How can I use the best software at the best price?

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L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Aug 8 2011 8:20 AM

Forgive me if I don't get all the details right on how things work. I'm still learning.

Recently I've seen several threads criticizing Logos pricing and I have to confess that I've shared my disappointment in at least one thread. But over the course of time I've gotten to know Logos a little better and now I believe that with Logos it's all a matter of timing, patience and good stewardship.

Examples:

Timing: Community Pricing and Pre-Pub specials are great if you happen to be a customer and paying attention at the time.

Patience: Sooner or later "most" things seem to go on sale where Logos prices are very competitive for what THIS software can do. Sometimes you can even find prices close to their Pre-Pub price but it seems to me that if you miss out on CP pricing you will never see prices that low again.

Stewardship: Only buy what you need and can afford. Sometimes it seems like "We never knew what it was to covet until we found Logos".

The only real problem I see is missing out on great CP pricing. Once I miss a CP offering I just can't see paying a hundred dollars or more for what I can get for free online (minus some of the great study and search options of course, but still good stewardship to me. I also hold to the same standard for purchasing hard cover books when I can find them online for free). If there's nothing that Logos can do to help me I understand and can accept that I just missed out. But Logos does seem to try to go the extra mile to help their customers.

So I was just wondering if Logos might consider putting together CP collections at CP prices once a year (maybe at Christmas) for customers to catch up or make up for what they missed. (ie. maybe a Build Your Own Collection from past CP offerings, etc.). The only other thing I can think of is maybe allowing us to make payments on CP offerings like we can for other purchases.

Remember, I'm still learning so forgive me if I've got some things wrong. I'm just looking for the best way to use the best software at the best price. Maybe this new PBB that everyone is talking about will solve some of these issues with missing CP releases. I don't know but I would like to know more about PBB and can't wait for it to come out.

I welcome your comments and pointers.

From a Frugal Pastor trying to learn how things work. Big Smile

Please also forgive me for not using an existing tread but so many seem to go down hill quickly and no longer seem to be productive. I'm looking for positive answers that will help Logos and it's users.

 

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 8:39 AM

The short answer to your question is to buy collections whenever possible. Even if they include resources you don't think you'll want/need, for those resources you do want, you may still be getting the best deal.

Next, look for sales, they tend to come around Christmas time and a few other times during the year. Often large bundles of materials are available at very low cost/resource.

Yes, keep up with CP and Pre-Pubs. When there's something you need/want snap it up. (Note: not all pre-pub prices will be better than the regular price Logos will offer after the resource becomes live -- this is a publisher issue, not a Logos issue.)

Consider upgrading your base package. Base packages are the most consistent way to save a bundle on a large number of resources. Sometimes the cost of just a few of those essential resources and/or commentary sets you're looking for will more than cover the cost of a jump to the next level (or more) of a base package.

You're right about being careful to buy just what you need. If you're on a budget (as I am) be relentlessly pragmatic about this. Buying something pretty good in February may mean missing out on something great in November (if you're on an annual budget, as I am).

When you do need to buy something, call a sales rep. They can sometimes (not always) get you a better deal than you see on the web site.

Finally, if you really need it and are sure you'll use it, don't hesitate to buy it. The money you save may not be worth the time lost in not having it. You don't know if it will or won't go on sale, nor how soon. Several times I've bought stuff at the regular price only to see it on sale 6 months later. After being tempted to feel bad, I realized how much I used the resource(s) during those 6 months, and concluded it was worth it. Being frugal is a good thing, but even with my limited budget, my time is worth more to me than my money.

Disclaimer: this is only how I think about these things, my little star does not represent expertise in this area.

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

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Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 8:44 AM

Hi L.D., thank you for your thoughtful posting. You made a number of good points.

Please let me add a few things for you and others to consider...

1. IMHO, if Logos revisited Community Pricing annually, quickly very few would buy at regular or sale prices.  I see CP as a return/reward of sorts to those who are committing to buy sight-unseen, without the benefit of many things that cause others not to buy a resource after the fact. For example, they may not be happy with the version of the book, how it is indexed, the typos that could be there based on the scanning and condition of the original manuscript, etc. Without these early commitments Logos doesn't have the business case to produce these resources, so it's very much a partnership where both sides need a benefit. There would be no advantage to early commitment if the CP resources were periodically available at CP prices, effectively ensuring those resources don't even get produced!

