30,000+ new product pages on logos.com

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Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 6:14 AM

Mark Barnes:
But I'm concerned that Faithlife are making this more complex than it needs to be.

When I read the post above, my response was exactly the same as Mark's. I love flexibility, customizability, and user choice. (I wish Faithlife would give over on their inflexible policy in Logos.) But this is a swing to the opposite extreme. Too much choice where it is not needed or where sensible options can be made by default.

Sellability & Sellable As: should be just as well handled by better ranking of search results. Is there an example where this is a major issue that can't be solved with better ranking?

Sellable At: don't care beyond the ebook/Logos edition

Sellable In: don't care. Determine by user location. If it's not mandatory for the user to give their location, put a dismissable yellow caution banner at the top of search results to say some results may not be available in your area, please edit your profile location to get more applicable results. Anyone wanting to see everything regardless of location can do an incognito search.

Sellable Via: Makes sense.

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Tom | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 7:11 AM

Phil, How about putting in a EXCLUDE (EBooks, Noet, etc)  box to not have to see all of the Stuff you do not want to see. Big Smile

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Thanks for your feedback.

  1. Non-sellable would mean can't be sold on any store, in any country, or in any configuration. This would apply to a product that the publisher has asked us to stop selling for one reason or another, but that we've retained in the store for SEO reasons and to help guide users to the best alternative product.
  2. I'm not sure we'd include Lexham and Verbum, but if for some reason your preference was to shop at Logos.com, but you wanted to narrow to the catalog from one of those other stores, you could. The main value here would be Faithlife Ebooks, of course. But having other storefronts as filters could be useful in some cases.
  3. It seems to me an important distinction whether you can purchase a product directly, indirectly, or not at all. For example, a given dataset can be purchased, but only in a containing collection. Another dataset might be purchasable standalone. In some cases, you might want to see only the latter, but in some cases the former.
  4. I updated Global to Worldwide after I posted the screenshot. Worldwide would be for products with no geographical restrictions. Any would be for products with or without geographical restrictions.

Here's my latest iteration:

It still needs some work, and some of this might not be easy to implement. So don't take this as anything other than some quick brainstorming of ways we could perhaps solve this problem.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 7:20 AM

Ben Amundgaard (Faithlife):

In response to requests for better cross-storefront searching, we added 30,000+ FL ebooks product pages to logos.com today. While they aren’t purchasable on Logos, they will come up in search results and they have a link to the sellable product page on ebooks.faithlife.com in a callout below the description.

First: Thanks a lot! It's so often that users overlook books just because they are only listed in the "wrong store" - this is really helpful.

Second: This callout is much too small - I looked up an eBook on purpose, after reading through this thread - and just missed it. Thinking about new users coming by, they will just get the impression those books (many, many books, especially those with high-percentage savings) are not available at all, creating unnecessary frustration and maybe the wrong impression that listings in the store are fake. 

Third: This changes what users see, especially when not looking up a precise book or author, but e.g. "all by savings". This calls for the often-requested feature of negative facet selection ("all except fiction") 

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 7:23 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
The "Add to cart" button will add it to the cart at Faithlife Ebooks. We'll indicate as much with some text under the button. Something like this:

Sounds good!

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 9:43 AM

Mark Barnes:
<tldr>Instead of making the store more complex to suit all Faithlife's policies, simplify the policies and keep the store simple.</tldr>

I'm not sure what policies you're referring to.

Mark Barnes:
To know clearly before purchase the quality of the resource they're buying (eBook vs Logos).

We're adding this to the Product Details section (e.g., here) and plan to add a Format facet to include Logos Edition, Ebook, Facsimile, and (perhaps in the future) User Created.

Mark Barnes:
Available/Available only in a Collection/Not available to me

These kinds of user-specific facets are pretty complex and costly to build. While we might be able to get here in the future, we might need to start with facets that are easier to compute based on objective metadata on the products themselves rather than factoring in mullions of users' licenses and billing addresses.

Mark Barnes:
Sellability: I don't care whether a product is generally sellable or not. I only care whether I can buy it. If it's sellable but only in North America, as far as I'm concerned it's not sellable.

I agree we may not need this facet (and said as much in my notes). There's probably not a lot of value in finding only the products we no longer sell anywhere in any configuration. But it might have some application in a case where we lose the rights to sell all the titles from a publisher (e.g., Moody years ago).

Mark Barnes:
Sellable at: I don't care what store I eventually buy it from if I can see all the search results in one place.

We may make Noet Ebooks show up on Logos.com, but I imagine most people most of the time would want them hidden from search results. It seems like controlling Noet Ebooks and Faithlife Ebooks separately will be essential for a good experience, and the easiest way to do that it through the storefront they're sold in.

