Full Disclaimer: I don’t think listening to a book is the same as reading a book. Listening is passive consumption and if you can, you should always buy physical copies. But life is busy and it is always better to listen to a book than not consuming that book at all. That’s why I prefer Audible. So this is an Audible review from my perspective.
So this was back in mid 2018. I was boarding a Ryanair flight. You see, I mostly travel alone and it gets lonely when you are in an airport. Airports are super time consuming for Non EU members and most of us pass time using Netflix, a physical book or podcasts. I used to do the same & then, Audible happened. I registered for Audible in mid 2018 but I only started actively using Audible from January, 2019. More on this later.
I don’t recommend audible to everyone. I recommend Audible to people who don’t have time to read hard copies of books. As I said in disclaimer, hard copies are the best option to consume information but if you don’t have time or if you like listening to a book to learn and consume information, Audible is your go to option.
Let’s start our review….
Audible Review (With Some Personal Recommendations)
Gary Vee released his book, Crushing it back in early 2018. Even though I am a big fan of his work, I couldn’t get a copy of Crushing it during that time. I was busy with life and reading a book required an effort which I didn’t have time to offer.
So I skipped.
My entrepreneur friends kept on reading interesting books. People who I admire kept on writing great publications, and I kept on ignoring everything.
Yes, I could buy physical copies but I didn’t have time to read. I am always on a bus or plane going somewhere. I don’t like the feel of reading a book when I am traveling as I have some sort of motion sickness.
So I kept on ignoring reading books.
This was important for me because I have always been a reader. I have thousands of books in my home in Dhaka, Bangladesh. I used to be a big reader when I was in college and since I started working and traveling, life changed.
Suddenly on a random day, I took a decision. It was the first week of January and I was traveling to Nottingham.
I literally had nothing to do and a big list of books that I wanted to read. So I bought my Audible subscription. Since January, 2019 till today (mid March, 2019), I read four books and I am happy with that decision I took of resuming my Audible subscription.
Alright, enough history talk. Let’s get into the review.
How to Get Started With Audible
Audible runs off your Amazon account so you need to have an Amazon account first. Once you sign up there, simply download Audible from here.
Being an Amazon company, they have all options available. You can use a regular Android/ iOS application, you can use your Google Assistant or Alexa, you can use your smart watch, a regular computer, laptop, television or everything together (no device restrictions).
Once you have the app, simply click on Start Free Trial and It will ask for basic details (unless you already have those info on your Amazon account). Once you provide all of that, you are good to go.
It is a free 30 day trial that you start with and Amazon (AKA Audible) will not charge anything during this phase. You can setup a reminder on 27th/28th day in case if you want to cancel the subscription and the company will also send you a reminder during that time.
If you don’t cancel and continue the subscription, it will cost you about $7.99/month. That’s cheaper than Netflix. Here’s the pricing structure:
1 Credit basically stands for one book. If you go with the basic plan (the $7.99/month one), you will be able to download one new book every month from the Audible Library. The previous book always stays in your app so even if you don’t finish reading the previous one, you have it there for future.
Unless you are a big reader, I think you should go for the 1 book monthly membership with Audible. I use this exact one and I like it.
On an average, a book is about 14-20 hours. If you have more time than that in a month to listen to books, you can try the 2 book plan.
Here’s Why I Like Audible
There are a number of reasons why I like Audible but here are some of the important ones.
Audible is Not Expensive
7.99 for a month, with one book every month (and two on the first month if you count the free 30 day sign up period) is actually cheap. A regular hard copy will cost you about $15-$30 so it is well worth it. On top of that, you completely own the book even if you cancel the Audible subscription (which I did initially).
I have seen some compare it with the Netflix subscription model. Netflix costs about $13/month, however, you have unlimited access to everything on Netflix. On the other hand, Audible costs way less but you get one book/month.
So the difference is evident.
Great Customer Care From Amazon
I really don’t need to emphasis on this. The customer care is out of the world for any Amazon company and it is the same for Audible too. Whatever issues you have, you will get it resolved either within 24 hours or immediately if there is a customer rep online.
I never had major issues with my subscription so I didn’t have to consult anyone. One time, when I did the first 30 day trial, I wanted to cancel the subscription and i didn’t need a customer support guy to do it for me (you can do it on your own).
They Refund if You Don’t Like The Book You Bought
This is very important. You might like a writer and you might have also liked the previous books of that person. However, you might not like his voice. To make sure you don’t have a bad listening experience, Audible actually offers refund on the books you buy.
They refund you and give you the credit back which you can use again to purchase another book. It happens instantly and I think this is the best part about Audible.
Most Books Are Available
When I joined Audible, I had a feeling that most books will not be available on Audible (again, I compared it with Netflix). However, I was blown away to see the collection. Pretty much any book that is famous or is published within last 5 years will be available on Audible.
I found all the classics there but if you want to be sure, the best idea would be to check it yourself. You can simply visit Audible and check the collection for free. You don’t need to sign up if you don’t find your favorite books there.
Helps Me Listen to My Favorite Books On The Go
This is more like an Audiobook benefit rather than a specific Audible benefit. As I said before, I enjoy listening to books rather than reading them on the go. Being a daily commuter and a frequent flyer, this helps a lot.
I am a podcast listener since 2017 but since I started listening to Audibooks, I kind of reduced listening to podcasts. I still do but I now always am on track for my goal of reading enough books in a particular year.
Here’s Why I Don’t Like Audible
Though it is tough to find negatives, I still have some bad experiences with Audible that I would be happy to share.
They Charge Me in GBP
For some reason, Audible always charges me in GBP rather than in EUR. Being a lazy person, I haven’t reached out to them. I probably should. As I live in Ireland, there’s no reason for them to charge me in GBP.
Not All Writers Have Great Voice
It might not be the same experience like reading when you are listening to the writer. Not all of them have great voice. Also, some writers use third party to narrate it for you. Sometimes, it is a mix of the actual writer and 2-3 other voices just to spice things up.
The good news is that you can always refund if you don’t like a book. That makes life a lot easier.
It Gets Expensive If I Want to Buy Extra Books
Audible gives you a 30 day free trial, then one book/month if you go with the basic plan. What about if I want to read another book in that same month? Well, I will have to buy the book separately from the Audible library and Audio-books are expensive. I wish Audible had a Netflix model where I would pay about $12-$15/month to listen to as many books as I want, kind of like an actual library.
You can actually share one book with your friend via WhatsApp directly from Audible (your friend doesn’t have to buy the same book). Take that advantage.
Finally, Some of My Favorites…
You will very quickly realize that I have specific entrepreneurial interest when it comes to Audible. Here’re the books I am planning to read in 2019. I already finished some of them. If you like any of these books, let me know in the comments.
All these books are available on Audible. You can join the free 30 day trial with (or without my link). However, you join, I recommend that you read these books if you are into business and entrepreneurship. If you are not into business, there are thousands of other business books that you can read there.
Once again, here’s the link for the free 30 day trial. Let me know which book you start with in the comments.