Non-Fiction Book Subscriptions with a Twist

Non-Fiction Book Subscriptions with a Twist

A Non-fiction book subscription box with “Gists”, a shorter version of each book with key takeaways.


I am launching a non-fiction book subscription business. I want to add something to the boxes to make them unique (other than the books, of course) to set them apart from the rest of the book subscription boxes.

So I got this idea to create a short version of each book that highlights the takeaways in 15 minutes or less— similar to what Blinkist does. This way they will have the physical copy of the actual book and its short version— nothing digital.

Before I start creating it, I wanted to get some feedback. Should I go with the “gists” idea with each book or should I add generic gifts like chocolates, coffee, etc?

  1. So, book lovers, what do you think?

    1. A short summary of takeaways (Gists)
    2. Special coffee blends
    3. Cookies
    4. Chocolates
    5. Herbal Tea
    6. Bath Bombs 
    7. Other: Let me know your ideas in the comments.
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15 Comments

  1. I would personally prefer the “Gists” idea. I would appreciate it a lot more than chocolates or coffee, which I can buy at any store. It’s a nice way to add value and make it unique! Good luck 🙂

  2. I think Blinkist proves that there is demand for an easy, fast way to digest information. So the summary of takeaways sounds very promising. And to have the physical copy of the book in addition to its summary sounds more appealing to me than reading the summary in an app.

    1. But if you have the actual book, the summary just serves as a reminder of the takeaways. It’s not necessarily about learning faster. It’s about retaining info and having access to it when you need to refresh your memory. Either way, as someone who is obsessed with books, I would give it a shot depending on the titles you offer.

  3. As someone who likes to flip to the final pages of each chapter or the last page of a novel, I see the value in this. I like knowing what I’m gonna get out of a book before I waste time reading the whole book. Owning a physical copy of the summary or takeaways beats reading about it online too. Like Amanda mentioned, it’s nice to have a collection of summaries to refresh your memory later.

    1. Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking too. The subscription model allows readers to build a collection and I believe the summaries will be a nice addition to that collection. Thank you for your feedback, Robert.

  4. I like the gists. If I were doing this, my only concern would be the time it takes to create, the cost to print, and if I can keep up. If you have the process figured out, I would hands down go for the gists. You have to really like creating them though to be able to sustain the business or you can outsource the creation.

    1. Thank you for the advice, Brandon. I already enjoy creating them for myself so I thought why not turn it into a project. I might look into outsourcing later, but I want to keep the process in-house for now until I need to scale.