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How Does Audible Actually Work? : An Insanely Easy Guide
As an audiobook lover, chances are you’ve already come across Audible.
From timeless classics to hot new releases, Audible has over 200,000 audiobooks to choose from. Along with that you also get to listen to premium podcasts.
Even though Audible is one of the biggest subscription services available, you might get confused about how exactly Audible works!
You might also have questions like: Does Audible have free credits?, whether premium service is worth the money or if you can have access to audible books if you’re an amazon prime member etc.
In this post you can find answers to all the main questions about Audible subscriptions. Things like how to start an Audible account, how to listen to an audible book in audible library, different premium plans, best way to find your audiobooks, benefits of Audible Plus library etc.
We’ll discuss everything including
- How does Audible work?
- How does Audible plus catalogue work?
- Is Audible worth your money?
- What are Audible memberships plans?
- What’s the difference between Audible plus membership and Audible premium memebership?
- What are Audible credits and how does it work?
Essentially, things you should know before you sign up for your first FREE 30-day trial on Audible. And whether Audible is the audiobook service that worth getting.
An easy guide for audiobook lovers to get the most out of Audible.
What is Audible?
Simply put, Audible is an audiobook subscription service launched in 1995 by Amazon. They are one of the biggest audiobook services, with a vast number of audiobook titles from numerous genres such as romance, contemporary fiction, self-help, memoirs, and so on.
Apart from that, you can also get access to their own unique audiobooks called- Audible Originals.
Audible Originals are owned by Audible and are exclusively published along with other audiobook titles.
Caffeine: How Caffeine Created the Modern World by Michael Pollan, The Deep, Deep Snow by Brian Freeman are some of the must-listen Audible originals.
While most of the audiobooks in the audio library are narrated by professional voice artists, some titles, such as memoirs or autobiographies are read by the authors themselves.
For instance, “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey is narrated by the actor himself.
Interestingly, you’ll also get to listen to audiobooks that may be narrated by your favorite actor or actress. For example; bestselling Ann Patchett’s 2019 novel, “The Dutch House” is narrated by Academy award winner Tom Hanks! Along with popular audiobooks, you can also listen to many podcasts in Audible.
✅ You’ll love this post- 16 Fascinating Audiobooks Read By Authors
How Does Audible work?
Since Audible is a subscription service, you need to sign up first with your Amazon account and choose your membership plan. Depending on your budget you can choose a variety of plans ranging from $7.95/month to $22.95/ month. Essentially, your plan will determine your audiobooks, or what Audible calls “credits”.
For example, If your plan allows one credit per month, you can choose one audiobook in one month. (1 credit = 1 book title) . Thankfully Audible offers a 30-day trial before starting your paid plan. This is a great way to listen to amazing audiobooks from both Premium and Plus catalogues.
What’s Audible 30-day Free Trial And How does it Work?
First, you need to sign up for the Audible FREE trial using your Amazon account and a credit card. With the Audible free trial, you can use audible for FREE for a period of 30 days. The trial includes 1 free Audible credit (Which you can use to get any audiobook from the premium selection). During this time you can also have access to Audible Plus catalogues and exclusive discounts.
What’s Audible Credit and How Does It Work?
Once you’ve taken the free trial, you receive one credit as membership benefits. You can use this credit to purchase any audiobook of your choice. As Audible has more than 200,000 audiobooks to choose from, you are definitely going to your favorite books from the audio library! As mentioned earlier, one credit equals one audiobook…
If you need some audiobook recommendations, check this blog post ‘16 audiobooks to listen on your FREE trial’
Once your FREE trial is over, if you choose a paid membership, you will start to receive a monthly credit . The best part is that you don’t always have to choose the audiobook immediately. Your credit will be passed on to the coming months. The expiry date of each credit is 12 months from the date of issue. This means if you receive one credit on Jan 12, 2022, you can have exactly 12 months to use that credit.
And the greatest thing I love about Audible is that once you purchase audiobooks, they are yours forever! Even if you cancel the subscription, you will still be able to listen to your audiobooks!
