How to Get the Most from Your Audible Subscription

Humans have passed down culture from generation to generation through spoken word. Reading, on the other hand, is a relatively recent human invention that requires the brain to convert symbols to words in order to decipher the meaning. Maybe it’s not surprising then that I enjoy listening to a book more than reading it.

Related: How to Share Kindle Books with Your Friends and Family When You Don’t Have Amazon Prime

While I love to sit and read, I have little time to do so. I am often on my feet doing simple tasks, so instead of reading, I listen to books on my iPhone. My go-to source for audiobooks is Audible. Owned by Amazon, Audible has gobbled up most of its competitors and offers a huge selection of titles. Here, I’ll share some tips for growing your audiobook library as inexpensively as possible.

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Signing Up

When you become an Audible member, you pay $15 per month and receive a monthly credit that you can cash in for a book of your choice. I use my credits to buy longer, more expensive e-books such as Neal Gabler’s 34-hour Walt Disney and James Clavell’s 53-hour Shogun.

Whispersync: Read and Listen to Books

Amazon often lets you purchase a book’s Audible and Kindle e-book versions as a discounted bundle. These bundles feature “Whispersync.” With Whispersync, you can seamlessly read the Kindle version on your iPhone, switch to the Audible version on your commute, and then continue reading the e-book, all while Amazon keeps track of your place. To purchase a Whispersync bundle, you must buy the Kindle e-book first. When checking out on Amazon, look for the “Add Audible narration” checkbox to add the audio companion. If you’ve purchased Kindle books in the past, Amazon lets you buy any available audio companions any time with a feature called Audible Matchmaker. Just visit gp/audible/matchmaker. All your Kindle purchases eligible for Whispersync audio versions will be listed along with discounted Audible prices. Often the Whispersync bundle costs less than a standalone Audible purchase. Classics are especially cheap. Bundles for The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Wizard of Oz are less than $2 and best sellers, such as Jack Welch’s Winning and Gregory Berns’ How Dogs Love Us cost between $5–$15.

Tip! Suspend, Don’t Cancel. 

Don’t make the mistake I made! After accumulating an excess of credits, I decided to cancel my membership only to discover that I would lose my credits. After digging, I found that it’s possible to suspend your membership for three months without losing credits.

Get Your Daily Deal

One of my favorite things about the Audible membership is the Daily Deal. Each day, Audible offers me a best-selling audiobook from between $1.95 and $4.95. On the Daily Deal, I’ve picked Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson, and The Great Courses Secret Life of Words. (Fans of The Great Courses can purchase many lecture series with a $15 Audible credit, which costs much less than purchasing the course directly). If you like to read and spend a lot of your time doing mindless tasks such as housework, commuting, or exercising, I strongly recommend audiobooks. 

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Author Details

Hal Goldstein's picture

Author Details

Hal Goldstein

Hal Goldstein is Founder & Columnist at iPhone Life. In 1985, armed with the first HP LaserJet, the original HP Laptop, and his enthusiasm for mobile computing, Hal began a publishing company, Thaddeus Computing. Through the years, the company supported users of HP palmtops, Microsoft Pocket PCs, early smartphones, and the iPhone—Hal is now an avid iPhone and iPad user. Author of the book Meditating Entrepreneurs, he teaches classes and coaches individuals in the Release Technique.  Hal lives in Fairfield, Iowa, with his wife, Lynda. You can contact Hal at Hal