

AI voice generation, like ElevenLabs', streamlines this process. Once the text is uploaded, the AI quickly converts it into speech, often in a matter of hours, depending on the book's length. The technology offers a range of voices and inflections, but lacks the nuanced emotional expression a human actor provides. However, it's significantly faster, as it eliminates the need for multiple takes and extensive post-recording editing.

In summary, AI-generated voice offers a rapid and efficient solution, ideal for projects with tight timelines.

How Much Does It Cost To Create an Audiobook?

Cost is a crucial factor when creating an audiobook, and it varies widely between using a human voice actor and AI voice generation software.

Human Voice Actor (Thousands of Dollars)

The cost here can vary based on the actor's experience, the book's length, and the complexity of the project. Voice actors may charge per hour of recording or a flat rate for the entire book. Prices range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Additional costs include studio time, editing, and mastering the final product, which can significantly increase the overall expense.

AI Voice Generation (Hundreds of Dollars at Most)

AI voice generation software is far more cost-effective. For example, ElevenLabs offers plans ranging from $0 - $330 a month. Even the most expensive package is substantially lower than hiring a human voice actor. 

What’s more, the software eliminates the need for studio costs and reduces editing and production expenses, as the AI generates a polished product almost instantly. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to produce high-quality audiobooks while keeping expenses in check.

Examples of AI Voice-Generated Audiobooks

Top publishers like Lukeman Literary, The Washington Post, and Storytel rely on ElevenLabs’ AI text-to-speech technology to produce audiobooks quicker, easier, and cheaper than ever before. 

Here are a few examples of AI-generated audiobooks that have been created using ElevenLabs. 

Why Should You Create an Audiobook?

Audiobooks cater to a growing audience seeking convenient, accessible storytelling. They allow listeners to download books onto their Android or iPhone and enjoy them while multitasking, making them ideal for today's busy lifestyle. 

This format also reaches audiences who may prefer audio over text, including visually impaired individuals, people with dyslexia, or those who enjoy listening to podcasts.

For content creators, audiobooks open new markets and revenue streams. They transform static text into immersive experiences, enriching the narrative with tone and emotion. In essence, audiobooks bridge the gap between storytellers and their diverse audiences, making content more accessible and engaging.

Why Choose AI Text-to-Speech for Your Audiobook?

AI text-to-speech technology, particularly from the best text-to-speech providers like ElevenLabs, offers numerous advantages for audiobook production. 

Here's why you should use AI text-to-speech tools to create your audiobook:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Traditional audiobook recording can be expensive, involving voice actors and studio time. AI text-to-speech technology (AI voices) reduces these costs significantly, while still providing natural-sounding voices. 
  • Efficiency and Speed: AI tools can read aloud and generate audiobook content much faster than traditional recording methods. This speed transforms production timelines from weeks to mere hours or minutes.
  • Consistent Quality: Human narrators can vary in performance, but AI voice generators provide consistent voiceovers throughout the audiobook.
  • Flexibility and Control: AI text-to-speech allows for easy editing and customization. Changes in the text or reading speed can be reflected in the audio almost immediately, without re-recording sessions.
  • Accessibility and Inclusivity: With a range of voices and languages, from English to Arabic, AI text-to-speech makes content accessible to a global audience.
  • Scalability: AI solutions cater to projects of all sizes, from short stories to extensive novels, without compromising quality. If you need an audio version of your book, whether it’s 10 pages or 100 pages long, you can use AI. 
  • Innovative Features: Text-to-speech apps like ElevenLabs offer advanced features like emotional tone adjustment, multilingual capabilities, sounds effects, and context-aware narration, enhancing the listening experience. You can select between having a male or female voice and even pick the accent that you prefer. 

By leveraging AI to convert text to speech, creators can produce high-quality, engaging audiobooks that are accessible, cost-effective, and tailored to their specific needs. These speech tools represent a significant leap forward in the world of audiobook production, offering unprecedented flexibility and control to creators and publishers.

That’s why we’re trusted by some of the world’s leading publishers and brands.

Storytel: Storytel enters strategic partnership with ElevenLabs and announces upcoming launch of new voiceswitcher feature.

Super Hi-Fi: Super Hi-Fi partners with ElevenLabs to create ‘personalized radio’ powered by AI, releases online radio station to illustrate the incredible potential.

Lukeman Literary: Acclaimed independent publisher Lukeman Literary generates audiobooks in minutes in multiple languages.

MNTN: Generative AI Video Editor MNTN VIVA helps marketers generate dynamic adverts with ElevenLabs.

Paradox: Paradox Interactive speeds up audio generation from weeks to hours with ElevenLabs.

Luka Dončić: Luka Dončić’s AI version powered by ElevenLabs voice technology.

Magicave: Magicave announces Beneath The Six, a turn-based roguelike game with an AI narrator developed in collaboration with ElevenLabs and Tom Canton from Netflix’s hit show The Witcher.

How Does ElevenLabs Turn Text into an Audiobook?

ElevenLabs stands out in the realm of AI text-to-speech technology, offering a unique and powerful solution for audiobook creation. It uses advanced AI to transform text files into audio format, recognizing text nuances, ensuring accurate intonation and resonance in its synthetic human voices.

The technology ensures crystal clear audio at 128 kbps, providing a premium listening experience. It can handle long-form content generation seamlessly, maintaining high quality without compromise. 

What’s more, ElevenLabs’ new Projects feature has made generating and editing long-form audio files easier than ever before. Here’s how. 

