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  • FIRST POST
    • koru
    • By koru 20th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
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    koru
    0 WOW
    Best deals for heavy audiobook listeners
    • #1
    • 20th Dec 17, 6:31 PM
    0 WOW
    Best deals for heavy audiobook listeners 20th Dec 17 at 6:31 PM
    I thought it might be worth starting a thread for people to discuss good long-term deals for audiobook download fans who (like me) get through several books a month. At a rate of, say, 50 books a year, you certainly don't want to be buying them individually, at 15-25 a pop, as that's 1000 per year!

    I'll start with some things I've worked out for myself.

    Local Library

    The best deal of all is if your local library has an audiobook service available. Mine offers free use of Overdrive and BorrowBox, both of which have smartphone apps to download and play audiobooks. Most other libraries seem to offer this, but not all.

    The main drawback is that they have limited selection, so you might not find everything you fancy listening to. However, I reckon these two services have 100-200 audiobooks that I want to read, so that should keep me going for a year or more.

    The other drawback is that you often have to go on a wait list for popular books, but as you can reserve several at a time, I find I can line them up so they become available one by one.

    Once I have exhausted the free library stuff, looks like I will have to pay to feed my habit. (There are some services that provide free audiobooks for out of copyright books, but I prefer to have professionally-produced audiobooks and I'm not interested in anything that is illegal.)

    Audible

    The dominant service seems to be Audible, so let's start there. They seem to have the widest selection. Their standard prices to buy one-off books are horrifying: probably an average of 20. But I reckon these are deliberately high, to try to push you into a subscription. For one credit (=1 book) a month, it is 7.99, which is much better. However, I go through at least a book per week.

    Three free books for Amazon Prime members who take out a trial. Which is nice, while it lasts.

    If I used Audible, I would probably go for their 24 books per year deal, which is 109.99, so 4.58 per book. Even that would only last me for maybe 4-5 months, but I believe that if you are on these subscriptions you can buy extra credits in batches of 3. I did find a link about this a while ago, and I think the price is about the same as the price per book under the subscription, although I can't find the link now, so I can't confirm.

    I suppose I could always pay for a second Audible subscription, if necessary.

    Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy the ebook on Kindle, then add Whispersync, rather than just buy the audiobook direct, but this is rarely cheaper than 4.58.

    There are a few other tips on this webpage, which might help a bit, but they are not a full solution for a heavy user (and some of the ideas are not ones I would be comfortable with):
    http://bestfantasybooks.com/blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-audible-savings/
    Last edited by koru; 30-09-2018 at 3:14 PM.
    koru
Page 1
    • koru
    • By koru 20th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
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    koru
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Dec 17, 6:43 PM
    Bookchoice

    Edit added 23 Oct: This service has ceased in the UK, so is no longer an option.

    The weekly email has a free trial of Bookchoice, which seems interesting. I can't find much about this service, so perhaps it is new.

    After the free trial, it seems to be 3.99 per month, and for that you get to download (and keep) as many of their books of the month as you like. There are 8 or 9 per month, so if you want to read more than one of them, that's a pretty good price.

    This month, I like the sound of 5 of them, so that would be less than 1 per book! But will future months' selections be as appealing? You have to sign up for a year. I suppose even if you only want one of the monthly books, 3.99 for one book is still a good price: cheaper than Audible's cheapest option.

    This also includes ebook versions of the same books, so handy if (like me) your spouse devours ebooks.
    Last edited by koru; 26-10-2018 at 9:58 AM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 20th Dec 17, 8:16 PM
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    koru
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:16 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:16 PM
    Playster

    Then there are a few services with an "all you can eat" model, similar to Netflix. You only rent the books, so if you stop paying for the service, you lose all the books. But I don't normally re-read books, so I'm not too bothered by this.

    Playster is 14.50 pm, so if you listen to more than 3 books a month then it is cheaper than Audible at 4.58 per book.

    I think it has fewer books than Audible, though I can't find any figures for the UK. This review says 180,000 for Audible and 100,000 for Playster, but those seem to be US figures, and I'm guessing they don't necessarily have the same rights in the UK:
    http://www.toptenreviews.com/services/entertainment/best-audiobook-services/
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 20th Dec 17, 8:29 PM
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    koru
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:29 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:29 PM
    Kobo

    Kobo now does audiobooks, but they don't seem competitive for heavy users. 6.99 for a book a month subscription, which is slightly cheaper than Audible if you only want 1 book a month.

    I can't find any information about whether Kobo has any heavier-duty subscriptions or what they charge for extra credits, so I assume they don't beat Audible's 4.58 per book. Why are they all so coy about what they actually charge?
    Last edited by koru; 22-12-2017 at 12:39 PM.
    koru
    • Peter999
    • By Peter999 20th Dec 17, 8:59 PM
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    Peter999
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:59 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Dec 17, 8:59 PM
    Also, Audible have a deal of the day offer which is between 99p to 2.99. I receive an email from them each day with the latest offer.

