I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I enjoy them for a number of different reasons:
- I can ‘read’ on the go. I listen to audiobooks while I’m commuting, out walking the dog, or doing chores around the house.
- I enjoy high-quality, professional narration. I let the narrator tell me how to pronounce certain names, or to give me a feel for a character’s speaking voice.
- I like to read while listening to the narration. I find myself immersed in the story when I’m listening and reading at the same time. Kindle apps on my phone and tablet make this seamless. (The narration pace is normally slower than my reading pace, so I have to expect my books to take longer this way.)
There are three primary (legal) ways to acquire audiobooks from Audible.
Adding Narration to a Kindle Title
Audible is the largest retailer for audiobooks. Like Kindle, it is owned by Amazon, which is good news for those of us that are Kindle addicts. Amazon offers the Audible audiobook narration for many Kindle titles at a greatly-reduced price once you own the Kindle ebook. An audiobook that might be $30 from Audible.com can often be found for just a couple dollars on Amazon if you have already purchased the Kindle ebook. In my experience, most of the time I can purchase the ebook and add the audiobook narration for a fraction of the price of just buying the audiobook on its own. This is how I built the majority of my Audible library. In addition, Kindle’s ‘Whispersync’ service keeps your place across devices and formats, so when I get in my car and start playing the audiobook it will pick up right where I left off with the ebook.
Buying the Audiobook
You can purchase audiobooks at both Amazon.com and Audible.com. You’ll pay full-price, which most titles seem to be in the $25-$30 price range.
Subscribing to Audible
Another way to purchase audiobooks from Audible is by subscribing to their service. They offer multiple plans, the most common and basic being $14.95 per month. For this price, you get one free audiobook credit per month (almost all titles require a single credit) and significant discounts on additional titles. For $22.95, you can get two credits per month. You can have a free 30-day trial by clicking the link on the right. You get a free title and can cancel before your trial is up and keep your book free of charge.
I’ve done all three options. Currently, the first one–adding narration to my Kindle titles–is the right plan for me. I read almost exclusively on my Kindle, so adding narration for a few extra dollars makes the most sense for my situation. This also depends on my rate of consumption, which currently is about one book per month. If I was going to read more than I do now, I might consider other options like Kindle Unlimited (which I’ll write about in a subsequent post). If I were to listen to more audiobooks that I weren’t also planning to read, or if I came across a title that didn’t have a reduced price for owning the Kindle version, I might reactivate my premium Audible membership.