A Small Guide for Audiobook Newbies: How to Get Started & Is It Worth It?

Hi all!

I’ve been a fan of audiobooks for years. I believe the first audiobook I ever listened to was On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, narrated by Rebecca Macauley, all the way back in 2008. And my passion for audiobooks has only grown since then, but I have noticed that so many readers are apprehensive to commit to an audiobook. I can understand that — they do seem intimidating, but I believe they’re truly the best way to read books.

The audiobook that inspired me to write this post was the first book in the Tales from Verania series by TJ Klune, The Lightning-Struck Heart. It’s narrated by Michael Lesley and SWEET MOLASSES! If Michael could narrate every book I’ll ever read again, that would be great because the man was incredible!

And since I loved listening to the audiobook so much, I thought I’d write up a guide to help get others into audiobooks too!

If you’re someone who:

  • Is apprehensive about listening to audiobooks
  • Prefers physical books and/or eBooks
  • Doesn’t know where to start with audiobooks
  • Is confused easily

Then this guide is for you!


While you’re here, check out my lovely friend Silvia’s guide to audiobooks too! Silvia gives some amazing recommendations and great advice about things she’s learnt from listening to audiobooks!

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How to set up an audible account

I did a lot of research on audiobook companies before I picked Amazon Audible. There’s Google Play, Kobo, Audiobooks.com, iTunes — and while all of them are as great as each other, Audible was by far the frontrunner.

Audible offers a free month to try out the app, before you have to start paying for the service. For your first month, you get two free credits to use. Once you start paying for Audible — which is $14.95 US ($16.45 AUD) a month — you get one free credit a month then too.

So what I did first was sign up for the free month to get a feel for Audible, and I ended up really enjoying it!

I know $14.95 a month might seem a little steep for some people — it definitely did for me too — once I compared prices with other companies, I realised that Audible is actually the cheapest. Google Play and iTunes don’t offer a monthly fee so you have to pay for the audiobook outright is upwards of $30, unless they have a sale. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to spend $30, $40 or $50 on an audiobook. Audiobooks.com is similar to Audible, in that you pay a flat rate a month and receive a free credit, but the range of audiobooks is nowhere near as expansive as Amazon’s.

Sign up here for your free trial!

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Prices & sales 

Once you’re a member, the prices for audiobooks drop down exponentially — none of them are more than $14.95, which is great considering how much they are without a membership.

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I think its ridiculous to expect people to pay $41 for an audiobook, but $26 off makes me feel better!

Another major benefit of Audible is whispersync narration, which is probably my favourite part of the app. If you have a Kindle eBook, you have the option of downloading the audiobook for a massively reduced price (I’d say this is available for about 90% of eBooks). The audiobook price for an eBook you already have is $3.49 — which is cheaper than a coffee! You may wonder what’s the point of buying an audiobook of a book you already have, but if you’re someone like me who loves rereading books but doesn’t always have the time, an audiobook is a great way to do so! You can also toggle between reading the eBook and listening to the audiobook really quickly!

I just recently discovered Amazon Firstthis month, which is a selection of about six books that are being published the following month that you can read for $2 the month before it’s actually out. I recently bought The Fever King for $2 with Amazon Firsts and was given the option of buying the eBook for $3.49. So the individual eBook price for The Fever King is $6.49 and the individual audiobook is $20.88, but I ended up paying $5.49 for both — I ended up saving $21.88! That’s a massive saving!

Audible also has daily deals, which is an audiobook advertised at a massively discounted price every day — they go as low as $5! They’re not always the best books on offer, but they’re still very cheap.

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Massive range

c071-017By far one of the best parts of Audible is the expansive range of audiobooks offered. There are some audiobooks that Audible has the rights to and so you can only listen to it through the app.

That can be a bit annoying, but if you have an Audible account you’ve got nothing to worry about. For e.g., you all know I’m Pride and Prejudice trash and the incredible, beautiful Rosamond Pike (who played Jane in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie) narrated the audiobook, an exclusive audible edition. She has such a sensual voice and if I weren’t bi before, I definitely would be after listening to her.

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Audible has the biggest range of audiobooks out there, and the reason I am so impressed by the range is because they also have self-published/indie author’s books as well as audiobooks. No other audiobook app I researched has an indie range aside from Audible  — that’s because most indie/self-published authors have to fund the audiobook production themselves and a majority of them sell their eBooks through Kindle because it’s the easiest option, so selling the audiobook through Amazon makes sense too. So if you want to support indie/self-published authors, Audible is a great way to do that.

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Returns

It’s really awesome that Audible allows you to return an audiobook whenever you want, for whatever reason — even if you’ve already listened to it! You can either exchange the audiobook for a different one or you can get your money back!

Didn’t like the narrator? Return it! Bought it by accident because you were too excited (like I’ve done a lot)? Return it! It’s that easy.

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My opinion

Honestly, I think Audible is worth all the hype I’ve seen so many people give it — and audiobooks too.

