Pre-Pub Pricing (Baker Books)

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Posts 244
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:25 PM

David Lowther:

BobbyTerhune:
Dan Prichett said that Zondervan was driving the price that is being listed on the current prepub, and that he was waiting for Zondervan's answer for how to price the product for previous Pradis customers.

 

I saw in the blog comments where Dan said, "We are working with Zondervan right now to talk through the issues of the discount for Pradis users." I may have missed where he said that Zondervan was driving Logos' pre pub prices for Zondervan products. Do you know where that was mentioned?

 

David,

I thought I had read that somewhere, but it could have been my infrence from Dan's statement that,  "Logos editions of Zondervan titles are new products that Zondervan is paying to develop from scratch."

Posts 277
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:25 PM

Dan DeVilder:

ReneAtchley:
IMO this is a product being offered at a price by a business whom seeks to make a profit with or without a theological veneer of Jesus's love.  If one wants to purchase these prepub offerings that is fine, but to make excuses for what maybe framed as a form of price gouging is a different matter. 

 

Rene, if what you are judging to be probably true, IS in fact true, that is a problem!  But what information is available to you that suggests that your charges are true?  (Price gouging, veneer, etc). All I have to go in is that pre-pub price is the same as post-pub.  And I don't like that.  But I sure don't have more to go on, than that.  I can compare Amazon all I want, and I do, and that informs decisions I make, but it says little to me about the motive of Baker, Zondervan, or Logos.

 

 

 

I am wondering what charges that you are referring too.  Unless  the issue at hand is a veneer of Jesus love that can/is/could be used as a marketing tool I would think is obvious but perhaps not. Maybe the issue is price gouging which is open to my mind to how ones views pricing in the Christian publishing industry that includes places like Cokesbury and Family Book Stores.  I am just cautioning that when business and faith matter combine it is easy to get lost, I think, that a certain price or product point is somehow a Christian one regardless of which company is offering that product.  As noted by the op there appears to be a change in pricing policy or practice by Logos and/or its publishers and this thread can be seen as evidence for something. 

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:29 PM

Ted Hans:

David Lowther:
I saw in the blog comments where Dan said, "We are working with Zondervan right now to talk through the issues of the discount for Pradis users." I may have missed where he said that Zondervan was driving Logos' pre pub prices for Zondervan products. Do you know where that was mentioned?

"What does this mean to you?
Don’t worry, the finished product is exactly what you would expect. There’s nothing different about the way the books are produced. They are still finished by our people right here in our building the same way all our other titles are produced. The difference is, they are Zondervan’s products, so they determine the configurations, collections and prices" http://blog.logos.com/archives/2009/09/zondervan_announces_partnership_with_logos_bible_software.html

 

The info you wanted.

Ted

 

 

 

 

 

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:30 PM

Ted Hans:

Dan DeVilder:

Ted Hans:

Dan DeVilder:
All i can say is, i will buy IF I need the book, and even then I will weigh many factors.

Sorry, you may have misunderstood i was not advising others not to buy just myself. Please feel free to go ahead with any purchase, it is your money not mineSmile.

Ted, FYI, while I did read your post (as I read the whole page), I wasn't responding specifically to you.  If anything, my response was to the blog and my gut feel.  Just didn't want you to think I had taken you out of context--i wasn't addressing your comment specifically at all.  At the same time, I was not unaware of your comments, either--and you always write fair evaluations!  Smile

Sorry, not again i got this one wrong! My apologies, I pressed the "replied" next to your name on your previous post(comments) and it took me to my post so i thought you were responding to me. No offense meant - just hope i was not out of line with my comments to you in a public forumSmile.

Yours in Christ,

Ted.

 

 

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Posts 364
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:33 PM

Dan DeVilder:

Rene, if what you are judging to be probably true, IS in fact true, that is a problem!  But what information is available to you that suggests that your charges are true?  (Price gouging, veneer, etc). All I have to go in is that pre-pub price is the same as post-pub.  And I don't like that.  But I sure don't have more to go on, than that.  I can compare Amazon all I want, and I do, and that informs decisions I make, but it says little to me about the motive of Baker, Zondervan, or Logos.

Zondervan is owned by HarperRowCollins Publishing , a division of NewsCorp , as one of Rupert Murdoch companies, I expect Zondervan to be driven by the same principles driving NewsCorp  as a company. (hint: it is not to spread the gospel of Christ to the four corners of the earth, it has more earthly goals like making a profit). The recent events with Amazon give us a good idea of NewsCorp philosophy when it comes to digital versus print books

Murdoch said "I think it really devalues books and it hurts all the retailers of the hard cover books."

 I would not be surprised if Baker and almost all the major players in the industry had the same outlook (being for-profit organizations). Especially when it comes to offering digital books at substantially lower prices than those of the print edition

I do not blame Logos for the situation even though I do not know what part they play in setting the price.

