Whether your digital audio book audio device is an iPod or iPad running an audio book app, or another of the audio book devices, you can take advantage of free audio books online. Why buy audio books when you can get not just cheap audio books, but free audio books online? An online audio book usually is in the form of an audio book mp3, or other audio book format, that you download to your digital audio books audio book player (again, such as your iPad or iPod, or even your cell phone). Whether you are looking for a business audio book such as the 4 Hour Work Week audio book, a classic audio book such as the To Kill a Mockingbird audio book, some other fiction audio book, audio books for children, unabridged audio books or an abridged audio book, you can find them in free audio book versions online.
Many of the audio book clubs online offer free audio books during their trial membership period, but even better, there are sites dedicated to offering free audio books online without requiring an audio book club membership at all.
If you are really interested in joining an audio book club online, the best known is Audible.com, which is now an Amazon company. Audible.com sometimes offers a free 14-day trial, which includes downloading one audio book for free. However, SimplyAudioBooks.com also offers a free 14-day trial, and with your membership you get a free audio book download every month. In fact, you don’t even have to join SimplyAudioBooks.com in order to take advantage of their free audio book download (you do have to give up your name and email address, so presumably you are going to be put on a mailing list in exchange for that free download).
The average price for purchasing an audio book through either of these online audio book clubs is in the $20s and $30s of dollars. Depending on the online audio book club plan you choose, your cost can go down to $10 to $15 per audio book, for the first 1 to 3 audio books per month, but then your cost shoots right back up again.
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Which is why we prefer completely free, no strings attached free audio book downloads.
BooksShouldBeFree.com’s free audio books for downloading are all read by volunteers, and some of them are very good. If you get a lot of use from this site, you may want to consider volunteering.
Project Gutenberg’s free audio books project offers two different types of audio books for downloading: those read by human volunteers, and those ‘read’ by a text-to-speech computer program. As with BooksShouldBeFree.com, if you feel you’ve benefitted from their free audio books, consider volunteering to read a book for them.
By the way, if your audio files turn out to be in the WMD format, and you are using a Mac, or you want to listen to them on your MP3 player, see our tutorial for listening to WMD files on a Mac, and converting WMD files to MP3. It’s easy!
Now, all this said, the free audio book sites feature books that are out of copyright (which is why they can offer them for free). You will absolutely find most of the classics here, as well as many books you remember and loved as a child.
What you won’t find for free is audio book versions of new best sellers and other books. For those you are going to have to either go to one of the online audio book clubs, such as Audible.com or SimplyAudioBooks.com, or you can purchase the audio book on CD from your favourite bookstore or online book seller, and then pull them into iTunes on your computer, and put them onto your audio book device from there. We prefer the latter option, as it gives you the CDs to use as well.
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