I’ve been listening to Audible consecutively for over a year now, and have well over 50 titles in my library (some I haven’t yet gotten around to listening to). There are things I dislike about the service, naturally, as well as the functionality of the app. But there’s also so much to love. It’s not for everyone, no, but it’s completely worth it for me. And likely, if you’ve found your way to this page, it might just be worth it for you. You receive two free audiobooks with your free trial membership. But before you get started:
What is Audible? How does it work?
Audible is a paid monthly service that allows you access to over 180,000+ audiobooks at a highly discounted cost, which you can download right to your phone, tablet, or computer. How exactly does it work? Each month you’re given a single credit, which can then be used to buy any item in their catalog regardless of their respective cost, rating, or length. Does this mean every audiobook in their library is $15? Yes and no. The price you pay, if you use Audible’s monthly credit, would be $15, but one doesn’t need to use credits on purchases. One doesn’t even need an Audible subscription to make purchases, but a subscriber automatically gets 30% off their purchase.
Audiobooks (both in a physical and digital format) range in price, the average being between $25-40, though they can far exceed that. Let’s take James Joyce’s classic Ulysses as an extreme example. This audiobook, as read by Jim Norton, would run a non-subscriber $104.99. Ridiculous, yes. As a subscriber, you automatically get a 30% discount, which knocks it down to $73.49 – which is frankly still a staggeringly stupid price. But hey, you could grab this for only a single Audible credit, worth the $15 monthly fee. If it’s imperative you have this book read aloud to you, this is clearly a steal. Again, this is an extreme example of an excellent deal made from an astoundingly pricey item. Not every sale will be this impressive, but you can bank that the average purchase made with an Audible credit is nearly half off what you would have originally paid.
After three months, you receive the option to buy credits in bulk. Well, 3 credits. You actually save further here, as these are worth 20% less than your subscription credit. Here’s how that breaks down for an extra 3 credits. As I own a Gold Monthly plan the individual price for these credits would be $11.96 – and that’s totally worth it.
“I don’t think I could stay focused while listening to an audiobook.”
You won’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say this. And you know what? They might be right. But generally this means that they aren’t willing to try it – that it’s beyond them. And honestly they’re doing themselves a disservice by not trying it. And what better test trial than with Audible’s new 2 free audiobook trial membership. If the first free audiobook doesn’t do it for you, chances are it isn’t for you, and you can easily cancel the membership before it renews. But I’ve seen so many people turn right around and actually really enjoy the medium. My wife was one of those naysayers, before I bade her give it a try. She’s currently listening to Brian Staveley’s fantasy epic The Providence of Fire while doing laundry and other things around the the house. Give it a shot. You might enjoy it.
“But Audiobooks are too slow for me.”
Chances are you read books a lot faster than it takes the narrator to read it to you. This is normal. The difference is that audiobooks can be read while doing other things. They can be read on the go, on the run, while you workout, around the house, as well as at your workplace (if your job permits it). If you’re the kind of person who needs to sit down, or lay down to enjoy a good story, this may not be what you’re looking for. Your average audiobook is a 15-20+ hour investment. I know if I was just sitting on the couch trying to listen to an audiobook, I’d doze off quickly, or lose focus of what’s being said. And this is coming from a guy who reads super slow. I physically could not read any faster than most audiobook narrators if I tried to.
My job allows me to listen to audiobooks on the go. Long commutes, relative seclusion in the workplace, and an outdoor working environment makes Audible the ideal choice for entertaining my mind while busy. And this allows me plenty of time to enjoy books from my favorite authors so that I don’t have to go home to spend more time on the couch reading in my spare time. I do end up reading other books though, when I’m not listening to an audiobook. I’m generally able to listen to 2-3 audiobooks in the span it takes me to finish a regular book at my own pace, because of my hefty schedule. And that’s no small feat either. My genre of choice is fantasy (as you can probably tell from the picture above) and they’re typically 25-40+ hours in length, so the Audible credits generally go a long way.
How’s the Audible App on mobile devices?
It’s one of my favorite apps honestly. There are some functionality issues that could be tweaked in the future, such as better organizational methods for listed books on your library, and the ability to buy books from the app. It would also be nice if the app was more Goodreads friendly, and allowed you to view what percentage of the book you’ve completed. Other than that, all is smooth.
Each of your books is forever in your library, ready to download straight from the cloud and onto your device. You don’t even need to let a book finish downloading before you can start listening. You have the option of downloading the book in sections to save yourself the space on your device, as well as the option to listen to your books at a faster pace to save yourself some highly valuable time.
There’s also the whisper-sync feature, which is available for thousands of books. This allows one to also follow along with the eBook version of the book, and it will keep track of where you are on both formats. It’ll even turn the pages for you!
Another excellent feature is that it tracks your listening stats, and awards you in a stylized achievement page.
If you’re curious about whether or not Audible is the right choice for you, I’d suggest you try it out for yourself. If you’re curious about which books I’d recommend, ask me in the comments below. Just know I generally lean towards the more adventurous and fantastical. But do try out the free trial now and make use of those two free audiobooks!