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why are audio books so expensive?!

(33 Posts)
MegBusset Sun 30-Mar-14 18:30:51

I have been looking for some books on to listen to while I walk the dog... but am gobsmacked at the prices. Around £20-£25 for most of the bestseller list! I appreciate they had to pay someone to read them but surely after that the cost are negligible? Am I missing something, and does anyone know a cheaper source (short of borrowing from the library and ripping to mp3)?

OP’s posts: |
DuchessofMalfi Sun 30-Mar-14 20:05:22

I borrow mp3 audiobooks from the library's website, and also get Librivox audiobooks free from iTunes.

GoooRooo Sun 30-Mar-14 20:13:08

I am an author (non fiction and v niche although I'm working on my first novel!)

The issue with audio books is how royalties are distributed. Fairly often the voice artist is paid a percentage of sales as well as the author, which pushes the price of the audio book up. However, even then the vast majority of the £20-25 goes to the publishing company, not the author/voice artist.

antimatter Sun 30-Mar-14 20:57:56

Surrey libraries have free audiobooks yo ucan listen too. You can enroll online I believe.

iseenodust Mon 31-Mar-14 11:32:00

Amazon has some fairly priced ones PD James 7 and even cheaper if you buy used.

iseenodust Mon 31-Mar-14 11:32:34 oops the link

SavoyCabbage Mon 31-Mar-14 11:43:54

I get them from the library too. Have a look on your library website. Mine uses the oneclick digital app. It's really easy to use.

Impatientismymiddlename Mon 31-Mar-14 11:46:26

The works has audio books on CDs at £3.99 or 3 for £10.

RazaMeTimbers Mon 31-Mar-14 11:53:17

I've subscribed to Audible on a monthly basis so I pay (I think)9euro/month which gives me one credit. Usually I choose the recent releases that are priced around 25euro, so effectively they cost me 9euro. Worth subscribing.

antimatter Mon 31-Mar-14 18:59:14

if in UK you can pre pay 100 pounds at audible and get 25 books for that

CoteDAzur Thu 03-Apr-14 08:34:34

£20-25? Are you serious? shock

That is crazy. I recently bought Wolf Hall, The Luminaries, and The Goldfinch for £0.99 on the Kindle and can't imagine paying more than £5 for a book these days unless it is a favourite that is beautifully bound & illustrated, for example.

iseenodust Fri 04-Apr-14 12:18:52

I have just discovered Librivox - American free audio of classic books. A bit like project Gutenberg I think. Worked fine for DS listening to The Treasure Seekers via Android app.

iseenodust Fri 04-Apr-14 12:20:02

Oops sorry just read Duchesse.

MegBusset Fri 04-Apr-14 12:22:27

Crazy isn't it? Ulysses is £53!

OP’s posts: |
CoteDAzur Fri 04-Apr-14 12:24:06

What?!? shock

MostWicked Fri 04-Apr-14 12:44:30

An Audible subscription is fantastic value.
£7.99 per month for 1 book of ANY value, with LOADS of additional offers for members, 3 for 2, sales, BOGOF
Starting price is £3.99 per month for the first 3 months.

I gave my DH a 12 month subscription for Christmas, which only cost £70

I LOVE my Audible account!!

RaisinGirls Thu 10-Apr-14 10:30:32

I have an annual Audible subscription - and agree it is fabulous value for money. Regardless of the 'rack' price of the book it only costs you one credit, which means you make some real financial savings in the long run.

I am an avid audiobook listener (helps with my insomnia) so go through a lot and notice the savings.

AnonymousBird Mon 14-Apr-14 12:34:40

Agree to looking for the Audible deals or subscriptions. I just had 3 months at £1.99 a month! Then they often do two for the price of one deals, so one credit can get two books.

Hulababy Mon 14-Apr-14 12:37:48

DD has all the Harry Potter audiobooks. They ranged from about £20 to £60 for each book. They were not cheap!!!

RazaMeTimbers Mon 14-Apr-14 19:23:16

I actually have Ulysses in my basket (great minds!). Funny my sister bought the CDs years ago and paid over £100 for them. The audible book is 53 but I'll use a credit, so effectively only 9Euro. Not bad value I think once you're a subscriber.

myitchybeaver Tue 15-Apr-14 09:42:15

When you listen to audiobooks often, you appreciate why they are expensive. The narrator can make or break the story and are often amazing. I just listened to 'tiny sunbirds, far away' and the narrator was outstanding, the accents and voices of all the characters. Talent and class, she deserved to be well paid!

I also adore my audible account and spend less than you might think, buying extra 'credits' and waiting for special offers. I rarely pay full price for a book.

I read 'normally' too but do lots of exercise (walking, running, cross-trainer) and love a good story on the go.

MostWicked Tue 15-Apr-14 13:15:49

The only time I have EVER paid list price for an audiobook, is when the price is less than £7.99, which is equivalent to 1 credit.
I had another email this morning offering 3 credits for £18, so £6 per book of ANY value. And there's a sale on, so there are books available at less than £6.
Excellent value!

And I agree myitchybeaver about the narrator. There are some outstanding narrators, who really bring books to life. I have bought books, solely on the narrator before (David Tennant for example)

Twunk Tue 15-Apr-14 13:32:49

Also an audible subscriber! I've built up quite a library - about 150 books. I used to get 2 a month but now it's just the one. I listen a bit first to make sure the narrator is bearable, and I'll buy anything less than a credit. I often look for the most expensive books wink

kellymu Sun 27-Apr-14 01:49:43

On the BBC podcast site, they have a weekly drama (Drama of the week) it's under an hour long but it is free and there is a new one every week.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 28-Apr-14 07:56:37

I expect it's partly that volumes are lower.

Also, I have no idea how long it takes to actually act out a book but bear in mind your typical CD costs £7-£13 for about an hour of music - an unabridged book might take 7 hours to read out. You need to compare to the cost of other audio not the cost of a book.

It can be cheaper to buy recordings of radio plays which may well be abridged versions of books - they are shorter plus the recordings exist already.

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