Amazon offers discounted audio versions of your Kindle books

You can now pick up audio versions of certain books in your Kindle library at a nice discount.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon is playing matchmaker to help you find low-cost audio editions of your Kindle books.

The retailer's new Matchmaker page scans your Kindle library to see which e-books have a corresponding audio version. The audio versions then pop up with discounted price tags. Simply click on the upgrade button for a specific book to make your payment. You can also listen to an audio preview of any book before you buy it.

The audio editions are offered through Audible, which is owned by Amazon. To listen to your book, you'll need to download the Audible app onto your mobile device, a process that Amazon explains after you've chosen your book. You can then open the Audible app to download and listen to the book.

Amazon's Whispersync technology also plays a role here. You can listen to the audio edition of your book and then switch to the e-book version exactly where you left off.

The prices vary depending on the title, but they seem to be healthy discounts off the full retail price. A scan of my Kindle library uncovered audio counterparts for several classic books. "A Christmas Carol" was available for 49 cents, down from the usual price of $2. "The Wizard of Oz" could be had for 99 cents, down from $14.95. And "Gulliver's Travels," as read by actor David Hyde Pierce, was free.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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