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How To Get More Books on Audible

Audible is a service for buying audio books owned by Amazon.com but still run as a separate company with its own policies, procedures, and marketing. One of the many things that sets Audible apart from Amazon is that Audible strongly encourages its customers to become subscribers. An Audible subscription has many features (including price discounts on all book, and a free audio-newspaper subscription). But, it also creates a situation where you have to do a little planning in order to avoid overpaying while building your library.

I have created a list of rules that will help you maximize the value of your Audible account.

  1. Make sure your first two audio books are free.
    Audible gives out a free book or two for setting up an new account when you do so by following a promotional link (like the one below). However, if you use a gift-card to setup your account or create one by clicking over from Amazon you may not get this benefit. So, be sure to setup your account via a promotion and then apply a gift-card or make your Amazon-originated purchase after the account is setup and you get your “free” credit(s).

    Two Free Audio Books  from Audible for new subscribers.
  2. Don’t let your credits max-out.
    Audible accounts have a maximum number of roll-over credits (it appears to be 6 for a one-credit-per-month account). You can check your maximum on the top right side of this page. I believe that if you are at the maximum you will continue to pay but will not get additional credits each month. Also, if someone gives you Audible credits via a gift-card, make sure you are not maxed out before you use it. I believe you will still get the gift, but it might prevent future credits from accumulating.
  3. Don’t use a credit when getting a book for less than $11
    You should always un-check the “use credit” button during checkout and use your credit-card instead when buying a book that is less than $11 in cost. This is because you probably paid more than $11 for the credit in the form of a monthly membership fee or via a direct-purchase of credits. See the next rule for what to do with your credits.
  4. Always use a credit to buy books that will cost you more than $15
    Credits cost somewhere between $10 and $15 depending on how you received them. Most books cost only 1 credit even if the “cash price” is $50. So, you get a deal by using the credits. If you ever run-out of Audible credits, then you can buy more here. (Note: This link only works if you have 0 or 1 credits left) The “Extra Credits” are often cheaper than the credit you get with your account each month. So, it is seriously worthwhile to go through the two steps of buying some credits then using them if you are out and want to get an expensive book.
  5. Buy the Kindle version + Whispersync when the combined price is cheaper than Audible by itself
    Many Audible books are available as part of the “Whispersync” program which lets you buy them for a reduced price if you already own the Kindle copy. The idea is that you can go back and forth between reading and listening. But, even if you don’t use the Kindle version you can still get a discount by buying two things rather than one, sometimes. This is especially true if you are an Amazon Prime customer or have earned some other discount on Kindle books. Here’s a graphic to help you tell when buying the Kindle edition first is better. Don’t forget Rule #4 when using this trick. 1984 on Amazon WhisperSync is cheaper than Audible by itslef
    (Thanks to ireadallthecomments on Reddit for pointing this out)
  6. Return books you don’t like.
    If you listen to part of a book and don’t like it, you can return it to Audible and get a refund (scroll to the bottom of the page). I’m not sure what rule they follow to decide what books are eligible. But, I have listened to more than an hour of a book before deciding it was junk and returning it.
  7. Only buy books on-sale or right before you are going to read them.
    Audible has ton of sales that I will discuss in detail in the next few bullet points. But, these sales don’t do you any good if you already bought the book that is on sale. So, keep your future reads in your wishlist instead of just buying them right away. Then when one comes on sale you can grab it for cheaper. Also, it appears to be easier to return a book that you recently purchased. So, reading right-away is a pretty good idea.
  8. If you only find one book you like in a two-for-one sale, add it to the cart so you can get it next time.
    Only some books are eligible for each two-for-one sale. There is a special marketplace and a spacial cart to support this. Usually these sales have a theme and often I can only find a odd-number of books from the theme that I want. However, if you add a book to the two-for-one sale cart and then don’t buy it by the end of the sale, it doesn’t go away. The next time there is a two-for-one sale that book will still be in the spacial cart even if it is not offered during this sale. This means you can then buy it along with something you like from the new set of offerings. This is probably a bug on the Audible site. So, it may not work forever. But, it has worked for the last couple years and you don’t really have anything to lose by trying each time.
  9. Check in on the daily-deal each day.
    Audible sells one book for a very-low price (usually about 80%-off and between $1.95 and $5.95 in price). You can sign up to get an email or just visit the Audible Home Page to see if the book is something you are interested in. These are not the “best” books in my opinion. But, I end up seeing something worthwhile every month or two. Don’t forget rule #3 when you are making these cheap-purchases.
  10. Watch for the “First-In-A-Series Sale.”
    Every now and then (although not recently, [just had one]!), Audible has a “First-In-A-Series”. This sale sells otherwise-expensive books for about $5 each because they are each the first book in a popular series. I assume that the Audible marketing team has worked out that selling a great book for a loss can still work for them if that book leads you to buy more books (i.e. the other books in the series). So, this sale seems to have a disproportionate quantity of good deals.
  11. Read the fine-print of the Listener Rewards Month Deal.
    A few times a year (yes I know this is weird) Audible has a “Listener Rewards Month”. If you buy 4 books during the month you get $10 in credit for a future purchase. However, I have been dinged by the fine print. The deal says that the regular-price must be $14.95 or greater for each book. But, I suspect the disclaimer might be referring to the “regular member price” and not the price before the membership discount.

