Unbelievably expensive

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jun 26 2016 9:39 AM

The prepub Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics is listed at $1,063.99 and has 3,064 pages.  By contrast, the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary has probably over 6,000 pages and is $269.99 and this is not a prepub price.  I realize that Logos has to deal with the print publishers (In the case of the Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language this is Brill), but even for Brill this seems to be gouging.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lew Worthington | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 10:24 AM

It seems to me that Brill's strategy has always been to price things so that they'll make a profit even if only high end libraries buy them. The gouging seems in full bloom with their reference works.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 10:27 AM

Lew Worthington:

It seems to me that Brill's strategy has always been to price things so that they'll make a profit even if only high end libraries buy them. The gouging seems in full bloom with their reference works.

At that price I think only Bill Gates (if he had any interest in the field) and libraries can afford it.  I know I can't (though I would like to have it).

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 11:26 AM

Oddly enough, that's a steal compared to the $1272 it will set you back if you were to buy it at Barnes and Noble. 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/encyclopedia-of-hebrew-language-and-linguistics-geoffrey-khan/1113521869/2691828813910 

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 12:45 PM

Richard Villanueva:
Oddly enough, that's a steal compared to the $1272 it will set you back if you were to buy it at Barnes and Noble. 

Logos is not hiking the price, Brill is.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 1546
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 1:24 PM

Fortunately, many of the authors have legally posted their own articles to academia.edu or their personal blogs. Obviously, that's not the same as owning it in Logos. 

Brill, sheesh. 

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 1:30 PM

Matthew C Jones:
Logos is not hiking the price, Brill is.

I think that is generally realized.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 1:45 PM

Brill doesn't make books for individuals to buy. They are all designed and priced to be in a major library. I can get it online through my seminary account, but there is no arguing against the quality. From the article on stylistics, picked at random.

Within the history of the relation between non-ordinary and ordinary language, prose, one might say, eschews the maximally distinguishing features of verse—meter, rhyme, parallelism, the line itself—in favor of the minimally distinguishing (prosaic) features of literary prose (Hanson and Kiparsky 1997). The ‘primitive’ or ‘elementary’ form of prose is thus none other than the sentence grammatically defined, for there is no extra-linguistic principle (such as the line) to mark it off from natural language. If prose thus lacks positive defining features such as verse possesses, it nonetheless constitutes a non-ordinary, literary stylization of language, distinct as such from ordinary speech. There is such a thing as prose style, then, and one can seek to discern both its lexical and grammatical aspects. In the case of grammatical stylization, however, while there exists in prose literary effects akin to rhyme and meter—assonance, consonance, rhythm, etc.—these are, in general, merely incidental and localized features of biblical prose. I will therefore focus specifically on certain syntactic constructions in the prose narratives.

In fact, it is syntax that reveals what is distinctive about prose. For prose allows for certain constructions that do not properly occur in the spoken language. Thus, Emile Benveniste, in order to account for the two preterits in French, namely, the passé composé and the passé simple or aorist, distinguished between two linguistic systems, which he called discours (‘discourse’) andhistoire (‘historical narration’). If discourse constitutes the grammatical system of the spoken language, a deictic system defined in relation to a speaker (‘I’) and a moment of speech (‘now’), narration is a non-deictic or absolute system, not situated relative to a ‘now’ or even a speaker. He thus accounts for the curious fact that the aorist is a strictly literary tense: “there is no longer even a narrator. The events are set forth chronologically, as they occurred. No one speaks here; the events seem to narrate themselves” (1971:208). Banfield (1982:140–180), reframing Benveniste’s seminal insight within the research program of generative linguistics, pronounced this “sentence of pure narration,” as she called it, “unspeakable”—which is to say, specifically in the case of French, that native speakers judge the passé simple unacceptable in the spoken language. In other words, language does not coincide with speech, and so not all literary works can be modeled as a speech act.

