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Next Big Idea Club Book Subscription Review – Spring 2018

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Next Big Idea Club

Next Big Idea Club is a quarterly non-fiction book subscription with selections handpicked by bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink. It also includes supplemental online content and other membership perks.

It’s worth noting that the price tag on this subscription is a little higher than other book of the month clubs, and promises a lot from the online content as well as the books themselves. I definitely read more non-fiction than other genres, so I was curious to check this box out for myself and see if it’s worthwhile.

Next Big Idea Club Review & Unboxing

This package was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

This is a review of the Hardbacks subscription, $59 per quarter. See other subscription options below.

Next Big Idea Club Review & Unboxing

About Next Big Idea Club

The Subscription Box: Next Big Idea Club

The Cost: There are three subscription plans available:

  • Hardbacks: $59 per quarter or $215 annually ($53.75 per box) for two books per quarter, plus access to all online content and a free bonus book.
  • E-Books: $49 per quarter or $189 annually ($47.25 per box) for two e-books per quarter, plus access to all online content.
  • Express Membership: $89 annually ($22.25 per quarter) for online access only, and you supply your own books.

FREE TRIAL: You can sign up for a free two-week Express membership to get access to the online-only content (does not include books)

The Products: Two nonfiction books every three months, curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink; plus online course material, forum access, and a year of Business Insider Prime.

Ships to: Free shipping to the US for Hardback membership. International members are welcome to join the E-book or Express plans.

Next Big Idea Club Spring 2018 Review

As I mentioned above, I am mainly a non-fiction reader. My book tastes range from everything from art and “pop science” to the business and self-help end of the spectrum. The theme for the Spring 2018 box looks to be Leadership, which fits right in with things I like to learn more about:

Intro

I was definitely attracted to the big names curating this subscription. Malcolm Gladwell’s been on my rotation before (although I’m still trying to get into Revisionist History), and Susan Cain’s Quiet has been on my to-read list since it came out.

I was skeptical though of the price point on this box, and the promise of all the additional online content: would it be worth it? Or would I be better off just buying the books myself?

Let’s check out the spring selections first:

New Power

New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms – Retail Value $27.95 (found here for $17.80)

This book was just released in April 2018, so it’s pretty new. (The Spring 2018 box started shipping at the beginning of May.)

Described as the “indispensable guide to navigating the twenty-first century,” the book promises to “reveal the unexpected ways power is changing– and how “new power” is reshaping politics, business, and life.”

New Power

New Power

I love the premise of this, actually, and the examples given run the gamut from the Ice Bucket Challenge to the rise of Facebook and Airbnb to the political victories of Obama and Trump– it’s quite the spread!

This is also probably a book that I would never have picked up to read myself, based on the cover and even the back of the book. But I’m really enjoying it so far.

New Power

The book comes with some printed material to supplement your reading, too. All of this material is also available online if you subscribe to the e-book or “bring your own book” subscriptions.

New Power

These guides are pretty interesting, and I have to say: I like that they are printed out and easy to keep inside the cover of your book because I don’t work well switching between online and offline content. They function both as a kind of summary and overview of the key points of the book (like Cliff’s Notes), and there are also some included exercises and a quiz.

I thought these were super useful, in the end. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I find myself referring to these at the end of each chapter to help make sure I’m clear on all the salient points.

As for the book itself: It’s definitely dense, but I think the authors have done a really good job of picking out relevant and recent events and brands as their “New Power” examples, which keeps it interesting.

The online content was a nice supplement. Here’s a quick rundown on everything you get access to online:

  • All the printed supplemental material is also available online for the non-hardback subscribers
  • Audio track intros and summaries that cover some of the same content (if you’d rather listen than read)
  • Video interview with the author and curator (This one was 48 minutes)
  • As described in their FAQ: “30-minute video e-course, where the author highlights the book’s essential ideas and also discusses material not found in the book” in the form of 9 additional videos that cover topics in the book (each one about 2-3 minutes long)
  • Finally, there are links to a private Facebook discussion group. The group is definitely active, with almost 2k members and 125 new posts in the last month. (They also try to herd the discussion a bit, and mention that June is “New Power” month and July is “The CEO Next Door” month.)

Next Big Idea Club: New Power Interview

I liked this interview quite a bit– and I learned that one of the authors, Henry Timms, actually invented Giving Tuesday using some of these principles. Super interesting!

I was skeptical about how much value the videos would add, and I still don’t know how to quantify it exactly. But I have found that watching and reading helps me remember some of the topics and examples more clearly than if I had just read the book online. The videos are a mix of some new info and examples of New Power already covered in the book.

