Are you ready to take the steps to record your book? Are you puzzled by what equipment you need?

In part two of the DIY Audiobook episode, Kathi and her guest, Roger Lipp, discuss the technical side of recording your book.

Listen in and learn:

  • How having a producer can help keep you on track.
  • What equipment and editing software to use that will produce high-quality audio.
  • How to utilize your church’s sound system and tech person.

Click here to listen to part one of Kathi and Roger’s chat.

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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

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.


Well, hey friends, 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 writers and creators who share their wisdom to help us all share our story. And I am back for part two of the DIY audio book. And I am here with Roger. Roger, welcome back to the podcast.

Roger (00:37.698)

Thank you so much.

Kathi (00:39.393)

Well, we were right in the middle of a subject, but we were running out of time, so we had to come back. And this subject is, all the things we need to do to prep to record our own audio book. So if you didn’t have a chance to listen to last week’s episode, we talk about preparing your script, we talk about preparing the room, which is really, really important.

And now let’s talk a little tech, my friend. And I’m just, I don’t even know the questions to ask. I’m just gonna pass it over to you. I kinda know the questions to ask, but. Now before we talked about having a tech person and the talent. So the talent is the person who’s reading and the tech is doing the technical aspects of this, but you’re also kind of a producer on this, aren’t you?

Roger (01:13.389)


Roger (01:28.45)

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, this is this, it would be very challenging. I don’t think you could do this solo. This requires, yeah, this requires a producer. Yeah. So what from a producer point of view, I’m following along on my paper copy of the script. And if you get a word slightly wrong or choose an alternative word, then what’s in the script,

Kathi (01:36.681)

It would be… you would have too many mistakes.

Roger (01:57.706)

We let that pass. That’s fine. That’s just, you know, being human and speaking. But if, if the meaning has changed, uh, then we have to stop and I’ll, I’ll just let you know, Hey, we’ve got to stop and you’ll take that over again. And you’ll do what’s called a pickup there. So you won’t just repeat the word that was wrong, but you’ll back up a sentence or so, you know, get a running start at it.

And I’ll note on the paper script, you know, I’ll circle it and note the time index where that occurred. And you know, that was a redo. And sometimes we have to redo the same thing multiple times. So I’ll put little tick marks next to that, that we had to redo this one three times. It’s just frustrating. It’s just part of being human and trying to read.

Kathi (02:43.215)


Kathi (02:52.109)

Well, and also sometimes as a writer, I am not thinking about how something is going to sound when I’m reading it out loud. And, you know, alliteration is great when you’re reading it on the paper, but when you’re saying it out loud, I’m like, stupid writers, how dumb was this writer? And it’s so true. There are times I’ve written sentences, I’m like, well, that was dumb. I wish I could go back and edit it. Little too late for that.

Roger (03:10.556)

Why did you put a tongue twister in the middle of your book?

Kathi (03:21.601)

So sometimes you just have to do it until you get it right. And that’s okay. I would really recommend that people don’t try to do all of this recording if you’re doing it on your own in a day or in a couple, in two days. If you could do, if you’re doing eight hours of recording, the max I would encourage you to do on your own if you can possibly.

Spread it out this long is two hours a day You start to you start to get stupid after a little bit of talking, but you know, let’s continue with yeah, go ahead

Roger (04:00.13)

Well, and that’s another thing that the producer has to look out for, is the pacing of the delivery and the energy of the delivery. To make sure it’s consistent from recording session to recording session and beginning of the session to end of session, you know, that can all change. And especially if you are having to do a lot of retakes, that can get frustrating, which can change the dynamics and the sound and the pace. So, you know, that’s one of the things that you have to look out for.

Kathi (04:08.592)


Roger (04:30.67)

So let’s talk a little bit of tech then. Here, a good microphone is important. In doing a podcast, you can get away with a cheaper microphone. Here, you can’t. So if you’re going to do this, you do need a better microphone. As we’ve said before when we’re talking about podcasts, 

Yeah, it’s an S, edit. What is this thing called? Oh, it’s an S, it’s an, here it is. It’s an SM7, an MV7. Oh my goodness. The sure MV7. 

Kathi (05:06.433)

Nope. You know what? We will put that in, go ahead.

Kathi (05:18.761)

Okay, it’s okay. That’s fine. We’re gonna give them a whole download in our newsletter of all the tech where you can just hold it up to Amazon and Jeff Bezos will scan it and send everything to your front door. Exactly, yes.

Roger (05:34.238)

The drones will fly over your house, drop it down on your front. Okay, good. So that microphone is important and you’ll need a stand for the microphone because you can’t hold it. It has to be on a stand. And you’ll want to have some kind of noise isolation if you do tend to tap on your desk or reach for things on your desk. So some of those things you might need to think through a little bit.

