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Audiobooks are the perfect way to sneak in some reading while doing chores, going on long drives and walks, and doing menial tasks. Something is to be said about being transported to a story while folding your laundry.
Purchasing audiobooks a-la-carte can be an expensive hobby. Each audiobook cost can be up to $30. The good news is that countless services offer access to audiobooks from free to low-cost memberships.
In this blog, I will share ten different services that you can subscribe to get access to your audiobooks.
Want to support an independent bookstore while purchasing your audiobook? Then Libro.FM is right for you. Membership starts at $14.95 a month. If you would like to purchase additional credits, you can purchase them as a gift membership for you to use.
In addition, Libro,FM offers book club discounts for romance books through the Kiss Club. Each month about 10 romance audiobooks are discounted for $3.95. If you are a member of Libro.FM then you will receive an additional discount.
Who is Libro.FM for?
Libro.FM is perfect if want quick access to new releases. This service is ideal if you listen to one to two books a month. Purchasing a book in Libro.FM means that you own the book and can listen to as many times as possible.
Where to sign-up?
Give Libro.FM a try by using code “CHOOSEINDIE” and you will receive a free audiobook credit.
If you like to listen to a few more books a month, then Scribd may be right for you. Scribd is a subscription plan that grants you access to thousands of audiobooks, ebooks, and magazines. In Scribd, you are likely to find the latest new releases with no wait times.
The one drawback from Scribd is that at any moment, titles that you may have saved or may be interested in checking out you may have to wait until your next billing subscription to get access to them.
Who is Scribd for?
You are looking for access to ebooks, the latest new releases when it comes to audiobooks. You also like to listen to it at 2 or 3 times speed.
Where to sign-up?
Scribd offers a 60-day free trial for you to take advantage of. The monthly cost is $9.99.
If you are looking for a low-cost you can listen to the audiobooks subscription plan, then AnyPlay might be for you. AnyPlay features a library similar to Scribd when it comes to audiobooks. Again there is no wait for audiobooks. The best thing about this service is that you won’t have the black-out period in between billing cycles.
The only drawback from AnyPlay is that you can only speed up the audiobook up to 1.75 speed.
Who is AnyPlay for?
You are a voracious audiobook listener. You are looking to spend $25 per three months or about $90 a year.
Where to sign up for AnyPlay?
You can download the AnyPlay app on Android or IOS.
4. Audible Plus
For romance readers, we used to have Audible Escape which was a romance audiobook subscription where you can listen to a bunch of audiobooks. However, a few years ago, Audible converted Audible Escape into Audible Plus featuring audiobooks and podcasts from all types of genres. This service features a lot of Audible Originals.
Who is Audible Plus for?
If you are looking for Audible Original from well-known authors then this service is right for you.
I would suggest waiting for a good deal (think Prime Day and Black Friday) to invest in Audible Plus. You may be able to listen to a bunch of novellas and novels within a month or two.
Where to sign up for Audible Plus?
The monthly membership costs $7.95
Please note, if you invest in an Audible Premium Plus membership you will have access to the Plus catalog.
If you purchase your books via Kindle, Amazon offers access to the audiobook on the whispersync program. There are a couple of ways to access the cost, you can visit the page on Amazon and click on whispersync. If you are on your Kindle, click on settings and it will list the titles available for whispersync. The audiobook costs range from $1.99 to $12.99.
Who is Whispersync for?
If you juggle between reading with your eyes and listening to your book, then whispersync is right for you. The apps talk to each other and they are saved where you last read/listen to the page.
How to sign up for Whispersync?
You must buy the book on Kindle to access this offer.
If you are looking to buy audiobooks at a low cost. Then Chirp is for you. All you have to do is sign up for their daily newsletter so you can be alerted to the latest deals.
Who is Chirp for?
You are always looking to buy books on sale.
How to sign up for Chirp?
Sign up to get access to the daily newsletter.
7. Kindle Unlimited
If you are part of Kindle Unlimited, did you know that some of the books offer access to the audiobook in addition to the book? All you have to do is look for the headphones when you are borrowing the book. Once you borrow the book, the book will appear on your Audible App.
Most of the books featuring the audiobook option are Montlake titles.
Who is Kindle Unlimited for?
If you are looking for romance novels then Kindle Unlimited is right for you. You can borrow up to 20 books at a time.
Where to sign up for Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited costs about $9;95 a month but you can also buy 3 to 12 months subscription at a lower cost.
If you are looking for new releases at a lower-cost membership, then Kobo may be right for you. Kobo memberships cost $9.99 for one credit a month. In addition, to new releases, Kobo offers their original content featuring books from Talia Hibbert, Nana Malone, Alexis Hall, and Chloe Liese.
Who is Kobo for?
If you are looking to download the latest new release and want access to original content then Kobo is for you.
Where to sign up for Kobo?
If you are looking for Sourcebooks, Macmillan, and some self-publishing titles, then Hoopla is right for you, There is a wide variety of titles readily available.
Please note your library may limit your access to a number of titles per month.
Where to sign up?
If your library does not grant you access to Hoopla, then I would suggest investing in an out-of-state library card from Orange County Public Library. The cost is $125 a year but it is well worth it as it grants you access to 10 Hoopla Tittles as well as access to thousands of titles available via Libby.
Sign Up Tip: They may ask a question on the form about what county OCLS is in to stop spammers. The answer is “Orange” since OCLS stands for Orange County Library System.
10. Libby & Overdrive
Your local library should have access to Libby/Overdrive for ebooks and audiobooks. This is the service where you can place books on hold, listen to them on the go. You are likely to find books with little to no wait for backlist titles, while you may have to wait a few weeks or even months for new release titles. Each library may have a limit in the number of borrows and books on hold.
Where to sign up for Libby?
You can sign up at your local library. You may also look at neighboring libraries where you can pay a non-resident fee.
If you are a romance reader and looking to add more options, may I suggest investing in a Brooklyn Public Library card? The cost is $50 a year and you will find both new releases, backlist titles, and a lot of independently published books.
Back in March 2021, I recorded an episode with my friend Amy (novelgossip) about the various Audiobook services.
Click here to listen via Spotify
We have launched a sister site to What to Read Next, which is all about romance audiobook recommendations.
What to Listen Next is the go-to site for audiobook tips, service guides, and book recommendations.