A while ago I wrote a post about Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service. It turns out that particular post has been one of my most popular here on the blog, so I thought I would update that to include some more recent opinions.
Let’s start by reviewing the basics. Audible is one of the top Audiobook platforms around. It’s an Amazon company, so you can be sure you’re getting quality audiobooks when you choose to download them. Here’s a quick list of Audible’s features and drawbacks before you sign up!
How it works:
Audible operates mainly as a subscription service. You sign up, receive your first audiobook free, and then pay around $15 per month. Each month you earn a credit for a “free” book. That “free” book is what your $15 pays for. Members also receive a 30% discount on other audiobooks purchased through Audible.
Big Selection: Audible has a huge selection of audiobooks, including different versions of the same book. You can find anything from contemporary fiction to nonfiction, memoirs, and everything in between. Since it is an Amazon company, when you browse for books on Amazon, the website will also tell you if there is an Audible option available.
Membership Benefits: Because you pay $15 per month, you aren’t technically getting your monthly credits for free, but there are some ways to make sure you get more bang for your buck. Audiobooks can be pretty expensive—sometimes more than the paper version. If you want to maximize your membership, do your research and save your credits for the expensive books—the $40 Les Miserables or the $30 Moby Dick. If there’s a cheaper book you’re looking into and you don’t want to wait a month, you can still use that 30% discount to save you a little money. This is also a place to do your research—some audiobooks are only $10, and if you wait to use a credit you’ll actually be paying more than the book sells for, so watch out!
Audible’s Free App: Audible’s app is really well-designed. It remembers your place in the audiobook and also syncs across devices. If you download a Kindle e-book and the Audible audiobook, the app will also track your progress through both versions. For example, I read Moby Dick on my Kindle, but I would pick up some chapters on Audible, no searching required. The devices all sync up so you never (well, rarely) lose your spot. You can also download the books to your device so you don’t have to use Wi-Fi or data to listen.
Membership Requirements: When I wrote my last post, I had cancelled my membership because I didn’t think the $15 fee was worth it for one book a month. As I’ve gotten busier, however, I’ve started loving Audiobooks even more. The monthly credit system really works out well for me–I just make sure the book I’m spending my credit on is more expensive than the $15 charge.
Downloading Procedures: Even though Audible’s app for the iPhone and iPad is pretty great, you can’t purchase books directly from the app. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is an extra step in the process. Instead of purchasing straight from the app, you have to log on to Audible’s website to download your books. It’s a little thing, but if you’re away from Wi-fi and really wanted to download something, you might be out of luck.
As you can see, I have more pros than cons, and I’m currently loving my Audible subscription. I’ve really enjoyed listening to the special edition recordings Audible produces. They’ve done a lot with some great classic books, and there are new ones scheduled that I’m very excited to listen to. I’ll still always prefer a paper version to the audio version, but I’ve gotten to the point where I really enjoy the audiobooks I do listen to.
If you travel for work or have a long commute, Audible might be a really great option for you. I’ve found that audiobooks are also great for those times when your hands are occupied but your brain is not. I listen to audiobooks while I put on my makeup, while I’m cleaning, and while I’m walking the dog. It’s a sneaky way to get books in during your busiest days.
Do you use Audible? Do you love it? Let me know!