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How to stay on top of the best business books!

There are 2 camps around the value of business books: some prominent business book authors decry them as ego trips and ironically suggest you shouldn’t read them, while others hail them as a great way to get mentored by the greats! Based on readership and publishing figures, the majority of us fall in the latter camp.

Yet with 10+ thousand of business books published each year (there’s an 11,000 stat in a Bloomberg article from 2012), it’s a bit challenging to keep up. Book Video Club (“BVC”) is a free video summary service that can help!

How does it work

  1. 1 of the best business books gets summarized each week so you get a curated pick and you won’t get overwhelmed.
  2. Each book is condensed into a 3-5 minute video summary. So it’s super easy and fast to absorb the main points of the book.
  3. And it’s free!

What’s the competition like

There are at least a handful solid book summary services out there with sizeable libraries, and they all do a pretty decent job.  The biggest ones I’ve tried are:

  • Blinkist: text and audio book summaries, adding 500+ new book titles to its library each year and costs $80/yr
  • GetAbstract: primarily text summaries but has been adding lots of audio summaries as well to its vast library of 15,000 books, costs $60-300/yr (you need the $300 for business books)

For me, Blinkist was the most promising but the 15-minute summaries left me a bit un-interested in the books and I couldn’t focus enough to retain the information.  GetAbstract’s text summaries felt a bit dry and I couldn’t force myself to go through them (felt too much like work).

What’s different about BVC?

  1. It’s video based so it’s much more engaging and forces you to focus in order to understand and retain more information.  And the quality is top-notch because BVC videos are professionally produced by a video production agency.
  2. The summaries are written by senior business owners and serial entrepreneurs, and it shows in the insights they extract from the books and what they choose to focus on, but also how they deliver the key lessons.  Nothing gets handed down to junior righters.
  3. And it’s free!

The downside of course is that BVC doesn’t have much volume.  The library is only 20-25 books deep, and 1 book is added every week.

Does it work?

In my experience, it’s the best approach to summarizing books.  I find the summaries particularly insightful and helpful to really ‘get’ what a book is about.  Watch the summary on Zero to One (almost 80K views… not too shabby) and you’ll see what I mean.  And check out the comments on BVC’s YouTube channel… everyone seems to agree with me.

You can subscribe on the website to get the weekly update with the latest video, and you receive the actual PDF of the hand-drawings as a bonus (which are pretty cool even on their own!).  Or you can subscribe on the YouTube channel to get notified when the next video is posted.

Not many people know about this

BVC has only 12K subs on YouTube, while other similar YouTube services that feel more amateurish in their effort have 100s of thousands.  I feel that the channel needs to be a bit more aggressively marketed.

It’s great free content and you should think of it more like “getting to know a book before you buy”, or “refreshing your memory of its key insights after you’ve read it”.  Because if you’re anything like me, you forget even the best business book’s lessons within a matter of weeks (if not days).

Maria StartupBaker.com

Maria, Associate Editor at B2BNXT and Business Development Associate at Startup Baker.

At Startup Baker we're a team of entrepreneurs who are NOT about selling courses, but rather we're passionate about truly creating success stories. Our platform produces courses featuring business practitioners and experts, as well as supporting communities, to help you build the business of your dreams!

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