And then you need a recorder. We don’t record directly on the computer. We have a digital recording device that we record on. We use the.

Roger (06:19.138)

mix pre three. There it is the mix pre three to do digital recordings and it’s a it’s a great little recorder very portable. It accepts two microphone inputs so you we can take this on the road and record in-person recordings you know with two people so it’s handy in that way. It’s not a

Um, simple device to use, right? This isn’t a point, point at it and push record kind of device. There are simpler ones out there. Pick your own. That’s fine. I would suggest it, it should be a digital recorder, not a, um, and I know nobody’s getting a tape recorder anymore. That’s not what I mean by digital record. But you want a clean digital recording of, uh, what you’re, what you’re doing. So.

Kathi (06:51.173)


Kathi (07:07.189)

I was going to say, where can you buy one?

Kathi (07:16.557)

Now, could you record directly to your computer?

Roger (07:20.606)

You can, that would take potentially a little more setup and a little more fiddling around with things. So that’s why I always go right to the digital recorder. It’s easier, keeps our flow going, etc. But if you’re very comfortable with the computer and that’s how you do things, great. That’ll absolutely work.

Kathi (07:32.069)

Got it. Okay.

Kathi (07:36.15)


Kathi (07:43.253)

Okay, so in the recording studio, which is our blue bedroom, we have the microphone, the microphone stand, and the cord that’s going out to the recorder. And the recorder is on your side, and we both have headphones on.

Roger (08:07.186)

 We’re both wearing headsets and the headsets are coming off of the recorder. So I got one of those little Y jacks that we used to use when we were flying and we wanted to listen to the same movie. So you plug in the Y jack and we both plug into our headphones into the Y jack. Got one of those things and then a long cord so that it could feed your headset and a shorter cord to feed my headset.

Kathi (08:59.782)

Oh yeah.

Kathi (09:03.194)


Roger (09:16.402)

And it’s the headset should be, especially for the producer, should be one of the over ear headsets that covers your ear. Um, that way you’re, you’re getting a good, um, representation of the sound that is actually going down. And if there’s a little lip noise, you know, or breath or, um, uh, a sound of something hitting the table, any kind of tap, hopefully you’d be able to hear that in the headset while you’re recording.

Kathi (09:22.545)


Kathi (09:32.49)

Oh, okay.

Roger (09:45.822)

and you can take that over.

Kathi (09:48.329)

Okay, yeah, I was going to also suggest a couple other pieces of equipment that were helpful to us. So you had a pen on your table so you could mark things or highlight whatever you want. I also found that a book stand was really helpful for me to put my tablet on so that I could scroll and I’m not touching the table so there’s not extra clicking or anything like that.

I made sure I didn’t have a pen in my hand because I’m sitting here on this podcast because I take notes while we podcast and I so badly want to do, yeah, it’s the world’s most annoying thing. And I’m not doing it except for demonstration purposes. So I think that those are really important prep. We both had bottles of water where we were so when we took breaks, we could have that. I also had hot tea.

Roger (10:29.217)


Kathi (10:46.665)

And I had a couple of snacks in there, so if I got really hungry, I didn’t have to come out of the room in order to do it. We also made sure that my desk chair was not something that would make noise. That was really important as well. Now.

Roger (11:04.026)

It wasn’t able to rock or move. We got you a wood chair that didn’t move at all. A little irritating. Also, we had long cables. This was important so that we could move me far enough away from you. So we had to get long cables both for our headset and to connect the mic up to the recorder. And all that was going under the door and out into the hallway.

Kathi (11:10.018)


Kathi (11:15.53)

Oh, I’m sorry.

Kathi (11:21.318)

Ah, okay.

Kathi (11:31.249)

Okay, that’s a good thing. Yeah, go ahead.

Roger (11:34.522)

Oh, yeah. Yeah. One other important thing for us was the dog bed. We had to put the dog bed next to the door and next to me so that moose would settle down and we wouldn’t hear a little pause on the floor.

Kathi (11:39.885)

Yeah. Ha ha

Kathi (11:49.757)

Yeah, oh the little tippy-tappy of the toes. It’s the loudest thing ever on podcasts I think they you know, this is all really important and guys if you’re a part of our newsletter You’re automatically going to get this download that we have for uh the tech list Of everything that roger curated for us so that we could do these kind of things now the other question I have Is how do you edit this? How did you edit?

this because we actually sent this to a audiobook producer and they did some of the edits but you did some of the edits before we sent it off. So if somebody was going to edit this in their own home, what would they do?

