Amazon's Audible Review 2020: Is It Worth Purchasing?

Amazon’s Audible Review 2020: Is It Worth Purchasing?

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Do you love to read?

Do you wish you had more time to do so?

Do you fashion yourself a multitasker?

Or are you the type or person who enjoys learning new things, but has very little time to commit?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions… audible books may just be what the doctor ordered. 

And nobody does it better than Amazon’s Audible.

I mean, seriously… pretty much everything Amazon touches turns to gold.

Sure, there are other audiobook sites and apps out there… but few with the same level of customer service or content Amazon can offer.

In this article, I’ll touch on what sets Amazon Audible apart.

We will cover:

  1. The main features of the program
  2. How to find Audible books
  3. The different platforms it's available on
  4. Pros and cons of the program
  5. “Who” is it for
  6. Final thoughts

So let’s get started, shall we?

Want a free audiobook from Audible?

Get one audiobook for free when you sign up for a 30-day Audible Free Trial. Here are some of the best audiobooks from S.J. Scott:

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative ThinkingFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
Mindful Relationship Habits: 25 Practices for Couples to Enhance Intimacy, Nurture Closeness, and Grow a Deeper ConnectionFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present MomentFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
The Anti-Procrastination Habit: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult TasksFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to Stop Being Lazy and Get Results in Your LifeFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
Habit Stacking: 127 Small Changes to Improve Your Health, Wealth, and HappinessFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial
Novice to Expert: 6 Steps to Learn Anything, Increase Your Knowledge, and Master New SkillsFREE with 30-Day AUDIBLE Trial

What is Amazon Audible?

Simply put, Amazon Audible is an audiobook subscription membership program, offering nearly 200,000 titles… many of which are classics or bestsellers.

There is also a wide selection of Audible Original titles.

Audible currently offers a 30-day free trial, which includes 1 audiobook download (referred to as one credit) and 2 Audible Originals from a rotating selection.

Note: you can’t just choose any Original audiobook. Amazon provides approved choices for free downloading every month.

Existing Prime members are entitled to two audiobook downloads (or credits), plus 2 Audible Originals… rather than one credit for non-members.  

After the trial period ends, membership includes access to 1 audiobook download and 2 Audible Originals per month.

You can cancel at any time, no questions asked… similar to Amazon’s general return policy. I’ve always found returns simple with Amazon, be it with Prime products or Video. 

Your credit card is only charged if you fail to cancel within the free trial period.

Once you’ve logged in, you are able to browse from a plethora of titles.

You can search by:

  • Category (26 categories in total)
  • Lists & Collections (such as Best Sellers, New Releases, Coming Soon, Best of)
  • Featured (Audible Theatre, Audible Escape, Harry Potter, Reese’s Book Club, Audible Latino, Audio Shows, Blogs)

From a laptop or desktop, you can use a mouse to scroll over titles and view a pop-up summary.

Otherwise, simply tap or click on the book title you find interesting to be brought to a summary page.

There you will be given information regarding the book’s length, release date, narrator’s name and language.

You will also have access to:

  • The publisher’s summary
  • Critic Reviews
  • Member Reviews
  • Additional Audiobook Suggestions from the same Author and/or Narrator

Should you decide to go ahead and select the title, you’ll be shown a membership price.

Typically, the free credit earned each month covers the cost of one title… so you wouldn’t be charged anything additional for one audiobook.

When you select a title, it is placed in your cart and any available credits will be used.

Should you decide the book isn’t worth the read, you can simply exchange it for another at no additional cost.

Think of it as a money back, no risk, reading guarantee.

Amazon Audible also boasts a unique feature called Whispersync. Whispersync for Voice-ready allows you to move between audiobook and Kindle book seamlessly from one device to the next.

In my case, I purchased The Handmaid’s Tale: Special Edition as part of my Kindle Unlimited membership.

Since it is available in a corresponding audiobook version, Audible offers the chance to purchase it for a discounted price (or one credit).

By electing to purchase the audio version, I am now able to read the book on my tablet before bed… and pick up where I left off via audiobook while out for my morning jog.

How cool is that?

And for a busy working mom to four small kids… this feature is worth its weight in gold.

Or, in this case, the modest membership fee.

In addition to the best sellers, Audible Originals really set the service apart from the competition.

What competition, you ask?

Among the most popular are:

  • Audiobooks
  • Serial Box
  • Google Play Books
  • Bookmobile
  • Chirp

Still, none of these have yet to truly threaten what Amazon Audible is doing.

The business models vary, for starters.

