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Audiobooks: Build an Audio Library using Audible© Sales & Promotions

 

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When I can’t find it for free through Overdrive, ClickIt or Hoopla Digital (three online digital subscription services I use with my library card), or I want to own a copy for myself, I turn to Audible.

Last year we went searching for an audiobook at our local library and when they didn’t own it, I turned to Amazon and discovered Audible.  Previously we used our local library as our only resource for all of our audiobook needs.  Audiobooks are expensive, and we were interesting in purchasing them for reasonable prices.  Since we are frequent Amazon customers and Audible is an Amazon company, when I noticed the three month free Audible trial, I immediately signed up.  Here is what we discovered:

What is Audible?

Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks, audio magazines, newspapers, radio and TV programs.  They have over 150K titles as part of their collection.

Audible© Homeschooling Curriculum: "Matilda" by Roald Dahl

Audible© Homeschooling Curriculum: “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

 

How Audible Works:  

Audible offers several different types of plans:

  • Audible Listener Gold: 1 credit per month.  Cost:  $14.95 per month.
  • Audible Listener Platinum: 2 credits per month.  Cost:  $22.95 a month.
  • Audible Silver Plan:  This plan is bi-monthly. Cost: $14.95 every other month and receive one credit bi-monthly.
  • Audible Listener Gold Annual:  12 credits all at once for $149.50.  No monthly charges, though you are still a member, until one year from when you began this membership.

How Credits and Membership Discounts Work:

Nearly every book on Audible is worth “one credit” with a few exceptions.  A rare number of Audible’s books are 2, 3, 4 or 5 credits.  These mostly consist of book compilations or courses. An example of this is a German Language course:  “German Phase 2, Units 1-30:  Learn to Speak and Understand German with Pimsleur Language Programs.”  In comparison, the shorter courses consisting of 1-2 units are one credit.

Audible Does Not Determine Credits Based On the Length of the Book.  One Credit Books Include: 

  • “War and Peace”by Leo Tolstoy (61 hours and 8 minutes).
  • “Complete Sherlock Holmes” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (70 hours)
  • “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkein (19 hours)
  • “Watership Down” by Richard Adams (15 hours and 51 minutes)
  • “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway  (2 hours and  30 minutes).
"The Fellowship of the Rings" by J. R.R. Tolkien with Audible©

“The Fellowship of the Rings” by J. R.R. Tolkien with Audible©

 

Acquiring Audible Credits:

Upon enrolling in a plan you receive at least one credit (more depending on your plan) and are eligible to purchase books at the membership discount price.  You may also take advantage of their promotional sales.

Depending on the plan you select, you receive at least one credit every other month (silver), one every month (gold), two a month (platinum) or 12 credits all at once (Gold Annual)(For Gold Annual you are given your credits and billed at the same time for the entire year — you are not billed again nor do you receive credits again until the following year).  Since one credit is worth the same as a book that costs $0.48 or one that is $48.95, it makes the most sense to always use your credits for the most expensive books.

Choose A Device to listen to Audible:

You can listen to your audiobooks via Audible’s free app on your smarthpone, Kindle, Nook, tablet, computer, mp3, or other device.  Once you’ve made your purchase, tell Audible where to send it and begin listening to your audiobook on your favorite device (I often use my iPhone and listen to a book while performing tedious tasks like washing dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning or doing laundry).  You may also choose to burn your audiobook to a CD.  The only catch with burning it to a CD is that Audible will not let you burn it in MP3 format, it has to be done in an audio format — so if a book says it is 13 hours it will take 13 compact discs to accomplish this.

Some Kindle books have WhisperSyny for Voice © technology that allows you to purchase the Audible edition and sync with your Kindle book.  This allows you to read your book and follow along with the recording.  Not all Kindle devices are compatible — for example, the Kindle Paperwhite does not have any audio capabilities, so it’s impossible to use the Audible app with this device.

Audible stores your books in your account’s library.  If you cancel your subscription, you keep all of your audible purchases (i.e. audiobooks).

My personal Audible© Audiobook Library

My personal Audible© Audiobook Library

 

Audible Free Trial with One Free Audiobook

Audible offers a free one month trial, including one free book.  You are not billed until after the thirty day trial.  If you decide to cancel your membership, you may still keep your Audible audiobook.  After enrolling in the free trial Audible will credit your account with one credit that may be used for any audiobook valued at one credit — be sure to use it on the most expensive item you would like, as one credit can be worth $1.35 or $48.99.

Sometimes Audible will list an audiobook completely free.  An example of this is “An Autobiography by Agatha Christie” and narrated by the author for the member price is $0.00.

Audible Has Frequent Promotions and Sales to Build Your Library 

In December of 2014 I signed up with Audible and three months later, we now have a decent audiobook collection.  Just like shopping at the clearance section at Barnes and Noble or rummaging through the used resale rack at the library, I pick up books when I find them at a good price.  One way to get audiobooks inexpensively is to take advantage of Audible’s “Daily Deal” — which as the title suggests, are phenomenally priced audiobooks on sale for one day and change to a different offer the following morning.  These specials range in price from $0.99 to $7.95 (though I have seen many for $2.95).  “Daily Deal” specials include all genres such as fiction, non-fiction, biographies and autobiographies, children’s books, The Great Courses by the Teaching Company and more.

Audible's© Daily Deal: "My Early Life" by Winston Churchill

Audible’s© Daily Deal: “My Early Life” by Winston Churchill

 

Using this method, for 99 cents I added the following to our library:

  • “The Winter’s Tale” by William Shakespeare
  • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
  • “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens and read by Tim Curry
  • “The Sheep-Pig”  — a children’s classic by British author Dick King Smith
  • Disney’s “Frozen” — a junior novelization by Disney Press (I figured my daughter would love this one, and she did).