But let us not have illusions about what is driving prices up, it is another P word, namely profit (for the publishers)

Alain

Posts 244
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:42 PM

I hope I'm wrong, but the days of upgrading and getting tons of new books for one to two dollars apiece may disapear like the buffalo did. It used to be out of copyright books that were the filler content in most bible programs, but with the new L4 upgrades we were treated to a large amount of in copyright works for very little cost per volume. Logos truly blessed us one and all this time around.

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Dan DeVilder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:46 PM

BobbyTerhune:
After all how many 199.00 Baker collections can one afford, before it becomes cheaper in the end to just buy what you really need one at a time.

 

ain't that the truth!  I am staring down the barrel at baker and NIBC and some other stuff coming due in Feb.  It is a lean year and I just committed to Portfolio . .

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:48 PM

Alain Maashe:
Zondervan is owned by HarperRowCollins Publishing , a division of NewsCorp , as one of Rupert Murdoch companies,

Alain Maashe:
Murdoch said "I think it really devalues books and it hurts all the retailers of the hard cover books."

Zondervan is owned by Rupert Murduch! O dear, did not know that. Nothing further needs to be said then.

 

Ted.

 

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Dan DeVilder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:53 PM

Ted Hans:

Ted Hans:

Dan DeVilder:

Ted Hans:

Dan DeVilder:
All i can say is, i will buy IF I need the book, and even then I will weigh many factors.

Sorry, you may have misunderstood i was not advising others not to buy just myself. Please feel free to go ahead with any purchase, it is your money not mineSmile.

Ted, FYI, while I did read your post (as I read the whole page), I wasn't responding specifically to you.  If anything, my response was to the blog and my gut feel.  Just didn't want you to think I had taken you out of context--i wasn't addressing your comment specifically at all.  At the same time, I was not unaware of your comments, either--and you always write fair evaluations!  Smile

Sorry, not again i got this one wrong! My apologies, I pressed the "replied" next to your name on your previous post(comments) and it took me to my post so i thought you were responding to me. No offense meant - just hope i was not out of line with my comments to you in a public forumSmile.

Yours in Christ,

Ted.

 

 

does that happen if I click "reply" even if I don't quote, instead of Quick reply?  Never knew that.  Interesting.  If I did hit reply to you, it was not intentionally done.  Just trying to comment.  :)

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Dan DeVilder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 12:58 PM

Alain Maashe:

Dan DeVilder:

Rene, if what you are judging to be probably true, IS in fact true, that is a problem!  But what information is available to you that suggests that your charges are true?  (Price gouging, veneer, etc). All I have to go in is that pre-pub price is the same as post-pub.  And I don't like that.  But I sure don't have more to go on, than that.  I can compare Amazon all I want, and I do, and that informs decisions I make, but it says little to me about the motive of Baker, Zondervan, or Logos.

 

Zondervan is owned by HarperRowCollins Publishing , a division of NewsCorp , as one of Rupert Murdoch companies, I expect Zondervan to be driven by the same principles driving NewsCorp  as a company. (hint: it is not to spread the gospel of Christ to the four corners of the earth, it has more earthly goals like making a profit). The recent events with Amazon give us a good idea of NewsCorp philosophy when it comes to digital versus print books

 Murdoch said "I think it really devalues books and it hurts all the retailers of the hard cover books.""

 I would not be surprised if Baker and almost all the major players in the industry had the same outlook (being for-profit organizations). Especially when it comes to offering digital books at substantially lower prices than those of the print edition

I do not blame Logos for the situation even though I do not know what part they play in setting the price.

But let us not have illusions about what is driving prices up, it is another P word, namely profit (for the publishers)

Alain

 

I am under no illusions about profit. Or mixed motives.  Even working as a volunteer in the Christian Music festival venues lets me see that. 

Rene may have good insight--I just didn't have any proof for that, or those charges (gouging/veneer).  And Rene, nothing against you at all.

 

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Posts 37
David Lowther | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:00 PM

Ted - thanks for the information and link. That does not speak specifically to pre pub prices, but that is probably where the reference came from. I suspect that Zondervan sets the floor for the pricing, but not the ceiling, and there are certainly other terms and conditons.

Whether Zondervan and Baker Books set the price and Logos' hands are tied, or if the pricing strategy at work here is to set the initial Logos price based on the expected price from publisher, or something else, it still seems like the purpose of Pre-Publications has been stretched.

From the Pre-Publications page, "The Pre-Pub program is a win-win for Logos and our users. Users get a deep discount in exchange for placing a pre-order for a specific product and Logos gets the assurance that sales will cover costs before incurring expenses. Together we get a larger library for better Bible study."

Maybe there needs to be a new category for "soon to be available" resources that don't fit the original intent of Pre-Publications.

