Business Book Summaries Reviews

Executive Book Summaries Services Reviewed and Rated


Here, we’ll compare and contrast the major Business Book Summary services to help you decide which is right for you.  Detailed review and rating of each Business Book Summary services can be found by scrolling further down.  First, here is a quick brief summary of the analysis:

1. Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Website: http://www.Summary.com
Pricing: Online (30 summaries/year), $99; Premium Online (access 10 Year archive), $199; Premium Audio (adds monthly multimedia CDs of each issue), $229. Summaries also can be purchased individually.
Recommendation: Well-written, focused and to the point. They accomplish exactly what you’d want, hitting all the high points and fleshing out important themes.  You really can’t go wrong with Soundview.
Guarantee: 100% Money Back Guarantee.  You may cancel any time during your first year for any reason, and recieve a 100% refund of every cent you paid.
Stars (out of 5): ***** 5 Stars

2. getAbstract
Website: http://www.getAbstract.com
Pricing: The Gold subscription, allows access to more than 5,000 summaries, is $179/six months. The Silver subscription, $89, is a total of 30 summaries over 1 year.
Recommendation: getAbstract is an excellent choice for the executives who wants access to a broad selection of solid, well-focused reviews.
Free Samples: Free book summaries.  3 New York Times Bestsellers. Click here
Stars (out of 5): **** 4.5 Stars

3. Brevity Brief Business Summaries
Website: http://www.GoBrevity.com
Pricing: $197/year, one summary each week. As of November 2009, is offering a “charter member” price of $97/year.
Recommendation: A solid choice for the small business owner who wants to get the quick lowdown on influential best business books, then move on to other matters. For that audience, the current $97 “charter member” price is a good deal.
Free Samples: Click Here
Stars (out of 5): **** 4 stars

4. Business Book Review
Website: http://www.BusinessBookReview.com
Pricing: $195/year, one business book summary each week, includes full access to archived book summaries.
Recommendation: A very solid option for the literate executive, though a bit detail-heavy for those who want “just the facts.”
Stars (out of 5): **** 4 stars

5. Business Summaries
Websitehttp://www.BizSum.com
Pricing: $69.95/year for standard subscription (one full book summary each week), which includes full access to archived business book summaries.
Recommendation: Serviceable if you’re on a tight budget, but you’re getting what you pay for.
Stars (out of 5): *** 3 stars

6. Audio-Tech Business Book Summaries
Website: http://www.AudioTech.com
Pricing: $149/year for 24 audio summaries of 45 minutes each.
Recommendation: Audio-Tech knows its stuff at summarizing and recording crisp audio. But it’s also shockingly stuck in a past generation. A subscription might be worth considering at a discount, but not at $149/year.
Stars (out of 5): ** 2 stars

7. Summaries.com
Website: http://www.Summaries.com
Pricing: Subscribers can get a new weekly summary by paying $12 for four weeks or $100 for a full year. Or you can pay $100 for 52 summaries and order them individually.
Recommendation: Delivers a lot of information at a reasonable price, but the summaries need editing and the website’s a wreck. You’ll probably find a better fit for your needs elsewhere.
Stars (out of 5): ** 2 Stars

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With thousands of business books published each year, a busy executive (or prospective executive) would be hard-pressed to find time to read them all. That’s why several services offer business book summaries (in a variety of formats) of the key ideas and concepts covered by each business book.

They’ve been around awhile, but they weren’t always so important. In the 1980s and 1990s, keeping up with business books was an often useful pastime for executives. They often could find novel approaches to management, or gain good ideas for motivating and hiring staff.

In the 21st century, however, understanding as much as you can about the changing business landscape is far more critical.

In a new, uncertain global economy, business leaders need to be on top of every new twist and turn as soon as it happens. There just isn’t enough time in the day to read every important new best business book, so finding a good business summary online provider is absolutely essential.

How do you get the most from these executive book summaries? To some degree, it depends on what you want to get from them.

The better business book summary services do a great job of highlighting critical points, while providing enough additional information to show why the author believes a given piece of advice to be so important.

If your interest leans more toward broader, more philosophical approaches to business, you’ll want to check out book summaries that comprehensively cover the source material.

However, many business owners and executives simply don’t have that much time. They have at best an hour or two each week to keep up with new business reading. If this sounds like you, a quick skim of the book summary will convey what you need to know, and you can always come back to it for more in-depth consideration later.

Whatever the case, you can’t afford to be behind the eight ball when business is more competitive than ever. Here, we’ll compare and contrast the major business book summary services to help you decide which is right for you.

1. Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Website: http://www.Summary.com
The lowdown: Marries the editorial excellence of an established company with a modern technologies and delivery methods.
Company info: Founded in 1978 in Concordville, PA. Website has been live and online editions available since 1995.
Pricing: Three options – Online (five summaries accessible online), $99; Premium Online (access 10 Year archive, downloadable to devices), $199; Premium Audio (adds monthly multimedia CDs of each issue), $229. Summaries also can be purchased individually.
Formats available: PDF, HTML, Kindle, MP3, Palm, others

If you’re desperate to save a buck or greatly prefer an “old-school” approach, there are a couple of decent alternatives to Soundview you might consider. But across the board, Soundview offers the best service, with excellent summaries, reasonable pricing and massive format support.

