Making your own podfic is not difficult, nor does it have to be an expensive hobby. You just need to know where to get started and how to do it.

On this page, I will explain the steps for making a podfic.

1. Environment: Find or create quietness

There are a few ground rules to recording good audio, and the most important one is that you cannot fix a bad recording environment in post-production. High-end audio editing software will allow you to hide ("filter out") some noises, like a ticking clock or a humming laptop fan, but this will also make your recording less crisp and resonant. This is why checking your environment is step 1, well actually it's step zero - because I'm going to need you to be real honest with yourself about your environment before you continue with any other steps. I want you to have a fun, fulfilling experience, and enable you to create a good product that you can be proud of.

Begin by thinking about your options for where you can record. If you own a decent laptop, you can consider different rooms, otherwise you're stuck with your desk/workspace. Sit down in the recording space, close your eyes, and listen. What do you hear? Which of the noises can be eliminated?

Accoustic issues that can be fixed

This is what I noticed at my own desk, and how I dealt with it:

As you can see, with a little bit of tenacity and persistence, it's possible to record even in difficult environments. But if I possessed a laptop, I could have easily moved to the basement for recording and removed 90% of annoyances. 

Accoustic issues that can NOT be fixed

However, there are also some conditions that are not fixable, and if these are your only choices you might need to reconsider recording at home:

Once you have decided on a recording environment, it's important to stick with it, at least for the duration of your current podfic. 

2. Equipment: You won't need much

To record podfic, you really only need a computer/laptop, and a microphone. Optionally, you can get more tools to make recording more comfortable or improve the audio quality. If you're not sure yet whether podficcing is for you, you might want to borrow the equipment from a friend at first. The items I recommend here represent my personal, subjective preference for beginners, I'm not affiliated with any of the brands or websites linked. 




Pop filter (optional but recommended)

When you speak, airwaves leave your mouth. These airwaves are strongest on so-called plosive sounds like "P", "T", or "K". If you speak them directly towards the membrane of your microphone, they will create spikes in your signal that sound unpleasant to the listener. The purpose of a pop-filter is to disperse these airwaves before they can hit the microphone, without affecting audio quality.

3. Fic: Decide on a story to record and get permission from the author

Choosing a podfic

The next step is to decide on a podfic. If you're just starting out, I recommend starting with something below 10k words. (Or you could do it like me and jump right into recording a 160k epos - if you're passionate enough about the story you might be able to pull it off. But from experience I strongly recommend against recording something long while you're still learning the skills: In the beginning you will get better quickly, and your first chapter will sound much different than your third.)

To get a feeling for what it's like to record yourself reading things out loud, and what you're comfortable recording, I suggest choosing something rated G or T. Fluff is perfect to get you started. It's best to look up several candidates you'd like to record, because next you need to get the author's permission - and you might not get it.

Time commitment 

New podficcers tend to be surprised by the time it takes to create a podfic. As a rule of thumb, every 10k words of fanfic will result in approximately one hour of edited podfic, and every hour of edited podfic takes at least 5 hours of work. This is not an exaggeration. 

Getting permission

It's the golden law of podficcing to never record without the author's permission. There are several ways to get permission:

If you're not sure what to say: It usually works well to genuinely compliment their work and ask them if they'd allow you to create a podfic of it. Be prepared that they might not know what a podfic is, in which case I invite you to send them the link to the FAQ!

4. Start recording 

Once you completed steps 1-3, you're ready to start recording! 

Install and set up Audacity

Audacity is the most widely used free software for recording audio, and for good reason. It's pretty solid and comes pre-installed with a few useful filters. You can download it here: This quick start guide for Audacity is good. Once you've familiarised yourself a little bit with the software, go to Audio Setup, select the correct "Playback Device" (your headphones) and "Recording Device" (your mic) and then you're ready to hit the red-dot "Record" button!

Advice for recording

audio_LIAW intro.mp3

5. Edit your recording

The editing process

To avoid re-inventing the wheel, I'll quote from an amazing tutorial by Paraka, who describes the editing process so beautifully:

How fast people edit a podfic depends on the podficcer, however I don't think I've heard of anything less than 3-4 minutes of work for every minuted of finished product.

Exporting as MP3

Now you're ready to save your podfic in a version other people can listen to. The three shareable files that Audacity supports is .wav, .mp3 and .ogg. Wave files are really large and I doubt you'll ever have much use for an .ogg file. Exporting as an .mp3 is best. To do this go to File -> Export As MP3. A typical "Save As" box will appear, asking you what you'd like to name your file (with the project file name coming up as a default) and where you'd like to save it. When you click save, another box will open that asks for information on what kind of meta data you want saved with your podfic. Everyone has their own style, below is an example. Just fill this out or leave it blank as you'd like then hit ok, and the exporting will start. 

6. Upload your audio file(s)

Upload your finished audio files to a hosting service, ideally to a service that offers a lot of storage for free, and won't delete it after some years. When I set up the podfic library, I noticed that for most older pofics (10 years and up), Dropbox links were usually dead, while Mediafire links still worked. From personal experience, I recommend you use either Google Drive or Mediafire.

Once you've uploaded a file, get a shareable link for it, and make sure to choose the setting that "everyone with the link can view" or that the link is "public". 

7. Post and advertise your podfic 


While there are several multi-fandom podfic archives or sites dedicated to podfic, I found none of them easy to use or navigate, and quite frankly the results of your hard work just won't be found there! I therefore recommend that you post your podfic on If you've never posted a work on AO3, follow these steps:

2. Go to Dashboard >> Post New and fill in the form. For inspiration, you can look at the format I use for my podfic posts. 

Social Media

Posting to social media makes the largest difference in the amount of attention (= listeners) your podfic will have. In your post, include 

It really helps your post to be noticed on Twitter or Tumblr, and is essential on Instagram, to have a graphic to go with your podfic. You can make one yourself, or ask a friend for help. Below is an example for how I advertised a podfic on Twitter.

Well... you've made it! You read all the way through this, congratulations! Now all that's left for me to do is wish you happy podficcing :)

If there's any questions I left unanswered, please don't hesitate to message me!