Bonus Tip: Your Audible Login and your Amazon Login might be one and the same
You won’t believe how many times I reset my password on each site before I figured this out. Face-Palm. 😉

Posted on May 21, 2014 then Updated July 5, 2017By Geek

13 thoughts on “How To Get More Books on Audible”

  1. David says:

    These are awesome tips!! Thanks for the heads up, I was really confused why I was paying 15 for a 11 dollar book. I will definitely try to be more efficient in my purchases for the future.

  2. Gage says:

    Thanks for the info! These tips make so much sense. Since I’ll be with Audible for awhile it’s good to know how to make better purchase decisions.

  3. Unfortunately, Audible only allows you to return 2 books in a 12 month period. I queried this after I couldn’t return a third book even though I owned almost 25 already. The fine print says they use their discretion and it is a reasonable usage policy, but they confirmed the 2 books per 12 months when they responded to my query. I am more cautious when choosing books now.

    1. blindbeader says:

      If you call or chat with Audible, they will return books you don’t like. The 2-books-per-12-months is for you doing it yourself.

      I have been a subscriber for years, and have never had a problem either calling or chatting with the Audible team and returning books that way.

      1. Amanda says:

        maybe it makes a difference on how many books you buy vs returns. I know this year I have returned 3 maybe 4 book online just by clicking the return button and didn’t have any issues. I do buy an average of 100 or so books a year though. This is the first year I have ever returned more than 2. I love my audible books and am ridiculously obsessed with them…..lol

  4. Dan-IO says:

    What blindbeader said is true. I was able to return 2 books in a row plus the members are now allowed to return up to 2 books withing 6 months online. The others can be returned by chat (as I successfully did) without time limits. Awesome support!

  5. Carly says:

    You have a full year to return your book for a credit refund. No questions asked, as their guarantee states. If you finish the book even. The only term is that it has to be purchased within the past year (12 months). Just push “return” under the book, state why you want to return it (bought by mistake, didn’t like the book, didn’t like the narrator, ect..), and the refund shows up immediately after you press the “return this book” button.

    1. Carly says:

      Oh and I have returned more than 2 myself with instant refund online in the same day. No call or chat with customer support at all. I have been a gold member for over a year.

  6. Readmuch says:

    If you use your library’s ereading app, you can borrow kindle books for free. Said kindle book registers as purchased during that time, allowing you to purchase audible book at discounted price if available via whispersync.

    Some might balk at that. I don’t. If audible has a problem with it, they can change it.

  7. Joe says:

    I was going to cancel my audible account last month. I clicked on cancel subscription, it asked “are you sure?”, I clicked yes, then it offered me a $20 coupon if I would change my mind and stay. I had been a member for a few months at that time, so I’m not sure if it will do that if you just start an account and then try to close it, but I was happy to stay on for a $20 coupon.

  8. Daneen says:

    I haven’t tried audible yet, but after reading this I may sign up this weekend and listen to something while I clean out my closet lol Thanks for the tips!

  9. oh my! how did i not know about this? I’ll have to get it for my mother she is sight impaired but moved reading. it keeps getting harder and harder for her to read. she already gets the large print and occasionally the audio books.

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