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Posts 106
Rob Suggs | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Jun 19 2009 1:35 PM

Like many of you, I lead a small Bible study group every week. I'm a great believer in growing new leaders, so I frequently ask different members of the group to lead an inductive study. Of course, I help them with a little material from my Logos library--a commentary snippet here, the passage from a couple of other translations, a Bible dictionary article there--and it's like showing iron tools to cavemen who are still getting the knack of this fire thing. Lay people aren't like us Bible geeks. They have no idea what resources even exist, but if they love God, and are beginning to grow as believers, they're delighted to find out. God wants every single lay person in the world to be a Bible geek, right?

That said, I wish there was a permutation of Logos, perhaps cheaper than the obscure $149.95 Christian Home product, that I could use to entice my group members to dive into the world of Logos. As it is, the Logos market is basically Christian professionals--pastors, teachers, the hardcore and the scholarly. They gravitate toward the Gold and Silver type packages. The potential for truly committed lay believers seems massive to me, but what do I know? Wink When I show off Logos to such people, they are fascinated, but not to the point that they would put down $150 for the bare bones, with several dusty old Bible translations and public domain commentaries. 

Quickverse et al, of course, are more positioned for that market. But they're not Logos. I would gently suggest that competitors lack the passion and inventiveness to create a product that we, the Bible geeks, could take to the Sunday school class, to the board of elders, and to the uttermost parts of our congregations. Logos ambassadors? Sure, that's a good idea that would really create sparks if we had something for the huddled masses of lay people around us, rather than the two or three ministerial friends we know who still don't use computer resources for ministry. 

Yes, sigh, I know. There are lots of reasons why something like this doesn't happen. All I know is that I meet monthly with a group of mature, well-educated Bible study leaders, all of whom have their own groups, and other than me, about two of twelve had even even seen Bible software when I did a Logos demonstration. My pastor was using the Bible Gateway to prepare his sermons. (Just went to a Logos camp, and he's learning quickly.) I guess this would suggest we haven't even begun to reach the primary market of geeks, because every Bible study leader in our church should be using Logos. But even there, I suspect a number of them aren't going to pay $150 for a stripped-down collection. For me, someone who really needs Logos for my daily work, it took a great sacrifice to afford the Bible Study library. I dream about what could happen if we started getting committed lay people into the riches of Bible exploration available through Logos. Why not swing for the fences?

I see a lot of exciting progress at Logos  in using the Web, using social networking, programs such as Amabassadors (am I naming that right?), nifty little touches like RefTagger and so on, to grow the market. Keep on keeping on with that. Dare to make the Website a destination with more content, something to familiarize the non-Logos public with our software as they drift over to the site for other Bible-related stuff. But also, I hope Logos will think about a better lay product. I'm sure pastors would be proclaiming its glory from their pulpits very quickly, if they want a more biblically literate congregation. 

/soapbox

 

Posts 3675
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 1:47 PM

I have used Thomas Nelson collections to introduce (successfully) lay folks from my congregation to Logos Bible Software. The Deluxe e-Bible and other similar collections have a nice round-up of basic reference resources they can use without Bible college or seminary proficiency in Bible study techniques and principles. The only drawback for some is that Nelson's basic collections do not include the popular NIV. 

Posts 9946
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 1:49 PM

Rob Suggs:
That said, I wish there was a permutation of Logos, perhaps cheaper than the obscure $149.95 Christian Home product, that I could use to entice my group members to dive into the world of Logos. As it is, the Logos market is basically Christian professionals--pastors, teachers, the hardcore and the scholarly. They gravitate toward the Gold and Silver type packages. The potential for truly committed lay believers seems massive to me, but what do I know? Wink When I show off Logos to such people, they are fascinated, but not to the point that they would put down $150 for the bare bones, with several dusty old Bible translations and public domain commentaries

 

What in the world would you want?  The Christian Home product is about as bare-bones as you get.  Some of the garbage could be removed to make it cheaper, but that wouldn't add any meat to it.  I gave that to a friend and was almost embarassed that it was so lacking.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 577
Pam Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 2:05 PM

I bought my son (age 24) the Bible Study Library last year for his birthday.  He really enjoys using it for bible study.  I think it depends a lot on the age group.  He hardly ever reads physical books.

