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Amazon Adds Audible.com Audiobooks to the Kindle Store for Direct Download to Complete the Expansion of the Kindle Content Delivery System for Audiobooks: No Cables, Computers, or USB Connections!

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Good news from Amazon today for Kindle lovers who, like me, enjoy listening to Audible.com audio books on their Kindles!

As we’ve been saying since last Summer, the latest-generation Kindles are fully ready for prime time when it came to playing nice with Audible.com audio books, which is as it should be since Amazon owns Audible. We posted here in the past about how you could buy Audible.com audiobooks on your computer — with the same account to which your Kindle is registered — and then find them as if by magic on your Kindle “Archived Items” listing so that you could download them wirelessly via wi-fi, with no cables or USB connections required.

The only thing that was lacking was direct access to Audible.com titles in the Kindle Store. We wrote to Kinley in the Amazon PR department last August 20 to ask when we could expect that, among other things:

It appears from the material in the user’s guide that Audible.com titles will be available directly through the Kindle Store. I’m wondering when this will be a live feature, and also if there will be a special announcement at some point during the week.

The Audible.com feature is going to create a lot of buzz, of course, around whether there will be another shoe to drop soon regarding direct purchase and download of music MP3s.

Kinley wrote back that “as for Audible, I’ll have to ask you to stay tuned.” We did, and as of today the Kindle’s in-built Kindle Store has been nicely built out to include over 50,000 Audible.com titles.

Just click on the Audible Audiobooks line at the upper right to search or browse for any of these books, select the one that’s right for you and click either the cash or credit buy button to begin automatic downloading via your latest-generation Kindle’s wi-fi connection.

Two important caveats:

  • Audiobooks are much more storage-intensive than Kindle books, and if you get five or six of these babies on your Kindle at once there may not be room for anything else.
  • If you are new to Audible.com, you are in for a treat, but I heartily recommend checking out the Audible.com website on your computer where you can find save a ton of money by buying credits in advance. I purchase the 24-credit annual plan and pay in advance and as a result each Audible.com title costs me just $9.56 — a lot less than I would pay for some of these books in the Kindle Store!

I also recommend going back to the October post on this subject for more details on how to get the most out of Audible.com audiobooks on your Kindle. So far this month I’ve listened to The Information, The Social Animal, and The Paris Wife on my Kindle for just $9.56 each.

Here’s the text of Amazon’s own blog post today on this subject:

The Latest Kindle Offers Wireless Delivery of Audible Audiobooks via Wi-Fi

by Kindle Editors on 03/24/2011

Now hear this! We’re thrilled to announce that more than 50,000 Audible Audiobooks are available for download on the latest Kindle via Wi-Fi delivery. Of course, owners of any Kindle device can continue to purchase Audible audiobooks from Audible.com and transfer the titles to Kindle via USB.

Audible offers two free audiobooks with a 30-day free trial of AudibleListener® Gold Membership. To get started, go to the Audible Audiobooks Store to view audiobook titles available for purchase from Audible, read by your favorite celebrities, authors and professional performers.

Hear Donald Sutherland breathe life into The Old Man and the Sea; Listen to Frank Brady recount the remarkable arc of Bobby Fischer’s life in Endgame; Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is illuminated by three different narrators who portray the maids and the white families they toil for in 1960s Mississippi…

Whether you enjoy histories or mysteries, romance, or sci-fi, the latest bestsellers or timeless classics, Audible has something for every discerning audiophile and bibliophile.

We’re watching of this carefully, of course. We’ve known for the last three years that Amazon has developed a great content delivery system for text, and it is also clear now that the Kindle is a great content delivery system for Audible.com audiobooks and, perhaps in time with greater storage capacity, other MP3 files. With the launch of the Amazon Android AppStore the other day, we can’t help but think as well that we are getting ever closer to the time when Amazon will roll out an Android-compatible Kindle-branded tablet that is a great content delivery system for text, audio, apps, and video.


Amazon Expands the Kindle Content Delivery System with Direct Wireless Downloads of Audible.com Audiobooks with No Cables, Computers, or USB Connections!