Mark Barnes:
(It's relevant occasionally only because of Faithlife's policies regarding credit and discount codes. Perhaps these policies could change to help simplify things.)

Changing that policy is unlikely. We'd end up taking a loss on most sales, which is already the case for birthday codes used at Faithlife Ebooks.

Mark Barnes:
Sellable as: This is potentially useful. It would be even more useful if none of your products were only available in a collection. (Another example of Faithlife policies making things more complex for customers.)

The Faithlife policy is to make everything sellable individually that we legally can. No changes to that policy will help things here. In the cases where we don't, we can't.

Mark Barnes:
Sellable in: I don't care whether a product is sellable in Australia or not. I only care whether it's sellable to me.

I agree. See my comment above about the complexity of user data and personalized facets. We'll explore it, but it will likely be easier to facet on data on the products themselves.

Mark Barnes:
Sellable via: I'm not sure about this one, as I only buy products. But as there's almost nothing available for rental at the moment, I don't see how it helps much right now. Perhaps one for later?

This one wouldn't be that useful to most people. I included it to be thorough. Recall that I said this was just ideation, not a spec. :)

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 9:53 AM

Randy W. Sims:
Sellability & Sellable As: should be just as well handled by better ranking of search results. Is there an example where this is a major issue that can't be solved with better ranking?

If you sort by newest, price, savings, title, etc., would you expect to have all "sellable to me" sorted first followed by all "not sellable to me" sorted in a separate list and appended to the end? I'm not sure how hard this would be or whether there would be cases this would be undesirable. Practically speaking, this would amount to always hiding non-sellable-to-me resources.

Randy W. Sims:
Sellable At: don't care beyond the ebook/Logos edition

Really? You're fine seeing all Noet Ebooks intermixed with Faithlife Ebooks?

Randy W. Sims:
Sellable In: don't care. Determine by user location.

See my comments to Mark on the complexity of using user data to build personally unique facets. Adding the Ownership facet was not a small undertaking.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 9:54 AM

Tom:
How about putting in a EXCLUDE (EBooks, Noet, etc)  box to not have to see all of the Stuff you do not want to see. Big Smile

Unchecking the boxes for the stores you aren't interested in seeing would accomplish this.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 9:57 AM

NB.Mick:
Second: This callout is much too small - I looked up an eBook on purpose, after reading through this thread - and just missed it. Thinking about new users coming by, they will just get the impression those books (many, many books, especially those with high-percentage savings) are not available at all, creating unnecessary frustration and maybe the wrong impression that listings in the store are fake. 

Agreed. We're addressing this.

NB.Mick:
Third: This changes what users see, especially when not looking up a precise book or author, but e.g. "all by savings". This calls for the often-requested feature of negative facet selection ("all except fiction") 

Checking or unchecking a couple of boxes should solve this. We'll just need to remember your facet preferences from session to session (for at least some facets), which we don't do yet.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 10:02 AM

Robert Neely:
PLEASE add filtering by store as quickly as possible.

We're working on it. Should we remove the Faithlife Ebook products until we have the necessary facets?

Robert Neely:
While your at it, can you please add filtering by Progress when you select Store>Pre-Publication Products?   This option was removed for some reason that doesn't make any sense to me.

Sorry about that. I didn't realize that. I put a note into the team to look into this right away.

Posts 305
Bernhard | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 10:15 AM

Please add a filter to exclude all Romance and Amish Fiction Wink (just kidding)

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
and (perhaps in the future) User Created.

I like it that you are still at least thinking about doing further work on Personal Books, assuming that is what you mean. Maybe, maybe if you are still thinking about going back to the original plan to make them available in the store, they might even make it to mobile??? Not expecting you to actually answer this Stick out tongue

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Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 11:11 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Robert Neely:
PLEASE add filtering by store as quickly as possible.

We're working on it. Should we remove the Faithlife Ebook products until we have the necessary facets?

 YES, is my vote.  The sort by Savings has the items from logos.com appearing after ~200-300 ebooks.  This is just too overwhelming.

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 11:45 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We're working on it. Should we remove the Faithlife Ebook products until we have the necessary facets?

I'd think it would depend on how long it would take to add the necessary facets.

If it's only a few days, no sense undoing the work already done. We can be patient.

If it's a few weeks, it would be helpful to get unsellable/fiction out of search results for now, thanks!

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 12:52 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We may make Noet Ebooks show up on Logos.com, but I imagine most people most of the time would want them hidden from search results.

Fair enough. But even then, the fact that they're sold on ebooks.noet.com is not the problem from the users' point of view. The problem is the genre of the book. From the users perspective, it's easier to understand to have a Biblical & Theological Studies / General Christian / Others than it is to have Logos.com / Faithlife.com / Noet.com

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
The Faithlife policy is to make everything sellable individually that we legally can. No changes to that policy will help things here. In the cases where we don't, we can't.