 

 

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Dan DeVilder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:00 PM

BobbyTerhune:

I hope I'm wrong, but the days of upgrading and getting tons of new books for one to two dollars apiece may disapear like the buffalo did. It used to be out of copyright books that were the filler content in most bible programs, but with the new L4 upgrades we were treated to a large amount of in copyright works for very little cost per volume. Logos truly blessed us one and all this time around.

Logos' library was THE key reason i invested in them to begin with (Series X--what a COOL name that was.  Bring it back!)

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Posts 53
Mark | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:03 PM

When you compare the per page cost of these Baker resources to the per page cost of “the complete works of Stephen Charnock” (which in my opinion is an outstanding resource), you have a very large difference.  Stephen Charnock’s pre-pub price is 2.5 cents per page, and is 70% less than its retail price.  The Baker pre-pub’s range from 6.5 cents per page, to over 11 cents per page and is selling at retail. 

 

I think that the Pre-pub section should not list items for sale that do not meet certain discounts off of retail.  Either that or the pre-pub page description should not read:

 

The Pre-Pub program is a win-win for Logos and our users. Users get a deep discount in exchange for placing a pre-order for a specific product and Logos gets the assurance that sales will cover costs before incurring expenses”

 

Posts 848
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:13 PM

David Lowther:
From the Pre-Publications page, "The Pre-Pub program is a win-win for Logos and our users. Users get a deep discount in exchange for placing a pre-order for a specific product and Logos gets the assurance that sales will cover costs before incurring expenses. Together we get a larger library for better Bible study."

 

I guess it will now have to be changed to read as follows: "The Pre-Pub programs is a win-lose program. A win for Logos and it's publishing partners and a lose for our users. Users will be footing the bill for the cost of production and losing out on any future deep discounts. Logos and its publishing partners get the assurance that sales will cover the production cost before incurring expenses. Together we will create a business model that other industries could only dream of!"

Posts 274
Daniel Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:29 PM

P. Keith Larson:

I guess it will now have to be changed to read as follows: "The Pre-Pub programs is a win-lose program. A win for Logos and it's publishing partners and a lose for our users. Users will be footing the bill for the cost of production and losing out on any future deep discounts. Logos and its publishing partners get the assurance that sales will cover the production cost before incurring expenses. Together we will create a business model that other industries could only dream of!"

I can't tell if you're joking or not, but I think we all need to wait a little bit and see if Logos has any response to these concerns and/or if the price changes. In other words, I shouldn't be unwise by jumping on a pre-pub immediately if it's too expensive for my budget, but I also shouldn't assume there's some kind of conspiracy.

I think there are several factors going on. Amazon is having disputes with publishers, so it wouldn't shock me if Logos is having similar discussions. Another part of the equation may be related to access via multiple devices, ie library.logos.com and/or the iPhone app, in addition to on our computers. I'm guessing that pricing will have to adjust accordingly. I'm still hoping for good package/bundle deals now and again, and I'll buy books as I can and which I highly value. Some things may end up only accessible via some kind of a subscription model.  I don't know, these are obviously guesses on my part, but I'm trying to assume the best of Logos while realizing we are in the middle of some big shifts in electronic publishing.

I think it would be a mistake to say price doesn't matter, I'll buy anyway, because we have to be wise stewards, or to assume some kind of conspiracy, because that's not the kind of company Logos has shown themselves to be. So I'll be waiting for a little while to see how some of these things settle out.

Posts 244
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 1:33 PM

I think we need to realize what Bob said in part in another post is going to affect the cost of modern up to date books. He said;

"And, of course, your list is of "hot titles" -- well known, strong sellers. Guess what? The publisher knows they're hot too, so they want to hold onto and control those rights as carefully as possible. As a general rule of thumb, the more you (and lots of other people) want the book, the more careful and restrictive publishers (and authors) are in licensing rights."

As christian book sellers see what is happening in the secular media about the pricing of digital books, it can't but have an effect on us. After all how much do you think Logos pays royalties on a Scholars Platinum base package when the price per book is $1.35 ea. and Portfolio is up to $2.60 ea?

That model is probably based on volume from being included in a base package, but I wonder at the end of the day if the publishers are happy with that kind of pricing and return on their product. Just like apple upset Amazon's pricing model, I think Apple will in the end affect us all by changing publishers expectations of what they can get for their copyrighted product.

I think Logos will do the best that it can for us and their business, but I do see some shifts coming in the digital book business. Its the publishers who control the rights and prices as well as availability. Just look at book titles that have vanished from Logos from WJK press, The New Jerusalem Bible and others.

 

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 2:34 PM

Everyone is trying to figure out pricing in the new world of digital content.

Electronic resources are not inherently cheaper to produce than paper; the paper / plastic that a book or song or movie are delivered on is not the big part of the production cost. And in many cases (especially books), the e-books sell many fewer copies. (Growing, but still single-digit percentages.) So fewer copies have to cover very similar production costs.

