At long last, Amazon launched its Audible store for audiobooks in India last week, making its library of more than 2,00,000 spoken word titles available across the country at reasonable prices.
You’ll need an Amazon account to register, and as in other countries, an Audible membership nets you one credit a month which lets you purchase an audiobook that you can keep forever. You’ll also get 30 percent off on additional purchases each month.
Plans start at Rs. 199 per month (if you sign up for 12 months), and go up to Rs. 299 per month; there’s a free 30-day trial which includes one credit.
The site offers a wide range of Indian and international audiobooks with best-selling titles listed at prices ranging from Rs. 615 ($8) to Rs. 888 ($12). As I mentioned, members can snap these up either at no extra charge for a single title per month, or have 30 percent knocked off the price for additional books.
With prices like that, you’ll have a harder time building up your collection of audiobooks than you may have with paperbacks, but it’s still way better than what we started with in India. Google Play introduced audiobooks in January with prices hovering around the Rs. 2,000 (~$27) mark, while paperbacks cost a fifth of that, and Kindle ebook editions cost a sixth.
It looks like Google is responding to the competition at last – it’s now significantly dropped prices for most of its popular titles, and is offering discounts on them right now. That brings Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water down to Rs. 800 ($11), and Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury down to Rs. 1,299 ($18). Of course, these are still more expensive than if you got them on Audible, so if you’ve been meaning to get into listening to books, you’re better off trying Amazon’s offering.
Audible currently offers Android and iOS apps, as well as a cloud player for desktop. You can check out the catalog of titles (which includes a number of recordings exclusive to the platform) available in India and sign up on audible.in.