Lexical Style. The lexicon of biblical prose narrative does not generally incline toward archaism, but remains close to what was presumably the vernacular, albeit at a slightly elevated level of diction (Alter 1996:xxi–xxvi; 2011a:79–110). Relatedly, this lexicon is, in comparison with that of biblical poetry, remarkably poor; more precisely, it is restricted, presumably by a tacit literary convention, to what Alter has aptly called a “primary vocabulary” (1996:xxvi). This lexical paucity could be productively put into the service of biblical narrative thanks, in part, to the latter’s toleration, exploitation even, of repetition, realized in particular in what Martin Buber (1994) famously identified as biblical narrative’s Leitwortstil, literally, ‘leading word style’. Coined on analogy with the musical concept of Leitmotiv, Leitwortstil consists of the repetition, within a given passage, of a single word, or of a small set of words deriving from a single root. In Gen. 18.22–33, for example, the two semantically related roots צד"ק ṣ-d-q ‘righteous’ and שפ"ט š-p-ṭ‘judge, just’ recur numerous times in the course of Abraham’s efforts to rescue Sodom and Gomorrah from divine wrath.

There are scattered traces of a heightened epic-poetic register in prose narrative, such as Gen. 7.11, a type of inset couplet:

נִבְקְעוּ֙ כָּֽל־מַעְיְנֹת֙ תְּהֹ֣ום רַבָּ֔ה וַאֲרֻבֹּ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם נִפְתָּֽחוּ:

niḇqəʿū kål-maʿyənōṯ təhōm rabbå̄ wa-ʾărubbōṯ haš-šå̄mayim nip̄tå̄ḥū

‘All the wellsprings of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of heaven were opened’.

Note the two parallel lines with their paired noun phrases, ‘wellsprings of the deep’ and ‘windows of heaven’. But whether the prose writer here quoted and thus preserved a fragment of preexisting verse, or composed an archaizing but newly created poetic fragment, this line is a palpable stylistic intrusion, i.e., the exception that proves the rule. It would be a mistake, then, to assign any sizeable place within the lexicon of prose to heroic epithets or other forms of oral-traditional phraseology. Cassuto thus plausibly identified this and other similar examples as mere archaisms, scattered fragments of a now lost “Israelite epic” (1975:69–109). This hypothesized translation or reworking of an oral epic into the literary prose narratives of the Bible would conform to the broader pattern mentioned earlier, namely, the priority of (oral) poetry to literary (written) prose (Kawashima 2004:17–34).

It is similarly worth noting and pausing over the existence of numerous word pairs in biblical prose. This phenomenon, known as ‘lexical doubling’ (see Bendavid 1967–1971 for many examples), may superficially resemble the word pairs of biblical verse, but it does not actually participate in any sort of poetic parallelism. Rather, it helps establish a subtle but demonstrable distinction between narration and discourse in biblical prose narrative.

וַֽיַּחֲזֵ֖ק בְּקַרְנֹ֥ות הַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ

way-yaḥăzēq bə-qarnōṯ ham-mizbēaḥ

‘And he seized the horns of the altar’ (1 Kgs 1.50).

וְ֠הִנֵּה אָחַ֞ז בְּקַרְנֹ֤ות הַמִּזְבֵּ֙חַ

wə-hinnē ʾå̄ḥaz bə-qarnōṯ ham-mizbēaḥ

‘And look, he has grabbed onto the horns of the altar’ (1 Kgs 1.51).

In this pair of examples, then, the lexical couple, ‘seize’ (narration) and ‘grab’ (discourse), arguably betrays, at the level of diction, a slight difference of register between 3rd-person narration and directly quoted discourse.

Posts 510
Richard Villanueva | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 3:17 PM

George Somsel:

Matthew C Jones:
Logos is not hiking the price, Brill is.

I think that is generally realized.

Figured as much - that kind of price would definitely be quite a large "logos-tax" for added tagging if it were to be a $60 reference work.  I'm aware publishers can and do set prices and have say in promotions and such. I believe Logos can be, at times, more costly than a seller like amazon. But I do think they are generally fair in how they price their products (I'm not looking to start a discussion of logos prices.)

While I'm not part of the publishing world, I just cannot understand the rationale for a book to have such a high price tag. Is the information it contains so specialized that only a handful of people would ever bother to use or access it? Is it because they can guarantee sales to libraries and just forgo any type of marketing outside inistitutional academia? 

I would would not (yet, at least) want to say that the information it contains is not worthy of such a hefty price, but what would it take to help people like myself to understand their justification for making a book so costly?  

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 7:22 PM

Lew Worthington:

It seems to me that Brill's strategy has always been to price things so that they'll make a profit even if only high end libraries buy them. The gouging seems in full bloom with their reference works.

