I’m a massive fan of reading and especially audio books.. I’ve recently found that listening to an Audio Book, rather than watching TV, before going to bed really helps me sleep. That said, I’ve also found that audio books can be really expensive. I know that they take a long time to make – you need to sort out all the licenses and THEN you need to pay people to read it, then someone to record it, then someone to edit it, and then finally you need to pay someone to host it. When you add up all these things you realise there is a large cost in producing an Audio Book but it still feels like you are paying over the odds for them.
In this blog post you’ll find a simple trick to get audio books cheaper than list price.
Audio Books from Amazon
Although there are other places to get audio books from, I find that Amazon is the easiest. In my example I’m going to use Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club.
Currently you can get the hard back version for about £7.50. Seems a reasonable price to me for a hard back book. Where the pricing seems to go awry is when you look at the cost of the Digital Audio Book version.
£17.49! A tenner more expensive than the physical copy. Every book needs to be printed, distributed and delivered. An audio book just needs to be ‘loaded’. How does this make it £10 more expensive? I’ve no idea how the pricing is made up. It is worth noting that you can buy the Audio CD (CD Players – remember them) cheaper than the digital audio book. It is the ‘unabridged version’ so, for some reason, it costs more to get a digital version of the audio book than it does to get the physical version created, distributed and delivered!
Amazon Audio Book Hack
This hack does work on a lot of titles, but not everything. Amazon pricing is in a constant state of flux so one day it might be more expensive but other days it could be cheaper. Here is how to check to see how to get the Audio book cheaper.
Step 1 – Search the book you want on Amazon
Nice and easy. Just type in the title and you’ll be able to find the book you are after. Click through so that it gives you all the purchases – like the screenshot above.
Step 2 – Click the Kindle Edition Option
You may not want a kindle version of the book but don’t fret. To get the hack to work you have to purchase the kindle version. Whether you choose to read it or not is up to you. You can see the Kindle Book cost is £9.99.
Step 3 – Check out the ‘Audible Narration’ offer
Here we have the hack. You can see that although the Kindle Book costs £9.99, we can add ‘Audible Narration’ for £6.99. To buy the Audio Book would be £17.49 but for £16.98 you can get the Kindle version PLUS the Audible audio book.
A 51p saving doesn’t sound like a lot but this is a book that has recently come out by a popular author. Lets have a look at some of the other deals we can find for audio books.
Cheap Audio Books
You may have seen James Acaster’s stand up specials on Netflix or enjoyed his appearances on Taskmaster, Hypthetical and Mock The Week. He has a great book called ‘Classic Scrapes’ that I can recommend.
£17.49 (again!) price for the Audiobook. Or purchase the Kindle Book for 99p and get the Audible Narration for £2.99. A saving £13.51!
Perhaps you want to listen to Matt Haig’s Reasons To Stay Alive.
£15.74 as the ‘Audiobook’ but £9.21 for the Kindle Edition and the Audible audio book. Exactly the same Audio book, from the same company, but £6.53 cheaper to ‘buy’ the kindle edition as well as the audio book.
The biggest saving I’ve seen so far is for Derren Brown’s book ‘Happy’. £27 for the audio book or £7 for the kindle and Audible narration. A twenty quid saving for buying both versions! Bargain!
Not All Books
As you’ll see from your searches that this ‘hack’ doesn’t work on all Audio Books. Some books don’t give you the option to ‘Add Audible Narration’ to a Kindle book purchase. Audio books are more popular now that you can have hundreds of audio books carried around in your phone rather than a wallet of CDs (or even tapes!) for audio books.
You will have seen from the screenshots that you can actually get many of these books for free if you sign-up to an Audible Trial. *(Ad)The Audible trial gives you 1 book to keep for ever (two if you are already an Amazon Prime subscriber), even if you cancel your Audible subscription. Currently the Audible subscription is £7.99 a month for 1 audio book a month to listen to. It doesn’t matter what the price of the audio book is, you can choose one every month. If you cancel the subscription then you still keep both the 2 free books but also any book you’ve received as part of the subscription.
You could use the cheap audio book hack to save your *(Ad)Audible monthly credit for more expensive books. For example, you may choose to spend £4 to buy Classic Scrapes (as shown above) and then your £7.99 credit could be used for a ‘full price’ audio book that you can’t get from the special hack.
The Reverend’s Final Thought
I use this method to get cheap audio books. When I commuted to work (not had to for a year so far) they were a great escape on public transport, where you could be whisked away to another place just by closing your eyes. While working from home, I’ve been listening to them before going to sleep. Its a nice way to allow my brain to relax without the harsh light of the phone in my face, or the brightness of the TV to keep me awake.
Some books are narrated by the authors and in the case of James Acaster (I’ve got two of his audiobooks), it does add another level to the story. Imagine having James Acaster just telling you funny stories. For a couple of hours. That is what his audio books are like!
You might find you get better Value For Money getting an Audible subscription. I find I get through audio books more frequently than one a month so I probably *could* save money if I was only interested in the audio books. For me, I find the benefit of having the kindle Versions and the audio book versions a bigger draw than paying about the same just the audio book versions. During time off, reading from a kindle is a joy and if I ever get to go away on holiday again, I can take a fully loaded Kindle with me to pass away the hours.