~ Audiobook Providers ~

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A guide to popular audiobook plans and providers, and a place to ask questions about getting started, or making the most of your listening.

The audiobook providers and services listed here will be ones that I've tried myself, or have been recommended by my audiobook group. I do occasionally receive a bit of commission if you sign up to Audible via the links provided below, but I am not affiliated with any of the other services, and can't promise you'll have the same great experiences with them as I've had. There may be better deals out there so look around - and if you find any then please let me know!

I hope this helps you get started, and makes the mysterious world of audiobooks a little less daunting to dip your toes into. I'd love it if you shared your audiobook queries, tips, and tricks in the comments below.

Audible

The most popular digital Audiobook provider is, of course, Audible. With an Audible subscription you get "credits" that can be exchanged for any book, no matter its price. As most audiobooks are £20+ to buy with cash, even a £7.99 monthly credit plan makes audiobooks much more affordable. Subscribers also have access to free, award-winning, Audible Original Shows, lots of sales throughout the year, and the Daily Deal which puts a different book on sale for either £1.99 or £2.99 every day.

Audible UK have a range of membership plans to suit most budgets, and they are:

  • 1 Book Monthly - £7.99 per month (1 credit) See the promotion below for a half price bargain!
  • 2 Book Monthly - £14.99 per month (2 credits)
  • 12 Book Annual - £69.99 per year (12 credits at once, renews annually)
  • 24 Book Annual - 109.99 per year (24 credits at once, renews annually)

Of all the audiobook services I've tried, Audible has the largest range, the most professional recordings, more well-known narrators, and the best deals and offers of any digital audiobook provider.

If you're looking to sign up, then you could always take advantage of one of their introductory offers. They offer everyone a 30-day Free Trial, with one free credit to spend on any book you choose, which you get to keep even if you cancel your membership.




Alternatively, if you're already confident you'll love audible and want longer-lasting access to their deals, then they are currently offering half-price membership for the first 3 months! So for £3.99 per month for 3 months, you will get 3 credits, access to all the Daily Deals, any sales, and all the free Audible Originals Shows!

Link to Audible UK's 3 months for half price discounted membership deal


*Disclaimer: if you sign up for an Audible Free Trial or Discounted Subscription on the links provided above, then I may receive a small commission which will help with the blog's running costs and will also allow me to run competitions to win Audible memberships and free credits! I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't truly believe that they offer the best range and listening experience. I have an annual 24 book subscription because it's the cheapest way for me to squeeze in as many audiobooks as possible.

LibriVox

LibriVox offer free audiobooks to everyone. The books in their collection are all read by volunteers, and all the books available are out of copyright and 'in the public domain' which means they can be recorded in full and distributed without cost. The quality of the narration and recording varies wildly, but if you're looking for free access to classic literature then it's worth persevering to find the best ones. See my blog post on the new releases into the public domain for more information on the growing selection that is just becoming available.


Local Libraries

Another great option for free audiobooks is to sign up to your local library. Most now have online collections that allow you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. Some libraries use the Overdrive or Libby platform for smartphones and PCs, some use Borrowbox, and others use RBDigital. Once you have a library card and pin number for your local library, go to your library's website for instructions on where to sign up. Each library has access to a different selection of books, so you won't know until you sign up, but supporting our local libraries is vital if we are to keep them going. Use it or lose it!


Listening Books - ♿

Anyone living in the UK who has a disability that impairs their ability to read print books, is eligible to sign up for a subscription to Listening Books. Their library works like any local library service, and also uses the Overdrive platform common to many local and county library services. They have a really good selection of books and their Facebook page ensures that any images they post are accessible. Listening Books offer audiobooks as MP3's for streaming and download, or CDs through the post.

Listening Books' subscriptions range from £20 per year for access to their MP3 streaming and download service, to £35 to have your audiobooks sent out as CDs. They can also offer advice on purchasing an MP3 player if you're not sure where to start.


RNIB - ♿

Another option available to people with a chronic illness or disability is the RNIB - The Royal National Institute of Blind People. Not only available to people with sight loss, the RNIB also offer MP streaming and downloads via Overdrive, or postal CDs. There is no fee for joining the RNIB, and as well as audiobooks they make their own podcast, and record many magazines into audio format, too. A lot of the books in the RNIB collection have been recorded by their own volunteers and narrators. The quality of these recordings is often not quite the same as the polished productions that arrive straight from the publisher, but it does mean that they often produce books that are not available in audio anywhere else.


Google Play Store

Many Android smartphone users buy audiobooks from the Google Play Store. To try and compete with Audible, they sell a lot of their audiobooks for £7.99, and also run deals and sales. It's worth keeping an eye out for the occasional bargain!


iTunes

Like Google, iTunes also sell plenty of audiobooks, but once again they don't necessarily work out as cheaply as they would from Audible. As iTunes vouchers are available on the High Street, however, they are a useful way to gift audiobooks.

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