If you’ve found your way here you’re likely thinking about trying audiobooks and are probably asking the question: How much does Audible cost?“
I have good news! You can try Audible for free with a 30-day trial.
What does a free trial get you?
- It gives you 1 credit, good for one free audiobook of any length (go for one the really long ones!)
- You get access to Audible daily deals for 30-days ($3-$5 audiobooks)
- And you get member prices on all other audiobook purchases ($15 or less)
But before we dive any further into the features of Audible, let’s rewind and tell you what it’s all about.
What is Audible?
Audible is Amazon’s audiobook platform.
You can purchase audiobooks a la carte, but you get much better deals with a membership.
Let’s face it: audiobooks are expensive.
Without a membership, you’re looking at $25 a book. I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of money.
No matter how you slice it, audiobooks are going to cost you. The question you need to ask yourself is: “Are audiobooks for me?”
That’s why a free trial is so important.
Use that free credit to purchase the audiobook that you’re dying to try, then give it a go in and around your daily life.
Listen to it in the car. Plug in some headphones while you’re cooking or doing dishes. Take your book on the go as you walk or run.
If find you love audiobooks, then a membership might be the right decision for you.
But let’s keep going because there’s a lot to consider when you’re making the decision to subscribe to Audible or not.
What Do You Get With Audible?
In addition to the features listed above (1 credit a month, daily deals, and membership pricing), you also get 2 free Audible Originals.
The Audible Originals member benefit is limited to your choice of 2 out 6 books a month. Similar to Amazon Prime‘s First Reads program.
That means every month you get 3 free books.
But you also have access to the world’s largest library of audiobooks. No other platform has as many choices as Audible.
Audible also has a no questions asked return policy. If you don’t like the book, return it and get another one.
What about if I want to cancel, will I lose my audiobooks? Nope. your books are still available for download or listening via the Audible app with or without a membership.
“Okay, I’m interested, but you still haven’t told me how much Audible costs.”
How Much Does Audible Cost?
The standard gold membership for Audible costs $14.95/month.
Here’s a breakdown of Audible cost by plan and payment method:
- Gold Membership – $14.95/month – 1 Credit
- Platinum membership – $22.95/month – 2 Credits
- Gold Annual Plan – $149.50 – 12 Credits
- Platinum Annual Plan – $229.50 – 24 credits
If you’re good at math, you likely noticed that the annual plan gives you 2 free audiobooks a year.
That’s a pretty great deal if you can afford to pay for your plan upfront!
Be aware, though, that you’ll get your 12 credits at the time of enrollment, and once they’re gone you won’t get any more until your plan renews.
If you think you’ll go through more than 12 audiobooks a year, you might consider the platinum plan.
You’ll get 100% extra credits for only 50% of the cost. So your second audiobook each month only costs $8 instead of $15.
That’s a savings of $84 a year off the monthly plan.
Audible Membership Benefits
Now that we’ve answered the question “how much does Audible cost?” and taken an in-depth look at the plans, let’s dive deeper into the Audible membership benefits.
1. Three Free Books Per Month
Of course the best benefit of Audible is the three free books a month.
Now the question you might be asking is: “Are they really free?”
I won’t beat around the bush, and I’ll shoot straight with you.
You’re still paying for your audiobooks. You’re paying $14.95/month for your 1 credit.
That credit each month gives you free audiobook at no extra cost to you, but you’re still paying for the subscription.
Make no mistake, audiobooks on Audible cost money.
But they cost a lot more without a membership.
Which brings us to our new Audible membership benefit.
2. Discounted Audiobooks
Perhaps the most advantageous benefit of an Audible membership is discounted pricing.
Allow me to use an example. If you were to purchase the audio version of my book, Sworn Guardian, it would cost you $24.95. But with an Audible membership? It’s $17.47. That’s a 30% discount.
But wait, it gets better. If you purchase the kindle ebook version of the same book, you can get the audiobook at a steep discount.
Take another one of my books, Soul Render, which also normally costs $24.95. If you purchase the ebook at $4.99 and have an Audible membership, the audiobook costs you just $7.49. That’s both ebook and audiobook for only $12.48.
That’s a huge discount!
My advice would be to save your credits for the big books that cost a lot, and pay for the cheaper audiobooks out of pocket.
An Audible membership benefit we haven’t mentioned yet is Whispersync.
I love Whispersync.
I cannot emphasize that enough.
Whispersync is a feature of Audible that allows you to connect your Kindle ebook and your Audible audiobook.
We’ve already shown that owning both ebook and audiobook will save you money, but it also gives you this really cool feature.
If you’ve ever tried reading two different forms of the same book at once, you likely know it’s a pain.
You listen to the audiobook during your commute to and from work, but when you snuggle up on the couch to read that night, you’ve got to find out where you left off and flip through the pages until you find your spot.
With Whispersync, there’s no need.
The audiobook plays right from the kindle app on your phone and when you get home, your kindle will instantly take you to the spot where you left off.
And if you’d prefer to listen and read at the same time, Whispersync highlights the words as you read so you can follow along.
4. Audible Daily Deal and Members-only Sales
Every single daily Audible deeply discounts a single title. The deal tends to cost $3.95, but I’ve seen other prices like $2.95 or $4.95.
These titles vary in genre, so you may not like the daily deal 90% of the time, but I have seen a few great gems pop-up and have snagged some audiobooks at great prices.
Audible also hosts members-only sales from time to time where large portions of audiobooks of all genres will be on sale during a certain timeframe.
Keep your eye out for more potential savings.
5. Return Books You Don’t Like
As an author, it’s hard to recommend this Audible membership benefit because I often see it abused.
