Why An Audible Membership is Worth It

Sometimes, getting to all the great books I want to read means that I must listen to them.  This is especially handy during my long commutes to and from my kids’ sports practice.   When I can find a book that is friendly for all ears in my family, I’m really excited!

Audible 2

I started using audio books about a year ago.  At first, I got most of them from iTunes.  But I soon switched to Audible.com, and here’s why.

Price, Convenience, Selection

Older books on iTunes don’t cost too much- about $10 per book.  You can also find specials, like great teen reads for $3.99.  Or good deals on popular books.   For example, September 2013 releases from Stephen King and Nicolas Sparks only cost $10 right now.  But I’m interested in the Artemis Fowl series.  The first few books cost $15 each, but as the series progressed, the cost increased!  The most recent AF releases cost over $20 a piece on iTunes.  Ouch!

Also, iTunes doesn’t have all of the books in the AF series.  I found a promotion from Audible and took the plunge.  So far, there has not been a book I’ve wanted that I can’t find.  And it’s easy to download books from Audible to my iPod.

Membership Plans

Admittedly, it’s hard to find the fine print about membership on Audible’s web site.  Here are helpful links:

  • Audible Membership Details, which I found at the bottom of the website under “Conditions of Use.”
  • Available plans, as of August 2015.  (For up to date info, go to the help center and search membership plans.)

I actually called the company when I signed up and spoke to a rep who recommended the Gold Plan.  Gold Plan Membership includes:

  • an annual fee of ~ $150 for 12 credits
  • 1 credit = 1 book (so 1 book costs $12.50)
  • 6 roll over credits per year (so if I don’t use all 12, I can keep 6 for the next year)
  • 30% off all books not bought with credits

So far, I’m happy.  I’ve been able to find all the books I want to “read”, and $12.50 seems like a great price when a lot of books cost $20+.  If I get close to the end of my membership period, I can always download a bunch of books to my computer until I’m ready to listen- I’m sure I’ll always use my credits in time.

If you want to try Audible, they offer a 30 day free trial membership.  After that, you pay $14.95 per month.  If you cancel before the end of the 30 day trial, you won’t be charged anything.  I actually did this, downloaded two books, then cancelled my membership and resigned up a few months later at the Gold Membership level, since $12.50 beats $14.95!

Technical Stuff

To use Audible books, you must download the Audible Manager software.  (easy).  Once you purchase books, you can tell the manager to download them to your favorite device: smartphone, tablet, iPod, or computer.  Also, with many books, there’s a link between the Kindle version and the Audible version, so you can switch between reading and listening.  But you must own both the Kindle book and the audio book to switch between reading and listening.  You also need Audible mobile app and the Kindle app. 

Suggested Audio Titles

My next "read"
My next “read”

Whether you use Audible or not, audio books are a great way to get in more reading.  I highly recommend the Artemis Fowl series, narrated by Nathaniel Parker.  He’s an excellent reader, using multiple accents to distinguish between characters.  I also really enjoyed the audio versions of Wonder and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore.

For a fantastic list of recommended audio titles visit

***Addendum.  If you don’t like a book you download from Audible, you can return it up to one year after purchase.  I hated The Great Brain by John Fitzgerald.  I returned it and Audible gave me my credit back.  Yippee!

Have you tried an Audible membership?  How was your experience?  Can you recommend another source for audio books?

Thanks!

Julia 

 

Julia Tomiak
I believe in the power of words to improve our lives, and I help people find interesting words to read. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and Google+. Member of SCBWI and Wordsmithstudio.org.

31 Comments

  1. My husband has become blind, and has worked his way through all the audiobooks he is interested in on our public library website. I’m very disappointed in Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, which says it has “unlimited listening ” in addition to eBooks. Looking into Audible as an alternative. Customer Service said he could listen to a book and return it, get his credit back, and repeat…so that basically for the monthly membership fee he can listen to as many books as he wants as long as he doesn’t want to keep the. Have you tried returning any? Does it really give you back your credit?

    1. Beth, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. I’m glad he can still enjoy books with the help of audio books!

      Yes, I have returned books, and I have always received credit. I haven’t returned all of mine, and I’m not sure if there is a limit, but I would definitely explore this.

      Also, I just heard of this article from The Washington Post recommending audio books. Perhaps this will help your husband find something. https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/best-audiobooks-of-2015/2015/11/18/753e11c4-7902-11e5-b9c1-f03c48c96ac2_story.html

  2. Thanks for this! I have a fewquestions about the annual plan:

    1) Is the onus on me to renew the membership each year?

    2) What if I sign up, but then want to cancel? Do I have to pay a fee to cancel? Am I locked in the for one year plan?

    1. Great questions Paul!

      1) Audible sends an email when your membership needs to be renewed. I think I have mine set for auto renew.
      2) It’s easy to cancel – see the customer help page of the Audible Web Site for more details. I don’t think there is a fee to cancel, however, I don’t think you get any money back if you cancel mid year. You might want to take advantage of Audible’s Free Trial Membership to get a feel for the service before you buy a membership. There are also monthly memberships. See the membership plans page for more details.

