How Does Audible Work & Is It Worth It? (2024 Guide to Audible)


Get answers to your questions from how does Audible work to is Audible worth it, and how to get free books on Audible to how much Audible costs per month. We answer the most important Audible FAQs and share some of our favorite book lists.

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I’ve had an Audible membership for years and I use it all the time. One of my favorite things is being able to listen to authors read their own work.

I’m also able to consume more great books because I can listen in the car, when I take walks, when I do chores inside and outside.

My husband’s previous employer used it as a way to facilitate professional development. He prefers listening to books over reading them and is always looking for a great recommendation. Audible makes it really easy to share titles!

Audible is user friendly, incredibly convenient and costs about the same as a streaming service. It’s definitely a better use of my money to consume books instead of TV shows and movies.

How does Audible work?

After you sign up for a free Audible trial, you download the app or log in online to start listening. When your 30-day free trial is up, you can start a paid membership that gives you access to thousands of audiobooks, Audible originals and podcasts.

How does Audible work? Infographic with icons and explanations of each step to start listening to Audible
How Does Audible Work? [infographic from SALT effect]

1. Sign up for a free trial

Sign up for Audible‘s free 30-day trial to make sure this audiobook service is something you want to explore further.

2. Download app or log in online

Download the free Audible app or log in on the Audible website at You can listen in both places. The app is available for iOS and Android, and you can also listen on Alexa, Fire tablets and Kindles.

3. Start listening

Now you can start listening to audiobooks. With a free Audible account, you can buy audiobooks or listen to about 50 free options.

With an Audible membership, you get unlimited access to over 11,000 titles (over 65,000 hours of audiobooks and podcasts) and you can purchase from an insanely large library of over 500,000 titles.

How do I get a free Audible trial?

It’s easy to sign up for a free trial. You get access to a massive library of audiobook titles for 30 days. I mean, that’s a no-brainer!

If you choose the free Audible Plus trial, you can listen to as many things as you want from the Audible Plus Catalog (over 11,000 titles including podcasts, audiobooks, guided wellness and Audible Originals).

You’ll get an email reminder before the end of your free trial and you can cancel anytime before the trial ends with no charge.

If you choose the free Audible Premium Plus trial, you get everything in the Audible Plus trail AND 1 credit (2 credits if your Amazon account is a Prime account).

Each credit allows you to buy any title in the premium selection, regardless of price. And you get to keep it, even if you decide not to pay for a membership plan when your free trial ends.

Pro Tip

Get up to 2 FREE audiobooks when you try the FREE Audible Premium Plus trial!

How much is Audible a month?

Depending on the membership you choose, an Audible subscription is either $7.95 a month or $14.95 a month.

Audible offers several different subscription plans, but all of them include the ability to stream or download any title in the Audible Plus Catalog. There’s no limit to how many of these titles you listen to while you have a free account or a membership.

What’s in the Audible Plus Catalog?

  • Audible Originals: Original content audiobooks that you can’t get anywhere else. These may be unfamiliar to you, but you can take a look at user reviews to help you decide. There’s no extra cost to try them and they just might introduce you to a new genre or author that you’ll love.
  • Audiobooks: Thousands of book recordings across all genres. Choose from bio and memoir, business and finance, fiction and literature, health and wellness, history and politics, kids, mystery and thriller, religion and spirituality, romance, sci-fi and fantasy, self-development, science and tech or young adult.
  • Podcasts: Includes some that are exclusive to Audible. I love podcasts! Making them available here allows me to keep all my audio favorites in one place.

How much Does Audible Plus cost?

Audible Plus is only $7.95/month after a 30-day free trial. For the same cost or less than most streaming services, you can listen to as many titles as you want from the Audible Plus Catalog.

When you search for a title, these are marked with an “Included” badge and you can filter your search to show only titles that are included with your membership. New titles are added weekly.

It’s kind of like renting or borrowing audiobooks, but there’s no limit to how many you have at a time and you never have to wait for access. You also keep those titles for as long as you have an Audible membership.

Note: there are thousands of books to choose from, but you may not find some of your best-selling favorites.

our favorite noise canceling headphones, Anker Soundcore silver headphones

How Much Does Audible Premium Plus Cost?

