Have you published a book and would like to record an audiobook for it? Are you overwhelmed by where to begin?

Today, Kathi and her guest, Roger Lipp, discuss the DIY approach to recording your audiobook.

Listen in and learn:

  • How audiobooks are important to both the writer and the listener.
  • How to prepare your script.
  • How important it is to prepare the room you plan to record in.

Don’t miss out on Part 2 next week as Kathi and Roger talk about what equipment you need to successfully record an audiobook.

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The Accidental Homesteader
The Collective

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Meet Your Hosts

Kathi Lipp

Kathi Lipp

Author, Speaker, Writing at the Red House Creator and CEO

Kathi Lipp is the host of the Clutter Free Academy podcast, the Writing at the Red House podcast, and the bestselling author of The Husband Project, Clutter Free, Ready for Anything, and An Abundant Place. She and her husband, Roger, live in the mountains of northern California, where they run the Red House Writing Retreats.

Over the past 10 years, Kathi has helped hundreds of people increase their platform through teaching and coaching. She is a frequent teacher at writer’s conferences and has helped countless authors and speakers find their audiences.

Kathi’s desire to help fellow speakers and authors avoid the mistakes she made, increase their confidence, and be the person God made them to be inspired her creation of Communicator Academy. Her newest adventure is The Red House, where she offers writer’s retreats and Writers in Residence events. Learn more about the Red House at https:writingattheredhouse.com

Roger Lipp

Roger Lipp

Productivity and Quality Engineer

Roger is a productivity and quality engineer for a Fortune 50 company.

Roger helps teams reach their full productivity potential by teaching them practical and simple steps to reach their goals. Roger and his wife, author Kathi Lipp, teach communicators how to share their message through social media and email marketing.

He and Kathi coauthored Happy Habits for Every Couple with Harvest House Publishers.


Welcome to Writing at the Red House podcast where we gather at the table to break bread and tell tales with some of our favorite authors and creators who share their wisdom to help us all share our story. And today I’m here with my favorite creator, it is Roger Lipp. Hey, Rog.

Roger (00:30.862)

So good to be here.

Kathi (00:32.256)

So good to be here. We’re just going to dive right in because we have got a packed episode today. I want to talk about we’re doing this DIY series where there’s so many things now. There are so few gatekeepers in publishing anymore. I mean, there are still plenty of gatekeepers, but you don’t have to obey the gatekeepers. There’s so much of this stuff that you can do 100 % on all your own.

And even though I am primarily a traditionally published author, we’ve had to bootstrap a lot of stuff. Yes. So let’s talk about the first time that I ended up doing my own audio book, which was, it was really interesting because I was doing,

Roger (01:12.654)

Yeah, we got some crazy stories here.

Kathi (01:30.642)

I had the book Clutter Free Home that I needed to do an audiobook for. And I think you and I were in Los Angeles the last day anything was open. Well, it wasn’t even open. Like you and I drove down to Southern California. We couldn’t take a plane. Got into the booth where it was just us breathing air.

Roger (01:47.406)

Oh yeah.

Kathi (01:58.112)

as opposed to the sound engineer breathing it like it was crazy. And

Roger (02:02.094)

This was at the beginning of COVID. Yeah. Yeah.

Kathi (02:04.904)

100 % at the beginning when nobody knew what was going on so flat fashion bash flash skip forward skip fast forward there we go

Yes, I am a professional by the way. Fast forward to just several months later where we were coming out with Ready for Anything, which funnily enough was a book about being prepared for an emergency, including a pandemic. And they said, you know what, we’re just gonna have to hire somebody because you can’t record this on your own.

And I said, they couldn’t get a studio anywhere for us. And we wouldn’t want to go to a studio. Like it was not the time to be going to a studio. And they said, you know, you can’t record this on your own. And I’m like, oh, you don’t know my husband. You don’t know my husband. So now you and I have recorded two books in studio. And oh,

Roger (02:49.646)

Well, they couldn’t get a studio for us. Yeah. Right.

Roger (03:16.75)

in our studio.

Kathi (03:18.036)

Wait, no, I think we’ve recorded three because I think we did our part of the accidental homesteader. I mean, excuse me, Abundant Place. Yes. I’m pretty sure that we’ve done this three. They really are. Okay. But I think I am right because I remember doing that on our own. Okay.

Roger (03:20.782)

Is it three?

Roger (03:28.974)

They’re all blending together for me. But yeah, I think you might be right. Yeah, I think you’re right. Yeah. Oh, of course, right. Because I remember we did one at your mom’s house and two here.