Soundview executive book summaries are well-written, focused and to the point. They accomplish exactly what you’d want, hitting all the high points and fleshing out important themes when necessary.

The writers understand the importance of being detailed but lively, which areas need elaboration and which just need to be bullet points. That’s a science, and it’s a science this company has down pat.

The website is professional and intuitively designed, and the fact that Soundview has been around so long is a comfort to subscribers.

Sure, there are cheaper options than Soundview, but the difference in quality can be quite evident. That said, there’s no point to even considering the $99 subscription. The $199 subscription clearly is the most popular option and the right one for most readers.


Guarantee: 100% Money Back Guarnatee.  You may cancel any time during your first year for any reason, and recieve a 100% refund of every cent you paid.  You simply got nothing to lose!

Free Samples: Click here
Stars (out of 5): ***** 5 Stars

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2. getAbstract
Website: http://www.getAbstract.com
The lowdown: getAbstract has an extensive archive of 5,000-plus book summaries and is supported by numerous formats.
Company info: Founded in 1999, based in Switzerland and the U.S.
Pricing: The Gold subscription, while allows access to more than 5,000 summaries, is $179/six months, $299/year, or $549/two years. The Silver subscription, $89, is a total of 30 summaries over 1 year.
Formats available: PDF, MP3, Kindle, PDA, others

If you like to have the world at your fingertips, this is money well spent.

This book summaries online service provides everything most people would want from a business book summary, and the pure quantity of available summaries (with the Gold subscription, at least) is incredibly impressive.

The getAbstract summaries – or abstracts, to use the company’s term – are compiled by professional financial journalists, and they’re clean, thorough and sharply-written. The printed version won’t win any style points, but it’s easy to read, and the audio version is clear and straightforward.

It’s fair to say the getAbstract summaries aren’t as in-depth as those offered by its better competitors, but they include just about everything the vast majority of readers would want.

Where getAbstract really shines is quantity. Forget the Silver option – one can reasonably assume it exists purely to make the Gold look better. The Gold gets you get 50 new abstracts every month, in addition to access to the massive 5,000-plus library. Think of it as the Netflix of business book summaries.

Recommendation: getAbstract is an excellent choice for the executives who wants access to a broad selection of solid, well-focused reviews. You can get 3 New York Times Bestsellers book summaries by clicking here.
Stars (out of 5): **** 4.5 Stars

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3. Brevity Brief Business Summaries
Website: http://www.GoBrevity.com
The lowdown: This newbie focuses on covering the basics for busy small business owners.
Company info: Founded and run by Rick Raddatz of Broomfield, CO.

Pricing: $197/year, one summary each week. As of November 2009, is offering a “charter member” price of $97/year.
Formats available: HTML, PDF, Audio, Video, others

Brevity takes a different approach from others in the industry. As owner Rick Raddatz notes in an audio file that plays over the site’s home page, Brevity does not try to be comprehensive in its business book summaries. Its intent is to hit just the main points and explain them, as the name suggests, in brief.

That’s why you’ll get an entirely different experience from Brevity Brief. To be clear, it’s not the right choice if you’re looking for a comprehensive understanding of the summarized work. However, it definitely is a useful option for the time-crunched small business owner.

Raddatz claims that summaries by some other providers are dry and cover too much of the book, and on occasion that’s a fair argument. He boils down each book into a quick, logical explanation of its key issues and only addresses specifics you actually need to know.

For those who like video, you get one of Raddatz discussing the main points. He’s a good speaker and his engaging style really brings the points to life. And the action steps he details at the end of each section make it easy to follow the advice laid out in the work.

Again, Brevity is for a very specific audience: one that only wants the know the critical aspects of each work in a fast, clear fashion. It’s an audience few are targeting, and Brevity Brief appears to have it covered quite well.

Recommendation: A solid choice for the small business owner who wants to get the quick lowdown on influential best business books, then move on to other matters. For that audience, the current $97 “charter member” price is a good deal. Samples Click Here.
Stars (out of 5): **** 4 stars

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4. Business Book Review
Website: http://www.BusinessBookReview.com

The lowdown: Highly detailed, comprehensive book reviews by meticulous, professional writers.
Company info: In business for more than two decades. Owned by EBSCO Publishing of Ipswich, MA, a company that manages online databases.
Pricing: $195/year, one business book summary each week, includes full access to archived book summaries.
Formats available: Include PDF, MP3 and PDA


This is a great choice for the reader who wants a business book distilled into a very professional, thoughtfully crafted document. Everything about BBR’s book summaries conveys professionalism, from comprehensive detailing of a book’s message to sidebars that break down key concepts.

The summary authors are unafraid to critique and provide context, which is the kind of value-added content you’ll rarely find elsewhere. The formatting and typesetting are pristine, helping the reader interpret the information easily.

However, as excellent as BBR’s summaries are, they might not be the best choice for the reader who, to be blunt, really doesn’t like to read. Some people just want the bare-bones facts as quickly as possible, and BBR might not be the best choice for them.