    I've bought about 70 of these including some best sellers.
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Dec 17, 8:18 AM
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    koru
    • #6
    • 21st Dec 17, 8:18 AM
    • #6
    • 21st Dec 17, 8:18 AM
    Also, Audible have a deal of the day offer which is between 99p to 2.99. I receive an email from them each day with the latest offer.

    I've bought about 70 of these including some best sellers.
    Originally posted by Peter999
    I presume this is only for subscribers. A good way to add extra books, assuming they have a reasonable number that match one's taste.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Dec 17, 7:21 PM
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    koru
    • #7
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:21 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:21 PM
    Audiobooks.com

    This one works the same way as Audible: 7.99 for one credit per month, but their website says nothing about other subscriptions, nor does it explain the price to buy extra credits, but I would be surprised if it were less than 7.99.

    So, not competitive with the Audible 24 books in 12 months option. Even if you just want a book per month, I can't see any reason to choose this service over Audible (other than the desire to stop Amazon completely taking over the world).
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Dec 17, 7:35 PM
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    koru
    • #8
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    Downpour

    Apparently this service is available to UK customers, even though it is priced in US dollars: $12.99 pm for one credit per month, which is about 10. Same price for extra credits. At 10 per book, not remotely competitive with any of the other services in the UK.

    (Interesting that UK prices seem better than in the US. A rare example of the UK being cheaper than the US. Downpour is cheaper than Audible in the US: $12.99 vs $14.99 for a basic subscription. But as Downpour just makes UK people pay the dollar price, which is about 10, it is not competitive with Audible's UK price, which is 7.99.)
    Last edited by koru; 26-12-2017 at 12:41 PM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Dec 17, 7:45 PM
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    koru
    • #9
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:45 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Dec 17, 7:45 PM
    Bookbeat

    This seems similar to Playster, but cheaper. 12.90pm for unlimited audiobook rentals. So, it would be cheaper than Audible on a per book basis, if you get through at least 3 books per month.

    Assuming a book per week, it equates to 3 per book. At 5 books a month, 2.58.

    No clue how many books they have, compared with either Audible or Playster, but I suppose you could sign up and stay a member until you exhaust their library. Then sign up with a different service to read the books that Bookbeat does not have.
    Last edited by koru; 21-12-2017 at 7:50 PM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Dec 17, 7:47 PM
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    koru
    So far, then, I think my champions are Bookbeat and Bookchoice, which are both likely to be cheaper than Audible's cheapest deal, for someone who gets through at least one audiobook per week.

    I might monitor Bookchoice for a few months to see if I like its monthly selections each month. If I do, then it is the winner on a cost per book that could be 1 or even lower. But you only get to read the books they select each month.

    But are there any others? Both these two are not easy to find, so perhaps there are others I haven't spotted.
    Last edited by koru; 26-10-2018 at 9:59 AM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 22nd Dec 17, 1:02 PM
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    koru
    eStories

    I found another, which has a plan with 5 credits pm. If you pay annually, it equates to 5.20 per book. https://www.estories.com/plans
    koru
    • Peter999
    • By Peter999 22nd Dec 17, 1:05 PM
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    Peter999
    Hi Koru,

    No, you don't need to be a subscriber to buy the deal of the day books. I stopped subscribing over a year ago and still buy them every few days.

    You can get them to email you with the daily deal. I've now listened to loads of books that I wouldn't have chanced at full price.

    https://audible-uk.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6416
    • koru
    • By koru 22nd Dec 17, 2:38 PM
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    koru
    All You Can Books

    Here's another that offers an 'all you can read' model. http://www.allyoucanbooks.com

    US$20 per month, which is currently about 15, so no advantage over Bookbeat or Playster. I imagine that a chunk of its books are not available in the UK, due to copyright issues.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 22nd Dec 17, 2:45 PM
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    koru
    No, you don't need to be a subscriber to buy the deal of the day books. I stopped subscribing over a year ago and still buy them every few days.

    You can get them to email you with the daily deal.
    Originally posted by Peter999
    Thanks. I tried signing up for it using my Amazon log-in and it seems to have worked. Worth seeing if anything comes up that I fancy. (Today's offer is The Christmasaurus!)
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 22nd Dec 17, 6:12 PM
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    koru
    Kindle Unlimited with narration

    Then there's Kindle Unlimited, which includes some audiobooks:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/hz/signup?_encoding=UTF8&ref_=sr_ku_lm&qid=1513962467

    Looks like there are 3600 audiobooks available. Cost is 7.99 pm, and also includes ebooks. This is an all you can read, rental model, so potentially very cheap, if you like the books included. If you read 4 books a month, that's 2 per book. On a quick look, I was struggling to find books that I would want to read, however.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 1st Jan 18, 11:51 AM
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    koru

    This month, I like the sound of 5 of them, so that would be less than 1 per book! But will future months' selections be as appealing? You have to sign up for a year. I suppose even if you only want one of the monthly books, 3.99 for one book is still a good price: cheaper than Audible's cheapest option.
    Originally posted by koru
    The new Bookchoice selections for January are on their website and there are two that I have been dying to read. I also like the sound of all the others, so I would be getting 8 audiobooks for 4, which is 50p each! (Or, if you read the ebook versions too, 25p each!)