Audible Deals for a Few Dollars:

  • For a little more money ($2.95) I picked up “Stuff Matters” by Mark Miodownik an Oxford educated materials scientist whose book discusses the scientific meaning behind an array of common objects we surround ourselves with from day to day.
  • A few other deals including:  “My Early Life” by Winston Churchill ($3.95) and “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte ($4.95) and performed by BBC’s “Keeping Up Appearances” actress Patricia Routledge.
  • My favorite addition thus far is “The Snow Child” (Daily Deal for $3.95) by Eowyn Ivey.  This quick read is a fictional tale about homesteaders in Alaska during the 1920‘s that provided me with lots of great entertainment during my weeknight cooking (and clean up) escapades.
  • “John Quincy Adams” by Harlow Giles Unger for $3.95.

Many Classics are Inexpensive & Perfect for High School Curriculum 

Audible has many American, British and children’s classics that are inexpensive.  A few of my favorite audiobooks for high school homeschooling curriculum that are priced reasonably (as of this writing) include:

  • “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens for $0.95.
  • “The Pickwick Papers” by Charles Dickens for $1.95.
  • “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London for $0.48.
  • “Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving for $0.95.
Homeschooling Audiobook Curriculum: "The Prince" by N. Machiavelli

Homeschooling Audiobook Curriculum: “The Prince” by N. Machiavelli

 

  • “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells for $1.95.
  • “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells for $0.95.
  • “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne for $0.95.
  • “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson for $5.95.
  •  “The Death of Ivan Illyich” by Leo Tolstoy for $1.95.
  • “Where Love Is, There God is Also” by Leo Tolstoy for $1.36.
  • “Walden:  Life in the Woods” by Henry David Thoreau for $3.95.
  • “Self Reliance” by Ralph Waldo Emerson for $0.48.
  • “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli for $1.95.
  • “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville for $6.95.
  • “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau for $2.95.

Audible Offers Lectures from Renowed Physicist Richard Feynman and The Teaching Company’s “The Great Courses” Including:

  • “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out:  The Best of Richard Feynman.  Unabridged narrated by Sean Runnette for $12.72 (this one is a bit more, however, it’s over 8 hours long) or one credit.
  • The Great Courses: “The Odyssey by Homer” taught by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver.

Some of My Favorite Audible Elementary & Middle School Classics

  • “The Collected Stories of Winnie-the-Pooh” (unabridged) by A.A. Milne read and performed by Judi Dench, Stephen Fry, Geoffrey Palmer, Jane Horrocks and Michael Williams.  One credit or $19.60.
  • “Matilda” by Roald Dahl, read and performed by Kate Winslet.  $14.68 or one credit. Unabridged.
  • “Gulliver’s Travels” unabridged version by Jonathan Swift, read by David Thorn for $2.95.  I prefer the version read by David Hyde Pierce, however the price for this version is $17.46 or one credit.
  • “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum read and performed by Anne Hathaway.  Unabridged for $5.95 or one credit.
  • “From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (unabridged) and read by Jill Clayburgh
  • “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis narrated by Michael York.  Unabridged for $15.82 or one credit.
  • “The Witches” by Roald Dahl read by Miranda Richardson.  Unabridged for $12.72 or one credit.
  • “A Bear Called Paddington” by Michael Bond read by Stephen Fry.  Unabridged $5.95 or one credit.
  • “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin, narrated by Eric Michael Summerer.  Unabridged $9.06 or one credit.
  • “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry read by Blair Brown.  Unabridged $10.22 or one credit.
  • “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” by Richard Atwater read by Nick Sullivan.  Unabridged for $5.95 or one credit.
  • “Mary Poppins” by P. L. Travers read by Sophie Thomspon.  Unabridged for $5.95 or one credit.
  • “Danny the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl (yes, we are huge fans of Roald Dahl! His books are amazing).  Read by Peter Serafinowicz for $14.68 or one credit.
  • “Stuart Little” by E.B. White read by Julie Harris.  Unabridged $9.80 or one credit.
  • “Beatrix Potter the Complete Tales” by Beatrix Pottery and read by Gary Bond, Michael Hordern, Rosemary Leach, and Janet Maw.  Unabridged $18.33 or one credit.

Adding to Your Collection Using Frequent Promotions 

Audible also runs additional sales based on various themes.  A few weeks ago the sale was for the first book in a popular series.  During this time I found “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini and some others.

Another sale I enjoyed was “Big Hits Major Savings: 150+ Books on Sale for $6.95 each.”  Among other selections, during this sale I bought:

  • “Einstein:  His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson
  • “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad and performed by : A Kenneth Branagh
  • “1776″ by David McCullough.
Homeschooling Curriculum with Phenomenal Audible© Sales

Homeschooling Curriculum with Phenomenal Audible© Sales

 

Using these methods, every month I add a few more titles to our library.  We always have an audiobook to choose from that is interesting, educational and entertaining.

Customer Service is a Click or Call Away

Whenever an issue arrises with Audible and I have a question regarding one of their products or need assistance processing a transaction (purchase or return), I utilize their 24/7 online chat feature and a representative usually resolves my issue quickly.   Of course, this is just my own personal experience with them.  We have had a few glitches, but they always manage to fix the issue with professionalism and promptly.

Favorable Return Policy 

Audible allows you to return any purchase if you do not like it for either a credit or full refund.  I have returned two books without any problems.

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