Pricing so high on public domain resources?

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Posts 128
Derek | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Nov 27 2010 7:37 PM

Why is logos pricing so high on public domain resources?

I believe that the Chines Union Version of the bible is a public domain work as well - at least the version with the original punctuation...

How can logos justify $19+ per resource for something that costs 1/5th of that in print?

I can download the Chinese union version on the net from a dozen websites for free in a variety of formats, including my Kindle...

Trying hard to understand.

 

 

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 8:09 PM

Derek:

Why is logos pricing so high on public domain resources?

I believe that the Chines Union Version of the bible is a public domain work as well - at least the version with the original punctuation...

How can logos justify $19+ per resource for something that costs 1/5th of that in print?

I can download the Chinese union version on the net from a dozen websites for free in a variety of formats, including my Kindle...

Trying hard to understand.

 

 

Yes, you can get it much cheaper or even free.  What you can't get though is the tagging that goes into it so that it works together with other resources.  Whether a work is public domain or not those expenses are not decreased.  What you are getting therefore is interoperability.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 5573
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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 8:10 PM

Derek:

Why is logos pricing so high on public domain resources?

I believe that the Chines Union Version of the bible is a public domain work as well - at least the version with the original punctuation...

How can logos justify $19+ per resource for something that costs 1/5th of that in print?

I can download the Chinese union version on the net from a dozen websites for free in a variety of formats, including my Kindle...

Trying hard to understand.

This comes up a lot. The answer I hear from Logos staff, over and over again, is that having the text in electronic format is the least expensive part of the process of book making. In other words, they put a lot of time and effort into tagging references (Books, chapters, verses), that can link together with other resources (e.g. the Hebrew Bible) that in some places (especially Psalms) has the same material in different chapter/verse numbers.

Secondarily, I'm guessing that they're going to have to pay a consultant to review their Chinese work, since it's unlikely that anyone at the Bellingham office speaks fluent Chinese -- at least to the degree necessary to proof read.

I have several works that are also available in PDF format, or at CCEL (http://www.ccel.org/) because of the value it is to me to have the work in Logos. I don't always buy those kinds of resources. But if they are anything I use regularly, I certainly would, and do.

You say you can get this Bible elsewhere. So, is it worth $19 to you to have it in Logos. If so, buy it. If not, talk to a sales rep to see if he might be able to get you a better deal (the can sometimes). In other words, given the cost constraints I mentioned above, is it still worth the $19 to you to have it in Logos?

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 8:17 PM

This shows one of the biggest problems with Logos, for example I am putting in for discount of a couple of public domain commentary sets, they are asking around 300.00 per set, and they are public domain.   In contrast there are a couple of copyrighted sets that are about the same size and they are a lot less, in fact one of them is only 129.00. 

They have several other sets of comentaries that are way out of line, many of them are in other formats at a small fraction of the cost. 

When dealing with people and trying to get them to go to Logos many times people will compare the public domain material in what ever they are using, with the price of it in Logos, and when they see the price difference they just are not interested in paying that much more.

I know Logos costs more because of the difference in the way they are marked, but then why are some copyrighted works of the same size less than the same sized public domain books?

In Christ,

Jim VanSchoonhoven

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 8:51 PM

Jim VanSchoonhoven:

I know Logos costs more because of the difference in the way they are marked, but then why are some copyrighted works of the same size less than the same sized public domain books?

Could you cite some examples of public domain works which you consider overpriced and then some copyrighted works which are less?  I have an idea, but without more information, I don't wish to speculate.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 128
Derek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 9:14 PM

Ha ha... People with the PBB have released many public domain sources for Logos over the years - books that Logos sells for $20-$50... 

So it is not like these sources are NOT in logos...

For instance, I have the Chinese Union version already in Logos PBB format.  Tagged and everything. Now, there may be more tagging in the Logos version, but, it's not like it connects to the reverse interlinear or anything like that.  I would be surprised if the Chinese Union had much more tagging than the PBB version at all... That is, unless you select on a character and it gives you a definition, or links to the greek somehow... I sincerely doubt that personally...