By Stephen Windwalker

10.14.2010, 5 pm Eastern

Here’s something new and very exciting for anyone who thinks they may enjoy listening to Audible.com audiobooks on their Kindles … or for that matter, anyone who wonders about the future of the Kindle as a delivery system for Amazon’s content:

Now you can download any audiobook directly and wirelessly from your Audible.com library to your Kindle 3 or Kindle Wi-Fi without the use of a USB cable or any other connection with your computer!
I’ve posted recently about how audiobooks from Audible.com’s extensive catalog of 75,000 professionally produced audiobooks work beautifully on all Kindle devices and can actually provide a less expensive alternative when agency model publishers fix foolishly high ebook prices such as the $19.99 set by Penguin — so far, at least — for Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants ebook.
Now, thanks to Kindle’s relatively new wi-fi capability — standard and free on both the wi-fi only and wi-fi+3G Kindle 3 models — and the fact that Amazon owns Audible.com, Kindle 3 owners no longer have to hassle with USB connections, computers, cables, and manual downloads to begin listening to any of their audiobooks on their Kindle. 

How big a deal is this?

In addition to the considerable pleasures of listening to the spoken word, this new development will prove to be a very big deal in all kinds of other ways for Amazon and its customers. While Apple continues to confound many of its customers by forcing us to engage in never-ending and always too lengthy dances of downloading and synchronizing by tethering our iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches via USB cables to our computers, Amazon has nailed the processes of wireless, effortless, in-the-background, cloud-to-Kindle synching, first for Kindle ebooks, magazines, newspapers, and blogs and now, just as elegantly, for large audiobook files. Clearly it is just a matter of time — and a short time at that — before there will be a next-generation Kindle sibling or cousin that provides equally seamless and effortless delivery for other audio and video products from Amazon.

Importantly, we are not talking about Kindle text-to-speech here, with the semi-robotic voice choices that I find fine for newspapers, magazines, and blogs, but which can be a tad annoying if you are listening to something of, ahem, finer literary quality. Audible.com recordings feature world-class voice acting talent.
And, while past hardcopy audiobook-on-disc prices in the $30 to $100 range may have ensured that we were more likely to acquire audiobooks from the public library or a yard sale than at retail, Audible.com pricing is just what you would expect of an Amazon subsidiary:
  • reasonable
  • competitive with print-book and ebook format prices, and
  • with a monthly billing plan reminiscent in some elements of Netflix — structured in such a way that customers like me are going to find it very, very easy, er, compelling, er, addictive to keep coming back for more.
Here are the steps, and the good news is that you only have to follow the first four steps once, or in the case of the fourth step, once a year:
  1. Sign into the Amazon.com account that is associated with your Kindle.
  2. If you don’t already have an Audible.com account, set one up starting from an Amazon-based page like this one for Fall of Giants. (Don’t let the $31.48 price for Fall of Giants scare you away. If you set up a monthly billing account with Audible.com, you’ll never have to pay even half that much for Fall of Giants or any other audiobook.)
  3. Use your Kindle-associated Amazon.com account as your Audible.com account. This is a new feature and it is important to make the steps that follow work, so if you already have an Audible.com account be sure to switch it over to your Amazon.com account (you’ll probably see a link for this in the upper right corner of an Audible.com page).
  4. Follow the prompts to choose a monthly or annual billing plan that’s right for you. Most Audible.com audiobooks cost either 1 credit or some dollar amount that is usually in the $15 to $30 range, so you will want to pay for most audiobooks with “credits” rather than cash. If you choose a plan that bills you monthly for a single credit, each credit will cost you $14.95. By choosing a plan that bills me annually in advance for 24 credits, each credit costs me $9.56. Credits accrue to your account when you pay for them and some can be rolled over; you certainly do not need to purchase an audiobook every month. (When a new account is set up, you should also receive a free credit to use during the first month.)
  5. Once your account is set up, select and purchase an audiobook. Pay for it with a free credit or any other credit that you have on account, unless you are selecting a title that costs less than your cost for a credit, in which case you may want to click on the option that allows you to pay the cash price instead. Complete the purchase process and verify that your new audiobook is in your Audible.com library.
  6. Turn on your Kindle 3, make sure the wireless is in the “On” position by checking the menu, and also make sure that your Kindle is set up for wi-fi and within range of an active wi-fi signal.
  7. From the “Home” screen, press the “Menu” button and select “View Archived Items.” Find your audiobook (hint: it will say “audible” just to the left of the title), and use the 5-way to select it.
  8. The audiobook will begin downloading, and when it appears on your Home screen you can begin listening to it. The downloading process will take a few moments, depending on the length of the book and size of the file, and during the download you may select “View Downloading Items” from the Home menu to to check on download progress.

