So...what would make you buy more books from Logos?

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Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 4:57 PM

I believe that Logos has multiple obstacles to overcome to create more sales and to expand their user base:

1. The Logos program is too big and bloated.  I am writing this on my Asus portable laptop with a low-end Celeron processor and a 5400 RPM drive.  I can't load Logos on this machine because it is slow and takes forever to index.  With Logos, I have no choice but to load up all of my resources even if I don't want to.  That means more resources to index and slower indexing times.  As a result, on this machine, I use my Accordance and Olive Tree libraries.  Both programs run quickly and easily on even lower-end hardware.  I can also choose what resources I want to download.  Why can't Logos make its program more scalable and faster on lower-end hardware?  Virtually every other Bible app can run well on such hardware.

2. Logos seems to be intent on making everyone buy into its subscription model.  I don't want or need a monthly subscription and am happy with the feature set as it is.  Logos says that it needs regular income from each user to allow the company to defray its expenses.  However, this is a problem of their own making.  They chose to create a program that requires constant Internet access (and a server farm) to take advantage of its feature set. Most of their competitors created programs that can operate sans the Internet, except for updates and resource downloads.  

3. They have created a platform with no easy low-cost entry path (unless you are on a mobile platform).  Sure, you can download a free engine, but to get a package good enough for basic study, you have to shell out $300.  And for that, you get an anemic collection of books.  If you look at the competition and compare, they offer far more for less.  I know Logos has indicated in the past that it isn't interested in entry level users since they don't pay the bills, that strategy no longer seems to be working.  Many Logos users don't want/need the large, expensive sets and bundles that they are selling.  Meanwhile, the competition is offering free software, and in some cases, free books as a loss-leader.  They realize that, once people start using their software, they will be more inclined to update their libraries.

4. When I started with Libronix, they had a virtual corner on the market. E-books were a new thing.  There was no such thing as Kindle, iBooks, B&N, Kobo.  Publishers were willing to offer up their out-of-print back-lists for very low prices.  Now that eBooks have taken off, they have found that they can sell their own books via these (and other) e-publishers and make more money.  As a result, Logos has access to far fewer books to include in bundles.  Most of these are high-priced, academic books and books that they are publishing under the Lexham Press imprint.  

5. Logos still wants to charge a king's ransom for public domain works that are available for much less elsewhere.  There is a huge market for public domain books, especially Puritan literature.  They are missing out on a market that could bring in additional incremental income as well as offer in low-cost packages that will attract new users.

6. Little progress has been made on their web apps, even though Chromebook/Web-book use is expanding and that may be something people are willing to pay a subscription fee for if the price was right.

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Posts 1567
Kenute P. Curry | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 5:19 PM

Very well said Tony Thomas Yes

Posts 1043
William Gabriel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 6:45 PM

Tony Thomas:

5. Logos still wants to charge a king's ransom for public domain works that are available for much less elsewhere.  There is a huge market for public domain books, especially Puritan literature.  They are missing out on a market that could bring in additional incremental income as well as offer in low-cost packages that will attract new users.

I have a feeling Tony's point here will be one of the most underrated comments in the thread. First, I think it's embarrassing how much Logos charges for PD works outside of CP. The prices are fair in CP and mind-boggling otherwise. Second, I own the Reformation Bookshelf and the Puritan Bookshelf, and it shocks me how little of this material is in Logos. They're all PD works and many of them are coveted, but a lot is missing. For instance, I would have loved to have Joseph Caryl's commentary on Job in Logos (with all the tagged goodness), but I still have to find a lot of resources outside Logos. If FL were shrewd, they could easily use high quality PD packages (e.g. Matthew Henry) to offer really good entry level Base Packages for less than $100. Instead, they charge as much for these books as newly published material that requires them to pay royalties. I can't help but feel like it's used as Base Package filler to justify the high prices.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 6:55 PM

Tony Thomas:
The Logos program is too big and bloated.

Could you give some examples of what you consider to be "bloat"?

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 5232
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 7:14 PM

Not only are the majority of PD works priced at a high premium, but often times when they are put on sale like Spurgen's Treasury of David it is priced out to a level making it more expensive to buy than the regular set price. I have never seen in any store anything other than a 3 volume edition... but faithlife has it as a 6 volume. I considered getting it in march madness sale, but the cost was i believe $9 more than the regular price. I have got a few classic commentary sets but found the majority of works in the sets i got to be of little worth to me... Many older works have great value but others seem rather pointless. 

Here is a good example of a PD book I have found of limited value:

PSALM 1

Ver. 1. —— “in the counsel.” Rather, —— “after the counsel.”

Ver. 4. —— “like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” This allusion describes the instability of the principles of the ungodly, rather than of their fortunes. Their want of principle is opposed to the good man’s steady meditation of Jehovah’s law, which is the foundation of his prosperity. On the other hand, because the ungodly want this principle, therefore they shall not stand in the judgment.

