Given my desire to see the community around Squeezed Books grow, I went ahead and added a creative commons ‘attribution/share alike’ license to it. I also did this in the spirit of reciprocity towards other people pursuing similar initiatives and using similar licensing. The goal really is to give people an idea of what some of these well known business books are about. Even though the book in question may present a unique and interesting idea, many of them can be summed up pretty quickly. As Phil Greenspun says:
This book illustrates a fault in the publishing industry. If you have
a 50-page idea it is too long for a magazine. But it is too short for
a book. So if you wanted to get it distributed before the Web came
along, you had to drop in words until you reached 200 pages.
I don’t really think the web has changed things that much, either. Who wants to simply put up a web page when they could publish a book?
The idea isn’t necessarily to avoid buying books, either – some of the good ones are really good reads, and a summary just isn’t the same thing as the book itself.