My Latest Obsession: Audiobooks on Scribd

Scribd Audiobooks
Photo Courtesy of Scribd

The subscription digital book service Scribd has been around since 2013 and is the bookish equivalent of Netflix or Spotify. You pay a flat fee of $8.99 month and can read all that you like. I wasn’t all that tempted to subscribe at first since I already borrow eBooks from the library for free. However, now that audiobooks are in the mix I’m changing my tune. I’ve been having a blast with the Scribd free trial and have listened to about 8 audiobooks in the last month. Read on to find out more about it and to get a promo code for three-months free!

*Check out my 8/21 update at the bottom of this post about the change to Scribd’s audiobook model. And I go into more of the details here

Here’s why Scribd is my latest (audiobook) obsession:

Audiobook selection is growing – You can find over 45,000 audiobooks on the site from publishers like Blackstone, Scholastic, Harper Audio and Macmillan. And just last week Penguin Random House added 9000 of their titles to the site. The site doesn’t have the depth of assortment that Audible has, but you get more for your money and I haven’t had any problem finding books to listen to.

Find Best Sellers or Listen to an Old Favorite – You can listen to mysteries like Girl on a Train, Gone Girl, and Reconstructing Amelia, and fantasy adventure books like A Game of Thrones and Ready Player One. In YA you can find the latest from Gayle Forman, Richelle Mead, and Lauren Oliver as well as big franchises like The Hunger Games, Twilight, The Maze Runner and Divergent.

Find the Latest New Releases – I’m listening to two memoirs that just came out this Spring: The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly and Girl in the Dark. I also added recent releases Hausfrau, Unbecoming and Denton Little’s Death Date to my digital library.

Keep track of your To Be Listen list in your Digital Library – Once you browse the site and find titles you want to listen to you add them to your digital library and can sort them into personalized collections. My collection titles are pretty boring, but I like that if I’m in the mood for a memoir or a romance I can find one quickly.

Browsing – You can browse audiobooks by category or bestseller or search for a particular title. The Scribd Selects editors also share fun audiobook lists in categories like Celebrities Narrating Their Memoirs, Marriages on the Brink, Teens in Trouble, or Slicing & Dicing (foodie memoirs). You can also get audiobook recs on the Scribd Blog.

Mobile App makes Listening Easy – You can find and listen to Scribd audiobooks on the mobile app and stream or download on your device. With the app you can speed up or slow down the narration, pause, skip, set a sleep timer, and add a bookmark. I recommend using the bookmark function because I’ve noticed that the app sometimes forgets your place.

scribd audio
Photo courtesy of Scribd

No Waiting – I love my library card and have no plans to give it up, but there is something awesome about having instant digital access to the books you want to read. No waiting lists, etc.

Not just Audiobooks – I primarily use Scribd for audiobooks, but you can also read digital books, comics, and graphic novels. You can read books on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Nook HD, or Kindle Fire.

Take Scribd for a test spin – If you’re new to Scribd take advantage of this promo to get 3-months free*. This link is good until 9/21:

*I have heard from multiple new Scribd subscribers that the above promo gives you 3-months free (the post originally said 2-months free), so I have updated this post to reflect that. Hooray!

Do you subscribe to any book subscription sites like Scribd, Kindle Unlimited or Oyster? If you try out the site let me know what you think!

8/21 update:

I guess my honeymoon with Scribd is coming to an end. In the next 30 days they are moving away from unlimited audiobooks to a “credit based system.” You can listen to one audiobook per month with your membership, though Scribd says “we’ll be offering a rotating catalog of thousands of audiobooks for unlimited listening.”  A lot of the audiobooks I wanted to listen to are expiring. This sucks! The library and Audible are looking like the more attractive option. You can read Scribd’s blog post about the change here.


27 thoughts on “My Latest Obsession: Audiobooks on Scribd

  1. Lupdilup says:

    I looked at it, but the selection wasn’t up to my standards….LOL (not enough new releases) I had Kindle Unlimited for a while now, and at the beginning I got my money’s worth, but I haven’t gotten anything in the last 1.5 months so I’m thinking of canceling.
    I’m glad to hear Scrib is getting a better selection, I will definitely check them out again 🙂
    Great post Lucy, Thank you!

    1. Lucy says:

      The audio selection got really great when Penguin Random House titles dropped in! I’ve heard mixed things about Kindle Unlimited too. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  2. Rachel says:

    Hey! Just to let you (and others) know, when I first clicked through it said you got one month free with your code, but when you continue the process it actually says three months. In case anyone spots one month and doesn’t continue. Not sure if this works in the UK? But going to go have a nosy anyways! R x

    Rachel recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday – My Author BFFs
    1. Lucy says:

      Hey Rachel- thanks for letting me know about your experience with the promo code! Very cool that you got three months free! I’m not sure about the international restrictions but I’ll investigate further. Happy reading 🙂

  3. I’ve yet to try this. I’ll have to give it a try. Right now, I’m so deep in audiobook, I need to get caught up first. Thanks for the info.

