Frequently Asked Questions

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What is a book Summary?

Soundview Executive Book Summaries are 5,000-word eight-page text, and 20-minute audio distillations of business books. A Summary covers the book's main points and actionable ideas, and highlights and gives you a working knowledge of its contents.

A Summary isn't merely a digest or excerpts strung together. It's a seamless document that reads (and holds your interest) like a magazine article. And you retain more of the content when you read a Summary than when you read a book. A major university study proved that a few years back.

Finally, Summaries not only save you time and money. They keep you abreast of the latest ideas and techniques, and they help you decide whether a book is worth reading in its entirety.

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Who reads the Summaries and why?

Soundview screens and evaluates business books for executives worldwide. These people range from CEOs to managers just starting out, and everyone in between. Subscribers include managers, sales and marketing people, entrepreneurs, consultants, academics and students, people in manufacturing and finance, human resources -- you name it.

As diverse as this group is, our subscribers have a few things in common. They are ambitious, for example, and they recognize that to succeed they must keep abreast of current business trends and ideas. They also know that, in the business world, education must be an ongoing process. To stop learning is to fall behind. Whatever their motivation, Summary readers find themselves more effective on the job and more successful in their careers.

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What topics do the Summaries cover?

If it's of interest to business people, we cover it. These include the usual suspects like management and leadership books, books on finance or manufacturing, economics, sales, small business, career and success techniques, etc. But we also occasionally cover books on topics that affect all business people, like health care, the environment, politics, and so on. Subject Categories can be found on the left side of our Home Page.

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Where do I go on the web site to see a list of all of your available summaries?

Our full list of available summaries can be found by clicking on the Book Summaries link on the top navigation bar. Then browse By Year, By Subject, By Title, By Author, or By Publisher to see the list in the order you prefer. Or, check out our Best Seller List.

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Can I buy Summaries on the newsstand?

No. Soundview Executive Book Summaries is a subscription publication available only by mail and online. Each month, all subscribers receive three new summaries that are delivered to their online library. In addition, subscribers also receive Soundview's monthly Speed Reviews™, in which books and other productivity-enhancing products are reviewed, an invitation to a free weekly author webinar, and monthly interviews conducted with today's top authors. Additionally, our Premium Audio subscribers receive a CD each month with 20-minute audio versions of the summaries.Subscription prices vary by product format and location.

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What formats are the Summaries available in?

Our summaries are available through the mail in audio CD format, and online in formats for printing, viewing, or listening to on PCs, Macs, and all smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and MP3 players. Click here for more specific information on our available online formats.

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What equipment do I need to use your Enhanced CD format?

The Enhanced CD will run on any computer that has a CD-ROM drive. The audio summaries on the Enhanced CD can also be played using any conventional CD player (ie, in your automobile).

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How does Soundview choose books to summarize?

Publishers and authors submit nearly 1500 books to us for our consideration each year. Our selection process is rigorous. Each book must:

  • Contain new ideas
  • Have immediate value for readers
  • Be well written.

The very best of these books become Summaries (once we receive permission from the publishers).

Other excellent titles including those on more specialized subjects are reviewed in our Speed Reviews publication.

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You say the Summaries give you ideas and techniques you can use on the job to get better results. How else do people use Summaries?

Our readers often surprise us when they tell us how they use our Summaries. For example, they give them as gifts to friends or colleagues, they use them to help subordinates improve their skills, and they use them to make points authoritatively at meetings. Perhaps most importantly, subscribers use Soundview as an executive book-screening service.

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Do you summarize all the business bestsellers?

No. First of all, with the exception of books by Jack Welch, Peter Drucker, and a few others, there aren't many business bestsellers. We only summarize books that contain fresh ideas and have immediate value for readers.

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How do authors feel about having their books summarized?

They love it. For one thing, there are 48,000 titles published in the U.S. each year. Unless you're a popular writer of fiction, it can be nearly impossible to get publicity for your book. Soundview provides unbeatable exposure for a book and its author -- and to a list of people perfectly matched to a book's message. A Summary can therefore have a strong impact on book sales. Also, imagine how an author feels knowing his or her book has been chosen out of more than a thousand for special attention. It's an honor.

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Do you want to read the book after reading the Summary?

Yes, and that's the point of the service. Most Soundview subscribers want to read the books that concern them directly. In effect, Soundview acts as a screening service, pointing you in the direction of worthy books. We give you a taste of the book -- and many ideas and techniques you can put to use immediately - so you can decide if you want the whole thing.

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How long has Soundview been doing this?

For over 35 years - longer than anyone. We have the experience to spot new ideas in books, and to know what topics are of interest to business readers.

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So what is the organization's goal?

To make information in the best business books easily and quickly available for readers and to save them time. And, to provide them with useful, actionable ideas, methods, and solutions.

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Tell me again exactly what I get with my yearly subscription?

  1. Order today and your subscription will include 3 new Summaries of the best business books each month.
  2. If you choose the Premium Audio Edition, you'll also receive a CD each month - with specially scripted audio summaries.
  3. An invitation to each of our Free Soundview Live™ weekly webinars with today's top business book authors.
  4. Monthly Executive Insights™ video interviews with executives in the trenches of American business.
  5. A monthly supplement called Speed Reviews containing quick reviews of additional business books of note.
  6. FIVE of our best-selling summary titles from the past - FREE with your new subscription.
  7. Access to our research department - tell us exactly what your problem is and we will try to recommend a book that will provide the answer.
  8. And, if you subscribe to one of our Premium Editions, you'll have access to our full archive of thousands of book summaries, webinars and videos.

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Will you send me a free sample Summary?

Sure, you can View a Free Sample Summary by clicking here.

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If I subscribe, how long do I have access to my summaries and other content?

All content that is delivered to a subscriber’s Online Library as part of their subscription will be archived and accessible to that subscriber as long as he/she maintains an active subscription to our publication. After a subscription expires, the subscriber can restore the content in their library by simply subscribing to our publication once again.

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How can I subscribe?

We thought you'd never ask.

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Click here for FAQs specific to the online version of Soundview Executive Book Summaries.