How to Turn Your Podcast or Vlog into a Book: Transcribing Audio to Text

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A successful podcast or vlog requires a constant flow of interesting topics, and it needs to maintain the informational quality high to keep listeners happy and attract new fans. When it comes to business, a podcast or a vlog can have enormous power. If you’ve been running one of those for a while, you’ve probably considered ways of repurposing your content to maximize its value. 

Most people usually go the visual route, transforming their long-form audio or video content into catchy, bite-sized clips for social media, which is great for getting more followers. However, there are numerous ways to recycle your existing podcast or vlog content, so if creating social media clips isn’t really your thing, you could consider other options to get more out of your material. For example, you could transcribe your audio or video content and turn your podcast or vlog into a full-length book. Of course, you’ll need to structure the material appropriately to create a cohesive read, but this is a fantastic way to make your content work for you. 

Whether you’ve reached a special milestone (a certain number of episodes or an anniversary) or a point where you’ve amassed extensive knowledge in your subject matter, publishing a book can open many doors and expose you to a whole new demographic of potential subscribers and fans. Books, podcasts, and vlogs attract different audiences, so publishing a book can help you find new fans. Moreover, being a published author brings prestige, and you’ll command greater respect from new and old fans alike.

That being said, putting together a book is neither an easy nor a quick process, even if you’ve already produced much of the content, so keep that in mind before you embark on this journey. Transcribing your audio to text will require time and energy (and most likely money), and that’s only the first step toward publishing your book. It’s important to create an overarching structure that ties all the content together to deliver a clear message and smoothly guides the reader from one point to the next—it’s not enough to simply throw a bunch of transcribed podcast episodes together and call it a book.

Once you’ve transformed your audio or video content into text, it’s time to start the actual writing process, which includes compiling information, outlining, drafting, editing, rewriting, proofreading, and designing your book. If all of this sounds overwhelming, don’t panic! Publishing a book does take a lot of work, but you can delegate most of it to professionals. Our team of experts can support you through the entire self-publishing process. If you’re not sure where to start and whether you need a ghostwriter or an editor (or both!), check out our professional services for authors and contact us for a free quote and more information.

Let’s back up now—how can you transcribe your audio or video content into text? 

Transcribe your audio or video content yourself

You can transcribe your audio files by typing into a word processor while listening to the tracks, but it’s incredibly time-consuming and challenging if you’re not a fast typer. It gets even harder if you have to deal with poor audio quality, multiple speakers, or content that veers into esoteric territory. 

Luckily, there are several low-cost and even free tools you can use to make the task easier although they won’t compare to using professional software or hiring a professional transcriber to do the work for you. However, if you’re on a budget and have the time to transcribe your content yourself, there are a few ways to go about it. Just be prepared to put in the work—there’s quite a bit involved in transcribing an entire book’s worth of content.

If you broadcast on YouTube, you’re in luck! The platform has a free video transcript tool that will automatically transform your audio track into text. Mind you, the text will be far from perfect and will be riddled with errors, so you will have to edit it, but this tool will significantly reduce the time it takes you to transcribe your audio. While it may still take a lot of time to go through all the transcripts and edit them, it’s way quicker than transcribing everything manually. Plus, the spoken content doesn’t have to match the transcript 100% since the goal is simply to repurpose it for your book. 

You can also play your audio track on a separate device to a Google Docs file, where a transcription tool will type what it hears. Like YouTube, it’s not entirely accurate, so make sure you clean up the text manually. Automatic speech recognition (ASR) software works on the same principle and has the same pros and cons—it’s a free or relatively cheap tool that won’t deliver perfect results, but it will make your task much easier. 

These tools generally rely on AI to process audio data and transform it into text. Even though they can generally do a pretty good job, they’ll produce silly errors that a human transcriptionist never would. Most smartphones have such software incorporated in their operating systems, so you could also play your audio file to your phone and then check the transcript for errors. 

Use a professional transcriber or a transcription service

The DIY tools mentioned above might be relatively cheap or even free, but they can be inaccurate. Thus, it may require way more time and energy on your part to produce a flawless transcript of your audio or video file. If you’re willing to spend money and save yourself some time and effort in bringing your project to fruition, you can always hire a verified transcription service or a professional freelance transcriber to do the job for you. When you factor in the opportunity cost of transcribing your podcast or vlog content manually, you may even find that working with a professional is the better option.

A professional transcriptionist will be able to transform your audio or video content into text much more quickly with professional-grade software and will guarantee an error-free text. That’s precisely what you want in order to start the drafting and writing process, especially if you have large volumes of content to fit into a book. 

Having all your audio or video content converted into text will give you (or your ghostwriter) an advantage when the time comes to put all your knowledge together in the most compelling way possible. It is only the first—yet monumental—step toward making your publishing dreams come true. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to augment the content quite a bit to make it suitable for a book—it’ll likely be too colloquial and will require some polishing, and you may have to cut out some of it or supplement it to create a cohesive narrative.

To learn more about our ghostwriting, editing, and publishing services for authors, reach out to our team of professionals

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