However, please don’t confuse the above sentences with credits. If you cancel your subscription, your unused credits will be also lost. So make sure you use all your credit before cancelling the subscription. This way you’ll be able to keep all your audiobooks.
✅ You’ll love this post- Best Audiobook Narrators You Won’t Stop Listening To
What are Audible Plans? How Does Audible Membership Work
Now that you’re already familiar with the Audible apps and benefits, let’s find out how much does Audible cost.
You’ll also learn how much are books on audible and how Audible memberships work. However, before choosing Audible plans you have to decide a few things.
First, think about how many audiobooks you’re likely to listen to in a month.
Next comes the budget! Decide whether you’d like to pay a monthly subscription fee or an yearly fee. Once you have an idea about all these, it’d be easier to choose the best plan that will suit you.
Audible currently offers two types of memberships : Audible Plus and Audible Premium Plus.
So next you might be thinking how does audible plus work? And the difference between Audible Plus membership vs Premium. Here is the answer!
Audible plus is the cheapest plan! It costs $7.95 per month. But what to be noted is that, you don’t get any credits. By now you know“credits” refer to the number of audiobooks you can buy from audible. But in this plan you can’t buy audiobooks. Instead, you will have access to thousands of titles in the Plus Catalogue. Which includes Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
Essentially, Audible Plus Catalogue is like a digital library. You can stream titles from the Plus Catalogue from the app or even download them to listen offline. You can borrow these titles and listen to them as long as you’re a member. Once you cancel the plan you’ll lose the access to the Plus Catalogue.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to own any audiobooks, this would be ideal. But keep in mind that However, the Plus Catalogue may not always have access to new or popular audiobooks in the library!
Your next choice is Audible Premium Plus.
This is the best plan for you, if you love listening to the latest bestsellers and new releases. This plan allows you to purchase audiobooks through credits or credit card.
This plan is further divided into four different plans.
- Audible Premium Plus Membership
- Audible Premium Plus Membership 2 Credit
- Audible Premium Plus Annual Membership 12 Credits
- Audible Premium Plus Annual Membership 24 Credits
I am going to break down each plan in detail for you!
What’s Audible Premium Plus Membership?
This is probably the most popular plan on Audible. It costs $14.95 per month, and gets you 1 credit every month. You can obviously use this credit to purchase any audiobook. Remember you can purchase only one audiobook per credit.
However, unlike the first plan (Audible plus), in this plan you can also use your credit card to purchase any additional audiobook. The prices of which can be anywhere from $20 or more. Another thing to note is that in this plan you pay monthly. If you don’t want to commit the whole year, this monthly option would be great.
What’s Audible Premium Plus Membership 2 Credit?
As you might have guessed, the second plan in the premium membership gives you 2 credits every month. So if you want to listen to more audiobooks this would be a great option. Since you get 2 credits, you’ll have to pay $22.95 per month. And again you can purchase more audiobooks using your credit card as well.
What’s Audible Premium Plus Annual Membership 12 Credits?
This membership requires you to pay the whole year price of $149.50 to start the membership. It gives you 12 credits and as usual you can grab some very hot new releases.
Basically, this is the same as the first plan, where you pay $14.95 per month. But since you pay for the whole year, you get a good deal. (You pay for ten months, but get 12 credits!!)
This would be ideal for you if you love listening to more audiobooks, save money AND get more credits!!
What’s Audible Premium Plus Annual Membership 24 Credits?
Just like the previous plan, this one also requires you to pay yearly- $229.50. And you get 24 credits. And this plan is also a great option to save money and get some extra credit!!
In addition to above mentioned benefits in Audible Premium Plus plans, members you can also listen to titles in the Plus Catalogue, including Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts. Sometimes, you’ll get a 30% discount on additional titles as well!!
How to Use Audible?
After signing up, you will get access to the Audible website and have a look at their collections. It’s really user-friendly and perhaps you might be really excited to get your first audiobook. But before that, just take a few minutes to browse through extensive catalogues. Here are some tips to get the most of Audible.
How to Find Audiobooks on Audible
Once in the home page of the Audible website you will be able to browse through numerous categories. You can search through various audiobook categories such as mysteries & thrillers, romance, sci-fi and fantasy, biographies and memoirs etc.