My only drawback is that it does take some time to listen to any audiobook, unless you’re listening to it on a faster speed — and sometimes that does sound a little weird. I’ve noticed that I’m actually a faster reader than an audiobook on 1.5x speed (which is all I can manage at the moment). However, the fact that I can listen to a book while doing housework, or driving, or going grocery shopping, definitely helps in finishing that book quicker than I would have if I read it physically.

And even though I balked a little at hat $14.95 monthly fee ($16.45 for me), all those reasons I just gave make me think it’s worth it! (For my particular financial situation.)

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I swear this post isn’t sponsored haha (but if amazon did want to sponsor me, I mean, I wouldn’t say no). I just really enjoyed my experience of listening to an audiobook for the first time and wanted to share some of my newfound knowledge!

When I first started researching audiobooks, I found it a bit tricky to know which site was best and how to use credit and whatnot, so I hope my small guide can help you in some way!

Are you an audiobook listener? What app do you use? Is there an audiobook narration you love that you want to recommend? Let me know!

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27 thoughts on “A Small Guide for Audiobook Newbies: How to Get Started & Is It Worth It?

  1. lunaraeron says:

    Michael Lesley is incredible! Glad you had a good experience~ One of my other favorite narrators is Joel Leslie and I especially love him for Beacon Hill Sorcerer series by SJ Himes. M/m paranormal romance series with great found family and MC is a necromancer and his SO is a vampire elder~ and there’s dragons! And snark!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JM Williams says:

    Audible is setup in a way to be so desperate for your subscriptions so as to allow you to trick out months and months of discounts. The first time, I signed up for Audible at more than 50% off for three months. After that term, I went to cancel, and in order to keep me subscribing, they gave me like two or three more months at a discount. That’s something like $7.50US for each book purchased with the monthly credit, not to mention the new Audible originals. I then cancelled my subscription, waited a while, and when another sale came out, I was able to sign up for another three months at a discount. You really don’t need to pay full price. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amanda @ Literary Weaponry says:

    I love using Audible. The first Audiobook I listened to was Strange the Dreamer and I haven’t looked back. I get so much more reading done during the year. Shopping? Audiobook. Driving? Audiobook. Mindless chore that makes you want to stab yourself in the foot with a fork? Audiobook. Love audiobooks and Audible’s selection. My library also has a great collection both in house and through the Libby app. Great way to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      Yes! Now I kind of look forward to doing chores around the house because it gives me an excuse to listen to an audiobook! My library has libby as well — I haven’t looked properly at the collection yet but I will soon

      Like

  4. bookishluna says:

    I have been using audible for YEARS and I get two credits a month for 19.95 or something like that. So instead of 14, it is about 10 a credit. I also love that they roll over until a certain amount, I never reached the limit and I tend to have 3-6 credits on standby.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nancy says:

    I love audio books as I have a bit of a commute to work and I listen to them then. I’m old school, I borrow them from my library and listen to them on CD (but it’s FREE that way!). Some of my favs are- Eleanor & Park, World War Z, To Kill a Mockingbird, Homegoing, The Passion of Dolssa, The Handmaid’s Tale and No County For Old Men.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      I have an audiobook on CD! It’s On the Jellicoe Road, I got it for a birthday present years ago and I still love it! I’m not sure if my library has CD audiobooks, I’m going to have to check it out! Thanks for the recs!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie says:

    I like the combination they offer but of course my country is so stupid that I can’t use this. Amazon only offers books in the Netherlands and not Audible. So I have an Audible account and a Dutch Kindle account and there is no way to switch to another store because my address is based in the Netherlands. I have to fill in an US address for example when I want to switch. I desperately want an audio upgrade for The Gilded Wolves but I can’t. I’m visually impaired and VoiceOver on iPhone and iPad sometimes pronounces things in a weird way. If you know how I can switch Kindle Stores, that would be great! It says that Kindle books are only avalaible in my local store…….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Silvia says:

    BB! I’m so proud of you. This is an awesome post and I agree with everything, I also use Audible because it just makes sense to me and if you use it a lot you definitely get a lot of value back for your money, but I couldn’t have explained it as well as you did! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa says:

    I love audiobooks — can’t get in my car without them at this point! I do I get great value from my Audible account, and love being able to return a book if the narrator or the book itself isn’t working for me. I tend to check out audiobooks from the library as well, which is a nice, free, no-commitment way to go. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jess says:

    This is such a great post! A bit of advice I’d give is to not make more than one Audible account. Sounds obvious lol but somehow I had made a UK and US account and I lost so much money! D:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anj @ seaweed books says:

    Since I’m a broke bookworm (lol) struggling to get some reading done, I usually tend to borrow books from the library. However, when it comes to classics, I usually listen to them. Librivox recordings of classics are really amazing! Out of curiosity, l tried audiobooking the poem ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and it was a great experience! I think you should try listening to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebookcorps says:

      I am a broke bookworm too haha and I only ever buy books from authors I love or if its part of a series I’m already reading. I haven’t heard of Librivox! I’m going to check them out, thanks. Oooh I didn’t know poems were audiobooks too, I’ll definitely look that up, thank you Anj!! 💕

      Like

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