    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted: The Martian Audiobook by Andy Weir (REVIEW)
    1. Lucy says:

      I hear ya! I know we have no shortage of books to listen to 🙂

  4. This sounds good but I hate monthly fees for anything!

    bermudaonion (Kathy) recently posted: Review: The Boy Problem
    1. Lucy says:

      Yeah I know what you mean about monthly fees. I get my money’s worth from my Spotify and Netflix subscriptions and since more publishers are on board with Scribd I think it’s a good deal. But do I need an Audible account AND a Scribd account? Probably not.

  5. I have not really been tempted to take part in any of the subscription services so far. I mean the library is great even though there is sometimes a wait. And I just don’t know if I would take advantage of it enough to make it worth the monthly fee. I am also kind of worried about what kind of royalties the authors are making from it. Like music subscription services, I have a feeling that the rates are not good. But maybe I am just a pessimistic person….

    This 2 month trial sounds pretty awesome though. I may give it a try. Thanks for the review, Lucy!

    fishgirl182 @ nite lite recently posted: Audiobook Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  6. […] Lucy @ The Reading Date shares her thoughts on Scribd and offers you 3 months free! […]

  7. Bruna says:

    This is awesome! I’m just getting in to audiobooks lately, using mostly Audible. But they are so expensive! (As are most books and comics). I heard some things about scribd issues with copyright infringement, but I’m not sure how much of it is true. Either way, I’m going to try the free period to see if I can get more audiobooks read! Thanks for the recommendation and free trial link!

    Since I don’t have access to a good library, these kind of things are great to help me read more books without spending all of my money on them (even though I probably won’t stop buying physical books).

    I also use Kindle Unlimited, and the selection in there isn’t the best, but it does have some interesting books.

    Great post!

    Bruna recently posted: Things This Week
    1. Lucy says:

      Hope you’ve had a chance to try out Scribd! Good point about the library access- Scribd is a good alternative. I’ve been definitely getting my $ worth.

  8. Marcel says:

    Just as an aside, Scribd tells me the promo code only gives me 2 free weeks, not 2 months.

  9. Marcel says:

    Never mind, the landing page was confusing. It’s indeed 3 months.

    1. Lucy says:

      I’m glad it worked out! Hope you find some good books to read/listen to.

      1. Marcel says:

        Not all books are available in my region, but a lot of them are, which is great. And I love the audiobook part of Scribd. Going to be ‘reading’ a lot more now. 🙂

  10. […] Lucy explains her obsession with audiobooks on scribd. […]

  11. […] talked about my obsession with audiobooks on Scribd– make sure to redeem this promo to receive three months free (new members only.) Promo is […]

  12. Karen m says:

    FYI this is no longer true. Starting September. You get one book credit for audio books per month. Some books will be available on audio for free but not the most popular. Personally, we just terminated our subscription and are putting the world out there. 8.99 per rental credit is more than it costs me to buy most books on audible. Back to Amazon for us.

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks Karen! I saw the news last night 🙁 So disappointing! Audible does seem like the better option, and I’ll be using the library more too.

      1. Marcel says:

        That’s horrible news! I wonder, if the audiobooks purchased with said credits will remain my property, even if the publisher decides to remove the book from Scribd’s database. In which case it’s still a tad cheaper than Audible (though not by much)

        1. Lucy says:

          It is horrible news, Marcel! It is my understanding that the Scribd audiobooks do NOT become your property.

          “Credits are the form of currency used to listen to audiobooks on Scribd. As a Scribd member, you automatically receive 1 audiobook credit per month at the start of your billing cycle. You can use these monthly credits to access any title in Scribd’s audiobook catalog. Additional audiobook credits may also be purchased at any time for $8.99 each.”

          It seems like Audible is the better deal.

          1. Marcel says:

            I got in touch with helpdesk of Scribd on this issue, and I got this reply:

            “As long as you have an active membership on the site, credits and audiobooks on Scribd are available to you. Due to our publishing deals however, content you’ve used credits to access unfortunately will not be fully available when you cancel and the membership expires. And any credits that have accumulated in your account and were not used before canceling are lost. We’re truly sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

            We’ll still keep the content saved for you though! The second you have a membership with us again, you’ll be able to dive right back into those audiobooks you redeemed (no additional credits needed). And remember, you automatically get 1 credit per month, so you’ll be able to dive into new content right away too.

            If the book is removed from the service entirely by the publishers request, you can contact support to see what can be done to compensate you but that is a very rare situation.”

            So, what I take from this is, once redeemed, the audiobook is in your account to listen to whenever you like, unless the publisher removes it. That just leaves the limited library as the main drawback of Scribd.

          2. Lucy says:

            Thanks for contacting Scribd and reporting back, Marcel. Interesting that even if you cancel, the audiobooks you redeemed are still in your account if you return (even though you don’t technically own them.)

            I noticed that the “for credit” audiobooks are marked with a (!) now, and there’s so many of them! The unlimited selection is limited indeed.

            I’ll almost certainly cancel my subscription before they make the switch Sept. 20.

  13. […] have been kind of a Scribd cheerleader on this blog and wrote a post celebrating the audiobook service. Many of you have taken advantage of the free trial offer here (I am not a Scribd affiliate and get […]

  14. Cathy says:

    Well, I was just about to sign up for a subscription but now, with this change, it’s not worth it to me. I was only going to jump on board because it was unlimited. Sorry Scribd but you blew it in my books. (Pun intended)

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