PROS / The discounts on products are far superior to many other services.
CONS / It only offers purchases, not rentals.
VERDICT / This is a great service if you want to set your own pace and purchase audiobooks at a deep discount.
Some audiobook websites offer the option to save more money buying selections than if you rented them, with the benefit of owning the audiobook afterward. AudiobooksNow is one of those gems, and one of the best audiobook services around.
Online audiobooks are often just for rent, but this site is not a rental service. Each customer pays $5 per month to sign up in exchange for a discount of up to 40 percent off every purchase. Audiobook subscription services often run higher, but this one is very reasonable and there are no due dates or expirations to worry about all month.
Over 40,000 titles are available for purchase, a number on par with some of our highest-ranked services. Among AudiobooksNow’s features is a search engine that is comprehensive and helpful. One odd missing feature is a publisher’s summary, which would be helpful if you want to browse books on the site before you make a decision. However, you can browse by category, and there are customer ratings and reviews that will help you get a consensus on the books. Another valuable feature is the option to listen to a sample from each book.
The site is pretty easy to use, although a couple of things hold it back from a perfect score. An option to rent audiobooks would be preferable, as not every customer wants to buy them, even at a discount as reasonable as the ones offered. And the site, while well organized, could be a little better at explaining each book by at least giving it a summary.
There are a great number of genres to choose from. Many of the books are best-sellers, so if you enjoy commercial works like the “Twilight” or “Divergent” series, this site will have just the right selections for you.
Keep in mind that the site does not offer books in Spanish or other languages, or even anything on language instruction. If you are looking for books due to a barrier in reading English, you might want to look at one of our higher-ranked options on the lineup.
Many of the options are very satisfying. People who need to multitask while they read or listen to poetry and drama will have plenty of selections. If you enjoy having the sounds of someone reading from Robert Frost’s catalog, there are selections from him on audio. If you happen to be starring in a local production of a Shakespeare play and can’t find the time to look at your lines in a book, you can have the play read in the background while you work during the day.
The Help and Support options are very good, but one thing lacking is email. However, the site’s phone service is very efficient, and we were never kept waiting when we called. There is also a wonderful Frequently Asked Questions section that will guide you through a lot of inquiries you might have about the site and its services.
AudiobooksNow is an excellent choice for any busy person who loves to have his or her favorite books playing in the background. If you like keeping your audiobooks and getting them for a great price, then this is the right option for you.