Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Audiobooks make fantastic gifts. They can transport your friends and loved ones to a faraway place, teach them something new, or make a long commute less boring. This makes audiobooks a fitting gift for any book lover.
Figuring out how to give an audiobook as a gift, however, isn’t always so obvious. And sometimes even the most popular audiobook services don’t make it easy. Thankfully, we’re here to help. And just in time for the holidays too.
Amazon’s downloadable audiobooks are only available through Audible. So if you want a digital version of an audiobook, you’ll need to sign up to Audible (which, as we’ll see in a moment, doesn’t let you gift individual titles).
Amazon still sells audiobooks on CD, though. And you can have them gift-wrapped and sent to your loved one if you’d like. If your recipient wants their audiobook in a digital format, once they have the CD they can technically do what they want with it.
Although Audible no longer allows you to gift single audiobooks, you can still give a gift subscription. Head to the Audible Gift Center (just click the link or scroll to the bottom of the Audible homepage) and you’ll see subscription options. There are one-, three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions with prices from $15 to $150.
What will your recipient get with this subscription?
- If they’re not currently an Audible subscriber, they’ll get one credit for any free book per month, along with two Audible Originals (exclusive audio titles you won’t find on any other service), and discounts on other books.
- If they already subscribe to Audible, they’ll get all of the credits immediately. That means they’ll get one, three, six, or 12 free audiobooks right away, plus the two Audible Originals per month.
Audible isn’t cheap, but it’s one of the best services out there. And if the book lover in your life can take full advantage of Audible, they’ll get more than your money’s worth. They can always cancel Audible if they decide it’s not for them.
Like Audible, Audiobooks.com doesn’t let you gift individual books. But there are a number of gift options, including one-, three-, six-, and 12-month plans priced from $14.95 to $149.40. These are good for one book download a month. Check out the Audiobooks.com Gift Center to choose one.
With prices comparable to Audible, this is a similarly attractive option, especially if you’d rather stay away from Amazon. And if you know that the audiobook fan you’re buying for already listens via Audiobooks.com, it’s a good way to go.
You may not have heard of AudiobooksNow, but it’s one of the best ways to give an audiobook as a gift. You can easily give single books as gifts by finding the one you’re looking for and clicking Give as Gift below the Add to Cart button.
But you can also give a Gift Plan membership for $29.99. This gives members 50 percent off 12 books a year, and 35–40 percent off of books after that. There are no credits for free books like in other plans, but the saving on the first 12 books is valued at around $120. Go to the AudiobooksNow Gift Center to get started.
And there’s also a third way: gift certificates. These are a great budget option—they’re available in $5 increments starting at just $10—and allow your recipient to spend them on whatever book they want.
Unfortunately, Downpour doesn’t have any gifting options available. However, because their audiobooks are DRM-free, you can simply buy one yourself and send it to your gift recipient.
They can then use an audiobook app to listen to it as they would do with an audiobook they purchased themselves.
6. Apple iTunes
If you’re looking to gift a single audiobook, and your recipient has an Apple device, this is your best bet. There’s no subscription option, and it only take a few clicks to buy an audiobook as a gift.
- Open up iTunes and switch over to the Audiobooks section.
- Click Store in the top menu.
- Search for the book you want, then click the arrow next to the Buy Audiobook button.
- Select Gift this Audiobook.
Then just follow the instructions to complete your purchase from there.
In addition to supporting independent bookstores, which is awesome, Libro.fm offers two ways to give audiobooks as presents.
First, you can gift individual books. No subscription necessary. Just search for the book you want, and when you find it, click Gift this Audiobook. Be sure to choose your favorite independent bookstore before you buy the book so they get credit for your purchase.
But if you’d prefer to give a subscription, you can do that too. Libro.fm offers one-, three-, six-, and 12-month plans priced from $15 to $165. This gets the recipient their choice of one audiobook a month. Visit the libro.fm Gift Center to get started.
Like Audible, Scribd is a popular subscription service that lets readers access one audiobook a month in addition to three ebooks. This combination makes sure Scribd is great value.
The standard subscription fee is $8.99/month, but you can buy a gift subscription for $25 (for three months), $50 (for six months), or $100 (for one year). Just head to the Scribd gift page to get started.
Why You Should Give the Gift of Audiobooks This Year
Whether your gift recipient is a long-time fan of audiobooks or just starting to explore the medium, giving them either an individual book or a subscription as a gift is a perfect way to support their hobby. An audiobook subscription is also one of the best tech gifts for college students. If the recipient enjoys not only audiobooks, but books in every form, these Kindle-based gifts are a great idea, too.
If you think you know someone who might be interested in audiobooks, but hasn’t yet taken the plunge, try gifting them one of these awesome audiobooks for people who don’t like audiobooks. They really are some of the best audiobooks available.