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How Does Audible Work? Getting Started with Audiobooks

BY: Andy Seifert | Feb 26, 2019

Some people love to read. But some people are also very busy. If you fall into both of those categories, audiobooks are just what the doctor ordered. Audiobooks let you read by listening to someone else read you the book, usually via your phone, tablet, or computer, meaning you can dive into a novel while you’re on the train, driving to work, or even while you’re exercising.

If audiobooks sound like a match for you, one of the best places to start is with a subscription to Audible. What is Audible, and how does Audible work? Read on, and we’ll give you the lowdown.





What is Audible?

Audible bills itself as “the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and original ad-free shows.” So basically, imagine stepping into a massive digital library with hundreds of thousands of books and other content—more than 425,000 titles to be exact. And while you’re there you can listen to almost anything your heart desires, from the latest autobiography to that classic novel you always meant to get around to reading.

Audible also makes its own original content, with shows specially tailored for the format. Each month, Audible releases six new pieces of original content that you can only find on Audible, ranging from plays performed in a studio to talks given by the present day’s brightest thinkers.



Ok, so how do you buy Audible books?

Every month that you’re a Audible subscriber, you get credit to choose one audiobook. Once you’re logged in, you can browse by categories like “mysteries & thrillers,” “self development,” and “Best of 2018”  (do this via the “browse” tab at the top). Or you can search for a specific title (via the search bar in the top-right corner).

Hover your cursor over a title, and the following information will pop up:

  1. The author (say, Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown, or tidying-up expert Marie Kondo)
  2. Who’s narrating the book (ooh, we hope it’s LeVar Burton!)
  3. How long the book will take to listen to (could be anything from 30 minutes to 100 hours!)
  4. The book’s average rating (out of 5 stars) from Audible listeners

Find something you like? Click “add to cart,” then click the shopping cart in the top-right corner. You’ll go through a checkout process (the book will be free if you have a credit to use)!



Ok, I got it! Now, how do you listen to books on Audible?

That’s the beauty of it: you can listen on iOS and Android devices, and even on Amazon Kindle, Alexa-supported devices, and Fire TV.

To listen to your audiobook, you’ll need to download the Audible app to your device. (See all of the available devices and how to download their respective apps here).

Once you’ve opened your app on a smartphone, the book you purchased will pop up. Click on it to download the book, and you’ll be all set to start listening! Since you’ve downloaded it, you can even listen while you’re offline. Score!


I’m seeing something about “exchanging a book”? What is that?

Yep, this is cool. Let’s say that you start listening to an audiobook and you’re just not feeling it. It happens! As long as you purchased the book within the last 365 days, you can easily return the book or exchange the book with another one.



I like it! How much does Audible cost?

With our Audible two-month subscription deal, you can use Audible for only the cost of the activation fee ($1.90 for two months). During each month, you get one audiobook, plus two Audible originals.

After the 2-month subscription is over, an Audible subscription costs $14.95/month. Just like before, you’ll get credit for one audiobook and two Audible originals (you can download more for an additional fee). If for whatever reason you don’t use your credit each month, those credits will roll over to the next month. (In that scenario, you could read two books in one month–can you imagine how impressed your friends will be?)



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