2. I am sure you have seen some of the other threads that mention other ways Logos discounts their product. Probably the highest percentage comes from base package upgrades, which occur every 2-3 years. Those discounts easily hit 75% on a large number of resources.  If an upgrade is of interest, Logos makes it financially enticing.

3. It seems like many struggle with the value vs. price difference of Logos public domain resources that can be downloaded from the Internet. I am not sure if you have been testing/playing with the Personal Book tool that is part of version 4.3; it's close to release, as it is in "Release Candidate" state right now. Anyway, that tool provides for lots of sophisticated, sometimes complicated formatting and tagging to make some really good quality resources. 

Two points - (a) People are learning what it takes in manual effort to go through a resource and make sure it is tagged, formatted, table of contents added etc., for even a small resource - labor costs are an issue for Logos! 

But more importantly, (b) I have played with this tool, and for those that want something greater than a text file on the Internet, yet they can't or won't purchase a particular public domain resource, with PB you can take a text file, use the auto page generation tool to automatically add Page Numbers which will then be indexed, "Build it", and you have a resource for your library that's fully searchable, able to be marked up/highlighted, Bible references recognized, and more - 15% of the effort for 75% of the functionality!  You can't make these resources publicly available through Logos' systems, but to me this seems like a great compromise between "free" and "full featured Logos resource".

I hope these thoughts are appreciated and taken in the spirit they are offered!

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 8:53 AM

L.D. Young:
I welcome your comments and pointers.

I hope we can keep this on a positive note and as you have done examine possible options. I understand those who think the CP and Pre-pub models may be a bit unfair, although I do not. I can sympathize with those who feel the post-CP pricing is high, and with the high cost of content. I don't think we'll get anywhere by arguing these points. But making suggestions like yours can be helpful in my opinion.

One thing I'd add to what you said is that sometimes CP and pre-pub offerings become part of the base package in the next base package upgrade. Thus if you wait, sometimes for the upgrade cost you can get a lot of CP material plus the other new things (most of which came through pre-pub) that Logos includes in the upgraded collection. Without these systems, much of the new material that is added at package upgrade time would not be available, and those upgrades are usually priced very well, in my opinion.

I wouldn't want any later offerings to undermine either program, however. So if you and I thought we could get the same price later we might delay, and then the programs might stall and nothing would get released. The idea of each program is that we get a reward for helping get the resource published in the first place. For those who do this a later offering of the publication at the CP or pre-pub price would not seem entirely fair. However a discount of some sort would not be objectionable, so a bundle that could be paid for over time might be nice.

Again, I hope that any discussion of this can be kept on a positive note as you have done. It is a thorny issue. Thanks for the thoughtful response.

 

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

Posts 2477
Ronald Quick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:01 AM

I have gotten the a large majority of the CP offerings because the deals are sometimes too good (in my opinion) to pass up.  Many times I have gotten a resource because of the value alone not knowing if I would ever use it only to discover its usefulness to me later on.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:33 AM

Ronald Quick:

I have gotten the a large majority of the CP offerings because the deals are sometimes too good (in my opinion) to pass up.  Many times I have gotten a resource because of the value alone not knowing if I would ever use it only to discover its usefulness to me later on.

I agree. On the other hand, lots of good deals add up to significant numbers, too. Basically - even if it's so easy to just click somewhere and the rest (including credit card charge) is fully automated: for those on a tight budget, it might be good to recall that these are book resources after all.

If I went into a christian bookstore and they had a special sale, would I grab a bundled multivolume NT commentary if it's at fifty cents per book? Most probably, yes. Would I put ten bundles of multivolume "collected sermons" of authors unknown to me into my shopping trolley, netting clearly over a hundred bucks total? I wouldn't - I'd be selective. Same with Logos resources on CP, I think. Would I buy e.g. Syriac, Coptic or Ugaritic resources in such a sale? I wouldn't, since I can't think of ever learning these languages. Would I buy Greek ressources - yes, since even if I just started with the language, I hope to learn it and then when I really can use them, they will be there - and having a number of these in my library may even help nurture my persistence in learning Greek. Again, I believe it works the same way with Logos offers.

My brick-and-mortar christian bookstore only once or twice a year does have a special sale - they charge books per weight, on a decreasing scale! Do I go there and try to be aware of each and any book that's on sale (in areas of interest to me)? You bet! Do I buy a big box full of books? Sure! Do I buy them all and have to rent a Mack Truck to haul them away? No, because lots of good deals add up to significant numbers (and in case of paper books: I'm running out of storage space...)

Just my 2c

Mick

 

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:43 AM

Hi L.D.