Audible Premium Plus is $14.95/month after a 30-day free trial. This membership allows you to rent or borrow audiobooks and buy them at reduced prices. And even if you cancel your membership, you will always have access to the audiobooks you bought.

You can listen to as many titles as you want from the Plus Catalog. You also get 1 credit per month for any premium selection title (regardless of price!).

The price of titles on Audible varies based on the length and seller preferences, and the prices range from $3 to $20 or more. Use your credits to choose a title priced at $15 or more to get the most out of your membership.

In addition to 1 credit per month, you also get 30% off additional purchases from the premium selection and discounts on Audible Daily Deals which offers a new and discounted rate for an audiobook that changes every day. 

Can I get an annual membership for Audible?

Yes! Audible offers an annual plan for $149.50 per year. The best part? You get all the benefits of the Premium Plus plan and access to 12 Audible credits right away rather than accruing them a month at a time.

Pro Tip

Get the annual plan if you love Audible because you’ll basically get 2 months for free!

How to listen to books on Audible

You don’t need to have a membership or subscription to listen to audiobooks on Audible. You need a free account to sign in, but then you can listen to any audiobook that you purchase or the audiobooks that are part of Free Audiobooks on Audible (about 50 titles).

Overhead image of a stack of papers, a pair of glasses, a cup of tea and a smartphone on top of a wooden stool. The yellow Audible app is visible on the phone. Green leaves are visible on the right side of the stool
My favorite way to listen is on my phone with the Audible app

But let’s assume that you’re trying the free trial or that you’ve decided on a Audible subscription plan. You can stream or download audiobooks online or on the Audible app.

To stream Audible audiobooks on iOS
Open the app, tap Discover, tap Plus Catalog, choose genre (limit to “included” for titles in the Plus catalog if you want), choose title, tap Play

To stream Audible audiobooks for Android
Open the app, tap Menu, tap Discover, tap Browse, search for a title (limit to “included” for titles in the Plus catalog if you want), choose title, tap Play

To download Audible audiobooks and listen offline on iOS
Open the app, tap Discover, tap Plus Catalog, choose genre (limit to “included” for titles in the Plus catalog if you want), choose title, tap Add to Library, go to Library, tap on the title to download

To download Audible audiobooks and listen offline for Android
Open the app, tap Menu, tap Discover, tap Browse, search for a title (limit to “included” for titles in the Plus catalog if you want), choose title, tap Add to Library, go to Library, tap on the title to download

How to get free Audible credits

Get 1 free credit when you sign up for the Audible Premium Plus free 30-day trial! Prime members get 2 free credits!

You can use your monthly credit for any premium title and it’s yours to keep, even if you decide to cancel before the trial ends.

After that, you’ll need to join Audible Premium Plus to get 1 free credit per month.

How to get free books on Audible

I searched for “free listens” on my app and these Audible titles popped up.

If you want to know how to get a free audiobook aside from the free credits you get with a trial and monthly membership, you can check out Audible’s Free Listens. There are about 50 free audiobooks available and the selection is updated regularly.

You can listen to some fascinating titles for free, including Audible Originals, best-sellers, novels, motivational books and more.

You might find a book about dogs narrated by Cesar Millan for pet lovers, narrated reports and executive summaries for political junkies, funny Amazon reviews performed by top comedians, a collection of speeches by MLK Jr., real-life stories from Hurricane Katrina survivors, a Star Wars behind the scenes commentary and more.

These free books on Audible are definitely worth checking out! And remember, they change pretty frequently.

How to buy Audible books

You don’t need to have a membership to buy an Audible book. Whether you have a membership or not, you can buy Audible books from the desktop or mobile site.

First, open the app or log in online. Then browse audiobooks and Audible originals or search for a particular title. There are 3 ways to buy a book when you’ve chosen one:

  1. Buy With One Credit if you have credits available
  2. Buy for $ (it will include the price)
  3. Add to Wish List so you can keep track of what you’d like to listen to in the future

Pro Tip

Use your credits to buy books that cost $14.95 or more!

I’d also recommend adding books to your wish list so you can use a credit in an upcoming month, especially if it’s not a book you’re dying to read right away.

