I’ve been with Audible for about a year and a half now, and I have a system for getting the most out of it. I suspect many people do, but I wonder how varied our credit using algorithms are.
Audible is a subscription model. You can buy audiobooks at any time while you’re a member (a bit like paying for movies off Amazon Prime Movies while being a member), but each month you also get a credit.
My Audible algorithm is based on the use of those credits. Books always cost one credit. A little download that will cost you a few bucks will cost you a Credit. A large download, read by a celebrity of one of the year’s most anticipated hit titles that has dozens of hours of listening time and will cost you more than a hardback, will also only require one Audible credit.
It seems like common sense, I hope, so I save my credits for the large purchases.
The next factor to consider in my Audible algorithm are the special offers and sales. Audible is generous with these.
The most common sale I’ve seen on Audible are 3-for-2 promotions. These offers mean it’s worth saving up Credits, so you have two at hand for the sale. Using two credits that you paid £15 for only on blockbusters in such a deal will get you approximately £75 worth of download. It’s even worth spending credits on 2-for-1 promotions.
The other sale type that pops up fairly often is cash price discounted books. These Audible sales require more research than combo offers. I look for book series in which two or more titles are reduced below the cost of whatever you’re paying for credits and take advantage to snap these titles up. If I can’t find a pair or more of sequential books in the same series in the sale, then Audible does not get my cash.
The last, most rare, type of sale in my 18 months with Audible are Credit sales. I always pounce on these. They’re free money.
My algorithm then is not to spend my credits until discounts and combos give me a 3:1 ratio of my money versus the usual retail price. What that means for people will differ as there are also memberships offers and other ways to reduce your monthly subscription cost. I took advantage of discounted membership as an introductory offer.
The 3:1 ratio is a simple algorithm, but it means waiting until there’s a sale, bulk buying and then listening through that collection until the next sale. Right now I have got a half dozen books to listen too and so it’s going well.
3 books so good they made me break my rule
It may be a simple system, but it requires patience. It’s also true to say that only a selection of books in Audible’s vast library is on offer any one time.
Last year, there were X occasions when I wanted to have the sequel so strongly that I ignored my algorithm and spent a whole Credit on a book irrespective of combo offers and discounts.
The Name of the Wind
I was late to the game with this title – especially since author Patrick Rothfuss is no stranger to tabletop gaming circles. However, listening to Rupert Degas narrate this masterpiece is an appropriately excellent way to enjoy this book.
I immediately downloaded The Wise Man’s Fear. The sequel is a whacking 43 hours long. I would have done so again for book there but, infamously so, that’s not yet available. Several shorter in-between books are, though.
This novel is a social commentary and a gritty sci-fi from Pierce Brown. The narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds is spot on as we find out whether demi-humans (or evolved-humans) bred just for one role in life and society.
I was so enthralled at the climatic ending of the audiobook that I rushed and grabbed Golden Son. I’m yet to listen to it but have made a mistake. There are two versions of both books, and I’ve managed to cross the streams here. I don’t know why there are two versions of each (same narrator) but will find out.
The Collapsing Empire
Written by John Scalzi and narrated by Wil Wheaton, The Collapsing Empire is set in the far future after humankind has built an intergalactic empire based on interdependency. We have to trade to survive. Book one picks up when things start to go wrong.
As a bonus, you get to hear Wil Wheaton swear his head off reading some of my favourite foul-mouthed characters in all of scifidom.
This audiobook was an unusual purchase for me as the first book is only 9 hours long, and I usually go for twice that length to get better value for money. While length isn’t a rule for me, I did break my Credit spending algorithm rule when I immediately downloaded the sequel The Consuming Fire after finishing book one.