You can also browse through lists and collections and find a list of bestsellers, new releases and audiobooks which will be coming soon. Since premium plus members have access to the plus catalogues, you could also skim through the plus library to choose your audiobooks. You also get access to tons of Audible originals in your premium plan (or free trial).
One of my favourites is sleep tracks! Each of them are created to help you fall asleep and even wake up with a growth mindset. This list includes bedtime stories, sound baths and meditations.
You may also use the search bar to look for audiobooks. Either just enter the title of the book, the name of the author or even the genre. (Similarly, you can use the Audible app to browse through the above mentioned categories).
Once you made your choice you can go ahead and get your audiobook with your credit. (And again you can do this either through the Audible website or through the app).
Where to Listen to Audiobooks on Audible?
The Audible app is the best option to listen to audiobooks. It’s compatible with almost all phones and tablets. If you don’t like using the app, you can listen through the Audible website as well. Once you start your free trial, you can download the app for free and start listening on your iOS or Android device. You can also listen on Alexa-enabled devices, Kindles, Sonos devices and more. Check this help page of Audible to find out more about how to use it on each device.
How to Buy Audiobooks with Credit on Audible
Purchasing an audiobook with your credits is a relatively straightforward process.
Go to the Audible website and choose the audiobook you want to purchase. Next choose, buy with 1 credit. You’ll then receive an email confirmation of your purchase. Next step, start listening to the audiobook you just purchased!
Here is a quick demo on how to buy an audiobook on Audible ios app!
How to Download Purchased Audiobooks on Audible?
If you are on the Audible website, once you’ve purchased the audiobook,
go to the library > choose the audiobook > press listen now!
Now you’ll be able to listen to your audiobooks. If you’ve audiobook player installed you could also download them right away.
Another easy way to download and listen to purchased audiobooks is through the Audible app. I usually prefer this as I can easily play them whenever I want. The app is compatible with ios, Android and Windows devices. So once you’ve downloaded the app, log in with your Audible username and password. Next, go to the library and you will be able to see your titles! Your purchased audiobooks should be downloaded already! ( If not press on the ⬇️ on the audiobook title) You’ll be able to see them under the “downloaded” section. This will allow you to listen to your titles offline as well.
How to Buy More Audiobooks on Audible?
If you ever feel you don’t have enough audiobooks, you can simply buy each audiobook individually at discounted prices. For example I am an Audible Premium plus member and I get one credit. And this particular month I don’t have any credit left. So I can purchase Dune by Frank Herbert for a member price of $30.69 instead of Regular price:
Please note in the ios Audible app you can only use credits to buy audiobooks. You can’t use your credit card to purchase an audiobook. You can, however, do that on the Audible website.
Another Audible deal is called 3-pack of credits for a discounted price. However, to access this you should be a paid Audible Premium Plus member for more than 30 days and should have less than 2 available credits in your account. This is indeed great way to buy more audiobooks for a cheaper price, as some titles can be expensive.
Special deals are also a way to get more audiobooks. They are called 2 titles -for-1 credit. This sale gets you 2 titles for 1 credit.
How to Find Audiobooks from Audible Plus Catalogue?
Now let’s find out how does Audible plus work .
Whether you’re on your free trial or paid premium plus plan, you can get access to the audible plus catalogue. You can listen to thousands of audiobooks, podcasts and Audible originals.
Once you are in the plus library, look for Audiobooks/ podcasts with an orange tag ‘INCLUDED’ !
Remember, Plus Catalogue only allows you to borrow each item and listen to it. You’ll never be able to purchase it. Which means, when you cancel your premium plan you won’t be able to access the catalogue again and you won’t be able to keep any titles from the Audible Plus catalogue either.
How to Return an Audiobook on Audible
So is it possible to return audiobooks on Audible? Of course! In order to return the audiobook make sure you have an active plan. Returns should be done within 365 days of purchase. Here is how to return audiobooks
➡️ Go to Account details Purchase history > Sign in to your account > choose the book > Return this title > ➡️Choose your reason for returning > Click return. Once it’s done, you will get a confirmation message.
Here is a screenshot of the process!
