Tip for Readers: Audible audiobooks and Whispersync

AudibleAmazon bought Audible several years ago, but only in the past year or so have I been seeing the true benefit of this purchase to the reader. I don’t think everyone is aware of it, so I thought I’d let you know. This benefit applies to Kindle-owners.

Disclaimer 1: I am in no way affiliated with Amazon or Audible.

Disclaimer 2: I know Amazon is the “evil empire” to some for a variety of reasons. I fully support independent booksellers as well. That said, I do find the feature I’m about to describe valuable.

So here’s the deal. It’s actually quite simple. Now that Amazon owns Audible, you do not have to have a separate Audible membership to purchase audiobooks from them. Simply log in to Audible’s site using your Amazon credentials.

The first great thing about this is you get deep discounts on the audio versions of the books you’ve already purchased for your Kindle.

Quick example: I wanted to buy Doctor Sleep by Stephen King today. First I went to Audible and looked up the audio version. It was available for $34.99. I went to Amazon and the Kindle edition was $10.99. I bought the Kindle edition. Then I returned to the Audible page, still open in another tab, and refreshed it (I was already logged in with my Amazon ID). The price updated to a new “special price” of $12.99 – $22.00 off the previous price.

So, for a total price of $24, about the cost of a typical hardcover, I got both the Kindle and audiobook versions of the book. For the math-challenged, that’s $11 less than Audible wanted originally for the audiobook alone.

Some might wonder why I want both versions. The easy answer is, this just fits the way I read. Unfortunately I can’t read as much as I would like, but I can listen to books during the day while I’m working. So I listen during the day (some days) and then read the same book at night.

But wait, there’s more (he said in his best infomercial voice). The thing about the way I read that can be inconvenient is if you listen to the audiobook during the day, then at night you have to find your place in the other version. Enter: Whispersync!

Now that Amazon and Audible are joined at the hip better, the Kindle version and audio version automagically stay in synch. So, you listen to the audio on your iPhone or whatever, then when you open the same book on the Kindle, it immediately turns to the page you left off on. Amazing! All you have to be is connected to the internet on both devices of course.

I find this feature really useful and great.

Here’s a link to Audible’s official page for this feature, if you’re looking for more details.

Edited to add: After watching Amazon’s video, it appears there are a couple of other Amazon/Audible features called Professional Narration and Immersion Reading that are similar to what I’m describing here, but only available with certain types of Kindles. More information here. Because my Kindle is older, I don’t think I have those features. But you may want to look into them as well, because they may prove even more cost effective.

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