Free audiobooks for your summer reading.

Every year since 2010 the good people at AudioFile magazine have made it their mission to put tons of FREE audiobooks in the hands of teens (ages 13+) all summer long so they can introduce teens to the joys of the listening experience.

If you are or know a teen who loves to read (or who’d love to try to love to read), this is fantastic news. But there’s good news for the rest of us: these books are available to anyone with a web connection and the ability to use (or learn to use) the Overdrive app.

The program runs from May 5th to August 17 this year. SYNC gives away two complete audiobooks downloads each week: that’s 30 titles total and you can view the whole list right here. The two audiobooks are paired with purpose—you could call it a mini book flight.

Titles are delivered via the free Overdrive app. Many of you know and love Overdrive because it’s the same app you use to borrow books from the library. It functions the same for SYNC titles, with one important difference—once you download these titles, they’re yours to keep, forever.

Sign up here and you’ll get notifications of when the free audiobooks are available. (SYNC gives away two downloads each week, all summer long. Titles are only available for 7 days; titles change every Thursday morning.)

The titles for this summer’s series are top-notch. Especially catching my eye in this summer’s program: I’ll Give You the Sun, How It Went Down, On the Jellicoe Road, Things Fall Apart, The Book of Unknown Americans, The Omnivore’s Dilemma (Young Readers Edition).

Audiobook files can be quite large (especially if you’re running out of storage space on your iPhone, ahem). I have Overdrive on my desktop so I can download each title I’m interested in without sweating the storage space, and sync them to the phone app when I’m ready to listen.

I hope this resource provides you with abundant summer reading. I adore audiobooks, but they can be awfully expensive. Take this opportunity to try new titles for free!

If you’re hooked on audiobooks—or just want to give them a try—these MMD resources are for you: 40 favorite audiobooks (yours and mine), 40 favorite audiobooks for kids, the beginner’s great big guide to audiobooks, and a trick to save big on audiobooks.

If you have any Overdrive tips and tricks, fantastic summer audiobooks to recommend, or past experiences with the SYNC program, please tell us all about it in comments.

Happy reading, everyone!


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  1. Sharyn says:

    I’ve been participating in this program the past few years. Love it! I’m saving some titles for my big road trip later this summer.

    – a 57 year old Grandma

  2. Renee Tougas says:

    What a fabulous link and heads up.Thank you!!

    Three teenagers in the house. a long road trip planned. This is perfect. I already had my son download the 2 available this week.

    You’re the best. Thanks Anne!

  3. Susan E says:

    Thank you so much. What a great resource to have. Looking forward to some great summer “reads” for my son.

  4. Ann says:

    I love your newsletter and daily kindle deals! However, today the “Lit” you had listed as $1.99. Unfortunately, I clicked it to purchase with one click and it was $7.99….

  5. Sam says:

    Hi, I have been using the overdrive app for a few months now and would not consider myself an expert. I cannot figure out how to access the Sync books. Any guidance would be great. Thanks!

  6. Liza says:

    This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! I looked at the list of books. Most I have not heard of, but a few are ones I want to read. And one (Egg & Spoon) is THE BEST book I read last year!

  7. Mary Kate says:

    I tried my first audiobook a few months ago on a solo drive from Jersey to North Carolina, and I didn’t really love the experience. Perhaps it was the book, but my mind tended to wander, and then I’d miss something. They’d suddenly exclaim, “And then he died!” and I’d snap back to attention and be like, “who?!”

    I haven’t tried an audiobook since then–I live in a city and commute via subway, not car, so physical books work best for me–but so many people rave about it I want to give it another try. Any tips on getting into an audiobook? Thanks!

  8. Francisca says:

    Anne, thank you so much for this excellent intro to AudiobookSYNC! We have 30 audiobooks scheduled to give away this summer (and it’s already more than halfway through Week 3). If anyone here is having difficulties sorting the OverDrive app, that help link is indeed the place ro start; the AudiobookSYNC site has other help guides, too, including tips for international listeners and clips and reviews of each title. Happy listening, everyone!

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