Posts 5
Rita James | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 4:04 PM

Rob,

I too wish there was a very bare bones, introductory version of Logos that would just give you some of the tools for Greek word study and a few commentaries.  At the same time one would be getting familiar with the Logos software. 

I would suggest Power Bible as an inexpensive introduction to Bible study.  It enables you to study the Greek words, look up cross references, build your notes, and finally check some commentaries.  You can buy 2 CDs for $19 but you have to pay more for the NIV and NAS translations.

The reason I switched to Logos was the inadequate lexicon.  I love Spiros Zodhiates Word Study dictionaries and could only find them on Logos.  After that, I was hooked on Logos!!

Rita

Posts 136
Mark Hoffman | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 4:51 PM

If someone just wants to get a feel for Logos, then I've recommended trying the free Nelson eBible demo package. Yes, it's only the KJV and a few other resources, but it gives them a feel for the program and helps them decide if they want to go for one of the libraries.

That doesn't really solve Rob's initial request for a more attractive package for dedicated lay persons, but it would be a start to give confidence to spend some real money.

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 19 2009 8:05 PM

I concur with Mark. I started with the eBible demo. I was then enticed, by its fine perfume and its promises of pleasure, to purchase a boxed product.

The least expensive first step in purchasing would be the eBible Ultimate Bible Reference Library. Less than $20.00, and comes with a few modern translations. It won’t have the add in’s that come with a Logos boxed product, but you can’t beat the price.

 

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 2736
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 3:55 AM

eBible demo is nice, but you do not get Logos feeling. You have no addins, that make Logos real Bible software. Ultimate Bible Ref. Library can be nice, but again, I am not sure about the addins. I found Logos Bible Study Library as a good introduction to Logos. I would recommend Logos to make this as a promo version for about 50 - 100 USD, may be less resources but a few addins.

Bohuslav

Posts 3767
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 7:12 AM

you might want to contact morris proctor who does the training for Logos.  He (maybe others have it to) is offering some deeply discounted Thomas Nelson CDs.  One is for 20 bucks and the other ("eBible") is for 50.  I just bought ebible for me.  I already had most of the works on it that i would "really" want, but it added a nice History Dictionary (can't think of the name) and some other works that easily would cost 50 on their own.  Plus I got a bunch of their study Bibles (Plumbers Bible, Dairy Queen clerk's bible--nah, jk, but "Spirit filled" and "Reformation" and more, lol)  and a TON of BIble studies that I have not checked out.  The 20 dollar version had the study Bibles and other reference works that I don't particularly want (Vine's was one, I think), but it would be useful to the lay person, especialy for 20 bucks.  If I had money I would buy some for the people/leaders to introduce them to Libronix.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 2774
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 12:11 PM

Rob Suggs:
hat said, I wish there was a permutation of Logos, perhaps cheaper than the obscure $149.95 Christian Home product, that I could use to entice my group members to dive into the world of Logos.
I see what you are saying and agree.  I think it would be nice to have a "New Believer" collection.  Then the question is, what to include.  Here are a fewe off the cuff thoughts.

- NET Bible

- A good bible dictionary

- A good single volume commentary

- Growing in Christ (Packer)

- Knowing God (Packer)

- Answers to tough questions (McDowell)

- ???

What others might be good for this simple starter collection?

 

I am sure the list could get HUGE, but if we remember that this should be very simple, super low cost (under $50), then maybe it could be a good gateway for folks into the Logos study world.  I know if the cost was cheap enough, I would buy it as a graduation gift for our HS seniors.

 

What do you think?

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 2736
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 12:33 PM

I agree with your list but I would prefer it to be a Logos thing with the Logos Home Page and a few starting addins. IMHO it is essential to find out and experience the real Logos. If you just want to have tool to go through a few resources, than it can be Nelson Ultimate. I bought it for 19 USD and it is great collection. But Logos is more than just pile of books.

