Faithlife Pre-Pub is it a broken system?

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Apr 7 2015 10:08 AM

I am opting to start a debate on the merits of the Pre-Pub system. I know this is a tried and true system for FL and I am not saying it should be completely abandoned. But more and more FL is getting resources after Olivetree and Accordance get them. I use two examples. the Reformation Study Bible Notes (2015), is not even being worked on yet by FL yet the other two sell it. New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols.) was available in OT years before it came to FL and even Acc had it months before FL. I am not here to debate the superiority of Logos over the other two platforms each have their strengths. The question is are not sales being hurt of FL products by always coming late to the the game? There are numerous people who will buy nothing by FL that is good and ideal for FL but there are other people, i would even guess a majority who are willing to look elsewhere. I know for example the majority of the works I want in FL are in the Classics of Western Spirituality Bundle (126 vols.) now this well may never get made yet I would suspect 1/3 of the titles in this massive collection would be heavy sellers for FL, but because of the Pre-PUB system and the cost of this massive collection FL loses sales to say Kindle for key classical works of Spirituality. For items that FL wonders if it can sell maybe PP is a good thing, but for key resources it may be a failing. I am just trying to start constructive debate that may let FL know what their customers think. I do realize ultimately it is their private business and they must make the decisions, but I care enough about FL as a product to want to raise the question.

-Dan

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 10:19 AM

I don't think it's broken. Indeed it's quite effective.  I think my question would be ... what exactly is it for?  I see bazillions of nere-do-well books never passing through PP, ready for shipment.  And for good reason ... how many Denise's are there? Just an inaccurate impression.

But when it's time to complete a commentary set, it's PP time.

I say 'effective' since it makes it seem like a book has a chance.


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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 10:29 AM

Yeah I do get frustrated when a Pre-Pub, like the RSB, seems to be stalled when I can get it on other platforms just because PP hasn't taken off.

Then it was about at 75% interest the other day, now close to 30-40%?? How does that happen?

Pre-pub (traditionally) should be like a pre-order. It is already in development. Community Pricing should be the interest gathering.

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JH | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:00 AM

David Taylor Jr:

Yeah I do get frustrated when a Pre-Pub, like the RSB, seems to be stalled when I can get it on other platforms just because PP hasn't taken off.

Then it was about at 75% interest the other day, now close to 30-40%?? How does that happen?

Yes, the RSB was near the end, but now it has regressed significantly. Maybe a lot of people cancelled their prepub orders. Very frustrating...

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:09 AM

While I do think PrePub is a smart idea on Bob's part...an idea which has provided some savings to customers over the years...I definitely think there are times when some resources should just be fast-tracked into production. When? Well, that will of necessity be a judgment call and whoever is making the call won't judge in the same manner I or you or anyone else would judge. But I still think it should become a practice for certain items, especially those with profound importance or a time-critical aspect. Again, what fits those criteria will be a matter of opinion and judgment, but that's inevitable.

While we might on occasion dwell on the "tails" side of this practice, the fact is that PrePub keeps Logos financially solvent. We all benefit from Logos remaining a healthy entity. We may all have a "golden egg" that we want in our sweaty hands right now, but it behooves us not to kill the goose.

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:17 AM

David Paul:

While I do think PrePub is a smart idea on Bob's part...an idea which has provided some savings to customers over the years...I definitely think there are times when some resources should just be fast-tracked into production. When? Well, that will of necessity be a judgment call and whoever is making the call won't judge in the same manner I or you or anyone else would judge. But I still think it should become a practice for certain items, especially those with profound importance or a time-critical aspect. Again, what fits those criteria will be a matter of opinion and judgment, but that's inevitable.

While we might on occasion dwell on the "tails" side of this practice, the fact is that PrePub keeps Logos financially solvent. We all benefit from Logos remaining a healthy entity. We may all have a "golden egg" that we want in our sweaty hands right now, but it behooves us not to kill the goose.

Agreed. I think there may just need to be more clarification on the Pre-Pubs, how they work, how things get fast tracked, etc....

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:26 AM

David Taylor Jr:
I think there may just need to be more clarification on the Pre-Pubs, how they work, how things get fast tracked, etc....