I don't think that's true for features. There's a lot of Faithlife owned features that aren't for sale individually. There are also a lot of collections that are broken up on user-request, but it seems like there's a big queue of collections that could be broken up if someone had the time to make that happen.

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Mark Barnes:
Sellable in: I don't care whether a product is sellable in Australia or not. I only care whether it's sellable to me.

I agree. See my comment above about the complexity of user data and personalized facets. We'll explore it, but it will likely be easier to facet on data on the products themselves.

I think you're you're over thinking this. I appreciate ownership status is immensely complex, but this isn't. If you build the technology to only show items in Australia/UK/whatever, is trivial to go from there to only showing me the UK facet and not showing me the Australia facet. And it's only a small step from there to combine the "Sellable in" and "Sellability" facets. The only change would be that If I click on the "Available in the UK" facet, the website just needs to add "&sellable=yes&countries=uk" to the URL. Under my suggestion the backend would handle the request in exactly the same way as if I'd selected both those facets in your proposal. If that's not clear I'm essentially suggesting things:

  1. Filtering the "Sellable In" category to only show Worldwide and My Country.
  2. Hiding the Sellability facet, but having it autoselect when I choose "My Country".

(This double-duty facet would then need to be renamed, of course.)

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Jan Krohn | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 3:38 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):
We may make Noet Ebooks show up on Logos.com, but I imagine most people most of the time would want them hidden from search results.

A clearer separation between theology and other Christian books (FLEB) and secular books (Noet) might be helpful.

Currently, there are several theology books on Noet, such as the Zondervan guides on Cults (at quite a bargain price, I must say...)

For example: https://ebooks.noet.com/product/125919/buddhism-buddhism-taoism-and-other-far-eastern-religions (about half price compared to Kindle)

Others are crazy expensive for the fact that they are not even properly tagged.

https://ebooks.noet.com/product/175026/toward-a-priestly-christology-a-hermeneutical-study-of-christs-priesthood

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Bruce Dunning | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 6:46 PM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

Mark Smith:
can you explain why FL is averse to selling ebooks on the Logos site? It just seems a bit crazy to have to jump back and forth between two sites to add something and then have separate carts and separate checkouts.

Our agreements with publishers make selling the books in the "correct" store the best thing for now, so this was the most viable solution for solving the problem in the short term. In the future, we'd like to sell them all in the same store.

I've been away from the forums for a bit now and missed this announcement. I really like the direction but had the same question as Mark. Thanks for the explanation Phil. I really do hope that you are able to sell all of them on the same site in the not-too-distant future.

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Phil Gons (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 10 2019 10:23 PM

Mark Barnes:
From the users perspective, it's easier to understand to have a Biblical & Theological Studies / General Christian / Others than it is to have Logos.com / Faithlife.com / Noet.com

I don't disagree, but those categories don't perfectly align. Logos.com ≠ Biblical & Theological Studies; Faithlife Ebooks ≠ General Christian, and Noet ≠ everything else. There's a lot of overlap between Logos.com and Faithlife Ebooks and a decent amount of overlap between Logos.com and Noet. That's not to say those broader categories wouldn't be helpful, only that they don't perfectly align to some of the other storefront distinctives like royalty rates, ability to discount, etc.

Mark Barnes:
I don't think that's true for features. There's a lot of Faithlife owned features that aren't for sale individually. There are also a lot of collections that are broken up on user-request, but it seems like there's a big queue of collections that could be broken up if someone had the time to make that happen.

But not as a matter of policy, at least not for content-bearing items. We made the decision a couple of years ago to split up all bundled content where we were permitted to by our contracts. We only recently got the ability to split in bulk. There are still some datasets that haven't been unbundled, but not as a matter of policy. We just haven't completed that task yet.

Mark Barnes:

I think you're you're over thinking this. I appreciate ownership status is immensely complex, but this isn't. If you build the technology to only show items in Australia/UK/whatever, is trivial to go from there to only showing me the UK facet and not showing me the Australia facet. And it's only a small step from there to combine the "Sellable in" and "Sellability" facets. The only change would be that If I click on the "Available in the UK" facet, the website just needs to add "&sellable=yes&countries=uk" to the URL. Under my suggestion the backend would handle the request in exactly the same way as if I'd selected both those facets in your proposal. If that's not clear I'm essentially suggesting things:

  1. Filtering the "Sellable In" category to only show Worldwide and My Country.
  2. Hiding the Sellability facet, but having it autoselect when I choose "My Country".

(This double-duty facet would then need to be renamed, of course.)

