If you’ve been curious about Libro.fm, this post will answer all your questions about this audiobook service. I’ll also get into how it compares with other popular options like Audible and Scribd.
Let’s get started.
What is Libro.fm?
Libro.fm is an audiobook service that allows users to support local bookstores with their audiobook purchases.
How does Libro.fm work?
Like Audible and other audiobook subscription members, you can sign up for a monthly Libro.fm membership–which buys you one free monthly credit. A Libro.fm membership costs $14.99.
Or you can just buy one-off audiobooks as you need them. However, if you’re a member, you get a 30% discount on a la carte purchases.
Libro.fm also allows you to buy audiobook credit bundles (which are great for buying pricier audiobooks) and gift audiobooks to friends and family.
When you create your account, you’ll be prompted to choose a local bookstore you’d like to support. On July 26, 2023, Libro.fm went international, allowing users to support bookstores outside the United States.
I also love that there’s almost always a Libro.fm sale to get audiobooks for way less.
How much does Libro.fm give to bookstores?
According to the American Booksellers Association, Libro.fm gives 15% of audiobook profits to local bookstores.
Besides giving a percentage of profits to bookstores, Libro.fm also works hard to support booksellers by sharing marketing materials and free advance listener copies (ALCs) with them.
ALCs are basically early copies of audiobooks available before the release date. Libro.fm also has an ALC program for educators and librarians. More on those soon.
Can I listen to downloaded Libro.fm books offline?
Totally! On the Libro.fm app, you actually have to download the books to listen to them. You can’t stream the audiobooks like you can on Scribd.
Libro.fm also allows you to download the audio files to your computer, although I find that method overwhelming since I can’t keep track of my place once I start listening to something else.
How many books does Libro.fm have?
Over 400,000, according to the Libro.fm website. For context, Scribd reportedly has 300,000+ while Audible has 600,000+.
Fun fact: Libro.fm has over 99% of the NYT Bestseller, and many of those unavailable are those locked into an Audible exclusive contract (you can’t even find these in public library catalogs).
Still, I’ve rarely been unable to find an audiobook I really wanted on Libro.fm.
How to cancel Libro.fm
If you want to cancel your Libro.fm membership, here’s how to do it:
- On the website, click Account > Account & Library
- Under the membership tab, you’ll see options to edit membership details, cancel your membership, or put it on hold.
- Hit Cancel, and you’re done!
How can I share my Libro.fm audiobook with a friend?
Sharing a Libro.fm audiobook with a friend will cost you one credit. You’ll need to do this in the app. Open the audiobook, click “Send as Gift,” and then fill in your friend’s details.
Is Libro.fm more ethical than Audible?
It depends on your personal philosophy. If you’re anti-Amazon, then Libro.fm is likely more ethical for you.
I don’t love everything that Amazon does, but it does make books accessible in countries like Nigeria (where I live), unlike sites like Bookshop, which have barred access to people living here.
However, I really dislike Audible for many reasons, including the limited number of audiobooks for people living outside the US. So I’m happy to give my money to Libro.fm or Scribd. Libro.fm offers me access to more books.
Is Libro.fm Apple CarPlay supported?
Yep, you can use Libro.fm seamlessly with CarPlay.
Is there a Libro.fm free trial?
Nope, there’s no Libro.fm free trial. When you join Libro.fm with my code, you get one free credit–as do I. You can cancel your membership whenever you want.
Do Libro.fm credits expire?
Good news, your Libro.fm credits never expire! Even after your membership expires, you can keep your Libro.fm credits.
What’s the Libro.fm ALC program?
Each month, Libro.fm allows influencers, media/reviewers, educators, librarians, and booksellers access to free copies of audiobooks before or just after they’re released. Amazingly, once you accept an ALC, it’s yours forever–unlike some ebook review copies that expire after a specified period.
I’m currently on the Educator program, and I get a solid number of great audiobooks ahead of their release. If you fit into any of the above categories, just apply to the Libro.fm ALC program.
Libro.fm vs. Audible compared
Libro.fm and Audible are pretty comparable on many grounds. Both are great audiobook subscription services with a monthly credit system. An equivalent Audible subscription costs $14.95.
The Audible and Libro.fm apps are similar in quality and both have excellent audio quality. The main selling point for Libro.fm is that it benefits local bookstores and unlike with Audible, you can download Libro.fm’s audio files straight to your computer.
Here’s a table to help you keep track of the main differences between them.
|Price||Premium Plus costs $14.95 per month (equivalent to Libro.fm membership)||$14.99 per month|
|Library size||600,000+ audiobooks, also includes podcasts, meditation tapes, etc.||400,000+ audiobooks|
|Listening devices||Plays well with the Echo and other Amazon devices||Plays on Alexa|
|Audiobook sharing||Allows Family Sharing||Allows audiobook gifting|
Is Libro.fm good?
Yes! I personally LOVE Libro.fm and immediately started listening to at least 50% of my audiobooks on the app, instead of my usual Scribd (which I still prefer for my budget). The Libro.fm app is super easy to use, responsive, and just an overall delight. PLUS, with the Educator ALCs, I’m constantly swimming in choices.
I listen to more audiobooks than the average person, so I do use Scribd and Libro.fm, but if you wanted to use just one, it would depend on your budget and whether or not you want to own the audiobooks.
On a tight budget and don’t mind not owning the audiobooks? Go with Scribd (my link gets you two FREE months). Have the budget to splurge and need to own the audiobooks? Choose Libro.fm. Better yet, do both!