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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.

Audible screen

Find that day-to-day life doesn’t offer you much free time to do much reading? We suggest you give audiobooks a go – since you can listen while your hands are busy doing other things, you’ll likely find it’s a far more convenient experience.

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The book-lovers 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.

Quality audio books deserve quality audio – and if you’re looking for something to play your audiobooks through at home, don’t miss our best smart speaker round-up or our best Amazon Echo deals.

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 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.

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.

What are Audible credits?

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 subscriptions gets you two.

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.

What do you need to use Audible?

You can access Audible via your internet browser, thought far easier is installing the app on your device of choice – it’s 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.

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.

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.

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.

Do you love reading as much as listening? Don’t miss our pick of the very best Kindle deals out there.

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