– Latest Books, Boiled Down: “The surge of new titles motivates readers strapped for time to look for summaries, says Michael Norris, Simba’s senior analyst. ‘The sound-bite culture — folks who don’t want or have time to read a whole book — has helped the industry to quietly flourish,’ he says.
Often, reader services offer a link if a reader wants to purchase the book. John Fayad, who heads Business Book Review LLC, an Atlanta-based service that summarizes business books for $145 a year (discounted for groups), says that his service’s research shows that up to 50% or more subscribers buy a book after reading a summary. Business-book summaries appear to be the most popular genre. Business Book Review, serving individual and corporate clients, was started in 1983 in print form. It shifted to the Internet in 2001, and its readership has climbed to almost 500,000 subscribers, Mr. Fayad says.
Maj. Moore says reader services help him decide whether a book is interesting enough to buy. ‘Is it well thought out or is it just fluff?’ he says.
Since subscribing to Capitol Reader last year he has saved hundreds of dollars by purchasing just three books after reading more than 50 book summaries, he says. ‘My wife would go crazy if I went out and bought all those books.'”