 

 

Posts 1479
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 9:21 PM

I am with George Somsel.  Would love to see the breakdown comparison in regards to the comments made by Jim VanSchoonhoven.

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 10:52 PM

http://www.logos.com/product/5457/the-expositors-bible-commentary retail 129.00

http://www.logos.com/product/5310/tyndale-commentaries retail 224,00

I bought both of these sets on sales for a total of less than 150.00 but even at full prices they are not bad.

http://www.logos.com/product/5759/langes-commentary-on-the-holy-scriptures  retail 299.00

http://www.logos.com/product/3911/lenskis-commentary-on-the-new-testament retail 299.00

 

also compare sets like these

http://www.logos.com/product/5912/a-commentary-on-the-new-testament-from-the-talmud-and-hebraica pages 1637, price 69.00 public domain

vs

http://www.logos.com/product/3314/the-bible-speaks-today-new-testament pages 5700, price 99.00

or compare it to this PD still on pre-pub less than 2000 pages and 59.00

http://www.logos.com/product/5998/the-new-testament-for-english-readers

I hope this gives you some ideas of what I am talking about.

In Christ,

Jim VanSchoonhoven

 

 

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Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 11:46 PM

Jim, the three pieces of information that I would need in order to judge the fairness of the pricing are:

  1. was the book provided to Logos in a clean, electronic format?
  2. how much tagging must be done manually?
  3. how much of the tagging requires knowledge of foreign fonts?

It would seem to me that those factors plus length of work should provide a reasonable basis for judging the relative cost for books in public domain. For the others, I haven't a clue as to how variable copyright rates are.

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

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 27 2010 11:58 PM

Jim VanSchoonhoven:

http://www.logos.com/product/5457/the-expositors-bible-commentary retail 129.00

http://www.logos.com/product/5310/tyndale-commentaries retail 224,00

I bought both of these sets on sales for a total of less than 150.00 but even at full prices they are not bad.

http://www.logos.com/product/5759/langes-commentary-on-the-holy-scriptures  retail 299.00

http://www.logos.com/product/3911/lenskis-commentary-on-the-new-testament retail 299.00

 

also compare sets like these

http://www.logos.com/product/5912/a-commentary-on-the-new-testament-from-the-talmud-and-hebraica pages 1637, price 69.00 public domain

vs

http://www.logos.com/product/3314/the-bible-speaks-today-new-testament pages 5700, price 99.00

or compare it to this PD still on pre-pub less than 2000 pages and 59.00

http://www.logos.com/product/5998/the-new-testament-for-english-readers

I hope this gives you some ideas of what I am talking about.

In Christ,

Jim VanSchoonhoven

 

 

With one exception (Lightfoot) these do not contain foreign fonts.  Considering simply the number of pages they are not exorbitantly priced.   Compare these with the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary set for nearly $1,900.00.  Tyndale and Expositors are not out-of-copyright.  I really don't see much discrepancy in pricing.  Of course, I wouldn't have any of them in my library since it would simply be clutter.  I do have the Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries.

george
gfsomsel

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

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 12:01 AM

Keep in mind that Logos must also pay for:

  • Customer Service
  • Program development, and now they are developing multiple platforms
  • Future interoperability
  • rent, Both physical and server space
  • Computers
  • Etc.

someone making a PBB from a .txt file in their spare time on a computer they use primarily for something else cannot be compared to Logos having to proof, develop and support that file as a business.

 

Posts 13399
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 1:32 AM

We also need to remember that modern books are published in Logos with the co-operation of the publishers, which means:

  • They'll probably provide an electronic file which will mean there's no expensive re-typing.
  • They'll help with marketing, ensuring better sales, which will bring the unit cost down substantially.

In addition, modern books simply tend to be more popular than old books, which again brings the unit cost down substantially.

