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06/19/2021 – K. D. Alden

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Spring into Action While Listening to Audiobooks

by Madelle Morgan

It’s spring! Like the crocuses, we northerners are emerging from where we’ve been holed up all winter.

So much for enjoying hours of reading while wrapped up in blankets. It’s time to get going.

Spring chores cut into our downtime. There are gardens to prepare, patio furniture to set up, spring cleaning of your home, garage and yard, and more. There's less time to indulge in reading.


We can be active and still get our romance novel fix. Audiobooks have become very popular and more affordable.

Compare the costs and apps of these retail distributors where you can buy, stream or subscribe:

Lifehacker describes their top picks of audiobook services and features in this article.

Top Ten Reviews offers their selections of best audio services here.


Rakuten, owner of Kobo, additionally purchased OverDrive in 2015, making the Japanese company the largest distributor of quality free audiobooks. In North America you can borrow audiobooks from your local library for free via the Overdrive/Libby app.

Hoopla is another library streaming media platform. 

LibriVox offers free downloads of books in the public domain; i.e. books published before the early 1930’s.

There are many other online sources of free audiobooks, including YouTube, of course. However, don’t expect every recording to meet professional quality standards. Many are uploading self-narrated efforts.

Money Talks News compares features of five popular free sources in this article.

Audiobooks – a way to make those spring chores more bearable!

Happy Spring. Happy Listening.


Madelle Morgan is a Canadian author who writes romance set in Canada.

Unfortunately Madelle's books are not yet available as audiobooks, but you can read them in paperback and ebook formats.

BORROW Caught on Camera and Seduced by the Screenwriter from your library via Overdrive.



Madelle's romantic thriller DiamondHunter is a free read in Kindle Unlimited.

Follow Madelle on  TwitterFacebookGoodreadsPinterest, and Wattpad. For giveaways and new releases, subscribe to Madelle’s blog at www.MadelleMorgan.com.


Judith Ashley said...

Wow! what a feast of information on Audio Books! Unfortunately, listening to an audio book will never help Spring Cleaning. Hiring someone to do that while I do the listening would be my plan.

Maggie Lynch said...

Thanks for talking about Audiobooks, Madelle! This is one of those markets that is growing. Many people listen to audiobooks on their commute to work--particularly if they are riding a train or bus. I've also had people tell me they listen while waiting for kids at sports or dance practices. Using the library is a great idea too.

I really liked your Top Ten Reviews link because it did a good comparison of those sites both in price and app ease of use. I know I have three different apps on my phone for audio and ebooks because I like to shop around and get the best deals. I don't do membership anywhere

There are four other places neither article mentioned that I think some listeners may choose to support. I know they are smaller, and probably don't have every book, but they each have an important community or author connection. Most of the big publishers distribute to these places as well.

Libro.fm and Hummingbird are two independent audiobook distributors that partner with local bookstores. They each have a nice app that is free to download. The best part is your local bookstore gets a percentage every time you buy an audiobook. Libro has a monthly membership program ($14.99) and a one time buy program. Hummingbird is only one time buy. Check with your local booksellers to see if they have this option.

Kobo now handles audiobooks, and that means Walmart does too, and many local bookstores who partner with Kobo for ebooks can now also get audiobooks. Kobo also has a monthly membership program ($9.99) and a one time buy program. Again, when going through your local bookseller they get a cut whenever you buy but there is no increase in price for you whether you buy at your local bookseller or directly online.

Finally, one app that is brand new and readers should keep an eye out for is Authors-Direct (authors-direct.com). This is an app that allows independent authors distributed by Findaway Voices (one of the largest audio distributors in the world) to sell their own audiobooks directly to listeners. Many authors offer a special discount to their readers if they buy direct. For example I always offer a 20% discount and sometimes offer special deep discounts up to 50% off when I'm doing a promo or a holiday sale. Like all the other audiobook options mentioned, Authors-Direct has it's own free app. This is a way to support your favorite author's audiobooks, and often get a good deal in the price. Currently, only a few hundred authors are participating. However, in 2019 they are rolling out to any author distributed by Findaway who wants to use it.

I think it's definitely important for readers to shop around. Audible is often the most expensive. As an independent author, I can set my price at whatever I want, and all the hundreds of distributors will honor that price except Audible. Even though most of my audiobooks are priced between $10 and $15 dollars everywhere, Audible ups the price to at least $15.99. Why do they do that? To encourage people to become members. I'm not saying this is a bad thing for the listener who wants to be a member. What I am saying is that if people are looking for bargains, they may want to look at other options than Audible.

Madelle Morgan said...

Maggie, thanks so much for the additional information. Awesome! - Madelle

Sarah Raplee said...

I love to listen to audiobooks while cleaning house! Very informative post, Madelle.