The CEO Next Door

The CEO Next Door: The 4 Behaviors That Transform Ordinary People Into World Class Leaders by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell – Retail Value $28 (found here for $11.12)

I think the title and subtitle for this one pretty much say it all! This was also released earlier this year, in March 2018.

The CEO Next Door The CEO Next Door

The CEO Next Door The CEO Next Door

I appreciate that the first paragraph in this intro letter addresses exactly what I was thinking as I opened it: this book isn’t just for CEOs or those who want to be CEOs. The rest of the printed material follows the same format as the first book and includes an overview, a quiz, and discussion topics.

As for the book itself, this one is written in more of a “self-help” style. It’s oriented around 4 key behaviors found in great leaders, with subsections that help break each one down into more actionable areas that you can bring into your own work practice. I find that I’m much slower to read this type of book, just because I find in-depth interviews and case studies more engaging (vs organizing the book by behavior/topic), but it’s done well.

The book is peppered with lots of real-life examples and snippets from CEOs in various industries, too. One of the things I’m particularly enjoying is that they aren’t really “celebrity” CEOs– they’re from a really broad set of industries that seem (to me) to be much more applicable to the average person eager to grow their leadership skills.

As for online content: I was disappointed to see there was no interview video for this book, which is one of the promised items in their FAQ. There is still the series of the short recap videos, however, and the same access to the printed materials etc. (Perhaps the interview video is coming later?)

In addition to the books, printed material, and online access, there are some bonus swag-type items in this box as well:

Sticker

Next Big Idea Club Sticker

Bookmark

Next Big Idea Club Bookmarks

There are two of these included – one for each book and featuring a quote from each.

Bookmark Bookmark

I like that they have a blank space on the back that’s perfect for quick notes, too.

Pencil

Next Big Idea Club Pencil

Pencil Sharpener

Next Big Idea Club Pencil Sharpener + Eraser

Good thing they sent this because it’s been a long time since I’ve had a non-mechanical pencil on my desk!

Pencil Sharpener Branded Notebook

Next Big Idea Club Notebook

I am a sucker for a nice fresh notebook! This one is pretty nice, with a firm but flexible backing and a ribbon bookmark.

Notebook

Do you take notes while you read? I always mean to, but rarely do, so I’m trying to use this to set a new good habit. 🙂

Verdict: For the Spring 2018 edition of Next Big Idea Club, we received two new-release hardcover nonfiction books covering different topics in modern leadership, as well as supplemental educational materials (printed and online). As a primarily non-fiction reader, I did like both of the selections and found some added value from the printed and online content, too. If you already enjoy nonfiction books from authors like Malcolm Gladwell and Susan Cain and have been looking for a good nonfiction book subscription, I’d give this club some thought. These are two books I would NOT have picked up for myself otherwise, but I am really enjoying both. (It’s probably worth noting that they both have 4.5 stars on Amazon, too.)

The two books we received have a total MSRP of $55.95, which is just shy of the $59 quarterly subscription price and makes sense given the extra material. Since their original release date, the books have of course come down in price, as books are known to do– New Power can be found on Amazon for $17.82 and The CEO Next Door is $11.12 ($28.94 for both books). To me, this really begs the question: are the curation and additional content and swag worth the extra $30/quarter? I think the answer to that is VERY subjective and depends a lot on how you read, whether you’re looking for some expert guidance/curation, and if you value the networking and discussion in the private forum.

The “bring your own book” option for online-only access is about $22.25 per quarter, so if you’d prefer to get your books from the library or buy them individually, this is a totally valid way to go, too– and you can try it for free for two weeks to see if it’s worthwhile for you personally.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? It’s unclear from their website if the Spring 2018 box is still available, but they do note that the Summer 2018 box will begin shipping in late July.

Value Breakdown: This box was $59 and included two new release books with a total MSRP of $55.95, although they can now be purchased for as little as $28.94. In addition to printed resources to help with reading comprehension, we also received about two hours of supplemental video content and access to a private discussion group with the authors and curators.

FREE TRIAL: You can sign up for a free two-week Express membership to get access to the online-only content (does not include books)

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of Next Big Idea Club? Any other nonfiction book clubs that you recommend?

Written by Lacey Volk

Lacey Volk

Lacey’s introduction to the world of subscription boxes was Julep Maven, but she quickly moved on once she discovered there were subscriptions for cooking, coffee, and art supplies. Current favorites include Crate Chef and Ecocentric Mom, and she’s looking forward to trying more.

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

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