I’ve written a book. Well multiple. At this moment I’m editing the book Driven by Gold. I’m happy with the progress. I’m a Dutch native speaker ,so my English (US in this case) is not always correct. That is three fold, because I learned UK English at school, I read a lot of books from UK authors and my default spell checker is set to … you guessed it correctly: UK English.

I hear you say, “So?”

Well this led me to the tool prowritingaid which does a lot of checks that I miss normally. It surely has helped me to lift the book to the next level. Another way to check the book is by reading it aloud. I read that in several novels and, being a person working in IT, I thought of using AI to have the text read out aloud using ‘text to speech’ software. I know, it is embedded in Word or any other modern tool. However, these are for free and the quality is frankly giving me the creeps listening to such a robot voice (no matter if it male or female. Maybe a genderless voice would do the trick :-)).

So after some internet search I found Speechelo. A very promising took that uses AI for text to speech. Basically the software is set up to make a voiceover for an ad. So not that many sentence. But hey, it worked with the text from my book as well. I bought the software for a life time which has a limit of 5000 characters per text to generate. No problem with that, I can work with this limit.

So after a month of checking, filling it, generating the mp3 files and a stack of chapters being done, I hit a wall. A limit that is not mentioned on the sales page of Speechelo. It is not allowing me to generated voices with more text than 500K within 30 days. So now I have to wait for one or more days (not clear in the software when the used characters is decreasing or even reset). Damn, just at the moment that I could finish this off. I do have all chapters in mp3 now, but just missing the voiceover that says ‘Chapter 21 – Who to trust’.

I’m disappointed about the unclear limit. I checked what the upgrade to the pro version would cost. Mmm, another 40 USD, but now per quarter. So you start of with a bought version that works ok and then when you are truly happy, you will have to by the costly upgrade. Some other search on internet brought me to the statement that this is a scam (see this post).

In that post is also Amazon Polly mentioned. Checking the price it would have cost me roughly 10 USD.

Stupid me. Speechelo authors have outsmarted me. Another lesson learned.

I sure hope that you don’t encounter things like this in your life.