Audible, run by Amazon, is one of the world's leading audiobook platforms. It offers access to hundreds of thousands of audiobooks on Amazon through its membership, which is usually $14.95 a month.
As many of us find ourselves too busy or distracted with the daily grind to sit down and read a book, audiobooks offer us a chance to listen to literature instead, either while we work, on our commute, or even listening together with our children and family at home.
However, if you're not sure Audible is something for you, and let's be honest; paying $14.95 every month is something we only want to do if it's worth it, we have good news. You can get a free 30-day membership to Audible by simply signing up to a free trial. Signing up is simple enough, and if you have an Amazon account, you simply use your account details to add an Audible membership.
You'll be automatically charged the monthly $14.95 membership fee after the free trial, but as there's no obligation to continue at the end of the 30 days, you can cancel at any point before that happens. It's possible, although unlikely, that Amazon may offer a reduced monthly price as one of its best Amazon Prime Day deals, but we'll keep a keen eye on any offers for you in the run-up to Prime Day.
During the free trial, you get one "Audible credit", which you can use to download any book within the Audible library, giving you an option to swap it for another book if you don't like it. If you continue your membership, you will get one new credit a month.
You can also choose from a large library of "Audio shows", which is essentially Audible's podcast library. These premium podcasts do tend to be a lot cheaper than audiobooks, though, so you might want to prioritize using your credits on books, while paying the comparatively small $3-4 fee for the Audio shows. By comparison, most audiobooks cost between $20 and $30, making a monthly membership definitely worth it if you want to listen to audiobooks on a regular basis, for example on your commute.
Fortunately, if you're unable to use your credit for one month, it will roll over to the next month for up to 12 months, which definitely helps justify the membership price.
A fairly recent addition to Audible is the audiobook equivalent of Prime Video Originals, called Audible Originals. These are audiobooks produced exclusively for Audible, and you get two credits for your trial period and for each month after that.
Get Audible free for 90 days with Amazon Prime
Although Audible membership isn't included in your Amazon Prime subscription, you still get an added perk from being a Prime subscriber when it comes to Audible.
You simply log in to your Prime account and add an Audible membership to it. Doing that gives you three months of Audible absolutely free. After the free trial, you will be charged $14.95 monthly unless you cancel before the end of the 90-day period.
Unlike Prime Video, you don't get unlimited access to Amazon's audiobooks with an Audible membership, but the one Audible credit and two Audible Originals credits you get every month should still be enough to keep your ears occupied on the commute for most of the month. And just like other Audible subscribers, Prime members who get Audible can use their unused credits for up to a year.
What are the benefits of an Audible membership?
Listening to the spoken word is getting more popular, with the rise of podcasts coinciding with more demand for audiobooks, but as audiobooks tend to cost more than printed books, the monthly fee more than pays for itself, even if you only listen to one book a month.
If you cancel your membership, even during the free trial period, you will still have permanent access to the audiobooks you've downloaded through your Amazon account, whether it's a Prime account or not. This is different to Prime Video, where you lose access to everything except films or shows you've paid for outside your Prime membership if you cancel.
However, there are several more benefits included with an Audible membership.
Audible Originals: As we touched on above, you get two monthly credits for Audible Originals, which are original audiobook productions for Audible. Sometimes these are new readings of well-known novels, and sometimes they are completely new book commissioned and produced by Amazon/Audible.
Audiobook exchanges: If you're not happy with an audiobook you've chosen, you can exchange for any other book for up to 365 days.
Member discount: If you feel the need to listen to more than the three books you can get every month, an Audible membership offers a 30% discount on any audiobook purchases. For an audiobook that costs $30, for example, this constitutes a $9 discount, which is more than half of your monthly membership.
Pause your membership: Monthly Audible membership plans can be placed on hold once every 12 months for a duration of up to three months. This is useful if you foresee that you won't have time for audiobooks for a little while, or you need to save money somewhere, but don't want to say goodbye to Audible for good. Note, that after your account resumes from that hold, it cannot be placed back on hold for 12 months from your first resumed billing date.
How to listen to your Audible audiobooks
Listening to your Audible is relatively straightforward, no matter what device you're using. Once you have subscribed to Audible, you can access your library on your smartphone, computer, and even your Kindle and Alexa devices.
You can access your library on your Amazon Echo device and then simply ask Alexa to play your audiobook. On a smartphone, you simply download the Audible app, where you can select your book from your library of downloaded audiobooks.
On a desktop or laptop computer, you have to log in with your Amazon account, and then select your audiobook from your library to listen.