The Projects editing interface

Advanced Workflow for Long-Form Audio

Projects is the culmination of extensive research in long-form speech synthesis and audio conditioning. It enables creators, publishers, and authors to voice entire books, dialogue segments, and articles quickly and efficiently within a unified workflow.

Seamless Integration

This tool integrates with other ElevenLabs features like Voice Cloning and Voice Library, offering a one-stop solution for diverse audio creation needs.

User-Friendly Interface

Projects offers an intuitive experience, much like using a standard document editor. This makes the process straightforward even for those new to audio production.

Customization and Control

Users can assign different text fragments to specific speakers, ensuring a seamless narrative flow. The ability to adjust pause lengths between segments and selectively regenerate audio enhances control over pacing and continuity.

Support for Multiple Formats

Projects supports a variety of file types, including .epub, .pdf, and .txt, as well as URL imports, broadening its accessibility and ease of use.

Efficient Editing and Generation

The feature allows for full project conversion with a single click, as well as the ability to test and regenerate specific fragments, ensuring high-quality output with minimal effort.

Segmentation and Progress Management

Users can structure texts by chapters, focus on specific fragments, and conveniently save and resume their work, adding to the tool's flexibility.

In summary, ElevenLabs' Projects feature streamlines the process of turning text into an audiobook. It addresses prior challenges faced by users in long-form audio generation, offering a solution that is not only efficient and flexible but also capable of producing high-quality, contextually aware, and emotionally resonant audio content. This innovation marks a significant step forward in the field of AI text-to-speech technology, particularly for audiobook production.

Customizing Your Audiobook's Voice with AI

Customizing an audiobook's voice using AI technology like ElevenLabs offers creators a wealth of possibilities. With ElevenLabs, users have access to a wide array of voices, ensuring that the chosen voice aligns perfectly with the narrative's tone, style, and requirements. 

The platform's multilingual capabilities further broaden the scope, enabling creators to produce content in various languages while maintaining a consistent voice quality and character.

This customization extends beyond just selecting a voice. ElevenLabs empowers users to create a unique voice that resonates with their brand or story. This means that whether the content requires a specific emotional range, a particular accent, or a certain cadence, the AI can be tuned to meet these demands. 

The result is a tailor-made audio experience that enhances the listener's engagement and immerses them more deeply in the story.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Audiobook Production

Traditional audiobook production comes with its share of challenges, including finding the right voice talent, managing recording sessions, and editing the final product. These processes can be time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes limiting in terms of creative control and flexibility. 

ElevenLabs addresses these hurdles by offering an AI-driven solution that streamlines the entire audiobook production process. With ElevenLabs, the time and cost associated with traditional voice recording are significantly reduced. The AI's ability to generate natural-sounding speech quickly means that lengthy recording sessions are no longer necessary. 

Moreover, the platform's advanced features allow for handling complex content with ease. For instance, when a book contains dialogues between multiple characters, ElevenLabs can seamlessly assign different voices to these characters, maintaining a clear distinction and continuity throughout the narrative. This capability not only simplifies the production process but also opens up new creative possibilities, allowing for more dynamic and engaging audiobook experiences.

In essence, ElevenLabs transforms the audiobook production landscape by offering a solution that is not only efficient and cost-effective but also versatile and creative, enabling creators to overcome the traditional challenges of audiobook production.

Tips for Preparing Your Text for Audiobook Conversion

Preparing your manuscript for AI conversion is a critical step in creating a high-quality audiobook. The process begins with a thorough review of the text to ensure clarity and coherence. 

It's important to adapt the manuscript for spoken delivery, which might involve simplifying complex sentences or rephrasing certain passages for better auditory comprehension. Paying attention to punctuation is also crucial, as it guides the AI in intonation and pausing, significantly impacting the listening experience.

In terms of formatting, a clean and well-organized document aids the AI in processing the text efficiently. This includes clear demarcation of chapters, headings, and dialogue, which helps in assigning different voices or tones where necessary. For texts with multiple characters, providing notes or cues on each character’s voice style and emotional tone can enhance the AI’s performance in creating distinct and consistent character voices.

Maximizing Your Audiobook’s Impact

Once your audiobook is ready, effective marketing and distribution are key to maximizing its impact. Identifying the right platforms for distribution is the first step. Popular audiobook platforms like Audible, iTunes, and Google Play can provide your audiobook with a wide reach.

In terms of marketing, leveraging social media and email marketing can help in creating buzz around the release. Collaborating with influencers or bloggers in your book's genre can also be a powerful way to reach potential listeners. Additionally, offering a free sample or a chapter can entice listeners to purchase the full audiobook.

For brand building, an audiobook can be a unique tool. It can be used to establish authority in a specific field or to enhance the personal connection with your audience. In terms of monetization, consider a series of audiobooks to create a continuous revenue stream, or use the audiobook as an upsell or bonus with other products or services.


AI technology, especially tools like ElevenLabs, has opened new horizons in audiobook production, making it more accessible, efficient, and versatile. The ability to customize voices, handle complex content, and produce high-quality audio quickly are just a few benefits that AI brings to the table. This technology not only simplifies the production process but also enhances the overall quality and impact of the final product.

We encourage readers to explore the potential of AI text-to-speech technology in transforming their written content into engaging audiobooks. ElevenLabs stands as a testament to the advancements in this field, offering an intuitive, flexible, and powerful tool for creators and publishers alike. 

We invite you to try ElevenLabs and experience firsthand the ease and efficiency of creating an audiobook with AI. Bring your stories to life and reach a wider audience with the power of AI-driven audio narration.

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