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 3:47 AM

There's actually a higher burden of labour involved in out of copyright public domain works, because they are typically only available in low quality scans. This means a lot of manual spell checking is involved, and that's expensive. Sometimes works also have to be re-scanned. This is also costly in terms of labour.

Electronic files received from publishers, of modern books, don't suffer from this problem. They can be relied on to be accurate, and there's no additional labour cost.

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Posts 128
Derek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 3:49 AM

I don't care paying for it, mind you.  It's the amount they are charging that I mind.

Server space, etc. isn't that expensive.  Other publishers give a lot of public domains free.  or for just a few dollars.  Kindle books are a great example.  Many free, many othes for just a dollar or two, yet they have to format them, provide server space, provide customer service, make it compatible, etc. 

Let's face it.  Logos is good.  Really good.  But they've always been a premium product in the marketplace, when compared to many other bible study software packages.  I recognize that you do get a lot.  And I do think that Christians should get paid well for their work. 

But there are non-christian corporations that are setting a better examples in this area than Logos is.  Unless something is seriously wrong with their financials, Logos should be able to cut some of the costs of these public domain works. 

The NIV is another example of what I would consider "disappointing" business practices.  Zondervan holds their bible "product" so closely - where so many would benefit if they would only provide the study notes and all to other software packages, instead of controlling the distribution to make better profits themselves.  Getting paid for the work is one thing, but if we believe God is the author, we hold a different standard.  The author should be calling some of the shots.

The latest product for the NIV, the GLO Bible, is a great product.  I DO think they should provide a simple Electronic NIV Bible for cheap.  Still, what you get with GLO, 18 gigs of multimedia and such, $69 or whatever it retails for I thought was an absolute Bargain.  For many underpriveledged families, $69 is a bit out of reach - which is why a low cost simple NIV bible study product would be the "right thing to do." 

Living where I live, I can get a copy of the Union version in Print - mind you they have to pay for the formatting, the people to do the layout, the paper, the binding, the warehousing, the shelf space, the workers at the factory, the truckers, and the final price has built in profit for the book store, sales men, cash registers, electricity, etc...   I can gt  the Union and the ESV together - so they have to pay ESV as well - with a fancy embossed leather binding - and it has cross references, maps, book mark,  fancy formatting, and etc.  ....  All this for about $10 US.  If I choose the version without the leather or ESV, I can get it for about $3 - which still has all the other costs associated with it.

Compare the more expensive version - $10 - with the $19.99 version for logos - just the Union version....  Logos has different costs associated, but you cannot tell me that their costs are more than that of producing a print version.  (yes there are cheaper costs with issues of scale - printing 1 million copies vs. selling a few.) Placing the price at something like $10 would still "feel" high, compared with Kindle public domain works ($3 more or less), but hey, $10 is a lot closer to what would be reasonable than $19.99. 

Not only that, but believe me, you will sell more than double the books if you simply lower the price to something "reasonable." 

Listen, the Union version is just an example.  I see Logos' online bookstore riddled with examples of poor pricing choices.

So what you get is a whole lot of customers like myself.  After I purchased my big initial package years ago from Logos, I havn't really purchased anything else from them worth noting - an upgrade here and there, and a few extra language resources--but not much.

Why?  Simple answer, the cost. 

So, I wait around the places like "Rejoice Christian Software" for deals that have the next books that I require.

I would suspect that these comments aren't going to be accepted very well.  These forums often attract the hard core users. 

Still, I find logos to be an incredibly expensive product...  And I have a whole slew of friends that feel the same. 

We simply do not understand their pricing scheme for most of their products.

Posts 128
Derek | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 3:51 AM

Jonathan Burke:

There's actually a higher burden of labour involved in out of copyright public domain works, because they are typically only available in low quality scans. This means a lot of manual spell checking is involved, and that's expensive. Sometimes works also have to be re-scanned. This is also costly in terms of labour.

Electronic files received from publishers, of modern books, don't suffer from this problem. They can be relied on to be accurate, and there's no additional labour cost.

