Who or What is Audible? Audible is an Amazon owned, online audiobook provider. The company lets you to sign up to a monthly subscription, plus they also offer a 30-day free trial to all new customers. This concept allows you to listen to your favourite books on any device such as your stereo, MP3 player, tablet or mobile handset, rather than reading the book.
On other audiobook websites that I have tested, you're not given much choice in terms of available books to download for free to try out their services. This limitation doesn't cater well for the wide variety of genre or author preferences which readers have. However, at Audible.com.au you'll find that part of their free trial includes a free download of any book available on their entire site. And with a vast library of audiobooks available, there's no shortage of choice. For example, why not try Andy Wier’s "The Martian" which has already received a 5 star rating by 3,623 people on Amazon AU.
So let me now show you how to get a free book that you will actually want to listen to, plus I'll give you an overview of how Audible’s service works as well as why it offers better value for money compared to other leading audiobook providers.
The Audible online store went live in Australia on January 15th 2014, which is a fairly new development in their international presence, since the company was purchased by Amazon in 2008. With a consistent wave of new books being released all the time and generally possessing strong relationships with publishers to get the rights to sell the audible versions of those books, Audible.com.au have been welcomed by the public with resounding success.
So, how do you get your hands on a free audiobook? Well, when you sign up to Audible you will receive a 30-day free trial period for you to browse the website, check out what it has to offer, and ultimately download a free book. You have the choice at any point within that time period to cancel your membership before the first monthly subscription cost of $14.95 is debited from your account. Monthly subscription fee will automatically be taken after 30-days.
What's particularly good here, is that all content downloaded for free or bought within the time 30-day trial can be kept. Audible will not prevent you from continuing to use it once your trial has expired.
The free book is a really nice way to introduce you to the service, but what about keeping you there? This is where things get better, Audible’s monthly subscription fee of $14.95 is not just for the membership, but it is also held as a credit on your account, so this monthly cost can be put towards the purchase of a new book (or books) every month. However, if you’re a slightly slower listener, don’t worry because credit not used from a previous month rolls over and accumulates until you spend it.
Value for money is crucial whenever I’m concerned, so I’ve done a quick comparison on Audible's pricing with some of the bestsellers and new releases currently out there on the market. Lets consider these books:
- The Martian – Andy Weir
- Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
- The Book of Life: The All Souls Trilogy (book 3) – Deborah Harkness
- What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions – Randall Munroe
Choosing anyone of these titles as your free download during the trial will save you between $27 to $40 based on prices for these audiobooks over at iTunes. Plus when you include your monthly subscription / credit into the mix these books become cheaper by up to 63% on the most expensive option (i.e. The Martian).
All books on Audible are available to purchase at any time, so if you do want that right there and then, its not an issue. Plus when comparing the prices of the majority of books to those on iTunes, costs tend to be roughly 20% cheaper. This is because every person or company that sells their apps, books music etc on iTunes has to pay the iTunes tax (an agreed % that Apple take for it's cut in the sale). So avoid the iTunes tax, to get better value for money by using your monthly Audible subscription / credit of $14.95 to buy books with. Or, why not let it accumulate over a couple of months and treat yourself to that slightly more expensive book later on in the year.
To those of you saying to yourselves, but why would I want to listen to my book? Well, audiobooks are a more convenient and less bulky way of having your favourite novel with you at all times. For example, you can listen whilst driving and take up less space in your suitcase on holidays by simply listening to it on your MP3 device. Every book also has the option to preview initially to get an idea of what its about, plus you can control the speed at which the book is dictated to you.
New releases in audiobook form actually also work out less expensive compared with hard and soft back books and CD’s. Plus another dimension that is added to the audiobook platform is if you have a smart phone, tablet, iPad etc you can download the Audible app and download a book whenever you connect to the Internet. The Audible app lets you view all your previously purchased books, organise them by genre and recommend you trending or new releases of your favourite authors.
Another element that I quite like is how the Audible app can enable sharing amongst the family. For example if you have similar tastes in literature to another family member, you can share a subscription and they can have full access to all your books. However, if you both use the account and like different titles, then you have the ability to split the monthly subscription payment so each user gets $7.47 each to spend on the book they want.
One final point that is definitely worth mentioning is, if you pay for a book, listen to it and are not satisfied with the book you can request a refund for it within 1 year of purchasing it. You simply have to go through the satisfaction procedure, just be sure not to abuse the system, because they will catch on.