Two important warnings:

  • Audiobooks files generally take up between 50 and 500 megabytes of storage space on your Kindle, whereas ebook usually take up less than 1 megabites. Generally you should avoid keeping more than two or three audiobooks on your Kindle at a time, in order to keep from having storage problems.
  • Many Kindle Nation citizens are likely to find, as I have found, that the process of buying and listening to audiobooks on the Kindle is seamless and addictive. Spend wisely!
*     *     *
At Audible.com, you can choose to download any of 75,000 audiobooks and more, and listen on your Kindle™, iPhone®, iPod®, or 500+ MP3 players.

Your Audible.com 30-day free trial membership includes:

  • This audiobook free, plus a bonus audiobook of your choice
  • 30% off any additional audiobooks you purchase
  • A free daily audio subscription to The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal
  • Member-exclusive sales and promotions

A Special Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert, Saturday, October 9: Enjoy Fall of Giants Free on Your Kindle! plus, a Fast-Paced, Funny Crime Series Set in the City of Big Shoulders (Today’s Sponsor)

By Stephen Windwalker
Editor of Kindle Nation Daily

What’s the best way for us, as Kindle owners, to fight back against the ridiculous $19.99 price that agency model publisher Penguin’s Dutton Adult imprint has set for Ken Follett’s Fall of Giants?

What if a million of us downloaded it for free? And it was all perfectly legal? Priceless!

I’ll tell you how we can do it in this special edition of the Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Alert.

At most, for the few among us who no longer qualify for the free offer I am going to explain below, the price would fall between $9.56 and $14.95, for a 25 to 50 percent savings compared to the price that Penguin is forcing Amazon to charge in the U.S. Kindle Store.

But first … a word from Today’s Sponsor

New York, LA, Boston, Miami … each of those towns is home to a handful of well-loved detectives and hard-boiled crime series. Isn’t it time the Second City got its due? Now, with a tough ex-cop named Jack Riley, novelist J.R. Chase invites us to join him on a fast-paced, funny ride through the mean and windy streets of the City of Big Shoulders, and the fare is guaranteed to come in at less than two bucks….
by J.R. Chase (Author)
5.0 out of 5 stars  – (1 customer review) – Kindle Price:    $1.99 – Text-to-Speech: Enabled

Once a star detective, ex-Chicago PD Jack Riley was thrown off the force under a cloud of scandal. Now he works as a private eye out of Roseland, one of Chicago’s bleakest neighborhoods.

When Erin Graves, the youngest daughter of one of Chicago’s oldest industrial families is found dead of an apparent overdose, Jack is hired to investigate.

Jack soon discovers that the manicured mansions of the Gold Coast mask a grisly underbelly of sex, drugs and dirty money in Chicago high society.

As Jack catches the scent of a killer, he must confront the dark shadows of his own life or risk losing everything he has left.

Click on the title to download Chicago Squeeze (or a free sample) to your Kindle or free Kindle app and start reading within 60 seconds!

Each day’s list is sponsored by one paid title. We encourage you to support our sponsors and thank you for considering them.

Authors, Publishers, Kindle Accessory Manufacturers:
Interested in learning more about sponsorship? Just click on this link for more information.