I don't think we are going to get the "inside story" on this. Some things get fast tracked because FL knows they want the resource, knows it will sell, has already received licensing agreements, and puts it on pre-pub while it is worked on. Some resources are "fast tracked" because they will be added to upcoming base packages. Other resources are less of a priority. 

I always want the resources I want NOW. So do we all. We also complain when "logos edition" resources aren't as "full featured" as we had hoped. One suggestion I had a while ago was to charge those who do pre-pub up front once an agreement has been made... and to provide the user with a Vyrso edition of the resource while the resource is "under development." I don't think that will happen, but I would love to see it.

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:31 AM

It is somewhat suspicious that the level drops down significantly the day it is released in Accordance, but my suspicions is that it was determined to need more work than initially. I know i had asked Bob in an email years back how many more orders were needed to get NIB under production. And he said he would look into it and after that he said the project had more work to it and it went down significantly.

-Dan

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:36 AM

alabama24:

I don't think we are going to get the "inside story" on this. Some things get fast tracked because FL knows they want the resource, knows it will sell, has already received licensing agreements, and puts it on pre-pub while it is worked on. Some resources are "fast tracked" because they will be added to upcoming base packages. Other resources are less of a priority. 

I always want the resources I want NOW. So do we all. We also complain when "logos edition" resources aren't as "full featured" as we had hoped. One suggestion I had a while ago was to charge those who do pre-pub up front once an agreement has been made... and to provide the user with a Vyrso edition of the resource while the resource is "under development." I don't think that will happen, but I would love to see it.

I just wish some items suspected of being big sellers would go directly to under development label. I never meant to imply PP system needs to be abandoned, just that sometimes it might seriously hurt FL market share of sales. I felt it was important to discuss what are feelings of frustration and the limitations of the PP system to possible offer constructive feedback to FL. 

-Dan

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William Gabriel | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:46 AM

alabama24:

One suggestion I had a while ago was to charge those who do pre-pub up front once an agreement has been made... and to provide the user with a Vyrso edition of the resource while the resource is "under development." I don't think that will happen, but I would love to see it.

I was just thinking the same thing. Perhaps all resources should be immediately released as a Vyrso book (because practically all books being published today have a prepared electronic edition ready to go with the physical release). Then the Pre-Pub can be our vote and prioritization of the Logosification of our Vyrso resources. 

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David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 12:30 PM

alabama24:

David Taylor Jr:
I think there may just need to be more clarification on the Pre-Pubs, how they work, how things get fast tracked, etc....

I don't think we are going to get the "inside story" on this. Some things get fast tracked because FL knows they want the resource, knows it will sell, has already received licensing agreements, and puts it on pre-pub while it is worked on. Some resources are "fast tracked" because they will be added to upcoming base packages. Other resources are less of a priority. 

I always want the resources I want NOW. So do we all. We also complain when "logos edition" resources aren't as "full featured" as we had hoped. One suggestion I had a while ago was to charge those who do pre-pub up front once an agreement has been made... and to provide the user with a Vyrso edition of the resource while the resource is "under development." I don't think that will happen, but I would love to see it.

I would almost rather have the actual content now whether or not it has tags. At least to have the resource, but that may just be me. So yeah, a vyrso solution would be nice.

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 1:12 PM

I agree that this is a major flaw in Logos/Faithlife/Bob's business plan.  The example I cite is how long it took From Heaven He Came and Sought Her to get published.  If current scholarship takes 2 years or more to enter into my Logos Library, then they will loose out on a substantial amount of my funds going to Kindle.  This is not a new issue for Bob to address and what has been done (ie. PP for books). has been a poor fix.  I again see programs (Logos Now for one) taking precedence over QA of current inventory, publications of journals and current content.

What does it mean to Logos when a 12+ year user of Logos with thousands of dollars invested is ready to walk away and start over with another program that gets it?

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 1:46 PM

Everett Headley:
What does it mean to Logos when a 12+ year user of Logos with thousands of dollars invested is ready to walk away and start over with another program that gets it?

For me Logos is the new kid on the block having used Accordance since it's beginning and Olivetree since 2002. And Logos since it's announcement in 2005 that it was coming to the mac. Because of the vast number of resources Logos offers it is where most of my money is invested, but I do not use it exclusively and love the  other two for the mobile apps and the quickness of Accordances desktop app. My goal is not to chase other into the arms of competitors but to ask how the best of what the others have to offer can come to Logos. And how to enhance the way Logos offers new products.