Roger (12:36.034)

Well, okay, so honestly, what we did on our side was we collected up the audio recordings and my list of chapter to file name that remember I was writing that down on the paper and all the edit points. So I sent them a spreadsheet of all of that information along with all of the audio files. And that was basically what we did on our side and they pulled it all together.

Kathi (12:51.51)


Roger (13:05.022)

If we were going to edit that ourselves, you would want a more professional level audio editing software. This would be challenging to do with the free level of software that is commonly out there. I wouldn’t try to use Audacity or something like that for this. I’m sure somebody out there is saying, oh yeah, you could. Yes, you can, but I wouldn’t. If you have the skills and the patience.

Kathi (13:29.462)

If you have the skills, yeah.

Roger (13:34.746)

I would say something on the more high end like Adobe Audition would be a better choice.

Kathi (13:42.389)

And I would imagine, well, in fact, I know, you could hire somebody on Fiverr to do this, F-I-V-V-E-R, who could edit your audiobook with your recordings. If you wanted to, you could also hire somebody on Fiverr to do the reading of the book. If that’s not of interest to you, there are lots of voice talent over there that would be willing to do this.

and you can listen to clips of them to see if it has the same vibe of what you’re looking for. So, you know, keep those things in mind. Roger, besides what we’ve already talked about, what would you say is the most important thing to do for sound quality? Is it to test it ahead of time? Is it, what would you say? Because you’re a sound engineer, you know these things.

Roger (14:37.846)

Well, yeah, all the above really. I mean, you do have to know what you’re working with. So, and if you haven’t done this before, you may not know what you’re listening for. So you may have to get some guidance from maybe your church’s sound guy, if you’re friends with them or somebody like that, that could help you get a nice flat recording.

Kathi (14:48.017)


Kathi (14:54.327)


Kathi (15:02.213)

That’s right, all these Christians have an ace in the hole when it comes to recording audio. It’s your church’s sound engineer. And it was very funny, just before we recorded this, I was online with my mastermind group and one of my clients, Jill, said, “‘Look at what I just got from this company.'” And so it was some audio equipment and it was a bunch of candy. And I’m like,

Oh, we know who that is. Sweetwater, right? Sweetwater, yes. And they were all going back and it’s like, yeah, Sweetwater always sends candy. So are there other places that, okay, so you’ve always been happy with Sweetwater when we’ve been looking for audio equipment. Anybody else? I mean, we bought some stuff off of Amazon too, right?

Roger (15:32.977)

That’s sweet water, yes.

Roger (15:45.331)

Oh yeah. Yeah.

Roger (15:51.03)

We have, and there’s some photo places that do sound equipment as well. Sorry, I’m not coming up with their names. So there’s a number of places out there. I’ll put them in the list, sure. Sweetwater is one of the big ones, yeah.

Kathi (15:59.133)

But you’ll research them for us and let us know, right? Yeah, okay, great. Yeah, and they seem to have really good customer service from what I remember, so.

Roger (16:09.21)

Oh my goodness, they’ll call you and ask you, how’s it going with that? Do you need any help? It’s yes. This was before the age of AI.

Kathi (16:15.157)

A human being will call you? You sure it’s not AI?

Kathi (16:21.157)

Okay, so I this is what I would say DIY is possible, but you’re probably going to need some support so just go in knowing that and then I Think this is really good to even if you decide not to record your entire audiobook To record portions of you reading it to use on social media


to use on podcast, whatever it is, but get the best sound quality you possibly can because audiences know the difference these days. Wouldn’t you say that? We’ve become more sophisticated.


Roger (17:01.842)

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Especially when you get into an area like a produced audio book, people do have a certain expectation of sound quality. It’s different than for a podcast where the audience may be a little more forgiving of an oops or a dog barking or something like that. But could you imagine a dog barking in the middle of an audio book? That that just doesn’t work.


Kathi (17:25.869)

No. But I still maintain that a Rooster during Occidental Homesteader, spot on. That’s right, that’s right. Raj, thanks for giving us all of this information and thank you for your downloads so that we can help people get the best sound quality they possibly can. And oh, one more tip guys, throat coat.


Roger (17:33.656)

Well, that’s apropos to the book. Yes, that’s ambiance.


Kathi (17:55.053)

If you have a throat coat, it’s a T, that if you start to lose your voice, throat coat is the jam. I don’t like how it tastes, but I also have lozenges that will help so that I don’t get a dry throat. So be prepared, guys, be prepared, especially if you’re on a deadline. Okay, friends, you’ve been listening to the Writing at the Red House podcast. I’m Cathy Lip.


Roger (17:57.514)

What is that?


Roger (18:01.681)



Kathi (18:24.869)

Go tell your only you story of God’s extravagant love.

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