Get started with auto-narrated audiobooks

Create an audiobook from an ebook with the auto-narrated audiobook tool.

You can create auto-narration if:

  • You own the audio rights to the title.
  • The ebook is written in:
    • English
    • French
    • German
    • Spanish
  • The ebook is in a .epub file format.
  • Your account also offers the ebook on Google Play.
Auto-narrated audiobooks use a digital voice to read ebooks. Auto-narration works best on nonfiction titles.

Availability

Auto-narrated audiobooks are available to publishers in these countries and regions:
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Auto-narrated audiobooks can be sold wherever you have rights to sell the book.

Create an audiobook from a .epub

  1. Open the Book Catalogue.
  2. At the top, click Add a Book and then Create an auto-narrated audiobook.
    • Or:
      1. Open an existing book.
      2. Click Content and then Create auto-narrated audiobook.
  3. Select a template.
  4. Select an ebook.
  5. Select a permanent book identifier.
    • If you have an ISBN or EAN for the audiobook: Click Use an ISBN or EAN.
    • If not: To get a Google-generated book identifier, click Get a Google book ID (GGKEY).
  6. Click Save and continue.

Important: Only ebooks in your account with an .epub file that are live on Google Play are eligible for auto-narration.

Edit an auto-narrated audiobook

Edit the audio file

Important: After you create an audio file, the audiobook can take up to two hours to show up in your account. 
  • Find and replace: To the right of the search box, select More More.
    • Or, select Control + F.
  • Edit text: Select the text field.
  • Play text: At the bottom, click Play.
  • Change the voice:
    • At the top right, select the Down arrow.
    • Choose a voice.
      • It’s best to choose a narrator language that matches the book language.
  • Remove a section from auto-narration: At the top right, select Exclude.
  • Add a section to auto-narration: Select Include.
  • Save changes: At the bottom, click Save and then Create audio file.
  • Select editor options:
    • Right-click in the text editor.
    • Or, use your keyboard:
      • On PC: Press Ctrl + Shift + /.
      • On Mac: Press ⌘ + Shift + /.

Edit the table of contents

When you edit the table of contents, you can:

  • Rename the section.
  • Add a section above or below the current section.
    • To save, the new section must have a name.
  • Increase or decrease indent.
  • Delete a section.
    • Important: Deletion is permanent. When you delete a section from the table of contents, you delete the section from the book, too.

To edit the table of contents:

  1. Next to a section, click More More.

Unnamed sections

Auto-narration reads unnamed sections, but these sections aren't in the table of contents. To help readers find unnamed sections, give them a name.

Edit the book info

Examples of metadata:

  • About the book
  • Genres
  • Contributors
  • Settings

Tip: To go to each new section, select Save and Continue.

Edit pronunciation

If the auto-narrator mispronounces a word, you can create your own pronunciation for them to read. You can also find pronunciations for words that are spelled the same, but pronounced differently.

To change the pronunciation of a word:

  1. Right-click the word.
  2. Select Edit Pronunciation.
  3. Choose how to change the pronunciation:
    • Select an alternative pronunciation, if provided:
      • Alternate pronunciations will display in the right hand panel.
    • Enter the phonetic spelling:
      1. Enter the phonetic text manually. For example, you can enter 'one thousand and sixty' to replace '1060'.
    • Use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):
      1. Enter the IPA text manually. For example, you can enter 'minute' as 'mɪn ɪt' or 'maɪˈnut'.
      2. Click the microphone to speak the word into your microphone.

Use find and replace

If you need to find instances of a specific work and/or replace that word, use the find and replace tool.

  1. In the top right corner, click More More.
  2. In the 'Find' field, enter the word to locate within the text.
    • To move to the next instance of the word, click Next.
    • To move the the previous instance of the word, click Previous.
  3. In the 'Replace with' field, enter the replacement text, if applicable.
    • To replace the currently selected word with the new text, click Replace.
    • To replace all instances of that word in the audiobook, click Replace all.
Review the content

After you create an audiobook, you can review the content in the 'Content' tab. Audiobook content includes:

  • A file named 'Audiobook text' with the narrator that you selected.
  • 'Live' status next to the version of the audiobook available on Google Play.
    • Tip: You can create multiple versions of the book with different narrators, but only one version can be live.
  • Optional: To let readers reference images and charts in the text, you can add a .pdf of supplemental material. To add a .pdf, click Upload a file.
Upload a cover image

In the 'Content' tab, upload a cover image for your audiobook.

Cover file requirements:

  • The aspect ratio must be 1:1. We recommend a square image, ideally, 2400 x 2400 pixels.
  • Format must be in .jpeg, .pdf, .tiff or .png
    • Important: Include the filename extension.
  • Less than 2 GB
Fix errors

Before you publish the audiobook, you can review the information in the 'Summary' tab. To publish, you must fix any errors in the sections marked in red. You must have the ebook live in your Book Catalogue to publish the auto-narrated version.

Tip: To publish your first audiobook you must add Audiobook sales territories in the Payment Centre. Learn more about adding Sales territories.

Create a better auto-narrated audiobook

To create a better auto-narrated audiobook experience, follow these tips:

Editorial

  • Forewords, afterwords and passages: Provide the writer’s name at the beginning of the section.
  • Imagery: Edit or remove references to charts, diagrams, tables and long lists.
  • Footnotes: Footnotes should get removed automatically. Manually remove any footnotes that were missed.

Auto-narration and interpretation

  • Narrator Accents: Some words may be pronounced differently based on the narrator’s accent. For example, 'King Louis' sounds like 'King Lewis' in U.S. English and 'King Louie' in British English.
  • Narrator Language: To create audiobooks, it’s best to use a narrator in the same language as your ebook. If you use a narrator that doesn’t match the ebook’s language, it can result in mispronounced words.
  • Homographs: Some words like 'read', 'minute' and 'present' have more than one pronunciation. Within the editor, you can modify the audio text to represent a phonetic spelling.
  • More languages: Audiobooks are narrated in one language. If a book has text like a quote or phrase in another language, the text gets pronounced in the main language.
  • Uncommon abbreviations: Spell out uncommon abbreviations like: 
    • Names: Wm. for William.
    • Bible verses: Isaiah iii, 9 for Isaiah chapter 3, verse 9.
    • Units of measure: Cwt for hundredweight or s for shillings.
  •  Punctuation: Good punctuation improves the narration. 
    • Offensive words replaced with dashes or special characters won’t be read out. Spell out the word or replace the special characters with another word. For instance, instead of 'D—' use 'D blank blank'.
    • Line breaks create pauses in the narration.

Download your auto-narrated audiobook

  1. In your book catalogue, select the book that you want to download.
  2. Publish the book on Google Play Books.
  3. To find the processed files, go to the 'Content' tab.
  4. Select the filename with the 'Live' status.

Tip: To download the MP3 files for the audiobook in a .zip or .lpf file, in the 'Content' tab, select Download. Each section has a .mp3 file and is numbered in order.

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