Audiobooks make reading so much easier, since you can listen to a book while traveling, working out, and even working. Short commutes or a 10-minute walk around the block provide you with the perfect opportunity to listen to a few pages — with audiobooks, you can never complain that you don’t have enough time to read.
There’s one big drawback, though: audiobooks are expensive. Many newer titles cost $20 or $30, which is quite a bit more than you’d pay for a hard copy or an ebook. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can get your audiobook fix without breaking the bank. Try out one of these methods and share your best tips in the comments below!
Check Your Library
If you think the only type of audiobook that your library has is in a bulky CD case, think again. Many libraries use the OverDrive platform, which allows you to borrow and listen to audiobooks for free. You can even put holds on books, and the book of your choice will be automatically checked out to you once it becomes available.
Even if all of your local libraries use OverDrive, each one has a different collection within the platform. Therefore, if you have a membership with two or more different library branches, you will be able to attach both profiles to the app.
You can reserve a popular audiobook at both libraries, which can decrease your time spent on the waiting list and also increase the amount of time you have with the book. Even if you check out the same audiobook with more than one library, they should sync to ensure your spot in the book was saved.
Hoopla is another platform that connects with your library. Unlike OverDrive, you’re limited to eight audiobooks a month. Hoopla also offers ebooks and video rentals, and the app has a kids’ mode so children can listen to audiobooks or watch movies without wandering to other sites or apps.
Use Multiple Audible Promos
Audible is one of the top websites to buy audiobooks — you have probably seen their promotions for a free audiobook or their free Groupon deals (or heard one of the many podcasts they sponsor). What many people do not know is that you can use these free promotions more than once. Once your Audible account has been unbilled for six months or more, you can cash in another offer.
If you cannot get a promo to work on your account, just chat with Audible support. One time when I did not qualify for three free months, they rewarded me with three months of promotional pricing for $7.99.
Also, when I tried to cancel my Audible account, I was offered a $20 credit to stay. I used the credit and then proceeded to cancel my account.
When you purchase a book from Amazon, there is sometimes the option to add on Audible narration for an extra cost. Many times, when a publisher promotes an ebook for a discounted price, the add-on Audible narration also reflects a discount. For example, The Shoemaker’s Wife would cost over $30 or one Audible credit, which starts at $9.56. But because the ebook was priced at $1.99 with a $3.99 Audible add-on, you could score both for less than $6 on sale.
The Audible narration also connects seamlessly with your ebook, meaning you can switch between reading and listening without having to re-find your spot in the book.
Listen to Kindle Unlimited Audiobooks
Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 a month and has over one million ebooks to chose from. Many of these titles comes with free or inexpensive Audible narration. Look for Kindle Unlimited books that have a little headphone icon next to them. For example, The Hunger Games is available to read and listen to for free.
Affordable Alternatives to Audible
Audible might dominate the market space for audiobooks, but it is not the only option available. Here are a few more to look into:
- Librivox offers completely free audiobooks. Most books are public domain, such as all of Jane Austen’s novels and the Sherlock Holmes adventures.
- DownPour offers audiobook rentals starting at $6.95. For short to normal-sized books, you will have 30 days to listen. For longer books, you will be granted a 60-day rental.
- Scribd costs $8.99 a month and gives you unlimited access to Scribd Select audiobooks, as well as one audiobook of your choice, each month.
While these are all more affordable than Audible, they definitely have a smaller selection of books.