I also would suggest to include NET Bible, ESV Reverse Interlinear, TSK, some one volume commentary like Bible Knowledge, public domain tools etc. And of course pbb reader key.

Bohuslav

Posts 106
Rob Suggs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 2:25 PM

Very good discussion here, and very helpful. I didn't know about the Nelson Ultimate thing. I'm going to definitely look into that. I think most of you seem to agree with my point--we want our people to expand their borders into the riches of God's Word. We want them to become fully-fledged Bible Geeks like us, not as an end in itself but because it's the most reliable way to move toward becoming a true God geek. Even if adding some good resources and dropping the price cut Logos's profit margin substantially, it would create a "gateway drug" that would put a great number of people on the track toward the better resources that come with the more expensive packages. 

If something promising could be provided for $20, and a great free resource like the NET Bible were an option (kills several birds with one stone--viable translation, good notes, great intro to the power of "hovering" notes in Logos)--then surely there is a way to work toward a terrific project for beginning users, then have a powerful marketing program through current Bible study leaders who are into Logos. If you think about it, the home study group is a built-in model of the Amway/Tupperware/whatever marketing model. But it wouldn't be tacky because it's an already existing home gathering, there is trust, and the product is a wonderful blessing that no one would be offended to be offered. 

I don't work at Logos, I don't know the feasibility of any of these things, but I just see the need and I know Logos shares this vision of spreading the joy of its great, God-anointed product.

Posts 106
Rob Suggs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 2:32 PM

Addendum:

Checked the Nelson Ultimate, and golly---I'm a little shocked by how much is in there. Ironically, I had gotten it myself just recently when I added the David Jeremiah collection (I do a lot of editing for him, so it made sense to have those materials built in). It included the Ultimate, but I didn't pay much attention at the time because I had a good number of the resources already. But my people don't have any of it. 

I'm going to do a Logos demonstration for my folks in a couple of week sand give them a pitch for this product. I think they'll love it. Thanks, folks!

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 2:36 PM

I appreciate your enthusiasm, and all the ideas.

We've tried several variations on this idea, including our "Starter Library", where you could buy a five-pack of $20 (eventually $10) starter packs to share with friends. (See http://www.bsreview.org/blog/2004/12/a-way-into-logos-bible-software.html)

The problem is -- it doesn't work. Maybe we've missed the magic formula, or maybe the software just isn't compelling with a large library of content. Or maybe people who won't invest $100+ in Bible study just aren't that interested in it.

There are some very nice low cost Bible software programs out there, and I know they have a lot of users. But I also konw that they don't generate very much revenue at all, and many are staffed by one person. This is a valuable service to the church, but doesn't support the level and quantity of software development and book production that we do.

We do have something like the Tupperware model: http://www.logos.com/ambassador It does work, but though small volume, as individual users identify the other likely users they know.

Sites like http://Bible.Logos.com, http://Sermons.Logos.com, and the still-launching-quietly http://Books.Logos.com are all other ways we're trying to reach users with a simpler product and help them move up to Logos Bible Software.

Thanks for the ideas and the enthusiasm; we'll keep trying!

Posts 2736
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 2:46 PM

Bob Pritchett:
and the still-launching-quietly http://Books.Logos.com

Aha, I did not know about that project. Looks promising. Thank you.

Bohuslav

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 3:57 PM

Rob Suggs:

Addendum:

Checked the Nelson Ultimate, and golly---I'm a little shocked by how much is in there. Ironically, I had gotten it myself just recently when I added the David Jeremiah collection (I do a lot of editing for him, so it made sense to have those materials built in). It included the Ultimate, but I didn't pay much attention at the time because I had a good number of the resources already. But my people don't have any of it. 

I'm going to do a Logos demonstration for my folks in a couple of week sand give them a pitch for this product. I think they'll love it. Thanks, folks!

Hi Rob,

One thing that Bob did not mention is that if you did not want to go with the Ambassador Program, you can usually set up a referral program with your Logos sales person. While it might not be as lucrative as the Ambassador Program, your referrals would still get the standard 25% off of base products, and you could work something out for your benefit with your sales person.

