How to Turn Any Ebook into an Audiobook

I’m a huge fan of audiobooks.

I spend two hours a day commuting to and from my day job, and audiobooks allow me to turn that otherwise wasted transit time into productive reading time.

I try to cycle between a fiction book, a book on business, and a book on writer’s craft. Unfortunately, not every book has an audio edition. Audiobooks can also be fairly expensive compared to their ebook counterparts.

But despair not, my fellow audiophiles!

I’ve just discovered a way to turn ANY ebook into an audiobook using an iPhone.

You see, iPhones come with an accessibility feature for the visually impaired. Once this feature is switched on, your phone will read to you whatever content is on the screen, including an ebook!

Here’s how to turn the feature on:

Settings -> General -> Accessibility

In the Accessibility menu, switch the VoiceOver toggle to “On”.

Warning: Once VoiceOver is turned on, things get a little wonky. Your traditional touch commands change, and it takes a little while to get used to the new commands. For example, in order to select an app you need to tap the app once, like you normally would, but you then need to double tap the app to get it to open.

If it’s a Kindle ebook you want to turn into an audiobook, after turning the VoiceOver feature on, you’ll hit the home button. You’ll then single tap to select the Kindle app, and then double tap to actually open it.

Once you have your ebook open, swipe downwards on the screen with two fingers to initiate the reading. The VoiceOver should begin reading the page you’ve opened your ebook to.

Ta-da! You’ve just turned an ebook into an audio book.

Bonus Tip for Authors: Consider using the VoiceOver feature to review drafts of your manuscript. Typos and other problems become much more apparent when listening to your writing.

grey backKevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, and ghostwriter. He has helped hundreds of writers from around the world get ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers' hands. Get your free copy of his short guide for authors below.

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6 Comments

  • Colin Garrow

    Reply Reply July 22, 2016

    That’s very clever, though a little irritating at first! Cheers for sharing.

    • kevintjohns@gmail.com

      Reply Reply July 25, 2016

      It’s true, Colin. The first time my lock screen went on while in voice mode, I had a little panic! LOL. But once you get used to the tap then double tap approach, it gets pretty easy.

  • Angie

    Reply Reply July 22, 2016

    Oh my gosh! You always have the best info! Thank you so much!!!!

    • kevintjohns@gmail.com

      Reply Reply July 25, 2016

      Angie, I’m so glad that you enjoyed the article. In addition to being a coach, I’m a writer myself, so I’m always trying to share the tips I find helpful myself.

  • Diana

    Reply Reply August 4, 2016

    It was interesting to find this posting. I have a friend who is blind, and that’s one way she reads e-books. And because of that she was able to proof-read my manuscript – the electronic reader doesn’t skim over missing or misspelled words. She loved my book. And she sent me a list of corrections. 🙂

  • TK Kinney

    Reply Reply January 10, 2017

    I do something similar to proofread my work but I do it at home on my laptop in Word. Your method is great for on the go Apple users! If you aren’t utilizing the time in your car, you’re wasting it. Well done!

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