Frustration

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Posts 242
Nielsen Tomazini | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Feb 7 2011 12:44 PM

Hello All.

I have to express my frustration with the price of Logos Resources. I am interested in the book "Our Father Have Told Us: Introduction to the Analysis of Hebrew Narratives," and as a Logos 4 user, I looked for it at Logos.com. Great, the book is available for Logos 4 format. However, it costs $32,99.

(http://www.logos.com/product/7540/our-fathers-have-told-us-introduction-to-the-analysis-of-hebrew-narratives). Now the same book, costs $15 at Amazon, and $11 at Barnes&Noble. How come!! This is really frustrating. Why such books have to be so expensive at Logos.com? 

I know that Logos hasto  turn each resource into a Logos 4 format (which means someone working on it). But Logos does not have to store hard copies, they don't have to keep warehouses with piles of books. Besides, the publishers (Logos?) did not have to spend money on printing copies. Any Kindle or Nook e-books are cheaper than the hard copy. Why can't Logos do the same? If the electronic format was the same price as the hard copy, it would not be as good as Kindle or Nook, but, being more expensive? It is really a shame!

Blessings to all,

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 12:49 PM

Nielsen Tomazini:
Why such books have to be so expensive at Logos.com? 

This is a topic that comes up frequently. The short answer is that Logos has to create the links to other resources, the tags for Logos searches etc. Depending upon the nature of the book this may require a significant amount of manual labor.

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

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 12:56 PM

Martha's Short answer is both clear and concise.  If you desire more depth here are some additional links from the http://wiki.logos.com/Logos_Speaks page.


Logos’ pricing 1 (Bob Pritchett, CEO)
Logos’ pricing 2 (Bob Pritchett, CEO)
Logos’ pricing 3 (Bob Pritchett, CEO)
Logos’ pricing 4 (Bob Pritchett, CEO)
Logos’ pricing 5 (Bob Pritchett, CEO)

Hmm Sarcasm is my love language. Obviously I love you. 

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 1:09 PM

I would had two more items to here abbreviated list. 1)Books take less customer service and support. You don't have assist someone in using a book. You do have to assist someone in the use of software. 2) A book that is printed and sold will no longer cost the company anything. A Logos resource sold today will have to be re-tagged and formatted indefinitely into the future. I think these are substantial differences.

Posts 19140
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 1:10 PM

Thomas's links will give you all the depth of detail, but another short answer is that Logos provides perpetual support for all the resources it sells, including going back and retagging old resources which you already own a license for (so that you automatically get free updates for life) whenever new features are implemented in the software that warrant it. Two major examples of this ongoing work are:

1) Logos Controlled Vocabulary (LCV) which allows us to do topical searches (see that list of Topics that comes up at the beginning of your search results whenever you search for something that's likely to be a major Topic, such as Paul or "Book of Ruth" or Atonement.

2) Citations of articles with a separate author from the author/editor of the containing work.

Furthermore, Logos provides perpetual free technical support, and perpetual free upgrades to the software. You buy a book in hard copy and there's no need for support in using it. Buy a Kindle book and there's no perpetual free upgrade of the device for reading the book.

Also, Amazon.com loses money on Kindle books. The very cheap prices on those has been a loss leader to get people buying Kindles, which they do make money on. (Logos doesn't have a corresponding device to sell that they make money on; the engine is free; we only pay for the books.) Amazon's Kindle book prices will go up eventually as more and more people switch to digital books from paper. They've already surpassed the point where more Kindle books are sold than paperback. Also Amazon has an enormous volume of sales so they could afford to sell Kindle books for a tiny markup and still cover their operating costs and make net revenue. Logos is a much smaller company and couldn't do that.

Posts 242
Nielsen Tomazini | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 3:28 PM

Thank you all for taking the time to answer my post.

I understand the arguments that Mr. Pritchett wrote explaining that things are "not that simple" when comparing electronic with paper copies of books. However, I don't find some of his argument reasonable. I would like to restrict my comparisons with the book I was looking for: Our Father Have Told Us: Introduction to the Analysis of Hebrew Narratives, keeping in mind that Logos is selling this book for more than double the price for a paperback copy found at Amazon or B&N. 

Looking at a Google Books preview of the book, there are basically only Bible texts to be tagged on the text. Additionally some abbreviations of Commentary Collections or Theological Journals, etc. This kind of tagging I believe that could be 90% automatically done. For instance, an amateur in html, css, javascript, php could create a script to turn every Bible reference into a tagged bible reference. But certainly the guys from Logos do things much more professionally and certainly have much advanced scripts to find and tag Bible references and Journal abbreviations (and maybe a number of other refs.). Then, after this work I believe someone would closely scan though the entire electronic tagged book to ensure nothing was left behind, maybe tagging something unusual and particular to that resource. So, I don't understand why this process would make the book double the price. The way Mr. Pritchett explains the process seems like every single reference have to be manually tagged. Would the guys from Logos say that they do it? They tag every single reference manually? Seriously?

