Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Solomon's Summaries by Heather and Chris Goodman (Interview)

Solomon Summaries provides solutions for busy Christians who want to both maximize their limited time and increase their awareness of both current and classic Christian non-fiction books. This unique subscription summary service provides subscribers with a 10-page summary of a non-fiction book, a review of the book, and group discussion questions every week. These summaries are not intended to replace the content of the entire book but rather to provide a synopsis of the key points from the book. Solomon Summaries encourages dialogue, helps readers decide which books to buy and read, and tickles minds with new ideas and concepts that might warrant further exploration by the reader.

Solomon Summaries is an excellent resource for pastors and other church leaders who want to keep up with current Christian books their congregations are reading. Additionally, church leaders can utilize the summaries to help select books for use in small groups and Sunday Schools or to be added to their church libraries.

Authors who write for the Christian market will also find Solomon Summaries useful in keeping up current thinking and trends.

For more information visit http://www.solomonsummaries.com.

Heather and Chris Goodman buy more books than they have time to read. Chris is a business and ministry entrepreneur who has a heart to connect Christians with culture, specifically through the Internet. He spends much of his time exploring the future of the Internet and missions with one of the largest Internet ministries, Bible.org. Heather, a graduate from Dallas Theological Seminary, is a writer and speaker on the intersection of Christianity, culture and the arts.

Passionate about books and how Christianity interacts with life issues, they started Solomon Summaries. They desire to encourage people to read and talk more about issues facing everyday people, help people prioritize their reading time, and incite business and lay leaders to read about subjects they ordinarily wouldn’t.

What inspired you to begin a business like this? Why did you want to start it?

I (Chris) found a growing chasm between the amount of books I want to absorb and the amount of time available to read them (not so much due to time shrinking, but because there are so many amazing books). In the business world, I had access to executive book summary services for years to glean the latest business wisdom and I dreamed of something similar for Christian books.

I (Heather) am passionate about all things books. I love the idea of raising awareness of what’s out there.

In a culture that has adopted “I’m busy” as a standard response to the question “how are you?”, there seems to be an interesting opportunity to engage people in bite size chunks with the key points from a book on Christian living. Hopefully, this will help readers triage which books they want to look at further. Also, we want to help lay leaders choose good materials and resources for Sunday school classes, small groups, mentoring relationships, and leadership training and help pastors stay in touch with what’s out there and what their congregations are reading.

As you have explained the idea to people, what has been the general reaction?

Reactions have been very positive thus far. For some, the concept is a bit new. But when they finally get it, they get very excited. For others, especially business men and women, they’ve seen the concept before and quickly value the opportunity to glean wisdom from many of the christian nonfiction books they’ve been wanting to read for years like Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Many people have heard of the book. Some have even bought it. But few have actually read it and can share the insight of Lewis with their friends or coworkers.

And pastors seem to appreciate the frustration of not being able to keep up with all the great books out there. Whether it’s for their own understanding or being able to answer questions people ask them about various books, they seem to value the ability to stay current with their limited time budget. Solomon Summaries can also help them decide which books to spend their valuable reading time on.

How do you choose the books that are reviewed?

We primarily choose books that are of interest to our audience–books they would like to know more about, books they are considering buying or books they’ve heard in a conversation and want to have an opinion about. We look at new releases, bestsellers, general Christian living books, and we have a poll on our website to find out what books our readers would like us to summarize.

What is your vision for Solomon Summaries?

Well that is an interesting question. As future-thinking people, we have great interest in seeing Solomon Summaries become a platform for engagement and growth. Based on the initial reaction and how passionately people share the idea with their friends (and we’re hoping people will be very excited and share it with lots of friends), we are in discussion on a number of additional pieces of the puzzle (what Chris calls the blueprint) to offer value to book readers and small group book discussions. We’d also like to get the authors of the books more involved in the discussion. We’ll be paying close attention to subscribers and their interests and ultimately it will grow into what people want and need to help them in their lives.

To visit other blogs on this tour GO HERE.

1 comment:

heather said...

Thanks for "hosting" us here. I want to note that we decided to make Solomon Summaries free until 12/1/08 so people can have a chance to try it out.
You know, one of the fun things about this blog tour is meeting fellow writers!