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April 19, 2014

Audio Books 101 with Hot Listens

Audio books are getting more and more popular these days. I've tried listening to a few but for some reason I can't muster the same focus as I have with a traditional or ebook. 

Unlike print books, there are more cogs involved in listening and liking an audio book. Aside from the story, I think the narrator's voice is important and as I am fond of reading fantasy, I take offense when names and other jargon is mispronounced.

Then there's the whole Audible thing. How does the membership work? How do I get deals? How does credit work? See I'm lazy/a dunce so I decided to go ask an audio book expert and enthusiast, Loupe of HOTLISTENS, to give me the basics.


The ins and outs of audible.com


audible.com is a seller and producer of spoken audio entertainment, information, and educational programming on the Internet. Audible sells digital audiobooks, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. Through its production arm, Audible Studios, Audible has also become the world's largest producer of downloadable audiobooks. On January 31, 2008 Amazon.com announced it would buy Audible for about 300 million. The deal closed in March 2008 and Audible is now a subsidiary of Amazon.
Audible is a must-have for an audiobook junkie, like us at Hotlistens. It has the largest selection of audiobooks available for download that I have found on the internet. With a membership, it is also pretty inexpensive compared to buying individual downloads or CDs.

There are a couple of different membership plans you can do with Audible.  There are two different month-to-month plans where you get either one or two credits per month.  Each credit is worth one audiobook (for most books, I've never seen one that is more, but there are some out there).  With this program, you pay each month and the costs for each book is either $11.48, if you get two credits per month, or $14.95 if you do just one credit per month. These are a month-to-month deal and you can cancel at anytime.

Audible also has annual membership, where you can purchase all your credits up front.  This is great if you are a beginner and need to build your library, but it will also be hard on your wallet up front, though cheaper in the long run.  You can do 12 credits, for $12.46 each, or 24 credits at $9.56 each.  This is the best deal if you can afford to drop the $229.50 in one lump sum.



Audible also gives you extra benefits besides the credits.  You can rollover credits, so you don't have to use them in the exact time allotted, but they do limit how many you can rollover depend on your package. You also get a discount if you want to purchase books over the amount of credits that you have, a 30% discount off the regular Audible price. If you use all your credits, Audible will usually offer you a deal to purchase three additional credits at a decent price (the emails don't list the price and it has been a while since I've used all mine up).

Audible also offers many special sales for members only.  They do a lot of Buy One, Get One or Three for Two sales, but you have to use credits for those. There are also the $4.95 sales, where they put select books on sale for, as the sale is called, $4.95.  I've picked up a ton of new books and found new authors this way.  Lastly, they have sales, where if you purchase 4 regular priced books in one month, you get a $10 credit to your account.  This isn't every month, but I think they do it about twice a year.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000827761

Lastly, and this isn't just for members, is when you purchase a Kindle version of a book with Whispersync, you can then purchase the audiobook from Audible at a discounted price.  The price of the Kindle ebook and audiobook will vary, but I've frequently purchased the Kindle version and then the audiobook and saved a credit because it was cheaper.  This is especially true if there is a Kindle sale.  I saw one recently, the Kindle ebook was $1.99 on sale and then the audiobook went down to $1.99 too.  Of course, I had just purchased this book, but luckily, it was during the $4.95 sale, so I was only out $0.95, so I wasn't too disappointed.  I've gotten where I'm purchasing less through Barnes and Noble and more on Amazon for this reason alone.


How to use Whispersync


      



Happy listening from Hot Listens 

http://www.hotlistens.com/ 
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I hope this 101 helped those of you who are thinking of trying or converting to audio books. On that note, can you give me recommendations? Who is your favorite narrator and which book should I listen to first to ease me into listening rather than reading?





41 comments:

  1. Thank you for having us. Melanie did a good job of putting the instructions together, I hope some peeps can find them helpful :)

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to do this. I know you're going to "convert" a lot of peeps after this post :)

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  2. Fantastic post, and of course I am an audible junkie now. I had to retrain my brain a little to listen, but now I always have one audible read that I listen to while cleaning, walking, before bed. :)

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    1. Same here! My thing is I can't listen to fiction but I could listen to non-fiction/self-help

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  3. Thank you for having us. Melanie did a good job of putting the instructions together, I hope some peeps can find them helpful :)

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  4. I really need to sign up for one of these memberships one day.

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  5. I love audible and am addicted to it.I will only listen to the Charley Davidson series on audio. I also love the Gin Blanco series.

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    1. Jen Book Nympho did recommend I listen to Elemental Assassin on audio, she said it's really good. I guess it really is if that's one of two you listen to

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    2. I think Jen is the one that got me started with that series on audio. She had a review on Goodreads and I was hooked. Yep I think you would love it the narrator does an awesome job with Gin.

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    3. I will go check a sample then. The first book I tried was Fallen by Lauren Kate. Ugh! It was sooo boring! But as I was a neophyte then, I don't know if it's the narrator or the book coz I tried the actual books and disliked it too.

