newbie seeks LAME advice

The idea is to perform so your voice is in the ballpark, not too quiet and not too loud, and then use the Audacity tools to correct the performance so it meets ACX audiobook standards.

As a fuzzy rule, you announce so the bouncing sound meter occasionally jumps up to -6 to -10 (yellow range) and the blue wave timeline peaks occasionally reach up to 50% (0.5).

After you complete the work, Stop, Export a safety WAV copy and then apply the Audiobook Mastering Suite of tools. That sounds grand; there’s only three. If you record in a quiet room with no echoes, you’re done.

https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/audiobook-mastering-version-4/45908/1

You may have trouble meeting noise. That’s pretty common, we live in very noisy environments and that can mess up recordings. Post a sample of your reading according to this format.

http://www.kozco.com/tech/audacity/TestClip/Record_A_Clip.html

Koz