Best Websites for Downloading, Renting, and Purchasing Audiobooks

We recently published a list of websites where you can download free audiobooks. However, if you cannot download your favorite audiobooks for free, here are some websites offering audiobooks you can download, rent, or purchase, some free, some not. You may have more choices.

Free Audiobooks

There a lot of free audiobooks available on various sites, some in the public domain and some from independent authors.

LibriVox.org

LibriVox is a non-commercial, non-profit, and ad-free project that posts audiobooks recorded from books in the public domain, recorded by volunteers, and made available as MP3 downloads or podcasts. The goal of LibriVox is to make all books in the public domain available as free audiobooks on the web.

In addition to downloading audiobooks, you can also volunteer to be a reader. The only qualification is that you have an audible voice.

LibriVox

BooksShouldBeFree.com

Books Should Be Free provides audiobooks from the public domain available for free that you can listen to on your iPhone, Android, Kindle, or MP3 player. It’s similar to LibriVox and uses LibriVox and Gutenberg.org as sources for the free audiobooks. However, Books Should Be Free provides a more visually entertaining experience and easier way to browse through audiobooks, which are divided into many different genres for your browsing enjoyment.

Librophile

Librophile offers thousands of free and pay audiobooks and free eBooks. You can subscribe to each free audiobook in iTunes as episodes or download the whole audiobook directly. There are also links allowing you to directly access the eBook versions of the audiobooks on the Project Gutenberg website. The free audiobooks are mostly obtained from the public domain from LibriVox and the pay audiobooks through the Audible affiliate program (see later in this article for more information about Audible). Children’s audiobooks are mostly sourced from Storynory (also see later in this article for more information). Free eBooks are available in multiple formats.

Move your mouse over each thumbnail on the main page to read a summary (it may only be a partial summary) of the audiobook or eBook.

Librophile

AudioBooksForFree.com

AudioBooksForFree.com offers classic books recorded as audiobooks for download as MP3 files. There are many categories to help you find what you want, and you can even record and sell your own eBooks on their site, as long as you are the copyright owner.

FreeClassicAudioBooks.com

FreeClassicAudioBooks.com offers free, downloadable, classic audiobooks in MP3 format and M4B format for iTunes and iPod. You can also support the site by buying collections of audiobooks, audio short stories, and audio language courses on DVD.

Ambling Audio Books

Ambling Audio Books offers thousands of free audiobooks, most of which come from LibriVox. They provide an easy-to-use interface for browsing and downloading the audiobooks. You can play sample clips, check narrator ratings, and read reviews posted by Ambling listeners. Ambling Audio Books has their own player available for Android phones and tablets, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Windows, Mac, or Linux. Their player was designed specifically for audiobooks and contains many useful features, such as bookmarks, file management, and the ability to control the player from Bluetooth headphones.

You can also add your own ratings and reviews for the benefit of other Ambling listeners, and even publish your own audiobook.

NOTE: Ambling Audio Books also offers audiobooks for purchase.

Non-Free Audiobooks

If you want current bestsellers in audiobook form, there are several good websites for purchasing or renting them.

Audible

Audible is one of the most popular websites for purchasing audiobooks and they’ve partnered with Amazon. In addition to audiobooks, Audible also offers radio shows, podcasts, stand-up comedy, and speeches from well-known people.

You can listen to audiobooks from Audible on a large selection of mobile phones, such as Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, MP3 players, such as iPod, Creative ZEN, and SanDisk Sansa, and Windows and Mac computers. You can also use a Kindle Fire.

Audible offers subscription plans (two monthly and two annual) that allow you to “buy” audiobooks using credits and to save 30% off audiobooks purchased without credits. You can get one or two credits a month (monthly plans) or 12 or 24 credits all at once (yearly plans). With your subscription, you also get a free daily audio subscription to either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.

Audible

Simply Audiobooks

Simply Audiobooks offers three ways to get new releases, bestsellers, classics, and down-to-business titles in audiobooks, available in MP3 or M4B format.

One method is to join their Download Club, which is a subscription plan that gives you credits you can redeem for more than 9,000 audiobooks on their site. You pay a flat subscription rate and you can download most audiobooks for one credit each. A small number of titles require two credits to download.

You can also choose their Rental Program, which allows you to listen to as many audiobooks on CDs as you can each month. Add titles to your shelf, and when you finish one and return it, the next title on your shelf is shipped to you. You can choose rental plans that allow you to have from one to four books at a time for a flat monthly fee. Shipping is free both ways. Depending on how fast you go through audiobooks, you can pay a lot less per audiobook than the cost of buying it.

If you don’t want to commit to a monthly fee, you can purchase audiobooks on CD or to download instantly without signing up for the club or rental program. You can save 10% on all physical audiobooks.

NOTE: Not all books are available for all three options. For each audiobook listed in their catalog, they indicate whether it is available for Rent, through the Club, or to Buy.

AudioGO (BBC Audiobooks America)

AudioGO (formerly known as BBC Audiobooks America) offers complete and unabridged audiobooks, both single-voiced (one person reading the book) and full-cast dramatized (a cast of readers acting out the story), and radio dramas. They are the exclusive North American distributor for BBC Audiobooks. Audiobooks purchased on AudioGO are sent on CD or MP3 CD, as well as available for download.

NOTE: AudioGO is a good source for Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Sarah Jane Adventures audiobooks, for fans of those TV shows.

AudioGO

Audio Book Store

The Audio Book Store offers a large collection of audiobooks, available in downloadable, streaming, and CD formats.

Their service for downloading audiobooks is provided by Audible, mentioned earlier.

If you want audiobooks to be shipped to you on CD, you can choose their rental program, which is similar to the Rental Program at Simply Audiobooks.

The streaming service is a monthly plan that allows you unlimited access to the entire audiobook library and you can stream an unlimited number of audiobooks per month to your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. One advantage to the streaming service is that you can listen to your audiobooks across multiple devices. For example, you can start listening to a book on your phone, continue listening to it on your laptop, and then go back to listening to it on your phone again.

All of these resources for audiobooks should provide you with many hours of entertainment and enlightenment.

Source: How-To Geek

Roger W.

I'm a music lover and my friends know that. I'm not a great musician or a singer but I look for all ways to enjoy music. Apple Music and Spotify are my favorite.