Then why are Kindle public domain sources so cheap???

Posts 13399
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 4:24 AM

Derek:

I would suspect that these comments aren't going to be accepted very well.  These forums often attract the hard core users. 

Still, I find logos to be an incredibly expensive product...  And I have a whole slew of friends that feel the same. 

There are often comments on this forum asking why Logos products are so expensive. I'm not sure it's in that much dispute that some products in Logos are more expensive than in other formats. But there are many reasons for that, and some have been given already:

  • Kindle resources are not tagged (meaning you can't click on Bible references, etc.). This has to be paid for.
  • The cost of resources in Logos has to subside the development of the Logos software. Software development costs must be very significant. When I run a Bible Word Study or a Passage Guide, I never paid for that directly. But a certain percentage of all my resource purchases have paid for it. On the other hand, Kindle resources are subsidised by Amazon to increase sales of the Kindle itself.
  • Logos offers very substantial discounts to many users:
    • Periodically to everyone through regular sales.
    • All the time to students and professors through their Academic Program.
    • All the time to anyone buying a base package or upgrade.
    • Before a resource is published through the pre-pub and community pricing programs.
    • Frequently just by asking a sales rep if he can give you a better price.

So simply comparing the published price for a Logos product compared to the published price for another product is not a fair comparison. I've been a Logos user for more than 10 years, and for the last eight, I've never paid full price for a resource. It's possible to get the Union Bible for $10 - though not all users will be able to get that price all of the time.

In my own view, Logos is expensive - but it still represents excellent value for money.

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 4:40 AM

Derek:
Then why are Kindle public domain sources so cheap???

Three key reasons:

* No tagging

* Amazon subsidizes them

* Amazon's market for these resources is absolutely massive, over ten times the market of Logos products, and because they'll sell so many, they can make huge profits on very narrow margins

Unlike Amazon, Logos is a premium product sold to a niche clientele. Amazon is Walmart. Logos isn't.

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Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 4:53 AM

George, referring to the resources I have as being clutter if you had them, makes me think you must not understand how Logos works, there are some great videos out there that will help a person out by showing them how to use Logos, so their library is not cluttered.  I have a nice Logos library that contains about 3500 resources and another program that contains about 1700 resources and I also have over 5000 pdf files of Christian books. 

They all fit on my 13 inch laptop, no clutter and they are nice for doing research no matter what your position is on a subject or what your education level is.  In the case of the resources I mentioned, they are all done by respectable believers and demonstrate different positions.

For many believers these commentaries are presented in an easy to understand way.  They work very nicely to show others a brief and easy to understand position on almost any verse. 

 Of course there are better resources from my point of view, but if you teach others how to study the bible with electronic resources none of these are clutter.  And more to the point you asked to see examples of Public Domain works that I felt were too spendy!  I gave you an example of two copyrighted sets of commentaries that I paid under 150 dollars for and compared them to two Public domain sets that Logos wants 600.00 for.

I kind of feel like your comments were off topic and a little judgemental.

Your brother in Christ,

Jim VanSchoonhoven

Posts 11057
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 5:45 AM

I suspect the main reason that this question comes up predictably (and just about on-time, I must say), is the comparison of pricing for public domain to other electronic publishing companies (mainly Bible-related). Even though Logos makes a good case for its PD-pricing, the users still see the competitors, many offering the basics either for free or close to it. Of course the other side of the coin  are the competitor 'packages' that in reality are mostly public domain content. In the end, I think you buy a 'system' from a company and periodically get good deals ... if not PD, then others (like yesterday).

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

Posts 533
Jonathan Burke | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 28 2010 5:46 AM

Jim, I think George's comments were more about which resources he would and wouldn't use. I could add another couple of hundred resources to my library, which I wouldn't use. They would just be clutter, taking up room on my hard drive for no good reason. We all have materials in our libraries which we are less likely, or almost never likely, to use. I don't think it's judgmental to say this.

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