Goodbye Simply Audiobooks

I love simply audiobooks, a Canadian supplier of audiobooks.  Originally they started with the rent by mail model.  For a monthly subscription you they would mail you two selections at a time.  You just mail them back when you are done with them. They have added services over the years, but I am still subscribed using the original model.

I started my subscription in 2003 and loved the service.  I have enjoyed many books that I never would have otherwise read.  Books like Bangkok 8, Artemis Fowl, Dry
, Oryx and Crakeand The Dirty Girls Social Club.  It has helped me to discover wonderful authors such as David Sedaris,  Bill Brysonand even Lance Armstrong.  I have gone on to recommend the service to others and to buy additional books from my favorite authors.

My simply audiobooks account has a history of my rentals.  Over the years I have received over 250 rentals.  The definition of a rental (or shipment) has changed over the years.  It use to be 5 or 6 CDs.  Enough for short books but longer ones would be broken into several rentals.  In the face of rising postal rates they changed this to 10-12 CDs.  Enough for everything except for the longest works.

I have always found their customer service friendly and helpful.  All this for less than $20 per month.   So why the title of this post?  I think this graph explains it.

In the graph, sometimes I get fewer rentals because I am on vacation or out-of-town for work.  This is entirely understandable. Any month the rentals are zero it is normally something I did.  The lines are the 6 month moving average for books and shipments.

The major divergence between books and shipments in 2006-2007—we will just call the Dark Tower year.  I recently told a friend that I had listened to the entire Dark Tower series on unabridged audio books and got the astounded response that that has to be hundreds of CDs.  Yes it was a lot of CDs and a lot of shipments.

Over the years the number of rentals per month has been dropping noticeably.  It is now down to two items per month.  I get two books at a time.  This means it now takes almost a month for them to turn around a rental.    I don’t know if the change in speed is because of Canada Post or simply audiobooks.  In 2004 the turnaround time for a shipment was closer to two weeks or less.  I know Canada Post has an effect, because often I will send CDs back on different days but they will be received by simply audiobooks on the same day.  Worse sometimes I will mail back two shipments the same day and they will arrive at simply audiobooks a week apart.  Worse, simply audiobooks has begun shipping books out of the US from their American division. While this helps get obscure title, it has not helped in terms of speed.  It does helps get obscure titles.

My problem is that I am use to more audiobooks per month and at 2 rentals per month for $20 simply audiobooks’ price is getting close to Audible’s.  With Audible I don’t have to contend with scratched CDs, or forgetting to mail the discs back.  Plus I would get to pick the books I want. This has pluses and minuses. I might be less experimental with the titles if I have to pay for them as opposed to just adding them to my rental queue.  I certainly would be getting more science titles.

While I think simply audiobooks is a great company, I don’t think I will renew my subscription in June.


4 Responses to “Goodbye Simply Audiobooks”

  1. I recommend you give our Member Services team a call/email. They are friendly, helpful, and might be able to work something out for you. They are available by phone Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT, and available via email 24/7.

    • saskskeptic Says:

      I agree that member services are friendly and helpful. They deserve a employee swimming pool. My latest set of CDs were suppose to have shipped Apr. 23. Its now May 11 and they still have not shown up yet. Thats 18 days and counting. Years ago SA did some tests of how fast the mail system is. I think they need to do it again.

  2. Koinosuke Says:

    Personally I am very happy with Audible. No I am not being paid to say that. You get to keep the audiobooks, no messing around with CDs.

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    […]Goodbye Simply Audiobooks « Saskatchewan Skeptics[…]…

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