Some of our publishing partners have chosen to only license older, backlist titles that have already paid for themselves in print. Many users have requested Logos-compatible editions of the latest, freshest resources. On these resources publishers generally get 50% of the retail cost of paper sales, and as much or more on other e-book platforms. (Amazon's sale of e-books at $9.99 is generally at a loss -- they pay the publisher half of the retail, and eat the difference. It's believed they're doing this to A) sell more Kindles, B) establish themselves as the de facto channel for all e-book sales, a good place to be for the future, and C) force publishers and authors towards a pricing model of Amazon's choosing.)

When you see a paper book's retail price, you can be pretty sure the publisher is getting around 50% of that. If you see it sold for less than retail, it's because the indistinguishable retailers (every bookstore is pretty much the same, and every "web site and a warehouse" is, too) are competing 

So you can see why publishers have been reluctant to do low-royalty licenses of their latest and greatest titles for e-book editions. They want (or rather, need, to stay in business) that "half-of-retail" on the first round of sales. And if the first round of sales are going digital, they still need to make as much on the digital copies.

Back when digital was always 4-5 years after the initial sale, and the book was on the backlist or out of print, any revenue was gravy -- the book had made its costs in print. That's not true when e-books start selling the same day as paper, and start taking a bigger share of the purchases.

So if Logos is a retailer, why don't we chop 25% off the list price, like Amazon or some web retailer? Because we don't (yet) have similar cost structures. Our sale of the book for Logos format costs more to execute and support than Amazon's. Amazon gets a paper copy, puts it in a database, and ships copies to you. Then they're done. We do more technical work, have to continue to update the software engine, provide tech support, etc. (Amazon may have to support you on the Kindle, but that's easier than supporting Logos desktop software, and you had to pay the for the Kindle. Our software was "free" -- with the cost of writing it supported from our cut of the book's sale.)

Will Baker books get cheaper? I don't know. Possibly. We may get some efficiencies. Publishers may decide to lower their prices after the book's been out a few years. (They do this now -- the paperback edition is just an excuse to sell it for less a few years after the hardback.)

In some ways, it's up to you. If you value front-list titles enough to pay front-list prices, we'll sell them. If you'd rather pay back-list prices for back-list titles, we'll stop offering these fresh titles and sell just back-list. This is an experiment.

As for accusations of profiteering, greed, etc.... it just seems silly. The beauty of capitalism (and I do think it's beautiful -- if ruthless! -- just like the other laws of God's universe, including the ruthless beauty "gravity") is that excessive profits are wiped out by competition.Trust me, publishers aren't getting rich, they are struggling to survive. We're doing a little better at Logos -- we're better prepared for the e-content world -- but we're standing on quicksand. It's changing every day.

If you think the full-retail price for a Baker title is too much, you can buy it in paper at lots of prices, on the Kindle, soon on the iPad, etc. If Baker and Logos are going to charge full-retail for a Logos-compatible edition, it needs to be worth it, in both tagging, functionality, support, and timeliness. If not, you will all take your business elsewhere.

The good news is, we haven't taken anything of the "old model" away. We're still offering fantastic deals on lots of books on pre-pub. But the old model never had this simultaneous print/e-book release of new titles, with the latest books that are being required by professors, used in today's classrooms, etc.

I welcome your feedback on whether or not that's important.

 

Posts 15725
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 2:40 PM

Thank you, Bob. That's a great explanation, and I'm bookmarking your reply so I can refer people to it in the future whenever they moan about the prices! Smile

Posts 3010
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 2:53 PM

Whyndell Grizzard:

God bless America where retain the freedom to do with our money as we will, well for a little while longer any way, only 3 years of the Dictator left and His hinch men and women.

Hi Whyndell,

It's hard for me to remember, too, that when God grants discernment into another's righteousness, it isn't my invitation to judge them but to pray for them. And our President much needs our prayers.

God bless!

The Grace & Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you!
Pastor Bill, Faith Presbyterian Church

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Posts 277
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 2:57 PM

As an end user of several bible products I don't know the price structure or business model used by Logos but it does seem to be a successful one....even to the extent of dominating the market place over historical products like Quickverse or PC-Study Bible.  It is also a good thing to describe the factors involved in pricing of prepub options which should help consumers to feel more comfortable with purchasing such products.  However, the notion that profiteering isn't or cant take place because there is too much competition makes no sense to me given the market position of Logos in the Bible software universe.   What competition?  Pointing out possible reasons for a change in price structures or policy is sheer speculation on all of our parts (including me) and should be taken in that light I think.   I am happy to own Logos products, in version 3 mode, and have bought more as my project needs are met by the large library.  My hope is that I don't have to sell my license on the open market because I can't afford to keep updating it over the next several years. Thank you for your feed back Bob.

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