How to Cancel an Audible Membership?
If you don’t wish to continue your free trial or renew your premium plan, you might want to cancel your Audible membership.
➡️ To cancel, log in to the Audible website and select account details> go to Membership details on the left-hand side. ➡️Then you should see the option “cancel membership”. ➡️Next, choose the reason for cancellation and follow the instructions on the screen. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive an email confirmation as well.
Keep in mind that, when you cancel, you’ll lose remaining credits . So make sure to use them before cancelling.
Is Audible worth it
So the question is, is an Audible membership worth money?
I certainly think is Audible is worth the money. Although you can’t listen to many audiobooks, you can get access to a library of many audiobooks in Audible Plus membership. I also think that i’s worthy spending your money on Audible as you get access many Audible Originals and sleep tracks.
Another great thing about using Audible Premium membership is that you can get acess to new audiobook releases. You can even pre-order the audiobook and purchase them at discounted prices. Even if you cancel the membership, purchased audiobooks are yours to keep!
However, if you’re someone who listens to a lot of audiobooks (not necessarily new titles or classics), or don’t want to purchase any audiobooks, then Audible may not be for you. I’d recommend you other audiobook services, such as Scribd. Although, you may not be able to purchase any audiobooks, you’d still be able to listen to more audiobooks in a month.
In a nutshell:
You should get Audible if:
- You love audiobooks, especially new releases
- You love huge selection of Audiobooks, (fiction and nonfiction), & podcasts
- You like to purchase audiobooks for a discounted rate
- You love classic audiobooks and audible originals with high quality narration.
- You want to listen to original premium podcasts
- You want to return audiobooks that you didn’t enjoy
Audible is NOT for you if:
- You are in to physical books
- You’re looking for daily deals with huge audiobook selection
- You don’t want to own audiobook
- You want to listen more audiobooks, but not necessarily new titles
Nevertheless, you can always try an Audible Free Trial to enjoy one FREE book. You can also enjoy the audible plus catalogue during this free trial. From meditations to motivating podcasts, you’ll surely find fascinating audiobooks.
- Is Audible free for Prime members?
Unfortunately no. Audible is not free for Prime members. In fact, an Audible Plus or Audible Premium Plus membership is separate from Amazon prime. However, Prime members are invited to start an Audible free trial with 2 credits. This is indeed a good deal as the standard trial only includes 1 credit. Once the trial ends all members receive I credit per month.
- What happens to my purchased audiobooks if I cancel my Audible Premium Plus membership?
Nothing! Purchased titles are yours forever. Whether you bought through credits or credit card, you’ll be able to listen to them for life long!
- Can two people listen to Audible at the same time?
Yes, you can sign-in with the same logins on multiple devices and access the library.
- Is Audible unlimited listening?
In the Audible Plus plan you get unlimited access to Audiobooks. Although monthly credits depend on your plan, you can always purchase an unlimited number of audiobooks.
- Does Audible have free books?
You can get one Free audiobook in your first Audible trial.
- Can I use Amazon gift cards on Audible?
No. Audible doesn’t accept Amazon gift cards at this time.
- How do I purchase a gift membership from Audible?
To purchase a gift membership, go to the Gift Centre and choose your gift membership. You can purchase up to 12 credits in these membership plans.
- Can I still buy audiobooks after I cancel my Audible membership?
Yes, you can purchase audiobooks without a membership plan. However, the price of each audiobook can be more expensive without a membership.
- If I cancel my membership, can I keep titles from the Audible Plus Catalogue?
No. You can’t keep any titles from the Audible Plus catalogue once you cancel your membership. Once you end the membership you’ll lose the access to the Plus library. Audiobooks you’ve purchased through credits/ credit cards will be yours to keep.
There you have a comprehensive guide on how does audible membership work and whether Audible worth your money.
Do you like Audible? Do you like Audible Plus membership or Audible membership ?
Let me know what you think.
Always curious to hear from you,
Thank you Steve. I am glad that you find the post helpful:)
Thank you for finally! a simple explanation of how Audible works. I am amazed at the convoluted explanations that exist out there when it really is quite simple. Can’t anybody write anymore? Again, thank you.