What Base Package do you have? As mentioned elsewhere you get the most out of Logos if you have the right base package.

If funds are limited then the key is to focus on acquiring the resources that you need. I think that this has also been stated elsewhere but it is important because it is very easy to acquire lots of resources through Community and Pre Pub Pricing that you do not actually use. I know as I have purchased many books because they were a bargain or because the write up interested me that I have yet to read a single word of.

The advice about the Christmas Specials is sound if you want to build a large library giving you access to a large range of resources. The price per resource in these packages tends to be very low. Remember that these special deals will typically include resources that were available via the Community or Pre Pub Program and this does have an effect on how good the deal is for each of us.

Having spent a lot of money over a number of years I am now beginning to realise that it pays to have a good look in my library before I purchase anything. The issue is not repurchasing a book I already own it is simply that many topics have been covered by many authors and, unless there is something really unique about a new resource, I may already have something similar. For example I have many resources that cover Romans so before purchasing another it would make sense to appraise those that I have to see if I really need anymore!

Another good source for resources is the Thomas Nelson Collections, whilst these are still distributed in Logos 3 format they are easily installed into Logos 4. WBC is often on sale at bargain prices as are most of their collections. So take the time to check out what they offer.

Finally, I appreciate that Logos Resources are perceived as expensive but as your library grows and you learn to search it more effectively you will start to appreciate the extra tagging that Logos perform. It is this extra information that enables us to find the useful information from our libraries and apply it to our learning, teaching, preaching, etc. Without this tagging many of the features that we know and love would not be possible imagine trying to locate every reference to John 3:16 in your library as a series of text based searches! The Cited Tool does this easily because of the tagging. I'm not sure how 'unique' Logos is when it comes to tagging but I do appreciate the benefits of the information that they add and the cost they incur in adding it.

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:44 AM

Guys, thanks for your great replies. This is just how I was hoping this thread would go!

And based on your replies, I now have a better understanding of how CP works. I don't want to undermine or be unfair. I'd just like to partner with Logos and each other to get the most out of the software at the best price/value to the customer.

Thanks for bringing up the upgrading option. I've put this money saving option to use as well. I recently upgraded to Platinum and find it a great value. I believe that I posted in another thread that I'm averaging $2.91 per title in my library.

But with all the negative things that I've seen in the forum lately, I'm looking for a place to discuss positive solutions not a place to complain and attack.

I haven't tried the Personal Book Builder yet but I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks again, and please let me know if you should think of any other ways to get the most in and out of Logos.... on a reasonable budget of course.

P.S. I've also heard some people mention making purchases of older titles through 3rd party vendors at a discount. What is that all about? Are Logos products offered elsewhere? Please don't post vendors on this thread. I don't think that would be appropriate. I'm just curious.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:51 AM

L.D. Young:

Please also forgive me for not using an existing tread but so many seem to go down hill quickly and no longer seem to be productive. I'm looking for positive answers that will help Logos and it's users.

L.D. - 

If you can't find what you are looking for by searching the threads, by all means... start a new one! Smile

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Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:52 AM

Sorry Graham, we posted within a minute of each other. Thanks for the information about Thomas Nelson.

Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:55 AM

Alabama24, I don't want to take us off topic but do you live in Alabama? I'm in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area. Big Smile

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 9:57 AM

L.D. Young:
P.S. I've also heard some people mention making purchases of older titles through 3rd party vendors at a discount. What is that all about? Are Logos products offered elsewhere?

yes - these are typically CD-ROMs of Libronix resources, offered through their publishers or third parties that have them in stock.

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:01 AM

L.D. Young:
P.S. I've also heard some people mention making purchases of older titles through 3rd party vendors at a discount. What is that all about? Are Logos products offered elsewhere? Please don't post vendors on this thread. I don't think that would be appropriate. I'm just curious.

Logos3/Libronix-based products were distributed on CDROM in addition to download.  Logos has ceased using CDROMs and third party distributors when they moved to Logos version 4, but there still may be some available.  Also, some Logos partners (like IVP) still sell CD/DVD resources that use Logos 3 which can still be found at Christian booksellers and direct from those publishers.  This is because those publishers still like having a boxed product to sell on a shelf.

Wiki Links: Enabling Logging / Detailed Search Help - MacBook Pro (2014), ThinkPad E570

Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:06 AM

NewbieMick:

yes - these are typically CD-ROMs of Libronix resources, offered through their publishers or third parties that have them in stock.

