Audacity is an Audio Production program that you can get for free from here:
… assuming you’re using Windows.
You can and people do record, produce, correct, export, and submit AudioBook work with Audacity. But as you’re finding, recording AudioBooks is not particularly easy. Very few people buy a Yeti microphone, announce a book and become internationally famous.
We created a tool called ACX Check which is a separate download and appears under Analyze. It measures the three things that the ACX company measures just to get your submission in the door.
It’s good to run at least one of your chapters through that test to see what happened. It’s terrifically easy to chase your tail. “I fixed the loudness, now the peaks are too high.” or “I fix the peaks and the noise fails.”
In the current Audacity 2.1.2, you can change the sound meters to be multi-colored. This makes it easy to see them out the corner of your eye while you’re recording. Since you don’t have a recording engineer (I assume), you’re stuck doing that job. Voice peaks should be yellow-ish which works out to about -6dB. That’s good, correct sound levels. You can worry about RMS, etc, later.
It’s possible to rescue your existing work if it’s not too far off. Drag-select about 10 seconds stereo or 20 seconds mono from one of your chapters. File > Export Selected as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit and post it here. Scroll down from a forum window > Upload attachment. It’s not a dreadful idea to do all your production in mono (one blue wave) and use WAV and not MP3 until you have to submit. I’m assuming ACX. They require MP3 submission. You can create serious sound damage and distortion by making an MP3 of an MP3 of an MP3.
Let’s see what you have and we’ll talk you through the rest of it.
Is it ACX? We know more or less what they’re searching for, so we can give you a good push for submitting.
And just so I don’t give you a false sense of completion, once your submission passes the ACX Robot, it still has to pass Human Quality Control. It’s possible to beat your submission with a stick just so it squeaks past the ACX Robot, but sounds like a bad cellphone. This is where those submissions die.
But we have to get you past the robot first.
Describe your studio. “I have a Blue Yeti microphone on my desk…”