Ver. 5. —— “in the judgment.” The judgment here intended is evidently the last judgment, and the congregation of the righteous is their assembly at the tribunal of Christ at the last day. “The ungodly shall not stand,” i. e. they shall not be established in this judgment, nor have a place assigned them among the just. And to this effect Bishop Hare, “לא יקמו videtur sensu forensi sumendum, ut Latinis stare et causâ cadere.”

Ver. 6. “For the Lord knoweth the way—” rather, “For Jehovah attendeth to the way,” i. e. to the fortunes. דרך is used variously, either for the course of a man’s fortunes, or the course of his morals. The former, I think, is the sense here.

 Samuel Horsley, The Book of Psalms; Translated from the Hebrew: With Notes, Explanatory and Critical, Fourth Edition (London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans; F. & J. Rivington, 1845), 191.

I know in many older works you can find a lot of wisdom, but sometimes if feels like FL just said lets get everything we can good or bad....

-Dan

Posts 2169
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 7:44 PM

I don't think anything particular is wrong with Logos. The program is getting better, but you still need a decent computer run it full out. None of my gear is optimum but L7 runs ok.

What would make me buy more books? Money. There's just a few things I'm waiting on and I need to finish paying off one package. 

In some ways, building one's library tends to be a diminishing effort. At some point, you just can't find enough reason to add resources. Even good ones at a great price.

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 2762
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 8:32 PM

Tony Thomas:

Lower prices?  Better libraries and bundles?  More frequent sales?  Just curious.  

I can't add a great deal, but I can support what has been said. Nothing below is really original, but to answer the question, I'd buy more if there was...

1) ...anything but bundles...when I started with Logos, I drank the kool-aid that said buying a big bundle at greatly reduced prices to get a handful of resources you wanted was a good idea. I've since grown a few brain cells.  Stop putting $10 or $30 resources into $100 or $1000 bundles and leaving them there for years. (And likewise, don't bury new features in a 'full feature set' when 90% of the stuff is unneeded and unwanted.)

2) ...real sales, like we used to see.

3) ...something other than second-class citizen status for the non-Logos-Now folks (like me). That whole thing makes me angry at FL and angry customers don't tend to give you their money.

4) ...more effort to make the software work right before new versions come out. This includes both bugs and non-working features as well as better response to the UserVoice requests. Stop introducing novelties and get what is there working better and make the various searches more accessible to non-professional users.

5) ...commitment to the mobile apps, particularly the iPad app. Tie into this something like the "send to Kindle" feature that we had and lost.

I hope this doesn't sound overly critical or personal. I'm simply trying to answer the question, because the implication that my purchasing has dropped off is valid.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 2762
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 8:32 PM

Tony Thomas:
I believe that Logos has multiple obstacles to overcome to create more sales and to expand their user base

I think that was an excellent analysis. I would add one thing: lack of development of the mobile apps. They've pretty much written them off as far as I can tell, and this is very unfortunate.

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 8:35 PM

MJ. Smith:

Tony Thomas:
The Logos program is too big and bloated.

Could you give some examples of what you consider to be "bloat"?

1. The fact that I have to load gigabytes worth of resources to be able to use the program. 

2. The length of time it takes to boot the program and begin working. It is sometimes minutes! 

3. The need to run a complete index every time a resource is added or updated. 

4. Datasets that must be bought for complete upgrades even when many customers don't want/need them. 

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www.zoeproject.com

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Dec 11 2016 10:28 PM

Thank you - you were using bloat in a different sense than I thought so it now makes perfect sense.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1070
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 1:20 AM

For me like many others, it must be something I really need or want strongly.

I am very thankful for the Library I do have, with all that L6 & L7 added and also after getting all of WBC during the last sale.

After looking at all of the new Logos 7 Library Expansion sets, I have not found a real must have. And I end up asking most times do I really need or want to get any of them. The answer so far has been no. The long wait for the expansion was to long for to little.

I look at any other commentary strongly take for example the MacArthur NTC if you buy the complete 33 vol set you get a 20% discount, but if you only wanted one volume then you must pay full price; for this reason I will not think of buying any of the set.

When first became a Logos 4 customer I looked at Logos as a great Bible software company with a great product, and for this reason I was willing to pay for Logos resources.

With all that Logos / Faithlife is doing now, I have started seeing them as more of a "jack of all trades, and Master of None". I don't want to see Logos lose the main focus of what made the a great company in the first place.

When I buy any resource from Logos, I expect it to be updated and tagged correctly and not just an ebook. 

L4 Bible Study, L5 Reformed Bronze, & L5 Gold, L6 Platinum & Reformed Platinum, L7 Platinum, L8 Baptist Platinum.
2015 rMBP 15" 2.2GHz 16GB 256GB SSD, running macOS Mojave   iPad Mini 4,   iPhone 6.

Posts 442
Tony Thomas | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 8:57 AM

Again, I hope that Bob, Dan and the rest of the Logos team read this thread.  There is some good, actionable, feedback here.

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www.zoeproject.com

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 9:00 AM

Considering today's sale, I think I can illustrate a situation that has stopped me from buying books and courses. In one word, "timing."

