Audible is Amazon’s online platform dedicated to Audiobooks. If you find that you don't quite have time to sit down with a book any more, it's a great way to listen to the best of fiction and non-fiction while doing something else or on a commute, especially as the world starts opening up again after lockdown.
Quite similar to the online Kindle store, it enables you to buy thousands of audiobooks and to listen to them on diverse devices.
There are a few ways you can get the service for cheap or absolutely free. Here's how.
Sign up for the 30-day Audible free trial
If you're new to the service, the obvious option is to sign up for the 30-day free trial.
To do so, you need only an Amazon account which you use to sign up to Audible. You will then be able to experience it for free for a month. The trial also enables you to download your first two books for free, choosing from the hundreds of thousands of options available, with no price restriction.
Once the 30-day trial period has passed, you will be charged £7.99/US$14.95 a month, or you can simply cancel the trial before the end date. Despite canceling, you will still be able to have access to all the books you downloaded during the trial.
A subscription to Audible grants you one credit each month. Credits can be used to purchase audiobooks, where each credit is valid towards one single-volume audiobook of any price.
Note that the US has two Audible memberships: Audible Plus ($7.95 per month) and Audible Premium Plus (US$14.95 per month). You can get free trials to either tier.
While the Plus membership lets you listen to the Audible catalogue and podcasts, it doesn't offer the monthly credit to buy an audiobook – but Premium Plus does. Premium Plus also gives customers access to 30% off additional titles and access to sales.
The UK's Audible membership is a bit more generous. It's effectively the Premium Plus subscription but with discounts up to 80% for £7.99.
Most audiobooks cost more than £7.99/US$14.95, so you still save money. Note that if you want to purchase more books, you will need to pay extra (most audiobooks seem to cost around £20/US$20).
You might even be able to extend your 30-day trial to 60 days if you own an Amazon Echo. See how here.
Get Audible for half-price (£3.99)
Amazon has sadly canceled its extended 90-day free trial for Amazon Prime members, but Amazon occasionally releases promotions that drop the subscription price to £3.99 for three or four months. Look out for such promotions around Prime Day, Amazon's biggest sale of the year. It's not free, but it's better than paying the full amount.
While this is not guaranteed to work, you might also be eligible for a reduced membership rate for three months if you're about to cancel the service.
Be sure to use up any credit you have on your account and then head to the Audible desktop site. As you're about to cancel, you may see Audible asking why you're canceling. If you choose the option 'It's too expensive, you could get additional credit towards audiobook purchases, or half-off the membership for three months. Again, this option may not always appear. The process might just outright cancel your membership, which is why it's important to use up your credit before attempting.
Sign up for member deals
Once you're an Audible member, you can also sign up to get exclusive daily deals. Sign into your Audible account > Click on Email Preferences in the left menu > Select Audible Daily Deals.
With this notification selected, you can get Audible books for as low as £1.99 or two books for the price of one.
How to access Audible
Access audible on phone
To use Audible on your smartphone or tablet, simply download the free Audible app (for iOS and Android). Sign in with your Amazon or Amazon Prime account, and download audiobooks from the ‘Browse’ section of the app, or use the search bar to find a specific title. Then, press 'Buy Now' to enjoy your purchase.
To access your library on Mac or PC, you will also need to log in with your Amazon account. You can listen from your online Library simply by pressing play in the cloud player. Alternatively, you can download the file (you may need to download Audible Manager first) for offline listening.
On Amazon Echo
Audible also works very well with Amazon Echo (read more here). To use Audible via an Echo device, access your library from Echo and make sure that it is switched on, and that you’re logged in to your Amazon account. Then, simply ask Alexa to play your audiobook.
You can control your listening experience by asking Alexa to ‘pause’, ‘resume’, ‘go forward’ or ‘skip a chapter’ (see all Alexa commands for Audible). Audible members with an Echo device can buy books using credits via voice command as well.
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