It is an excellent option, however, for readers who expect a business book summary to be just as professional (and sometime even more so) than the book it is summarizing.

A BBR subscription is not cheap – some might balk at effectively paying almost $4 per each new summary, even for such excellent work. However, the annual subscription also includes unlimited access to more than 700 archived business book summaries.

Recommendation: A very solid option for the literate executive, though a bit detail-heavy for those who want “just the facts.”
Stars (out of 5): **** 4 stars

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5. Business Summaries
Website: http://www.BizSum.com

The lowdown: An inexpensive option that also offers a free “lite” subscription level.
Company info: Based in Miami, FL. It began operation in 2000, according to its website.
Pricing: $69.95/year for standard subscription (one full book summary each week), which includes full access to archived business book summaries.
Formats available: Include PDF, HTML, PowerPoint, Video and more

Without a doubt, there is quite a bit to recommend about Business Summaries. Unfortunately, there’s also quite a bit to criticize. Whether it’s the right option for you depends on what you’re looking for.

The service’s top advantage is price. For less than $70 a year, you’re getting 52 weeks of complete book summaries, plus full access to the archive. That’s a pretty good return on your investment. It also throws in numerous “bonuses,” which you may or may not find useful.

Another upside to Business Summaries is its embrace of formats across the digital spectrum, giving you numerous options for how to read or listen to your content.

Which brings us to the downside: the content. The quality level simply isn’t up to the level of the industry leaders.

The website’s sample book summary – and remember, this is one they chose to be representative – has many punctuation glitches and other writing errors. It does a good job of distilling its subject’s main points, but it’s no great read.

These issues also spill over to the website, which comes off far more like a marketing site than a provider truly focused on offering a professional product.

Recommendation: Serviceable if you’re on a tight budget, but you’re getting what you pay for.
Stars (out of 5): *** 3 stars

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6. Audio-Tech Business Book Summaries
Website: http://www.AudioTech.com
The lowdown: Specializes in audio versions of book summaries.
Company info: Founded in 1994, based in Willowbrook, IL.
Pricing: $149/year for 24 audio summaries of 45 minutes each. Previous releases are not included, but subscribers get discounted prices. Non-subscribers can purchase individual selections a la carte.
Formats: Include CD, cassette, MP3, PDF, printed transcript


Not everyone can be cutting edge, but Audio-Tech doesn’t even come close. At a website that looks like it was designed at least a decade ago, Audio-Tech sells not only compact discs, but even audiocassettes (for its older selections).

Of course, old school isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There’s no reason Audio-Tech shouldn’t sell off its stock of audiocassette archive. And the company does provide MP3/iTunes versions of more recent releases.

A sample audio summary on the website is solid, if a bit dated-sounding. The printed version of the summary, ironically, is something Audio-Tech does well. Created in 2001, it’s well-written and formatted in a nice, clean style, though it also looks extremely dated even for that time – you could swear it was published in 1991, not 2001.

The website offers an option to “Meet The Voices” of the three people who narrate the summaries. The voices are sharp and professional. But it’s bothersome that all three narrators are men. All three are white. And all three are middle-aged (or older). That seems a bit clueless from a company doing business in 2009.

Recommendation: Audio-Tech knows its stuff at summarizing and recording crisp audio. But it’s also shockingly stuck in a past generation. A subscription might be worth considering at a discount, but not at $149/year.
Stars (out of 5): ** 2 stars

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7. Summaries.com
Website: http://www.Summaries.com

The lowdown: A bare-bones service of 8-page emailed PDF summaries
Company info: Run by Cutting Edge Information Ltd. of New Zealand.
Pricing: Subscribers can get a new weekly summary by paying $12 for four weeks or $100 for a full year. Or you can pay $100 for 52 summaries and order them individually.
Formats available:
PDF

They say the phrase “it is what it is” has become cliché, but that’s exactly what comes to mind with Summaries.com. You won’t find any bells and whistles here, just straightforward if uninspiring business book summaries.

The company’s website doesn’t exactly instill confidence: it looks like it was designed about two weeks after HTML was first created and has gone untouched since.

Especially strange is the archive book summaries online ordering page, on which the summaries are listed in a range of font sizes that includes microscopic. Truly, you can zoom your browser a dozen times and not make out which books these are.

The PDF summaries themselves aren’t terrible, but they certainly aren’t in the upper echelon. They’re grammatically solid and decently organized, and while the formatting is dated at best, it’s quite legible.

Summaries.com does have one feature some readers likely will consider a boon: It packs a lot of information into those eight pages. In fact, the amount of content you get, factored against the relatively low price, might make Summaries.com seem like a bargain.

Problem is, there’s way too much jammed into each business book summary, burying manyof the key points. Huge author quotes are packed in willy-nilly, one after the other, when a brief excerpt would have been more effective.

Recommendation: Delivers a lot of information at a reasonable price, but the summaries need editing and the website’s a wreck. You’ll probably find a better fit for your needs elsewhere.
Stars (out of 5): ** 2 Stars

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