I really appreciate Mobile Ed, but really can't afford the regular course prices. Being relatively new to Logos, I missed out on a lot of pre-pub offers (~40% off) for courses that have already been published.

Logos held a 35% off sale earlier this fall. I was very interested in the one particular course, but it used some WBC commentaries (which weren't on sale, and weren't eligible for dynamic pricing). I passed on getting that course, as I didn't want to buy four commentary volumes at full price, and also lose out on dynamic pricing.

Now, the WBC volumes are on sale, but the course isn't.

If I knew the WBC volumes were going on sale a month or so later, I'd have bought the course. Now I'm in the opposite position of hoping the course will go on sale again, which I'm sure it eventually will!

I'm very thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to get an education within Logos, but I also know I've had to pass up opportunities (purchases) because either a course or its resource(s) were overpriced.

I don't mind being patient and waiting for a sale. But for Mobile Ed, you need to buy more than the course, or you miss out on copious recommended reading, which is where I tend to discover and learn the most.

Please offer more discounted bundles (such as what you've just done this month with HB101 and its textbook). Thanks!

Posts 1628
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 9:12 AM

PetahChristian:
In one word, "timing."

It would be nice if they gave you a special, one time use, discount code for resources used in a Mobile Ed course when you buy the course itself. I understand that they may have to send it to you after the time for returns has expired.

Peace  Smile

Romans 14:19 (NRSV)
19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Posts 995
EastTN | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 9:50 AM

Tony Thomas:

3. They have created a platform with no easy low-cost entry path (unless you are on a mobile platform).  Sure, you can download a free engine, but to get a package good enough for basic study, you have to shell out $300.  And for that, you get an anemic collection of books.  If you look at the competition and compare, they offer far more for less.  I know Logos has indicated in the past that it isn't interested in entry level users since they don't pay the bills, that strategy no longer seems to be working.  Many Logos users don't want/need the large, expensive sets and bundles that they are selling.  Meanwhile, the competition is offering free software, and in some cases, free books as a loss-leader.  They realize that, once people start using their software, they will be more inclined to update their libraries.

A very concrete way to put this might be - "Create an affordable gift package that I could give someone to introduce them to Logos."  A recent blog post suggests that we can "Give the Gift of Bible Study This Christmas."  But the page it links to only lists individual books. One or two books are of limited value without the whole "ecosystem" - but they really can't suggest giving one of the base packages, because they're too expensive.  Let's face it - I'm highly unlikely to give someone a $300 base package unless 1) they are very near and dear to me, and 2) I'm very sure they'll actually use and enjoy it. On the other hand, there are a couple of people that I would likely give an under $100 package if there was enough to it that I thought their reaction would be "this is nice! I'm going to get some real use out of it." (The package wouldn't have to be huge, but it would have to be genuinely useful.)  As it stands, the suggestion of giving a Logos gift really doesn't work for me.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 10:29 AM

Doc B:
when I started with Logos, I drank the kool-aid that said buying a big bundle at greatly reduced prices to get a handful of resources you wanted was a good idea. I've since grown a few brain cells.

If your reason for buying bundles was just to "get a handful of resources you wanted" then I am glad you have "grown a few brain cells."  

There are other, logical, reasons to buy the largest, most economical, specialized bundles.  My reason happens to be I am building a reference library. Reference libraries are not primarily for reading. But with the search features of the Logos software I can "read" all  51,838 of the resources in my library every time I hit the enter key. This makes for a great research tool. I don't think it is a bad investment.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 469
Michael Kinch | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 11:17 AM

"So...what would make you buy more books from Logos?"  In the spirit of Christmas I would like to rephrase the question.  What would make you buy ME more books from Logos?  Just curious. What would it take Wink

Posts 1063
Martin Folley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 12:33 PM

The timing of the current sales, extensions, new base packages and pre-pub release means that it is inevitable that many of us will have to compromise.

I look at my wish list for items that I have identified as as desirable at some point rather than (or alongside) the headline discount ... the problem is two-fold with the wish list ...

  1. What is on sale ... most that 'appears' to be on sale is not!!! It is simply not easy to determine those bundles/collections that are on sale from those that are simply full price but partly owned.
  2. My wish is not up to date ... that is I can always prune it but it does not include any items that I spotted on pre-pub but either could not afford at the time, or felt that the initial commitment was not worth the saving. Many of these resources are now live ... but I do not know which ones! I would be able to keep a better track of those resources that I would like if I could add pre-pubs to a wish list.

2010 17" MBP with High Sierra, iPad4 with iOS10.

Posts 452
Is Mebin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 12 2016 1:15 PM

Lord, please bring the US and Australian dollar back to something that at least resembles parity...

Posts 114
Gerald | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 13 2016 7:00 AM

I had to cancel a few of my CP / Prepub orders this month due to budget constraints. I will miss the CP on Judges Mobile Ed.

I would like the option of extending the invoicing / shipping of CP / PrePubs for up to 60 days. My experience has been that I have a week to 10 days notice on ship dates. Sometimes I can't adjust my budget to cover within this time frame.

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