How does Audible work? How much it costs, how to get free books and how to cancel
Audible is an Amazon subscription service offering audiobooks, podcasts and more. Here's how it works.
Listen up all bookworms, podcast listeners and audio fans – if you're looking for somewhere to source your favourite auditory entertainment, Audible is the perfect platform for you.
Audible is an Amazon service offering a huge variety and number of titles, all wrapped up in an affordable subscription package.
It's great for those who are struggling to find time to read, or for those on the lookout for a new podcast to get stuck into. Books are either read out to you by a narrator, the title’s author or a well-known celebrity, while podcasts often have famous hosts.
The book fanatics at RadioTimes.com have rounded up some of the best audiobooks and best non-fiction audiobooks that you'll find on Audible. If you’ve got little ones looking for a bedtime story, we’ve got a list of the best kids' audiobooks, too.
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. The good news is that, at the very least, the first month will either be free or very cheap, since there's always a promotional offer around to entice potential new subscribers. Head to our piece on how to get an Audible free trial in the UK for the latest information.
In our best Audible offers piece, we share the top deals each month to help you bag the subscription service for free or for less, and we tell you how to get free audiobooks. And you can also head to our Audible Gift Card 2023 piece if you want to treat a loved one to the subscription service, an ideal gift for Christmas.
- What is Audible?
- How does Audible work?
- What are Audible credits?
- What do you need to use Audible?
- How to buy books on Audible
- How to get free books on Audible
- How to return a book on Audible
- How much is Audible?
- How do you cancel an Audible membership?
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 is about famous robberies, and then there's From the Oasthouse, Alan Partridge's podcast, which, of course, is read by the East Anglian superstar himself.
There are constantly new releases being added to Audible too – new this month includes Charles T Munger's Poor Charlie's Almanack on investment, philanthropy and living an ethical life, The Gift of the Night: A Six-Step Program for Better Sleep, narrated by Philip Carr-Gomm, and Trash Talk by Rafi Kohan, plus many many more.
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're not limited to one book a month, though, many are available for free and you can buy more. Also, 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.
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Audible credits are the service's internal currency, with one credit purchasing one audiobook: nice and simple. But different memberships afford different credits, so while the standard £7.99 per month subscription grants you one token a month, the £14.99 subscription gets you two, the 12-credit annual membership is £69.99 per year, and the 24-credit membership will set you back £109.99 each year.
What's great is that Audible works with a rollover scheme, so that if, say, you have a hectic month and don't get the chance to use your monthly credit, it can be used in the following month instead. But keep in mind that credits will eventually expire after a year of disuse.
You can access Audible via your internet browser. However, it's easier to install the app on your device of choice; Audible is compatible with nearly every single phone and tablet out there. One thing you'll need to make sure is that you have an Amazon account — Audible is a subsidiary company of the retail giant after all.
Plus, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you get more for your 30-day free trial. Instead of picking one audiobook with the free trial, Prime members can pick two! Titles include classics such as JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, or the much-talked about biography The Woman in Me from Britney Spears, and many more. And what's best, they're yours to keep, plus after the trial members will receive one credit per month.
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're 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 one 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.
When you sign up to a free 30-day membership with Audible, you’ll receive one free audiobook to get you started (or two as an Amazon Prime member).
If you continue your membership on one of Audible’s plans, you'll receive regular credits which can be exchanged for a title of your choice. One token entitles you to one audiobook, no matter the price, without having to shell out any extra cost.
If you find you don't manage to use a credit every month, it's possible to get in touch with Audible customer services and request to 'freeze' your account for a few months. This allows you to catch up and use the credits you have without paying more and getting swamped, or cancelling your subscription entirely.
If you aren’t enjoying a book or have downloaded the wrong one by mistake, you're able to return it and use your credit 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've 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.
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 sees you receive 24 book credits for the year.
And to entice you in even more, if you want to test Audible out before you commit, you can also trial the service for free for 30 days.
Your Audible membership will automatically renew at the end of your plan. This is includes your free trial period.
If you want to cancel your membership, log into the Audible website and go 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.