Alexa Skill - Quick Start Guide

5 min. readlast update: 04.04.2024

Introduction to the skill

Calibre Audio’s Alexa Skill lets you play audiobooks with voice commands. Enjoy any book in your current playlist by following this quick guide. Please note: The skill is only available on devices that have English (UK/IE/US/AU/CA/IN) locale set as their primary language preference. So if you are overseas and you have another language preference the skill may not be available in the skills store.

Our Alexa skill plays audiobooks by connecting to your My Calibre™ playlist. If you're a current digital member, please log in to your My Calibre™ account. If you're a USB member, you'll need to subscribe to Calibre's digital services which you can do by calling our team on 01296 432339. If you don’t have a Calibre membership, please click here to create an account.

The skill has basic functionality; allowing you to play an audiobook, pause, skip forwards and backwards, set a sleep timer, and bookmark. It doesn’t allow you to search for books yet, or to browse our collection. You’ll need to add books via My Calibre™ before you can listen to them via Alexa.


Setting up your Echo Device

Before you can use the Calibre skill and start playing books, you’ll need to ensure your Alexa device is set up correctly. If you’ve already got a device up and running, please skip ahead to the next page.

Here are some guides, provided by Amazon, on how to set up your Echo device if you haven’t done so:

How to set up your Echo Dot – the most common, screenless Alexa device

How to set up your Echo Show – Alexa device with a large rectangular screen


Install the Alexa app

To begin, please install the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet if you haven’t already done so. If you already have the Alexa app, and you’re signed in to the app, please skip to the next page. 

You can find the Alexa app on Apple or Android here:

Once the app is installed, you’ll need to log in to your Amazon account. 


Log in to your My Calibre account

When you first install and launch the skill from the Alexa app, you’ll be taken to a log in page for My Calibre™. You’ll need to sign in using your Calibre account details which must be the email address and password linked to your Calibre membership. Please note; the skill doesn’t have the functionality to allow you to log in using your membership number.

Once you’re logged in, the skill will be linked to your My Calibre™ account and playlist.


Browsing our collection on My Calibre

To play books through Alexa, you’ll need to visit our streaming site, My Calibre™, and add books to your playlist. Click here to visit My Calibre™. You can search our collection for books in one of three main ways:

Latest Releases
This page displays the audiobooks released that month – scroll right or click the arrows to browse.

You can also browse our collection by category with our 70 fiction and non-fiction categories to choose from.

Or you can find an author and see a list of all their audiobooks we have in the collection. 


Searching the Collection

You can also search for audiobooks by using the search function in the top navigation bar. Click the magnifying glass to get started. 

You can search by author, narrator, book number, or the subject matter. It will display a list of results for you to choose from. Click on the book title to get more information, listen to a sample, or add the book directly to your list.


Audiobook Information

When you find an audiobook that appeals to you, click on the title or cover to get more information, including the synopsis, length, and the narrator’s name.

You can also see more titles by the author, when you click on their name, as well as listen to a sample or add the book to your playlist.


Adding a title to your list

To add a title to your playlist, just click on the “Add to playlist” button. This will add the book to your playlist. You can click on it again to take you to your dashboard and begin listening.

You can start listening to the audiobook straight away or search for moreSay “Alexa, open My Calibre Player”.  Alexa will ask if you wish to continue listening to your current book, which will be the book at the top of your playlist. If you say “no”, it will read the other titles in your list. Say the title of the book you’d like to hear to continue.


Using the Calibre skill

Once the skill is installed, you’ve logged in to your My Calibre™ account and you have added books to your list, you can begin listening to these books using Alexa. 

Start by saying the phrase “Alexa, open My Calibre Player” to open the skill. Please make sure your pronunciation is clear. If Alexa tries to open something else, say “Alexa, stop” then try again. We recommend you emphasise the words “my – kal – e – berr player” to avoid Alexa opening your calendar information accidentally. 

You’ll hear a jingle signifying that the skill has launched. Alexa will ask if you want to continue listening to your current book. If you say “Yes” it’ll play that book from the beginning or last known bookmark. 

If you say “No” Alexa will list the other titles in your current playlist. You can choose another title by stating the book name and it’ll begin playing that title from the beginning or last known bookmark. 

Once your audiobook begins playing, you’ll be able to use commands such as “Alexa, pause/skip or skip forward/go back” to navigate through the tracks. Saying "Alexa, stop" will stop the audio, saying "Alexa, continue reading" will resume playback, provided another skill has not been launched after pausing.

You can also set a sleep timer by saying "Alexa, sleep timer for X minutes" during playback. A bookmark will be placed once Alexa closes.

When you’ve finished listening, say "Alexa, cancel" or "Alexa, exit" and this will close the skill and place a bookmark where you stop.

If you wish to continue after closing, say "Alexa, keep reading/listening".


Returning an audiobook

Once you’ve finished listening to a book, you can return it on My Calibre™ by going to your dashboard, clicking on the title and selecting the 'Return' button.

This will then appear in the My History section on your dashboard, where you’ll be able to see your previously borrowed titles and when they were returned.

You can then add more books to your playlist to listen to on Alexa.


Changing your Calibre password

You can change your password in the My Calibre™ settings. Type in your new password and you'll receive a confirmation email to say your password has been changed successfully. Please note: you will be logged out of the Alexa skill if you sign in and then change your password after this, so you will need to sign in again.


My Calibre Quick Guide

For more detailed information on how to use My Calibre, please read our quick guide via the link below.


Any questions?

If you have any questions or require further help, 
please contact Membership Services:

01296 432339


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