Kathi (03:44.544)

Yes, okay, so here’s the brilliant thing. You can be your own audio book recorder. And in fact, you just need some of the right equipment. You need a soft place. Now we’ll have you explain what that means to be able to record. But I wanna talk about why this is so important. Because…

You know, for years and years and years, I’ve gone and spoken at events and people buy my books in the back of the room. This is not so much the thing anymore. I have my books in the back of the room. And the question I get asked over and over and over again is, do you have this on audiobook? And now we do. Because people are listening to books like they listen to podcasts. They will just and especially if you’re on a long car trip.

or something like that, I tend to do short podcasts for when it’s, for running errands. But if we’re driving any length of time, which we often are, especially if I’m by myself, I’ll put it in the audio book. And that just makes the trip go so much more quickly. And I will also listen to it sometimes when I’m cleaning or cooking. It’s just a great way of multitasking.

Roger (05:08.27)

Yeah. And, and you’re not alone there. I mean, I think there’s a, there’s a big movement toward audio. Uh, people like to consume larger content like this through audio. So this is, this is a big topic.

Kathi (05:10.784)


Kathi (05:15.424)


Kathi (05:21.056)


Yeah, I think people like to be able to do things where, you know, I don’t do a lot of video watching unless it’s like late at night, you’re still working. I’ll go to TikTok, that kind of thing. But for the most part, I want to be when I’m up and moving around, I want to have audio and no video so I can cook, clean, garden, whatever we’re going to do. So we just know that there is a huge rise in audiobooks.

and their market potential really does help the sale of your books. And there are other reasons to have an audiobook. We want to interact with every kind of reader we can. And I have friends who have either they’re on the spectrum or they’re sight impaired or they…

There are just a million reasons why people would choose an audio book over sitting down over a paper work book or even a digital book. And let’s also say this is a clutter free way to really enjoy books. I don’t need a ton more paper books in my house, but I can always go onto Audible or download something. It’s really, really enjoyable for me.

Roger (06:48.622)

Our phones have lots of memory in them. They can take lots of audio books.

Kathi (06:52.064)

Yes, yes. And that is why it’s so important for you to have an audiobook version, whether you’re traditionally published or self published. So I want to talk about how do you get started with an audiobook production? Now, there are two ways to do this, but we’re talking DIY. So you can either record it or you can hire a voice artist to record it for you. And a lot of voice artists have studios in their own homes, but

Let’s talk about what it, let’s just do an overview of what the DIY audio book process contains. 

So when we’re taking a look at the overview of how do you do a DIY audiobook, and so when I say DIY, you’re doing 99 % of this yourself. So the first thing you’re gonna need to do is prepare your script. And for us, what we’ve done, that has been a Word version on a tablet, whether it’s an Apple tablet, Galaxy, it doesn’t matter.

but just being able to scroll and not have those papers moving while you’re recording. So I like to prepare the script. I’m going to pass it off to you to talk about preparing the tech and the room, because both of those are really, really important.

Roger (09:04.078)

Yeah, so while we’re talking about scripts, as the recorder, as the recording person, let’s see, the recording tech, the tech, I have a printed copy that I’m working, because I can have some little bit of page rustling because I’m not near the microphone. And when we’re recording, I’m marking down on that printed page.

Kathi (09:06.528)

Oh yeah.

Kathi (09:13.888)

The tech, you’re the tech, I’m the talent. There we go.

Kathi (09:20.51)

Mm -hmm.

Kathi (09:25.856)


Roger (09:32.686)

the file number that we just recorded. So we can keep the chapters in the book associated with the right file in the recording. Because each time you push start and stop on the recorder, that’s a new file. So we’ve got a lot of little files that are starting to accumulate. So paper helps me there. So.

Kathi (09:53.568)


Roger (09:57.006)

The tech of this is a little bit more complicated than it is for a podcast. We’ve always said that a podcast is just a headphone and a microphone and good luck. Go at it. It’s a little more involved here because to get a good recording quality for an audio book, you first off need a room that…

Kathi (10:03.328)


Kathi (10:08.19)

Mm -hmm. Yes.

Roger (10:25.504)

doesn’t have a lot of echo in it. And we don’t notice echo in our houses when we’re just talking because why would we? It’s all around us. But I’d encourage you to go into a room and just clap, you know, just a sharp one clap, bump.