But one very nice feature is that if you don’t like the audiobook, you can return it and get your credit back.
Even if you finished the book.
Yes, you heard me right.
This membership benefit is not limited to books you couldn’t get into because it was boring, or the narrator was awful.
This benefit extends to finished books where you say to yourself “I’d never want to listen to this again because it was that bad.”
Audible will let you exchange the book with another one no questions asked.
Now be careful here.
When you return your audiobook, you’re taking that author’s royalty away as well. It’s essentially stealing.
To read a book completely, and exchange it just to get another free book is wrong.
If you legitimately did not like it. Fine.
I will say that I’ve exchanged an audiobook when the narrator was just so boring I couldn’t handle it. And that’s a perfectly okay thing to do.
Which Audible Subscription plan is right for you?
To answer this question, we have to ask a few more.
1. How Many Audiobooks can you listen to each month?
Answering this question might take some time to figure out.
That’s why the free trial is so helpful.
It’ll give you one free book to gauge how fast you can read/listen before hunkering down and purchasing a plan.
I’m not the fastest audiobook listener in the world, and I don’t have that long of a commute (at just 15 minutes), but it took me only 7 days to listen to Thunderhead and 14 days to listen to Red Rising.
That’s while reading different books on my kindle at night.
So for me, the platinum plan definitely makes sense if I want to keep listening day-in and day-out.
2. How much money do you spend on books each month?
Budget is going to play a huge roll in determining what type of plan you get.
If there’s not a lot of room in your monthly expenses, then the base monthly plan of $14.95 might be all you can afford.
But if there’s any amount of wiggle room, it pays to sit down and crunch some numbers.
Anytime there’s an annual plan that will save me money in the long run, I’m game.
Yes, it’s more upfront, but then I don’t have to pay it again for another year and I saved money.
The gold annual plan saves you $30 off the monthly plan.
Couple that with the savings you’ll get from purchasing audiobooks in addition to your credit, and it can really add up for you if audiobooks are a must.
3. Will higher level plans save you money?
I won’t belabor the point, because I think we’ve beat it across the head enough.
Annual plans save you 2 months of the monthly subscription costs, and the platinum plan gives you twice the credits and half the additional cost.
The questions that you need to answer are whether you’ll listen to that many books and whether you can afford it.
Audible Cancellation Policy
Audible allows you to cancel your subscription at any time with no early termination fees.
You’ll lose access to the daily deals and members-only prices immediately, but you’ll get to keep any remaining credits on your account.
Everything you’ve ever purchased is still available in your Audible library.
Be aware, though, that the money you spent is non-refundable. So if you purchased the annual plan and got 12 credits, Audible will not give you your money back.
The credits are yours to keep, but the money is theirs.
Common Questions About Audible
If you’re still ready, we’ve been through a lot together.
We’ve answered the question “how much does Audible cost?” as well as discussed the different Audible membership benefits and types of subscription plans.
But you might still have a few questions.
So let’s take a few more moments to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions about Audible and Audible memberships.
1. How many books do I get each month?
Gold members get one credit, exchangeable for any book into the entire Audible library.
Platinum members get two credits.
And all members have the option to receive 2 Audible Originals per month.
But while credits will accumulate if you don’t use them, the Audible Originals benefits do not roll over.
If you download them, they’re yours to keep, but if you miss a month, you can’t go back.
2. Can someone else use my account?
Yes and no.
You can link one other Amazon account as part of your Amazon Household.
This linking allows you to share all the benefits of your account like Amazon Prime, ebooks, and audiobooks.
But only that one person can be linked. If they leave your household account, they cannot join another for 180 days, though they can come back to yours anytime.
Otherwise, it is against the Terms of Service for you to share your login within someone else so that they might benefit from your credits.
3. Can I return a book I got with a free credit?
Yes, you can.
And you’ll be allowed to get another book to replace it. No questions asked.
Do this often enough, though, and you’re account might get flagged, preventing you from doing it again in the future. So use this option sparingly.
4. Do credits rollover? Do they expire?
Yes, credits to do rollover and accumulate from month to month.
And, yes, they do also expire.
You have one year from the date that you received the credit to use it.
Don’t worry if you have multiple credits. Audible will always use the “oldest” credit on your account when making a selection.
5. Can I give Audible as a gift?
You can gift memberships easily in 1 month, 3 month, 6 month, or 12 months packages.
6. Are the audiobooks mine to keep?
Anything you purchase during your tenure as a an Audible member is available to you after you cancel, including free books, Audible Originals, and audiobooks purchased at discounted prices.
7. Where are my audiobooks stored?
Your audiobooks are saved in your Audible library.
This library is available on the desktop, through your Audible app on your phone, and on your kindle, provided you have the accompanying ebook.
On your PC, you can download the audiobook straight from your library to your desktop and then open it in iTunes if you’d prefer to listen that way instead.
8. Can I listen to audiobooks with Alexa?
You sure can.
Just say “Alexa, play [Book title] from my Audible library” and away you go!
Is Audible Worth It?
That’s the big question isn’t it?
If you’ve decided that the Audible cost is within your budget, and you’ve determined that you’ll listen to the audiobooks you purchase, then I think so.
I am a proud Audible member and have an ever growing love for audiobooks.
We don’t have time to discuss the benefits of audio versus print, but I personally believe that narration adds a whole different depth to reading.
Provided I like the narrator, I’ll choose audio over hardcover, paperback, or ebook any day.
Ready for an Audible Subscription?
If you’re still on the fence, why not start your free trial today?
You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.