Now, again, keeping in mind that my arguments are based on the book I referred above, a book with less than 150 pages, I can't find reasons why this book turns to be so expensive for Logos. 

I understand that highly tagged resources like Lexicons are harder to tag. I don't complain on the price of these resources. For instance I don't have HALOT/BDAG yet, but I am planning to buy it for Logos. Certainly it is worth having them for Logos. I believe such resources are a good deal for publishers and for costumers. Now, the book I am looking for, unfortunately this situation keeps me frustrated. I which I could have it for Logos because I want to buy as much resources for Logos as possible. I know the benefits of an electronic copy. But I have to consider if paying double the price is worth it.

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Posts 19140
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 3:50 PM

Looking at that book in particular. Yes, indeed, the books published by the Pontifical Biblical Institute do seem to be more expensive in Logos relative to their print equivalents than most. One factor might be that Logos doesn't do a huge business with the PBI -- they only have a few books, so perhaps they were not able to negotiate a very favorable contract with them and had to mark up the book significantly to get any revenue from it at all. For most books, Logos has to split the markup with the publisher. Again if you compare with Amazon.com and B&N, both of the latter do a huge volume of sales and can afford lower markups in general and have more clout when it comes to negotiating with publishers.

Secondly, I don't know if you noticed in the Recommendations bar on the right side, but that title is also sold as part of a collection, the PBI Old Testament Studies Collection, and it is almost universally the case that you will get a better deal on a book if you buy it as part of a collection than as a stand-alone. If you divide the price of the collection by the number of books in it, it comes out to about $23. Now if you search for that book on bookfinder.com, the range of prices it is available for is $23.23 to $59.55 (including used and new copies). The Logos price is down near the bottom of that list. I'm not sure why the Amazon.com and B&N current prices are not showing up in BookFinder -- usually it does find them. Logos has no control over whether Amazon and/or B&N might be offering a particularly good deal, and they do not have a guaranteed "find any lower price and we'll beat it" offer.

I know it's frustrating, and ultimately only you can make the decision as to whether you want this book in print form or in your Logos digital library, given the price comparison vs. the added utility of digital books.

One other thought before you make your final decision: you can/should contact Logos Sales and see if they can offer this book to you at a better price. Sometimes things have been on sale in the past and though the current price does not reflect the sale and you missed the sale price (or the pre-pub price) they do have the flexibility to offer close to that to people who request it, especially if they've been good customers. If you offer to buy a bunch of others books at the same time, you might be more likely to be able to get a good deal on this one. The bundles like the PBI Old Testament Studies Collection are designed to do that for you automatically, but if you don't happen to want the other books in that collection, see if you can bargain for a custom collection that you make up on your own and get a better price on everything in it that way. Good luck to you.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 4:01 PM

Nielsen Tomazini:
I know the benefits of an electronic copy. But I have to consider if paying double the price is worth it.

A few years back I had a rational philosophy for making my Logos purchases. I only purchased reference works (because of the search benefits of tagging) and recent works because they were still under copyright and tend to be more expensive in any format due to licensing fees.

I would purchase public domain works in PDF and recent Christian books in paperback(devotionals or popular authors like Stanley, MacArthur and Piper.)

As my Logos library grew I discovered the benefits of having EVERYTHING in Logos format. The powerful searches would reveal hits in the "non-scholarly" popular works that I would not have dreamed of looking for in my paperbacks. This was due to the tagging Logos added to the resource.

My new philosophy is rational and productive. I decided to get every resource I can into my Logos library. I no longer have to read every page of each book to make them useful. The search capabilities "read" the book for me if I properly craft searches. The tagging is what makes Logos worth the higher prices. If you don't agree you can always save 50% and search a paperback from Amazon. Big Smile

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 188
Kevin Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 7 2011 5:01 PM

I have to chime in here.. normally I'm more of a forum lurker but this one hit home for me.  The value of the Logos "total package" is indispensable to me.  For instance, my favorite systematic theology, Lewis Sperry Chafer's 8 volume set goes for $175 on Logos.  The print set goes for a fraction at the online distributor that I got my last set from (I've owned 3, long story).  I spend allot of time in these volumes and if I count the hours I've saved via Logos' search system against the value of my time I can't even tell you how much money I've saved.  This is just one example of many.

 I have around 2300 resources in my Logos library, many of which I own in print from the book buying habit I developed in Bible college.  For me it is more than worth it.  I will support Logos to the end.  This does not mean I have not looked at resources and said ouch before a purchase.  At the end of the day... MORE than worth the time I save, storage space I save and speed of search for my studies and sermon/lesson prep.

 

I feel your pain but it is one of those "good hurts"

 

Logos 5, Windows & Android perfect together....

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