Frequently Asked Questions about 15 Minute Business Books
For each of these books, you will receive a multi-page handout, with at least two pages of direct quotes from the book, and an outline of the key content of the book.
You will find differences in style, and other variations, in the verbal presentations.
This page is an attempt to help you understand what you will get when you order a 15minutebusinessbook synopsis.
How will I get my summary?
After you purchase your synopsis through PayPal, you will be directed to a download page for your links - and you will also receive an email from Creative Communication Network. Check your bulk mail folder in case your security program flags the message. Please download your files as quickly as possible. Each link will EXPIRE as indicated in your notification. Our default expiration is 72 HOURS FROM TIME OF ORDER. Each summary purchased will result in a separate link. Please download all of them. If you have any problems, please contact us.
What will I get for my money?
For each summary, you receive one zip file containing a pdf file of the book synopsis handout and an audio file (mp3) of the verbal presentation. You will need to unzip the attachment after download.
How can I listen to my recording – and use the handout?
The recording will arrive in a format that you can use any number of ways: you can listen to it on your computer, you can copy it to a cd for play in your car, you can load it into the player of your choice (iPod, iPhone, mp3 player).
The presentations were made before a live audience, with extensive reference to the handouts (see below). Thus, for maximum advantage, it is better to listen while you refer to the handout. But, certainly, you can choose to listen in your car, or as you exercise, and you will hear the entire presentation.
Where were these presentations recorded?
The vast majority of these recordings were made during the live presentations delivered at the monthly First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, Texas. (see our companion web site, www.firstfridaybooksynopsis.com). These meetings have been held monthly since April, 1998. At these meetings, Karl Krayer and Randy Mayeux each present a 15 minute synopsis of a best-selling business book. The audience is usually about 50-80 people, a mix of leaders from companies and independent consultants.
However, some recordings were made from telephone seminars, and a few were made in other venues. Most are approximately 15 minutes in length, but there will be an occasional recording that is longer. (Read below about why some presentations given by Karl and Randy are longer).
Because of technical difficulties, we have on rare occasions had to re-record a presentation without the benefit of a live audience. This is not our preference, and it is only and always a “last resort.”
The quality of the recordings is mixed, we realize. These are not professionally recorded. We use a digital recorder with a microphone, and then send the recordings to our webmaster who loads them into this web site for purchase. Some of our earlier recordings were recorded by a recording company, duplicated to cassette tape, and then transferred to digital.
So – we believe that you will find these to be usable recordings, though not at all studio quality. We apologize, and if you cannot make any recording work, let us know and we will refund your money or send you a different synopsis of your choice.
Who are Karl and Randy, and how are they qualified to make such presentations?
Karl and Randy met at Karl’s wedding, and the idea for the First Friday Book Synopsis came about after conversations and brainstorming. Their academic backgrounds are similar (Karl finished his PhD; and though Randy made it to candidacy, he did not complete his dissertation). They have both had a life-long love of reading, and that passion led to this idea.
How do you choose the books?
Karl and Randy each make their own book selections. They intend to cover all business best-sellers, and have missed none of the “big best-sellers” over the last decade. (Although they do not include “finance” books).
They generally do not select self-published books. Since they present two synopses every month, not all of their choices make it to the best-seller list. But they take their best shot at “predicting” which will become a best seller.
They have frequently selected books recommended to them, many by regular attendees at the First Friday Book Synopsis. Special thanks to Jim Young in Dallas and Robert Morris in Dallas (Robert is a top reviewer for Amazon.com) for their many suggestions.
Though they seek input from others, read book reviews, and check multiple best-seller lists, Karl and Randy each make their own selections.
Sometimes I find it hard to follow along with the handout. Why?
Because Randy at times goes back and forth from quotes to outline. Blame Randy for this – and he does apologize.
Karl is easier to follow than Randy!
Does 15 Minute Business Books have any arrangement with publishers or authors about these presentations?
No – not at all.
From the feedback we have received, we are convinced that some people get enough from our presentations, that for some of the books, they decide they do not need to actually purchase the books. However, we also know many instances when people hear our presentations and then rush out to purchase the book for a deeper dive. You can buy the books here, too.
(Once, a participant complained that our presentation was so good that he bought 25 copies to give to friends. So, he was not happy with how much we “made” him spend…)
What is a synopsis, and how is it different from a book review, or a book summary that is available from other sources?
Karl and Randy refined this approach over the last decade. They do not (usually) give an opinion on whether or not a book is well-written, or poorly written. They do not function as literary critics. They see their job as simply this: helping their audiences know the key content of the books -- thus the word “synopsis” instead of “review.” (One person recommends that we change from “book synopsis” to “book briefing.” But, we like our event name too much to change it).
What if I really want to hear a book synopsis of a book that that you don’t have on your site? Can you custom prepare a synopsis for me?
Yes—if you pay us.
Feel free to recommend a title anytime. But if we do not choose it for our monthly event, it would require a special commission for us to prepare a synopsis. Companies have hired us to do this, and we have done so frequently.
Do you present these presentations elsewhere? Are there longer versions of your book presentations?
We present many of these synopses internally to companies. Such presentations range from 30-minute synopses up to nearly one full hour. The longer presentations allow for more interaction and “application” discussion. We continue to see our client list grow, with many companies discovering the value of these presentations.
If you want to schedule such a presentation for your company, contact us.
However, the recordings offered on this site are primarily from our shorter, 15 minute presentations. We do not record the presentations made within companies.
How can I use these? How do others use these?
Any way you want to. You can listen by yourself. You and your team can listen together, and discuss questions such as: “What are the transferable principles that we can put to work here in our company/organization?”
Some companies gather groups together, listen to the recording, and then hold their staff meetings discussing the lessons and implications for their situation.
One company owner purchased a "license" to adapt this product. He adds his own discussion questions to the handout. He then gathers groups together to listen and discuss. Contact us about such an arrangement for your group or company.
One professor in an MBA program has his students purchase a number of these, listen to them, and report on them. The students find this more engaging, and more useful, than a traditional textbook (for his particular class). We think all MBA teachers in the country should adopt this practice!
Can I “pass these along” to others?
Your purchase of this product is intended to provide the recording and handout for your individual use. We would prefer that if you want someone else to “own the recording” for his or her computer/ipod/mp3 player, that another purchase be made. If you want to make multiple copies of the handout for a group to use when listening to the audio presentation together, please contact us about permission to do so. (Pricing is reasonable).
Is there anything else I should know?
Let us share a couple of stories.
One fan of our site, an independent consultant who also frequently attends our monthly event, was headed to a client’s executive team meeting. The CEO wanted his team to discuss a book that we include on our site. The consultant had not read the book, but purchased our synopsis, listened to the recording and followed along with the handout. He walked into the meeting seemingly knowing more about the book than anyone else at the meeting – including the CEO who had read the book. He says that our presentation helped him focus clearly on the most important principles of the book. This is our goal!
Another fan (a successful business leader) says this: business leaders read about one or two business books a year. They buy a few others, but don’t actually find/make the time to read them. But they wish they knew the content of these books. He says that our approach allows him to learn the content of many more business books each year than he has time to read. And this has helped him be more successful in his business.
So – purchase a few of these. Load them into your iPhone. Listen away. We think you will find this a really useful tool.