Primarily, while many of these services come by way of free app, there is typically a “pay per title” fee… which can really add up. 

Conversely, the ones that charge monthly membership fees offer a fraction of the title selection that Audible does.

And getting back to that…

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You can easily browse Audible Originals by category and recommendations.

Audible Originals are exclusive audio titles created by celebrated storytellers from worlds as diverse as theater, journalism, literature and more… all produced in the Audible studios.

Similar to the best sellers, you are able to browse Audible Originals by category and recommendations just for you.

“Quick Listens for the Commute” appealed to me… especially when I got a glimpse of one of my favorite comedians, Nick Offerman, on the summary page.  This, however, was not one of my free Original choices (remember, you get 2 per month).

So instead, I selected to download “You Can Thank me Later”, a novella by Kelly Harms. It’s free for the month of November.

A wide array of podcasts are also included with Amazon Audible. And there is no denying the rising popularity of podcasts these days.

I believe NBC even had a series about a corporate exec-turned-podcaster.

So if podcasts are your jam… look no further.

Audible has got you covered. 

There is also tons of free content available every month on Amazon Audible… including news, meditations and audio-guided fitness downloads.

Other key membership features include:

  • Access to Audible Daily Deals, with audiobooks available for as little as $2.95
  • 30% off any additional titles you purchase as a member
  • Keep your library of titles forever, even if you cancel membership
  • The Audible app keeps your place, even when you switch devices
  • Access Audible across all your devices including Alexa-enabled devices,
  • Amazon Kindle, audio players, and any Bluetooth speaker.
  • Always ad-free!

I’m Sold! So, how do I find my Next Audiobook?

Searching for your next listen is easy with the Amazon Audible taskbar.

You can search two ways:

  1. Utilize the Browse Feature, which is broken into categories
  2. Type a title or topic into the search bar

Once you type something into the search bar, you are brought to a suggestions page, based on the matching keyword. These suggestions are in all categories.

You can sort by:

  • Newest arrivals
  • Best Selling
  • Title
  • Running Time
  • Average Customer Review

You can also filter your search by:

  • Category
  • Packages (escape for example, is a special Romance category)
  • New Releases (30 day, 90 day, Coming Soon)
  • Audiobook Length (from less than 1 hr to more than 20 hours)
  • Language
  • Program Type
  • Program Format
  • Whispersync availability

Depending on how specific you want to be, the search will be drastically cut down to a manageable list.

And, voila! You’re set to select.

Whatever audiobooks you choose are placed in your library.

Once a book is in your library, you can access and manage it at any time via the “Library” tab.

That is also where you actually download the title to your device. You can also submit a review from here.

Where to Enjoy Amazon Audible

Once you’ve selected your listens, downloading the Audible App is required in order to be able to enjoy audiobooks.

The app is free and available for the following, making listening on your smartphone a snap:

  • Android
  • iOS
  • Windows

You can also enjoy Amazon Audible on these supported devices:

  • Sonos Speakers
  • Alexa-enabled Devices
  • FireTV
  • Kindle
  • Kindle Oasis
  • Fire Tablet
  • Android, IOS and Windows Tablets
  • Computer & mp3 (via the Audible Cloud Player and iTunes)

The Pros and Cons of Amazon Audible

Let’s face it… life can’t be all sunshine and roses.

But Amazon Audible comes close in its efforts to make top quality reads accessible to anyone with the ability and willingness to listen.

So let’s start with the pros:

  • Largest audiobook selection among its competitors
  • Large selection of original titles
  • All books purchased are yours to keep forever, even if you cancel the membership
  • Whispersync for Voice
  • Audible app syncs with other audible apps and purchases (including iTunes and Google Reads)
  • Seamless bookmarking (your current spot, whether audio or visual, is always saved and synced)
  • Impressive selection of free content
  • Amazon Prime membership-affiliated free content
  • Amazon Household Library, which allows you to share your audiobooks across devices with another member of your family
  • Bluetooth speaker connectivity
  • Well-known narrators, actors and actresses
  • Member discount to purchase additional books
  • Abbreviated versions of many audiobooks, offered at a lower price
  • Ability to change the listening speed (speed it up or slow it down)
  • Ad-free listening
  • Two Tiers of Membership (Gold or Platinum), offered monthly or annually
  • Roll over credits available for unused purchases (5-12 rollovers depending on membership type)
  • Refunds available within 1 year of purchasing a book
  • Ability to put your membership on Hold for a set period of time
  • Amazon’s award winning customer service and support
  • There is no contract, so you can unsubscribe and resubscribe at any time if you find yourself not reading as often as you’d like

And now the cons:

  • Unused membership credits expire after one year
  • Unused credits disappear if you cancel the membership before using them
  • Audiobooks can be more expensive than the hard copy or eBook.
  • Amazon Audible titles are occasionally more expensive than amazon.com or competitor book sites
  • If you read more than the allotted amount of credits each month, the cost per book can add up
  • iPhone users are currently unable to purchase books directly through the Audible app due to contract restrictions, so you must download via a computer.
  • Books cannot be streamed, so downloading to your mobile device will use up storage.