      Goodness! I sound like a salesman. 😉 I’ve enjoyed my Audible membership and definitely think it’s a great service. Let me know if you have more questions. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. thanks for the information.

    Once you download a book from audible, do you keep it forever, or once the month is up does it disappear? Also, I get the overall gist that once you download your first book with with your credit, it is 30% off any additional books you want to download for that month? Is this correct?

    Thank you!

    1. Great questions Eric! Thanks for commenting.

      First, once you download a book from Audible, you keep it forever.

      Second, you can buy books with credits as long as you have them. I’m on an annual plan, so I get 12 credits a year. I keep buying until I use up all my credits, then I pay 30% off additional books. With a monthly plan, you won’t have as many credits saved up, so you might end up using the 30% discount more often.

      Does that help?

  4. I read a lot. What if I want to download more than 1 book per month? Does audible charge extra in addition to my membership fee?

    1. Good question Misty. Audible has multiple plans available. As of August, 2015, Audible is offering four plans:
      Gold Monthly: $14.95/ month for one credit/ month
      Gold Annual: $149.50/ year for 12 credits/ year
      Platinum Monthly: $22.95/ month for two credits/ month
      Platinum Annual: $229.50/ year for 24 credits/ year
      Here’s the link for more info: Audible Membership Plans
      Sounds like you need the Platinum Plan. As you can see, the annual fee is a better deal than the monthly.
      Good luck!

  5. Hi julia I have a question. So by using my credits my book is not entirely free? I still need to pay $12 for the book ?

    1. Good question and I’m glad you asked it. You only need to use your credit to purchase a book; you do NOT have to pay anything else. I calculated that one credit equals about $12, so you end up spending about $12 on each credit and therefore each book. Make sense?

  6. With your permission I’d like to add just a little bit of my personal experience yto your professional review. As a hard core books reader, whenever I get into Audible store I feel like a little kid in a giant candy store. I jump from one book cover to the other frantically as frantic can be. Having the Audible gold membership on my side adds great confidence to my books search tedious task. Since meticulous examination of a book cover, its description and sample play are not always enough, I can now immediately return it, no questions asked.
    But in my opinion the geates thing of all is the reader experience when visiting Audible store. My best compliments to Audibles product manager. I’d say that visiting Audible store, for a book addicted reader is like visiting a beautiful giant mall for shopping addicted person. So now I have a huge problem, how can I fine the time to enjoy it? I guess that’s a ‘rich people’ problem.

    1. Thank you Ken for sharing your enthusiasm for Audible! It truly is a great resource for book lovers. I hope you find time to indulge! Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.

  7. Julia, what happened to the audiobooks you bought from iTunes?

    I know that you can use audiobooks you got from Audible.com on iTunes, but what about the other way around, i.e., can you import iTunes purchases into Audible.com’s library?

    1. After thinking about it, Jill, I’m not sure why you would want to do this. Audible.com is a place to buy audiobooks, not a platform to listen to them. To do that, you have to download the files to your computer or a device like a Kindle, iPad, iPod, or phone. But I’ll still look into it.

      1. Hi Julia, thanks for replying. Let me expound my reasoning:

        Audible.com has an [iPad] app that SEEMS to have the following features:

        an audio book player, your audiobooks displayed in a library, access to all kinds of statistics about those audiobooks: which ones you’ve listned to, up to where you’ve listened to them, book marks, sleep mode, …

        I write “seems” since I haven’t yet taken the plunge to become an Audible.com member. It’s important to me to know whether or not I can seemlessly integrate the audiobooks I purchased via iTunes into that system / interface (library, playback, statistics etc.) or not. After all, those iTunes purchases ARE Audible audiobooks, too.

        1. Thanks for explaining, Jill. That does make more sense. I am an Audible member and I do have the iPhone app, so I’ll tinker around and see what I can find out. I have company this weekend so it might take me a day or two, but now I’m curious! Thanks for checking in.

  8. Oh –good idea! I have been so busy with writing I haven’t posted in a while and I was just trying to brainstorm posts. This is an excellent idea! 🙂 I may do that this week!

  9. Oh, I’ve been wanting to do this so bad but I’m too cheap. I really need to get over it and just pony up the $15 a month or $150 a year. I love listening to the Writing Excuses podcasts (free) and they’re always talking about audible and books they’re promo’ing on there…

    Your posts are always so informative! TY! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome:). I’ve never heard of the “Writing Excuses” podcast. I enjoy listening to podcasts when I run. Would you consider writing a post for Writerlious that features “Writing Excuses” and other podcasts helpful to writers? I know you don’t have much spare time these days, but I’d love to see that!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Eli! I’m a fellow football (the REAL football) lover and coach, and your coaching tips/ parent advice/ humor are awesome. Happy to help you out. Good grief, War and Peace in a week? That’s a LOT of traffic!

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