Help me help Faithlife make more money :)

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Posts 195
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Feb 7 2019 12:58 PM

Wow - two posts in one day!! More of a lurker around here - but let me say thank you to those of you who respond to questions and posts. I have benefited greatly overs the years.

I wonder how many people can relate to this scenario:

Early this week I got a txt from my wife asking if Logos had a book: Why You Think The Way You Do? by Glenn Sunshine - (she's learnt over the years that this is a good question to ask because often I already have it)
it turns out I didn't but it was available (it's a Zondavan title) - so win/win - Logos gets a quick sale at full price and my wife and I are able to study the book linked together with Christian History Magazine and other resources as we prepare for it to be on our childrens school reading list for next year.

Currently she's listening to her second Ben Sasse book. It's interesting contemporary cultural commentary, the type of thing that gets discussed in the sidebars at our church and would be interesting to compare it to other resources within a link rich environment like Logos - especially in the sense of how it might / or might not reflect an overall Biblical worldview. It's from St Martins Press which not a small publisher. So while I wasn't expecting it to be in full Logos format I was at least hoping maybe for ebook option. Nope.

Then I happened to see a clip of Ross Douthat talking to Bill Maher. Hmm, that would be some interesting writing to review. The book that I was interested in was published by Simon and Schuster (also not a small publisher), had a positve review from Timothy Keller and had recieved an award from Christianity Today... in 2013. So I thought surely this will be in Faithlife Ebooks. Nope.

Now, here's the thing - I spent a lot on Logos books over the years - enough that these days it is not uncommon for me to review the freebies on offer for the month and discover I already have them (which I'm totally OK with) but what this means is I've pretty much leveled out in terms of big purchases directly related to the study of the Bible. My last big thing was AYSB which I got this last round. Pretty much anything on my wish list these days is simply "nice to haves" so I can easily check to see if it's on the deals for the month - but even if it is that in itself doesn't mean I will purchase.

So if Faithlife wants more than just my Now subscription on an ongoing basis they need to offer the books that I'm interested in buying. It is my understanding that Faithlife ebooks was meant to be an easy way to get books into the ecosystem that did not really warrant the full logos treatment. Does Logos not have any relationship with Simon and Shuster or St Martins Press?
I perfectly understand that they wouldn't want the entire catalogs of these companies listed but couldn't it be as simple as being able to request a book, have a vetting person check to see it isn't some trashy romance novel (o wait - I guess if it has Amish people in it that's OK) and release it to the platform in some reasonable timeframe?

I understand that there is a commerical aspect to this so here's my challenge - let's show Bob how much money is being left on the table here - money that in part can be used to further develop great Bible exploration tools. If you have wanted to purchase a book and include it in your Logos library but have ended up having to purchase it elsewhere then add it to this thread along with how much you spent on it. Include the publisher. Oh - (warning.. mathematics alert!) - let's try and keep a running total.

- Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Douthat (Simon and Schuster) US12.99
The Vanishing American Adult - Ben Sasse (St Martins Press) US$9.99

Current running total - $22.98

A song I wrote and recorded : He Who Sits Upon The Throne

Posts 318
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 7 2019 3:36 PM

I have over 500 books in Kindle (not to mention paperbacks), most of which I would have grabbed on vyrso or logos for a unified platform if nothing else.

I'm not sure Faith life cares that 20 people would have bought 20 different books.(Though I also bought both books you mentioned recently)

If you’re interested in seeing more political/cultural stuff in Logos check out this on prepub: 

https://www.logos.com/product/164971/religious-liberty-volumes-1-and-2

https://www.logos.com/product/166260/religious-liberty-volumes-3-4-and-5

Part of the problem is stuff like this (& other things that are up my alley) tend to just sit in prepub forever and get canceled (eg I think they canceled Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy after it didn't gain much traction. Would have been a great addition and it's sort of a chicken and egg thing. Without top notch resources like that it's hard to convince that audience to come to your platform. But without an audience like that already on the platform they don't have much interest in acquiring it.

Posts 195
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 7 2019 6:56 PM

Thanks for the links. To be clear, my expectation is not for full Logos books with the extensive tagging - I agree - it's not likely to be worth their while. But I'm under the impression that the ebook process is pretty straightforward to the point of being full automated. There might be some tagging for Bible verses if they exist in the text but that's about it. 

What I'm suggesting is that there is likely a huge amount of revenue not going to Faithlife by neglecting this long tail that doesn't seem like it would entail much additional effort on their part. I've seen total Logos user numbers bandied about between 250 - 750k - assuming the lower number even an additional $10 sale per user per year (avg) is not chicken feed.

My motivations are almost 100% selfish in that I want it to happen but in the same vein it is important to me that Faithlife remains commercially viable.

A song I wrote and recorded : He Who Sits Upon The Throne

Posts 318
J. Remington Bowling | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 7 2019 7:18 PM

Yes

I'm on board with that. I had a thread a couple months ago asking why Faithlife ebooks (vyrso) was filled with so much pablum. It seems like a no-brainer to use this for quickly, cheaply acquiring new, serious resources. 

At the same time I realize that a certain percentage of their customer base, perhaps a lot, will start complaining about why resource 'x' isn't getting the full feature treatment. I can imagine there will be lots of complaints about how such and such a resource deserves to be fully integrated into Logos and not given this shoddy treatment.

If Faithlife does start to crank more serious resources into their ebooks brand they should also be more open to bringing those resources into the full-featured Logos family with customer support. The same sort of community pricing system should be utilized to move books from "vyrso" to Logos. 

Posts 195
Jeremy White | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 7 2019 10:06 PM

Yes, I think the prepub or community pricing mechanisms are ideal for that. Currently if you have already purchased the ebook you get upgraded to the Logos format for free but if there truly is extra value in having a full Logos book (and given how far things have moved in terms of the type of metadata that Logos is tagging their books with I think the answer is going to be yes) then why shouldn't they charge people a little more to upgrade (just as long as it is their choice and that they don't lose access to the ebook if they choose not to)

A song I wrote and recorded : He Who Sits Upon The Throne

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