Also the note-less version of the NET Bible is free to anyone here.

In Christ,

Paul

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 106
Rob Suggs | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 4:24 PM

Bob Pritchett:

The problem is -- it doesn't work. 

Yeah, yeah. I figured. Still, I think somewhere out there, maybe not even today, there is that "magic formula." The Ambassador program is the right approach for our niche, but it's designed to push expensive software because it's based on percentage. It isn't being coupled with the product we're talking about, which is something a little like that Nelson Ultimate. As for the five-pack, the rules of 2004 may not be the same as those of today. I feel like Logos is doing much more and more exciting things with its Web presence, and that's going to impact the kinds of deals and promotions in a positive way. 

It's possible that, as you say, those not willing to pay $200 or so for Bible software "just aren't that interested" (Seriously, the Home package with its few resources isn't a fair measuring stick; it's like a 1-gig iPod). I want to be more hopeful than that. I'll tell you what. I'll give this is a try and report my findings. I have about five couples in my Sunday night group. When I have them all together, I'm going to do a demo of Logos on my laptop, gearing the demo not to orginal language-type stuff but to basics: Bible study, searches, daily devotionals. I'll impress on them that they need to be learning to do what I do, and that's it's incredibly fun as well. I'm going to push that Nelson package. No, it's not big dollar sales for Logos at $20, but the point here is whether lay people (and I have true seekers who know nothing about the Bible in my group) will try Bible software. We'll see. 

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 4:43 PM

Rob Suggs:

We'll see. 

If you would, I'd like to know how it works out.

Thanks,

Paul

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 5:58 PM

Rob Suggs:

Yeah, yeah. I figured. Still, I think somewhere out there, maybe not even today, there is that "magic formula."

I think the magic formula might be something like Compton's NIV. That was the first bible software I ever bought. I loved it. Compact, one single bible with notes, vids, maps and so on. It was like a single study bible. I haven't seen it on any shelves in years so I suppose Comptons doesn't make it anymore. Perhaps they were pushed out of the market by companies like Logos. However, when I bought mine the only place to put it was on a PC, which is not something that people are inclined to take with them to bible studies. Nowadays things may be different.

I've known a lot of people who enjoy bible studies and purchase study bibles just for that purpose. These days, with all those portable devices out there, a nice soft, single study bible with notes and other extras, a simple but powerful search engine and a really attractive presentation  (like the one that Comptons offered)  might find that elusive market. If you think in terms of paper there are lots of people out there who would love to augment what they own with a real, quality study bible but would never think of buying multiple bible versions, works by people like Matthew Henry, multi-volume commentaries, Greek texts, lexicons and so on. Maybe it's the same way for bible software.

One thing's for sure, assuming it did turn out to be a viable project, Logos could do a much better job of it than Comptons ever did.

Yours in Christ

John

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 20 2009 6:43 PM

Rob Suggs:

It's possible that, as you say, those not willing to pay $200 or so for Bible software "just aren't that interested" (Seriously, the Home package with its few resources isn't a fair measuring stick; it's like a 1-gig iPod).

So your solution is that we put more than the Home package out at an even lower price? (Gulp.)

I'm sure we can make something work -- we could put everything in BSL into a $20 package. Or we could do a highly integrated "digital study Bible" product (let's call it "Illumina", shall we?). But then we start hitting other problems: The fact that we offer "gold plated" customer service, and even one phone call from a purchaser of this low-price product will wipe out our profits, and the fact that you've got to sell 10 $20 packages to get the revenue of 1 $200 package. And sales (the marketing, getting to people, answering questions, etc.) costs money, regardless of the transaction size.

I'm still listening... but I'm worried it's a bit like saying "Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is so much better than the steak at Joe's Diner. And I know people who like steak, but aren't as passionate as I am. And so they won't spring $80 for Ruth's Chris. But maybe if there was a $9 lunch special, they'd come in, and more people could eat there."

You can sell a smaller steak, but you can't get to $9 without dropping quality, firing the expensive waitstaff, changing to paper napkins, etc.

Interested to hear the results of your experiment...

 

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