Kathi (10:35.264)


Kathi (10:42.816)

It’s amazing what you can hear with a clap.

Roger (10:46.446)

And you’ll hear this little ring after the clap. And you might think it’s your ears doing that, but it’s not. It’s the sound bouncing off the windows and the walls and maybe the floors and the ceiling. It’s just bouncing all over. And so that creates that little ring. After you clap, just that real sharp sound. And that’s, that’s death to a recording. Especially like an audio book where you do need a, a, what we call.

in recording a flat sound, so none of that echo. What we did to create that…

Kathi (11:23.392)

And by the way, we have pictures of this that we will put in the show notes, because it’s impressive looking.

Roger (11:28.238)

Our first time out, we had a room that didn’t have a lot of… It was flat. It was a closet.

Kathi (11:36.64)

It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t a room. It was a closet. I was sitting on the floor of a closet.

Roger (11:45.454)

 this particular closet had a little bit of room in it. So it, Kathy wasn’t like in a two by two square space. So this was a roomy closet, generous closet with coats and quilts hanging on every wall all around it, carpeted floor. So it came out, you clap in that room, you don’t hear an echo.

Kathi (11:59.262)

In generous closet, yes.

Roger (12:14.062)

I put a few things here and there on the door just to make it a little bit better. And that’s what we use. But when we recorded here, we didn’t have the quilt room, the quilt closet to do that in. So we took one of the bedrooms and we brought in blankets and coat racks and filled them all with jackets and hung everything. We put.

Uh, because we have, um, laminate floors, they’re hard. Uh, we put, uh, not towels, but, uh, blankets down on the floor to soften that, uh, pillows everywhere. Yes. I mean, it was just like stuffed. We, we hung up, we hung up quilts over the windows, uh, and had to think about the door when we, you know, open and close the door, that door needs to be covered with a soft fabric.

Kathi (12:52.928)

and pillows, there were lots of pillows in there, yeah.

Yeah, we – Go ahead. Yeah.

Roger (13:11.214)

So it was pretty fun.

Kathi (13:14.24)

I was sitting at a desk inside the room and you were sitting at a table outside the room. So you could also manage Moose, our dog, and I was able to record in that room and it was quite a process to get out of the room because we had things, yeah. All this to say, in order to prep the room, you’re going to need as much sound absorption as you can possibly muster.

Roger (13:30.414)

Yeah, you had to move the blankets. Right.

Kathi (13:44.544)

And so you’re preparing your script, you’re trying to keep noise levels down. That’s why I had a tablet, the paper was outside the room. And then we had sound absorbing fabrics, the bed, things hanging off the windows, all of that, so that we could get the clearest sound that we possibly could. And both times, both to Zondervan and to Harvest House, we had to submit tests of these recordings.

And you know, they both said those will do and I’m like, oh, those were excellent. So just know, but you have to, you have to feel extreme. Yeah. It feels extreme to have to do it. No, but I’ve heard people who have bought the audio book say how much they love it and how great it sounds. And they couldn’t believe we did it in our house. And we, you know, the only thing we couldn’t control was the rooster crowing, but we said that’ll be atmosphere. That’s fine. It’s all good. So Roger, I mean,

Roger (14:20.878)


Roger (14:31.054)

No, good.

Kathi (14:44.736)

We’ve had to really go into detail about what we’re gonna do here just to prepare the room and the script. And we need to talk about audio, but I think we have to come back next week because we’ve got a lot to share on this subject and we want you to do it right. I will say the only other thing I’ll say right here is test things before you go in and start recording your whole audio book.

because you don’t want to record, I mean, it’s six, eight hours of recording and you don’t want to do that and find out you have an echo in the back or a click or something like that. You want to test it out, listen to it, but when we come back next week, Roger’s going to explain all the tech that we used and I know it’s more than a podcast, but it may not be crazy.

and then how you go about editing it. And we can talk a little bit about that and go from there. Roger, thanks for hanging out with me today.

Roger (15:50.946)

Absolutely, it’s always fun.

Kathi (15:52.916)

And friends, also make sure that you’re part of our newsletter community because you’re gonna get all the downloads we’re talking about in these episodes and Roger is going to give us an equipment guide for audiobook recording. So you’re definitely going to want to download all of that. So we’ll have a link in the podcast notes so that you can go.

and get on our list and get all of these resources absolutely free. Friends, you’ve been listening to the Writing at the Red House podcast. I’m Cathy Lip. Now, go tell your story of God’s extravagant love in your life.


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