We'll look into it. Perhaps it's easier than I think, but I've learned over the last several years that the vast majority of things turn out to be much harder than I think they'll be. :)

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 11 2019 6:22 AM

Phil Gons (Faithlife):

NB.Mick:
Third: This changes what users see, especially when not looking up a precise book or author, but e.g. "all by savings". This calls for the often-requested feature of negative facet selection ("all except fiction") 

Checking or unchecking a couple of boxes should solve this.

It should, but it doesn't due to the incomplete tagging (see below). And it is cumbersome. Everytime I select or unselect a facet, the website rebuilds and scrolls to the top. I have to wait till it shows up again (which takes around three/four seconds at my current internet connection) and then scroll down to select the next facet - rinse & repeat. I planned to build an "all except fiction" search string for the benefit of users asking about such, but I'm not ready yet to repeat this cumbersome facet selection 75 times. So we see another thing that the facet selection needs: select/unselect all functionality or a multi-select option before the site rebuilds.

Coming back to the incomplete tagging - which I think has been mentioned in the past - which is breaking the deal here. I put some facet totals into Excel to check my gut feeling. Of 64657 resources, there are only 33893 genre taggings (which would mean at maximum 52% of all resources are genre-tagged) which means that if I select all 75 genres except "fiction", which will remove 5132 resources from the tagged search hits, I'll get at maximum some 28500 odd results. All except fiction would be near 60k - see the difference? Moreover, I assume the genre tag exists for eBooks primarily, thus someone building an "all except fiction" by adding up the genre's they are interested in would be leaving the "old Logos" content off the search hits!  

Due to the overlap of resources tagged to multiple genres the percentage of not-genre-tagged resources is surely above 50% and thus we would need to have an "untagged" facet under genre. 

The same with languages. If I select all 39 languages tagged in the store, I will still miss at least 997 untagged products. But then there's a lot of overlap (especially in multi-resource bundles). I tried to get a feeling fo this. The most probable use case will be people only reading English, or reading English plus a small number of languages, such as Spanish, and Greek and Hebrew. Those four languages combine 62610 tags - selecting those, however, gives "only" 61257 products, which means there are at least 1353 more language-untagged products In fact, selecting all twenty-two language tags with more than two products tagged gives exactly 62k products, i.e. we are talking about more than 2600 language-untagged resources.     

In selecting English and Spanish, users will falsely exclude more untagged resources (which probably are nearly all English) than resources from all other languages combined!    

(Your idea would work with 100% tagging, and a relatively small number of selections, which is verifiable when looking at the Delivery Method facets. The 8 methods seem to be mutually exclusive, and thus the tags add up to 64657).

Aside from tagging all resources (which may take years...) and developing the negative selector you argue against, an "untagged" facet would be very very helpful to not miss meaningful search hits.

I personally would not ask for rolling back the addition of the 30k eBooks to the store search. Go ahead with your planned development. A quick fix for those not interested in the former Vyrso content would be an edition selection L and/or E.

EDIT: The figures above refer to (subsets of) the 64657 products tagged as "live". This filter is auto-selected and it seems can't be unselected either.  Don't know if including the PP and CP would change much /EDIT 

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 11 2019 2:39 PM

This evening, I had a chance to test this. It's certainly helpful to me to have Faithlife eBooks show up in searches. Because I was looking for things that were fairly specific, the extra books didn't make my searches less relevant. I even bought two books while testing!

A few practical points in terms of UX/UI:

  • Ideally, I'd like to be able to distinguish between different stores in the search results. Colour-coded buy buttons would be best, I think. (Assuming you're intending implementing those.)
  • A buy button would be much more helpful than the current link. But the link is badly worded: "Find this product and thousands more on ebooks.faithlife.com" sounds like it's taking me to the home page where I'd have to search for it. "Add to your cart at ebooks.faithlife.com" would be more direct.
  • Seeing the price on the product page is obviously also important.
  • There seems to be a search problem at least for authors. I searched for David Farnell as I knew he had eBooks but not Logos books. The search results were not relevant at all. Searching on just his surname did return relevant results, but clicking on his name on the product page results in no results at all.
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Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 11 2019 2:59 PM

Do a Sort by Savings and let me know how long it takes you to find a title from logos site. 

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Adam Cody | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Aug 11 2019 8:12 PM

Thank you! As a non-Reformed person, this is greatly appreciated. Hopefully, one day, the Logos selection for Orthodox will be on par to the other denominational options - but in the meantime, it will be nice to find the other resources from the other sites for purchase that still can be used in Logos (though without the full features set). This will prevent me from buying them on Amazon first to only then discover you offered it on one of your non-Logos sites.  

I do hope though, you'll offer discounted upgrades to books that will later maybe get the full "Logos" treatment. 

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