Cool, but I imagine when using a third party you have to be careful that the serial number hasn't already been used.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:22 AM

L.D. Young:
 Alabama24, I don't want to take us off topic but do you live in Alabama? I'm in the Florence/Muscle Shoals area. Big Smile

My family is FROM Alabama, and I spent every summer growing up in Alabama. My mom's family is from Huntsville, My dad's is from Tallassee (Montgomery). Now that I have my own family, we spend a week in Orange Beach with my folks and our Huntsville family. [My Dad was an only child and his folks have passed].

Now the REAL question is who do you "pull for?" Big Smile

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Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 10:27 AM

alabama24:

Now the REAL question is who do you "pull for?" Big Smile

ROLL TIDE!!! Yes

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 11:00 AM

L.D. Young:
I imagine when using a third party you have to be careful that the serial number hasn't already been used.

If the seller is a publisher or a professional reseller, I don't think so. If the seller was a private individual, maybe. And even if this was the case: Logos knows who uses serial numbers, so if an individual was a current Logos user and just sold his CD-ROMs to others one by one, Logos would see this illegal practice and stop it (and most probably lock this individual's account).

However, I believe the customer base of Logos to be (statistically significant!) more inclined to ethical behaviour. But even then, usual caution may be applied: If someone named Bubba-XXX sold you a resource very cheap, pay with Paypal or credit card so you can reclaim your money in case it's a fraud. I personally bought a resource from an "any-name" ebay seller and it turned out to be a well-known third party vendor of christian software resources.

Mick

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 11:17 AM

L.D. 

Send me an email. Maybe we can connect if I am down Huntsville way.

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Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 12:12 PM

 

It is certainly a good idea to figure out the cheapest way to buy Logos products. I was stuck by a truck about 8 years ago while riding bikes with my son who is a pro mountain biker and have not been able to work since then and I am on a very tight budget, and all my entertainment budget and every spare penny goes to build my Logos library, and I love it and use it alot, because...what else can I do???  I have a lot of study time.

 

I have used everyone of the methods that have been mentioned on this thread and my cost per resource is only a little under 1.50 per book. I can hardly wait to see what the free 3000 Logos  resources will be.

 

Without a doubt upgrades can be some of your best buys. My best buy ever was the upgrade from Gold to platinum at the time that Logos 4 came out, it was great reference books at right around 1.00 each. It was back when the Bake rbooks was in the upgrade.

I think you have a good understanding on how to get the best buys on Logos.

However, I must state concerning CP once you miss those sales there are a lot of them that are gone forever! Some of them come back in new package upgrades, but some never do.

I would love to see some kind of sales on all the CP books at least once a  year, where the price was either at or near the old CP price. It would not stop me from buying earlier from the CP list. instead it would help me buy all the great deals I had missed earlier for one reason or another.

I love Logos, but will never have the money to get all the books I would use in it, if I had them.I can hardly wait for the new pbb I hope it will help poorer flolks to build up their Public domain libraries with in Logos that may help me.

However, I have found a way to improve my library by using a free bible study program with public domain books. As a Pastor-Elder and a THD student I find that Logos is the best overall study system on the market, but there is at least one or two other programs that help expand my library in a very useful way. I see no reason to resent Logos, I wish all of my books were in it, but one the other hand I see God using both Peter and Paul to help build up believers and I see bible programs in the same light.

I have tons of Christian books in pdf files, but to be honest with you, they are not much better for studies than paperback books, but there are programs out there that allow you to use public domain books and put them in collections, tag them, search them, mark them up, and take notes on the books. In one case I store my notes in such a program rather than in Logos, and my notes are searchable and can also be placed in collections and like the new pbb coming out you can make your own books!

 

What I am saying is just because you can not afford Logos on some of the public domain material does not mean your choices are only to wait for a sale or use a pdf book or paper book, there are other options for those on a tight budget. As of last night I have over 2200 pd books in this system and I use it every day and I can share it with others!  Combine these books with the 2600 plus Logos books and I have a nice resarch library that goes anywhere I go. 

And to top all of this out with Logos now having an android app very nearly ready for use, and the fact that all the books from my other program work with another android app I will soon have most all these resources on my android phone, life is good even on a budget!!!

God is using both Peter and Paul to bless my studies.

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 134
L.D. Young | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Aug 8 2011 12:34 PM

Thanks for your insights Jim. I know the software you're talking about. I believe you mentioned it on another thread. I visited their website last night. It looks like a nice alternative and would save a Pastor a little money to use on other resources.

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