Every time I mention audiobooks or my Kindle, I get a ton of questions about using the Audible app to listen to audiobooks as well as how they work on my Kindle because they’re both Amazon companies. On top of that, there are 4-5 other ways to access audio books and digital books through your iPhone/kindle.
First off, let’s talk Kindles.
I don’t travel anywhere without mine. And e-readers are relatively inexpensive. If you’re not in the market for an iPad (and why would you shell out $1,000+ for something you’re going to use to read?), the Kindles are the best value for your $$$.
A Kindle allows you to read your favorite books without the drawbacks that come with using a tablet or smartphone.
Not only is the Kindle power efficient, meaning it will last weeks and in some cases months on a charge, but it’s also connected, meaning you can easily download new books – plus it’s incredibly easy to use with seamless integration with your Amazon account.
Basic | $89.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $104.99 otherwise)
6″ glare-free, 167ppi
Illumination (4 LEDs)
Paperwhite | $129.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $149.99 otherwise)
Front illumination (5 LEDs)
Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
8 or 32 GB
Oasis | $249.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $269.99 otherwise) :
7-inch screen, 300ppi
Front illumination (12 LEDs)
Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
6-weeks battery life
8 or 32 GB
Auto-adjusting light sensors
Page turn buttons
Now, a Kindle isn’t necessary to enjoy an e-book or an audiobook, but they do have one of the best interfaces. If you prefer your iPhone or iPad, you can still access all the same content. Here are a few other ways we like to enjoy our content!
First, there is Libby by Overdrive. If you’ve got a membership to your local library, you can check-out audiobooks and e-books. They’ve got thousands!
You can borrow them instantly for free using just the device in your hand. So why would you want to pay for an audiobook or e-book ever again? I love Overdrive and am so grateful for my libraries that have it. But those hold lines can be SO long (I’m on a few where it will be more than six months until a book comes up) and then you have to make sure to get through it in the allotted time before it goes back to your library. So Audible and iTunes are awesome for when you want to listen to something right away and then have as much time as you need to listen.
I love Audible. Contrary to Overdrive, with any Audible book, you own it – it never gets returned. Basically, there are two ways to use Audible. You can either pay (subscribe/$14.95 a month) and get one audiobook credit each month OR you can just download the app and buy an audiobook whenever you’re in the mood. And so those books you’ve purchased, even if you cancel your membership or never buy another one again, stay in your app.
If you subscribe, your credit lets you buy any book in their catalog (and their catalog is MASSIVE – definitely the biggest one on the market). Many audiobooks run closer to $30 each if you were to buy them piecemeal, so an Audible subscription gives you roughly 50% off. Plus, you also get 30% off any additional audiobooks you buy. Credits roll over, too! So if you dn’t have time to read one month, no sweat.
You can also return a book you don’t like (no questions asked).
SHOP TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Or, even cheaper, is a free month-long trial where you get two free audiobooks for signing up. In this case, you can even sign up, download your two free audiobooks and then immediately cancel your subscription. And, you can always take advantage of the free trial and set a calendar alert a day or two before it converts to a regular subscription so you can decide if you want it to continue or if you want to cancel.
If you choose to purchase a 1-off, this is generally a terrible idea if the book is more expensive than $14.95 (if it is, you might as well just get a membership, use your credit and cancel your account), but if the book is LESS than $14.95, it’s better than using your Audible credit.
So when a good sale comes along, make sure you never use your Audible credits for those sales – just buy them straight up!
Kindle Unlimited is $9.99 a month. With it, you have unlimited access to the Kindle Unlimited e-book collection and thousands of audiobooks that are associated with those e-books. While I love their e-book selection, their audiobook collection is SUPER limited. Some books that are on Kindle Unlimited are not available as audiobooks through Kindle Unlimited (like Harry Potter, for instance) and I’d much rather just be able to choose exactly the book I want from the Audible catalog. If you’re more of a reader than a listener – this might be the best fit for you. It beats buying books from Apple books (so dang expensive!).
2 Major Life Savors
WhisperSync is one of Amazon’s best features for both Audible and Kindle. If you have both the ebook and audiobook versions of a title, you can sync your place between them. So, for example, you can listen to a few chapters on the ride home from work, then pick up where you left off when you pick up your Kindle for some light reading before bed. However, you have to buy both versions first.
Amazon Matchmaker can scan your Kindle library to find out which books have an audiobook counterpart. Head to this link and sign into your Amazon account. It will automatically scan your Kindle library, find any matching audiobooks, and show you the discounted price for each. Amazon won’t give you the option to use your Audible credits through this method, though you may not want to anyway. Remember, you get a discount for buying the audiobook counterpart to an ebook you already have. You may be better off saving those credits for expensive audiobooks that you don’t get a discount on.
I love both of these but not for purchasing audiobooks or digital books. They’re just so dang expensive. But anything I buy on my Kindle or through Audible can be used in my iTunes library and Books. You just need to enable your account to play with iTunes! Super simple!
There are so many options out there now for streaming, downloading, purchasing, and getting your audiobook/e-book fix! Hopefully this little guide will help you get books cheaper!
P.S. Do you have reading recommendations? Tell me below!!