You’ll get an email to confirm your purchase and then you can either stream or download the audiobook.

How to return an Audible book

I’m impressed by Audible‘s return policy. You can return or exchange an audiobook within 365 days of your purchase, even if you’ve already listened.

Audible states that the policy is in place to encourage members to try new genres and take a chance on different narrators or stories. That said, members who abuse the return policy may end up with suspended accounts. 

You won’t be able to return an Audible book on the app. You need to go to the online desktop or mobile site.

To return or exchange an audiobook on desktop:

  1. Log in to your Audible account
  2. Go to Purchase History
  3. Click Exchange next to the title you want to return
  4. A confirmation will pop up on the screen after you select your reason for the return.

To return or exchange an Audible book on mobile devices:

  1. Log in to your Audible account
  2. Tap Menu
  3. Tap My Account
  4. Tap Purchase History
  5. Choose the title you want to return
  6. Tap Exchange
  7. A confirmation will pop up on the screen after you select your reason for the return.

Is Audible Worth It?

Our Audible review would be incomplete without answering this question. Yes, Audible is definitely worth it! We will continue paying for Audible, especially as busy moms.

9 Reasons audible is worth it for us

  1. No limit. You can add as many included titles to your Audible library as you want–these are the titles that are in the Plus catalog. There’s no limit to the number of titles you have at one time.
  2. Titles always available with membership. Audiobooks included in the Plus catalog are available to you for as long as you have a membership.
  3. Keep what you buy forever. Titles that you purchase (with credits or with money) are yours to keep forever, even if you cancel your Audible membership.
  4. Track what you want to read. The “Add to Library” feature is an easy way to keep a stash of audiobooks that you know you want to listen to.
  5. No holds! You don’t have to put any books on hold or return them.
  6. Listen again. You can always go back and listen again.
  7. Share titles. You can share an audiobook using Family Library Sharing.
  8. Track what you want to buy. The “Add to Wish List” can help you keep track of audiobooks you want to purchase, and they’ll be there the next month when you get a new credit.
  9. Easily return. The return policy is fantastic, as long as you don’t abuse it.

why we love audible for busy moms

Along with those practical reasons, I’ll share a few other reasons why Audible is absolutely worth it, especially for busy moms of tweens and teens.

We spend a crazy amount of time in the car, especially before our teens can drive, and audiobooks or podcasts are great ways to learn and grow while passing the time. It’s one of Mary’s secrets to making the most of her time every day.

Think about all those hours to and from work, school, practices, games, recitals, friend’s houses, parties…not to mention the hours we spend just sitting in the car, waiting for our kids. Might as well be listening to something good!

Lots of authors narrate their own books. There’s something amazing about hearing writers read their own words. Nobody else can do it quite the same way.

If your goal is to read more books but you can’t figure out when you’re going to find time to do that, audiobooks are a solution.

Take it from this former high school English teacher mom–it’s not cheating if you listen to the book! We all learn differently and this can actually help improve our listening skills–something we all need to do.

Mary isn’t a huge fan of nonfiction, but she likes listening to nonfiction audiobooks. If Audible helps you expand your reading repertoire and try out new things, it’s worth it.

If you have tweens or teens who don’t love reading physical books (like mine), Audible is a way to keep them connected to books and learning in a different way. If they have an assigned book for school, you could even listen along with them to build stronger connections and relationships. 

If you have kids in college, Audible can be a good way to keep in touch. Sometimes all you need is to know you’re doing the same thing as your son or daughter who is away at school. It’s also a great college graduation gift idea.

Check out our reading lists for some inspiration!

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One Comment

  1. Deborah Poole says:

    Hi Kristie, great article! I’m an audible member (since 2017) and agree with everything you’ve said here! There are so many great benefits to being audiobook listener, including not realizing you need reading glasses for several years because you listen to EVERYTHING! 😆 Regarding your mention of Audible’s annual membership, there are actually two options: 12 credits annually for 149.50/yr (making each credit $12.45) or 24 credits annually (making each credit $9.56) which offers a significant savings! I thought might want to update your post with that second option! Thanks for the great info your blog offers. I’m now a new subscriber!

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