    That's incredibly good value. Audible's standard subscription is 8 for a monthly book; this is 4 for 8 books!

    The only drawback is that you have to pay in advance for a year and it is non-refundable. So, there's a risk that the standard of books might decline. However, even if you only like 12 books out of the 96 you get over the year, that works out at 4 per book, which is still cheaper than virtually any other way of buying them.

    (In order to keep the books, it looks like you need to download them as mp3 files on a computer or other storage, because the Bookchoice app only lets you have three audiobooks downloaded to it at any one time and they disappear from the app after 12 months. So if you rely on the app, you will lose the books. If you want to download the mp3s, you need to do this within a month of the end of the month that they were listed.)
    Last edited by koru; 26-10-2018 at 9:59 AM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Feb 18, 4:53 PM
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    koru
    I realise this thread is largely a conversation with myself, but in case it is of use to anyone, Bookchoice is still looking good.

    After my one month trial via MSE expired, I had a few emails with offers to tempt me to sign up. First, a reduction in the monthly fee from 3.99 to 2.99. Then (as I didn't respond), a three month subscription for 1 in total, which works out at 4 pence per book! So, by the time that expires I will have had 32 audiobooks for 1, and most of them look worth reading.

    In a way, the biggest problem is that there are so many books that I might not have time to read the ones that I wanted to read via the library! But that's a good problem to have.
    Last edited by koru; 26-10-2018 at 10:00 AM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 21st Feb 18, 6:08 PM
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    koru
    In case I've persuaded anyone to sign with Bookchoice, one other point to watch out for with Bookchoice is that the wording of the T&Cs is potentially misleading. A cynic might conclude they are trying to trap unwary subscribers into paying for a longer period than they intend.

    Clause 2.2 says
    Bookchoice offers memberships of different length, such as monthly and annual memberships. On the Website current information can be found with regard to the memberships, their duration and pricing.
    However, the website in fact only offers an annual membership (with monthly payments), at least at the moment.

    Clause 4.1 says
    You may cancel your membership at any given moment, free of charge, either by sending an e-mail to that effect to support@bookchoice.com, citing your username and e-mail address or by managing your account settings on the Website to that effect.
    Cancel when you like, free of charge: sounds great, doesn't it? But a couple of sentences later, they reveal:
    Your cancellation will take effect after the end of the remaining membership period.
    So, although you can cancel 'at any given moment', 'free of charge', don't be misled: even after you cancel they are going to keep charging you until the end of the year you signed up for.

    Clause 4.2 says:
    Every membership that is paid for by a member (with or without a discount) will automatically be renewed at the end of the membership period, for an unlimited duration, until the moment of cancellation, taking into account the aforementioned notice period of one month, at the end of the month. The membership fee that will be collected in case of automatic renewal will be the then-applicable membership fee for the same duration as the initial membership.
    So putting that all together, what the first part of 4.1 actually means is that you can, whenever you like, give them notice that you don't want your subscription to autorenew after the year you signed up for. And they are good enough not to charge you a fee for the privilege of giving this notice.

    But if you don't want to autorenew, don't assume you can wait until a week before your subscription expires, because the T&Cs also say:
    We apply a notice period of one month, at the end of the month.
    So, if your current subscription expires at the end of June, you need to cancel your subscription by the end of May, otherwise you will be autorenewed for another year.

    The above is all based on my discussions with them, to try to understand the wording.
    Last edited by koru; 26-10-2018 at 10:00 AM.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 29th Sep 18, 11:37 AM
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    koru
    Scribd.com is a new option. It has been around for a long time, but it used to work on 1 book per month, at $9 (~7). A few months ago, they switched to 'unlimited' audiobooks. As I understand it, there are some restrictions, but you definitely get free choice of at least 2 audiobooks per month, and then unlimited choice from a more restricted catalogue. So, that's about 3.50 per book, depending on exchange rate.

    They seem to have a lot of bestsellers, but what I'm not sure about is how much of their list is available outside the US. At some point, I'll sign up for a trial, to see what's available here.

    Not as big a selection as Audible (eg, no J K Rowling or Robert Galbraith, for a start), but once you have read what they do have, just cancel your subscription and then switch to Audible for titles you can only get there.
    koru
    • koru
    • By koru 26th Oct 18, 9:57 AM
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    koru
    Also, Audible have a deal of the day offer which is between 99p to 2.99. I receive an email from them each day with the latest offer.
    Originally posted by Peter999
    From November this will only be available for Audible members.
    koru
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