As you can see, rather clearly, the pros seriously outweigh the cons here.

But don’t take my word for it… see for yourself with the 30-day free trial.

And if you have any more questions or reservations, be sure to visit and FAQ page. 

Is Amazon Audible Right for Me?

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Amazon Audible is for people who will listen to at least one book per month.

You may be wondering what type of person benefits most from Amazon Audible?

Well, that answer is three-fold.

First, it’s for busy people who don’t typically have as much time to read as they’d like.

If you work long hours… commute to work by bus or train… have a busy social calendar… a heavy college course load… or have kids… chances are, you don’t have a lot of down time.

You’re lucky if you get your daily workout in – or get to eat dinner at a normal speed once in a while.

But read a book?

Now that’s just unheard of.

Or at least it was… before Amazon Audible.

Thanks to its groundbreaking and intuitive interface, you are able to take your books from the sofa, to the gym, to your kid’s dance lessons, to the office.

Audible goes wherever you go and makes reading for pleasure accessible again.

It’s also great if you want to get out of your comfort zone and learn about something new.

Don’t have time to listen to the news?

You can for free with Audible.

Need to recenter yourself? Audible meditations cost nothing more than the time you’re willing to invest in them. 

Second, Amazon audible is for people that will commit to listening to at least one book per month.

As with most everything that is worthwhile, the audible membership is not free. That being said, the monthly fee covers 1 audiobook credit and 2 Audible Original reads.

These credits, however, vary their worth based on the book’s list price.

The monthly fee, which gives you 1 or 2 credits per month based on your membership plan, essentially is the most you’ll pay for one book.

That being said, depending on what you opt to read… books valued at say, $40 USD, are a huge savings for members paying a fraction of that monthly.

Alternately, if a book you are interested in purchasing is on sale or retailing for less than $10, you may be best served to purchase the book and save the credit for a more expensive title later… especially considering you are able to roll over a certain number of credits.

Finally, Amazon audible is for the audiobook junkie.

Nobody does it better than Amazon.

If you can’t live without your audiobooks, the service offers the best selection there is.

Hands down.

More than 150,000 hands… to be exact.

There is no real competition.

And although other sites may cost less on paper, or offer unlimited titles, the selection suffers because of it.

Plus, as an Audible member, you’re given access to:

  • Daily Deals
  • 30% off all titles
  • Flash sales on membership
  • Audible Originals
  • Lifetime access to all purchased audiobooks

If you think about it, the typical person will purchase the hardcopy of a book and put it down without finishing. Perhaps, never finishing it.

Why?

Because life happens!

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Amazon audible is for the audiobook junkie.

But if the book is accessible 24/7, on multiple platforms…  you’re much more likely to make it to the end.

Plus, if you keep your eyes open for those “member only” deals, you might find yourself purchasing multiple books for the price of one. 

So… is Amazon Audible Worth It?

If you’re still with me, you don’t need to be a psychic to guess what I’m about to say.

If you want to “read” more… Amazon Audible is for you!

If you can commit to listening to at least one or two titles per month… Amazon Audible is for you!

If you are an audiobook fanatic… Amazon Audible is for you.

Yes, it costs money.

But in my humble opinion, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the other stuff we spend money on.

Lattes.

Lunches.

A pair of shoes we don’t really need.

Not only are the Audible book titles and narrators in a class unto themselves… but if you seek, you shall find deals.

And more deals.

Couple that with award winning customer service and no-hassle cancellation and return policies… and Audible is the clear cut winner in the category.

The cons are hardly worth a second thought – and really only come into play if you don’t take full advantage of what Audible offers.

Hey, I’m not trying to sell you on audiobooks.

You like them or you don’t.

You want to read more, or you don’t.

But if you do, start your free trial today.

I promise you will be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.

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Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.

Check out our review on Amazon\'s Audible and learn how it stacks up against others | audible review | is audible worth it 2019 | is audible worth it 2018 | #amazon #audible #prime