How does Audible work? How much it costs, how to get free books and how to cancel

Everything you need to know about the audiobook and podcast site.

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Audible screen

Audiobooks are a great way to get into your favourite titles while keeping your hands and eyeline free to focus on other things. You can listen while you relax, exercise, get ready to sleep, study and do so from wherever you happen to be.

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We’ve rounded up some of the best audiobooks and best non-fiction audiobooks to help you decide what to listen to next. If you’ve got little ones looking for a bedtime story, we’ve got a list of the best kids’ audiobooks too.

With an Audible subscription, you can also access all their original podcasts for free as well as a long list of others, so we’ve found the best free podcasts available now.

If you’re tempted to sign up for Audible, we’ve outlined the answers to all the main questions you might have about the service and how it works below. You can also get your hands on a free trial if you want to test it out before signing up, too.

Sign up to Audible free 30 day trial

What is Audible?

Audible screen app
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Audible is an audiobook service from Amazon, offering the world’s biggest selection of titles ranging from much-loved classics to new releases and original podcasts. Listeners can download or stream their chosen titles with a membership to Audible.

Books may be read aloud by a narrator, the authors themselves, well-known stars or even performed by an audio cast. Many podcasts also have famous hosts, for instance Michael Caine’s podcast Heist about famous robberies and Alan Partridge’s new podcast, From the Oasthouse.

You can also find out why narrating an audiobook is a lot harder than you think.

How does Audible work?

By signing up to Audible on the standard membership, you receive one new audiobook every month you are a member. You can choose from a range of membership plans and which one you have will determine how many Audible “credits” you receive each month, which can be exchanged for audiobooks on the service.

You can listen to all the Audible Original Podcasts with unlimited streaming and there are also a number of exclusive offers and deals throughout the month, including the “Daily Deals” which offer a different title for up to 80% off each day.

Sign up to Audible free 30 day trial

What are Audible credits?

Audible credits are essentially virtual tokens which you can use to purchase Audiobooks. Depending on your subscription plan, you’ll receive a different number throughout your membership, for instance one per month. One credit equates to one audiobook, regardless of the usual individual purchase price of the title.

Thanks to the roll over scheme, any you don’t spend can be kept for the next month and used then instead. However, it’s worth mentioning that credits do eventually expire, a year after the date you were first issued them.

What do you need to use Audible?

You can access Audible online and on the app on almost any device including iPhones, other smart phones and tablets. You will need to create an Amazon account if you don’t already have one and then sign up to the Audible membership plan you’d like to access.

Sign up to Audible

How to buy books on Audible

educational non-fiction audiobooks

If you are using a device like a smartphone, you can search and download from the app. If you are on a laptop or computer, you can buy audiobooks through the usual Amazon site, just make sure you are logged in.

On the left of the main search bar, select the category “Audible Audiobooks” from the dropdown menu to search for a title.

After clicking on a book title you have searched for in the search bar as normal, you should see boxes with various options including “Kindle Edition”, “Paperback” and “Audio Download”.

In the “Audio Download” box it should list a price or the option to purchase with “1 credit”. By selecting this option you’ll be able to buy the audiobook outright or purchase with any unused credits. You can also do this from the mobile version of the online website.

How to get free books on Audible

When you sign up to a free 30 day membership with Audible, you’ll also receive one free audiobook to get you started.

Sign up to Audible free 30 day trial

If you continue your membership on one of Audible’s plans, you will receive regular credits which can be exchanged for a title of your choice. One token entitles you to one audiobook, no matter what the price of it is, without having to shell out any extra cost.

How to return a book on Audible

If you aren’t enjoying a book or have downloaded the wrong one by mistake, you are able to return it and retrieve your credit to use on something else.

To do this, you need to log into your account on the Audible website and click on “Account Details” from the drop-down menu under your name. From here you can choose “Purchase History” to see a list of all the audiobooks you have bought.

On the right of the title you want to exchange, you should see a button saying “Return Order” which can simply select to send it back.

How much is Audible?

Audible

The cost for an Audible membership depends on the plan you sign up for. Plans range from £7.99 per month to £109.99 per year. Paying £7.99 a month, you’ll receive one book credit per month whereas the top yearly membership at £109.99 would see you receive 24 book credits for the year.

If you want to test Audible out before you commit, you can trial the service for free for 30 days.

Sign up to Audible free 30 day trial

How do you cancel an Audible membership?

Your Audible membership will automatically renew at the end of your plan. This is includes your free trial period, if you have decided to try it out before committing.

If you want to cancel your membership, you can do so by logging into the Audible website and going to the “Account Details” page. Under “Account Settings” you should see the option, “cancel my membership”. Select this and follow the instructions on screen to terminate your Audible plan.

If you have paid for an audiobook on Amazon, it will remain in your Audible library forever even once your subscription has ended. This should also apply to items purchased during your free trial.

Any credits you have not used, however, will disappear, so make sure you use them up before cancelling your membership.

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