A Special Free Book Alert for Enjoyment on Your Kindle:
Fall of Giants

Although the novelist Ken Follett has managed to sell over 100 million copies of his books without much help from me, I’ve been aware of his marvelous storytelling gifts since I saw Donald Sutherland and Kate Nelligan in the film adaptation of his Eye of the Needle over 25 years ago. And for the past year or so I have been encouraged repeatedly by friends possessing a wide variety of reading tastes, most recently my sweetheart Betty, that I should make time to read his sweeping medieval saga The Pillars of the Earth. I recently bought that one in the Kindle Store for $6.99 and downloaded it for my Kindle and Betty’s, and am only waiting until she finishes so that I can read it without fear of losing her place if our respective Kindles, both on the same account, approach the kind of synchronicity that their owners appear to have achieved.

But I digress. All the buzz now is about Follett’s latest novel, Fall of Giants, a sweeping saga set in the 20th century, for which agency model publisher Penguin’s Dutton Adult imprint has set a Kindle Store price of $19.99.

And I am here — even if I am putting my literary credibility as a Harvard-educated English Lit major at risk — to tell you that it is one hell of a terrific read.

But that $19.99 price is literary larceny, of course, and I’ll have none of it. The same publisher is allowing the Kindle book to be sold for about half that price to Kindle customers in some other countries, and in the UK where there is no agency model, the price is £8.55, which translates into $13.64 US. The three-dead-trees 985-page hardcover is available on Amazon and elsewhere for less than the $19.99 US Kindle price.

So it is not surprising that 205 of the book’s 300 Amazon reviews to date have awarded it 1 star, but it is also true that plenty of people are buying the Kindle book even at the ridiculous price. It’s #12 just now on the Kindle Store bestseller list. I suspect it would be in the top five in the Kindle Store if it were priced at $9.99, but none of us really knows.

I absolutely will not pay $19.99 to download the Kindle book to my Kindle at that price, but I’m reading it and enjoying it thoroughly … on my Kindle. I paid $9.56 for Fall of Giants , because I got the complete unabridged audiobook version from Audible.com in a terrific 441-MB set of four files that took me less than 10 minutes to download and transfer to my Kindle before I started listening to John Lee’s beautiful narration.

I got the $9.56 price because that’s the monetary price of the “1-credit” cost that Audible.com charges for Fall of Giants, based on my Audible.com subscription plan, a prepaid 2-audiobooks-a-month plan that gets me 24 books for about $229. Under other available plans for less frequent flyers, the price of a single credit runs from $11.48 to $14.95.

But if I were a Kindle owner who was just starting out with a 30-day trial for a brand new Audible.com account, the cost would be ZERO. Free. Zilch. $0.00.

And what better way to use the free 1-book credit that comes with a free 30-day trial than to pick up a book that you want to read (if you do) for which the publisher is trying to gouge you out of 20 bucks? And if enough of us do it so that it makes an impression on the publishers, all the better.

Maybe you already know all about this, but if it’s new to you, here are the basics.

Happy listening!

Meanwhile, if you want to read other books by Ken Follett, there are over a dozen that are well worth picking up from the Kindle Store, since all the rest are priced where Fall of Giants will eventually be priced — between $6.29 and $9.99.


A Tip for Kindle Owners with Access to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch: Thousands of Free, High Quality Audiobook Readings

I know I’ve posted before about great sources of read-aloud books that will play on your Kindle, and there’s an entire chapter on this in my bestselling book, The Complete User’s Guide To the Amazing Amazon Kindle 2: Tips, Tricks, & Links To Unlock Cool Features & Save You Hundreds on Kindle Content, but I just posted about another great service for the first time over at our sister site iPad Nation Daily: Enjoying eBooks with iPad, iPhone, or Touch, and I wanted to share the link with Kindle Nation citizens right away.

The bottom line: Audiobooks has a great app runs anywhere from free to 99 cents for folks who have access to an iPad, an iPhone, or an iPod Touch.

For more information about its user-friendly features and easy access to over 3,000 free classics in over a dozen language, presented by talented readers, check out this post:

iPad Nation Daily Free Books Alert for Thursday, April 22: A High-Quality Audiobooks App and Thousands of Free Books Read Aloud to You on Your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch