Audiobooks are awesome. I get through a lot, which could mean a lot of money, but it doesn’t have to. You can get great audiobooks for free and not just the public domain classics.
Why read this?
There are places you can get hold of audiobooks illegally but that’s not what Audiobook Explorers is about. Authors and publishers work hard to create their books so instead of dodgy downloads, here is a list of free trials, apps, and public domain resources to get great audiobooks legally, and for free.
How to get 7-months of free trials
Free trials are an easy place to start if you are just discovering audiobooks. Make use of these and get up to 7-months without paying a thing!
1. Select any of the offers below
3. Enjoy your free trial
4. If you don’t like it, cancel and try the next one
Quick Links for free trials
Scroll down for a more on each offer
Audible has favourites like Harry Potter and Game of Thrones, classics, best sellers, non-fiction and new releases. They have a huge selection of books in every genre and an easy to use Audible app. You can access on your Apple and Android device, Alexa-enabled devices, and on Kindle.
After the trial (if you don’t cancel), you’ll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
If you are an ebook lover you probably know about Kobo, they have over 5 million titles to access through their app or an eReader. They also have a huge collection of audiobooks where you can get a free trial.
If you continue after the trial then you get 1 credit per month
Audiobooks.com have over 125,000 titles and give you 1 book plus 1 VIP book each month. You can access titles through your Apple or Android device. They offer a 30-day free trial which includes 2 books.
4. BookBeat (UK)
You may not have heard of BookBeat but this great app offers unlimited audiobooks covering thousands of titles, both new releases and classics. The downside is that it is only for people who live in the UK or have a UK payment method. If that means you, then signup and get 2 weeks free.
Hailed as a true Audible alternative, Scribd gives you access to audiobooks, books, articles and magazines. It is also only $8.99 a month and they offer a free 30-day trial.
eStories has over 120,000 audiobook titles, with best-sellers across every genre and new releases added weekly. Listen through their free Android and Apple app.
If you keep the subscription it is $11.99 after the trial.
You can purchase discount audiobooks through audiobooksnow or signup to their club subscription to get even better deals. They also have a free trial which includes a free book. Use the app on your Android or Apple devices and on your Kindle Fire.
Playster is a really interesting one as they also have music, movies, and ebooks. You can bundle up the packages for bigger savings. You can get an unlimited trial with all the bundles for 30 days. Just see the downside below.
Downside – you can not listen to a full audiobook on the trial. You can listen up to a threshold which is usually several hours so you could use it to start a long book. See details.
And that is 7.5 months of free premium service audiobooks!
Your Library – yes, really
You can download audiobooks from your local library without even going there.
Overdrive is connected to over 43,000 libraries and schools in 75 countries. Providing you have a library card you can access Overdrive and listen through their website or app. If you are using the app download Libby rather than Overdrive, they are made by the same company but Libby is much more user-friendly.
hoopla is a digital service offered by your local public library that allows you to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics and TV shows. Titles can be streamed immediately or downloaded to your phones for offline use. They have hundreds of thousands of titles.
Audiobooks, eBooks, magazines, comics, entertainment services, and educational offerings from one app. RBdigital offers tens of thousands of premium audiobooks and over 35,000 titles published titles by Recorded Books. Access through the Android or iOS app.
Download the iOS or Android App on your phone, install the cloudLibrary App for Windows PC or Mac OS X, or even access cloudLibrary from your Kindle Fire or through Nook. You can sync effortlessly across all your devices and access thousands of audiobooks and eBooks from your library.
Free audiobooks in the Public Domain
Here are the best ones I’ve found so far. Let me know any more you find.
More apps for free audiobooks
Most of the premium services, library tools and sites listed above have their own apps on both Apple and Android. There are plenty of other apps that offer free audiobooks too.
Spotify has an audiobook playlist with many classics like The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, Brave New Road and a childhood favourite of mine Just So Stories. You can listen for free with a free Spotify membership.
15000 audiobooks in the public domain which you can listen to for free with the option for offline use.
3. Google Play Books
Free App with free but limited audiobooks
4. Apple Books
Apple also has an app for ebooks and audiobooks with free classics some read by celebrities like Kelsey Grammer, Kate Beckinsale, and Karen Gillan.
5. Free Audiobooks HQ
8500 free audiobooks plus 10,000 premium titles
Good selection of bestsellers and classics – always free
I will keep updating this as I find more.