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  6. Thanks for having us. It was great to put this together. The more the merry in the audiobook junkie world. :)

    Some of my favorite narrators include:
    Renee Raudman: All Ilona Andrews series
    Lorelei King: Mercy Thompson and Charley Davidson
    Marguerite Gavin: The Hollows (Rachel Morgan)
    Allison McLemore: White Trash Zombie
    Bahni Turpin: Downside Ghosts (Chess Putnam)
    Phil Gigante: Highlander series and some of Fever books by Karen Marie Moning
    Charles Leggett: Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
    Robert Petkoff: Immortals After Dark
    just to name a few.

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    1. I can listen to Phil Gigante, I've heard and seen him and I don't mind the combo of voice and his hunky dark looks ;)

      Thanks for doing this, Melanie!

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  7. I have noticed that YA works, the rest..eh, I grow bored and YA is shorter

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    1. The first audio book I tried was YA, didn't work for me. It was Fallen by Lauren Kate, I didn't like the books too so I think it's the stories not the narrator LOL

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  8. Audio books have really helped me get my reading time in and I find I struggle some days when at home whether to listen or get my ebooks since I mostly listen in the car. My Audible membership is so worth it and Whispersync is the best thing ever!

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    1. See, it's people like you that makes me want to sit my ass down and listen. I get distracted easily!

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  9. I listen to some audiobooks and they are really convenient, especially with my commute into work. I don't have a favorite narrator, but I will say that helps big time with me. The narrator will make or break a audiobook for me. Great post!

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    1. I believe you, some people just have a great speaking voice, it's magic.

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  10. Great posting! I have only listened to a teaser chapter from Mortal Instruments where Ed Westwick narrated. I quite enjoyed listening to his chapter he read. I think it was City Of Fallen Angels. I think.

    I did listen to Tim O'Rourke's audio's and I thought his wife did a really awesome job of narrating them. I was really surprised how well she read and she kept me listening. Reading chapters would be quite hard to do for audio books. I think the voice is the make or break of being able to stay interested.

    :D

    Mich

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    1. Ha! Now you made me curious, I think I will look into Linda's audio books. Thanks, Mich!

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  11. Thanks for explaining this, Braine! I didn't understand it at all. Of course, I'm like you about audio books. I've listened to ONE. Ken Burns' The Civil War. I was driving to Texas by myself and I listened to it since it was a looong drive. ;) I just really prefer reading.

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    1. Me too! Loupe told me that we're not alone. She knows people who can read erotica but won't listen to them. I think I'm like that, I can't listen to fiction but I love listening to self-help/motivational ones

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  12. I used to be a faithful audiobook listener, but have gotten out of the habit. Thanks for sharing the details, Braine!

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    1. I admire people like you guys! I can't get through one books! I have Molly Harper's novella and it's been MONTHS, still can't finish it.

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  13. Great post! I'm a total audio noob, so this is extremely helpful ;)

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  14. I do the 1 year plan getting 12 credits at once. I usually get it for my B-day or Xmas. It sounds like a lot but it's cheaper per book than the 1 credit a month deal. To make my credits go longer I catch audios on sale through out the year and then there's the buy the Kindle book and get the audio for dirt cheap too.

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    1. Those tips sounds overwhelming for me. I think I need to sign up so I can totally understand the system.

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  15. I've only started listening to audiobooks this year but honestly, I'm really enjoying it. I do have audible, I have the 2 credits per month membership but since I also have a kindle, a few of my audiobooks are because of whispersync. It's awesome!

    I suggest you try books you've already read and loved, that's the advice I was given and it totally works. I really liked Tangled by Emma Chase and The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole on audio :) Both narrators are fantastic!

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    1. Will take note of that. I've started but for now I can only listen to motivational stuff. I love the conviction in the narrators' voices. Tagos sa buto!

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  16. I've not been able to do audio yet. I get too distracted listening for some reason. But I have a list of ones from Loupe's blog to try one day. Maybe my next car trip where I'm totally captive. lol

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    1. I'm the same way which is why I can't get into fictional audio books. Non fiction works coz I could easily break it into chapters.

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  17. I always wondered how audible worked. Thanks for the in depth explanation!

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    1. Cool! I'm glad this post helped out another future customer.

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  18. I have downloaded free stuff from audible, but now I have our state library program too. It's got a billion books and it is all free. A lot of states have it and you can check your state here: https://www.overdrive.com/

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    1. Thanks for the tip! I sure will check that out.

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  19. I started to get a lot of audiobooks for review so I bumped down from 2 credit per month to 1 credit per month. I'm cheap and don't want to pay the upfront costs. LOL But I love my audible subscription.

    They actually just gave all members $5 credit for Easter. They're awesome.

    Great post ladies! :-)

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    1. YOu & I are the same! I'm a cheap ass reader so I stick to books, lots of freebies not so much with audio.

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  20. From all the audiobook vendors Audible is my favorite; they have the best selection of titles and sometimes they have great deals.
    Great post Loupe.

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    1. They dominate the market, that's for sure.

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