-Dan 

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 2:06 PM

Everett Headley:
I agree that this is a major flaw in Logos/Faithlife/Bob's business plan.  The example I cite is how long it took From Heaven He Came and Sought Her to get published.  If current scholarship takes 2 years or more to enter into my Logos Library, then they will loose out on a substantial amount of my funds going to Kindle.

I agree that it can be frustrating to wait for a new resource to come through Pre-pub but I'm not sure what else could be done about this. It takes time and money to invest in each resource and Faithlife has to be sure that there is a market for each resource. Pre-pub may not be perfect, but I can't think of anything better at this time.

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Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 2:44 PM

Bruce Dunning:

I agree that it can be frustrating to wait for a new resource to come through Pre-pub but I'm not sure what else could be done about this. It takes time and money to invest in each resource and Faithlife has to be sure that there is a market for each resource. Pre-pub may not be perfect, but I can't think of anything better at this time.

Obviously, other MAJOR e-publishers are beating Logos to production.  It seems those businesses are still viable.  I mean, if I would buy it on Amazaon, why wouldn't I want it on Logos.  Many other books go straight into publishing (on Vyrso) without the PP.  I know I am not the only one who uses Logos for scholarship and would very much like to have more current offerings (see Journal Laments from the past 3 years)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 2:49 PM

Dan Francis:

 I know for example the majority of the works I want in FL are in the Classics of Western Spirituality Bundle (126 vols.) now this well may never get made yet I would suspect 1/3 of the titles in this massive collection would be heavy sellers for FL, but because of the Pre-PUB system and the cost of this massive collection FL loses sales to say Kindle for key classical works of Spirituality.

-Dan

Question: Is the issue pre-pub or bundling or users wanting unrealistic discounts?

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 3:14 PM

MJ. Smith:
Question: Is the issue pre-pub or bundling or users wanting unrealistic discounts?

I seriously suspect it is a combination of all three... IF I want to read Julian of Norwich's Showings I search here first and discover not only is it not yet available but i have to purchase it in a bundle and hope that one day it gets made. Now the wonderful Paulist Press edition is not available in Kindle but a few other editions are, do I wait 2-3 years for it to possibly come to Logos or do I buy a copy elsewhere? I think the 126 volumes are adequately discounted on this prepub to make an attractive purchase. It is no 99¢ copy like you find on kindle but it is a good value compared to the print editions. Perhaps Bruce is right and this is best system over all, I just would hope FL is open to consider alternatives at times. The PP system may show there is little desire for the Classics of Western Spirituality Bundle (126 vols.) but it teases that such a fine product is on the radar but so very far off. A majority of the books would be very much at home in the Verbum world, but I realize not all, would someone come to Logos for them maybe, I would suspect as many as come to FL for Noet packages. I realize FL can not offer every book, but books they know they want to carry I think should have option to get made ASAP (and I am well aware this may not  include CWS, for what are key works to me may be so much straw to another).

-Dan

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DBR | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 9:50 PM

While you all are on the topic of Pre-pub, let me give you an example that probably no one can explain. I was interested in the Langham Monographs because I am a missionary in Africa and at least half of the books have an African perspective. It was barely supported, maybe an 8th. Suddenly it goes into production and ships within three weeks. Since it happened last month, I canceled my order since I had so many other things I was buying. Any explanations on this? It just seems that the Pre-pub rules are there, but they can be broken with or without explanation. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 10:28 PM

Prepubs often get produced when they have not reached the required funding. Faithlife promises to publish the resource if we manage to raise publication costs in prepub. Faithlife makes no statement about what will happen if we don't raise the publication costs. Faithlife has to make that decision based upon what they need to produce to ensure a balance of resources especially for base packages, bundles, and marketing targeted audiences - or, perhaps, even some outside source such as a publisher or seminary pushing the issue with some funding or outher clout.

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DBR | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Apr 7 2015 11:54 PM

I just wish they would decide to produce some of the volumes that are must buy. When this happens, it always seem to be with something I have no problem dropping.

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