E-books used to be cheaper then paper backs that were one third the price of hard cover books. And that was not too long ago. Now they want the same price for E-book or hard cover.   

Yes, Unbelievably Expensive. 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 7:43 PM

Richard Villanueva:
what would it take to help people like myself to understand their justification for making a book so costly?

I am not trying to justify the prices by any means, but the simple answer: Supply and demand. If an author needs a salary of $50k, then (s)he needs to either earn $1 per book with 50k sold OR 50k per book for only 1 sold. 

The two books George introduced in this thread are good examples. How many people are likely to read/use/appreciate the Hebrew Language and Linguistics Vs. the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 26 2016 7:47 PM

David Ames:
E-books used to be cheaper then paper backs that were one third the price of hard cover books. And that was not too long ago. Now they want the same price for E-book or hard cover.

I don't think Logos books were ever that much cheaper than print.  Remember, it's a value added product.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 1:36 AM

The EHLL is a great reference. I wish it were cheaper too. Perhaps in a few years.

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Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 2:34 AM

If you are part of an educational institution, you may have free access to it. 

Posts 2768
David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 3:57 AM

George Somsel:

David Ames:
E-books used to be cheaper then paper backs that were one third the price of hard cover books. And that was not too long ago. Now they want the same price for E-book or hard cover.

I don't think Logos books were ever that much cheaper than print.  Remember, it's a value added product.

True.  But E-books in general are starting to match print prices. [Yes, there used to be a year or two before we could get the paperback price] 

Also the publishers are used to selling to libraries [with 1000 members] and sell them one copy.  In logos they are selling to the individual members and still want the same price [per user instead of per library with many users] 

[Also note that Faithlife refers to our library instead of our book shelf.]

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 11:54 AM

It came into my mind I could pre-order it now to get it faster to the "under development" status and hope I'll be rich (unlikely) by the time it comes out from the incubator, or otherwise I must cancel it. I feel this idea is a bit unethical Devil, any comments?

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 12:04 PM

Veli Voipio:

It came into my mind I could pre-order it now to get it faster to the "under development" status and hope I'll be rich (unlikely) by the time it comes out from the incubator, or otherwise I must cancel it. I feel this idea is a bit unethical Devil, any comments?

I do not think it is best advised but there are a couple of items that I have on order that are not yet even under development yet I really want them and like you when they come due  I may have to cancel... hopefully not. I do not consider it unethical because it is a purchase i desire to make and God willing will be making it.

-Dan

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 12:13 PM

Veli Voipio:

It came into my mind I could pre-order it now to get it faster to the "under development" status and hope I'll be rich (unlikely) by the time it comes out from the incubator, or otherwise I must cancel it. I feel this idea is a bit unethical Devil, any comments?

I order things that I want supposing that I will have the funds by the time they ship.  Of course, I don't know that I will have the funds since I have no idea when they will ship.  There have been occasions when this hasn't worked out because I have run into financial problems around that time (traffic tickets, car repairs, medical bills, multiple orders coming fast and furiously etc), but usually it's OK.  In this case, however, the resource is soooooo-ooo expensive that I can almost be assured that I wouldn't have the money.  I would need to save up for quite a while before I could afford just this one item.  I wouldn't dare order it since I could almost be assured that I couldn't afford it.  Not only that, but I have no assurance that they won't be shipping 5 other relatively expensive resources I have ordered at the same time so I will simply pass on this.  Sad

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

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Justin Gatlin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 1:42 PM

The collection including it is more than 60%of the way to production. https://www.logos.com/product/53610/brill-hebrew-reference-collection

Notably, six times closer then the 1910 EB, which is projected for $100. Maybe we're the fools..

Posts 8005
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 27 2016 3:15 PM

alabama24:

Richard Villanueva:
what would it take to help people like myself to understand their justification for making a book so costly?

I am not trying to justify the prices by any means, but the simple answer: Supply and demand. If an author needs a salary of $50k, then (s)he needs to either earn $1 per book with 50k sold OR 50k per book for only 1 sold. 

The two books George introduced in this thread are good examples. How many people are likely to read/use/appreciate the Hebrew Language and Linguistics Vs. the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary

Like Toyota Camrys,I remember when they were cheap ($16k-$20k), now they are in the $30's because of high demand :) So the principle applies to books too or any product for that matter.

DAL

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