How long does it normally take for a book to leave "Under Development" status?

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 8:28 AM

BillS:

How long does it normally take for a book to leave "Under Development" status?

If you have the funds, too long.

If you're short on cash, not long enough.

There doesn't seem to be any in-between.

Stick out tongueWink

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 8:48 AM

BillS:

How long does it normally take for a book to leave "Under Development" status?

If you have the funds, too long.

If you're short on cash, not long enough.

There doesn't seem to be any in-between.

Stick out tongueWink

Well, I'm short on cash for sure, but I could really use this resource right now nonetheless ... - so, there kind of is some in-between! Wink

"Mach's wie Gott - werde Mensch!" | theolobias.de

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 9:05 AM

Rosie Perera:
That's part of what the pre-pub program is for -- to gauge interest.

Well, it made it into development, so there must have been enough interest to produce it. It's not that I wouldn't appreciate the hard work behind the resources Logos produces. I really do - that's why I'm willing to pay more for it than I would for the print or Kindle edition and even wait some time. I just don't want to wait longer for a single 350 pages book than I'd have to wait for a new car after I've ordered it. I'm a bit selfish here, yes - but not ashamed ... Wink

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Kent Hendricks | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 11:33 AM

 

I can’t go into too many details about the particulars of this book, but I can tell you about some of the factors that hold up books in general.

First, our goal is to develop books as fast as we can. Lots of Logos employees are power users and book lovers. When we hear about a new Pre-Pub project, we get excited, too—we all want it in our libraries. 

For a “normal” book (which, in theory, exists… somewhere… Big Smile), it usually takes us a few weeks to a couple of months, with a little extra time for QA testing. We’ve produced more than 21,000 books, so we’ve got some good systems in place.

If a book takes longer than that, it’s usually for one (or more) of the following reasons:

  1. Contracts and publishers. We might have an issue to resolve with the publisher. We work with more than a hundred publishers. Every year, there is consolidation, management turnover, new people for us to work with and build relationships, and so on. Even publishers we’ve worked with for years might change their strategy—pulling back from digital, or pushing ahead full steam (hint: keep an eye on the Pre-Pub page next week…).
  2. Text complexity. Sometimes the source materials are bad. Getting a good source is much more complex than simply OCRing a print text—especially when you consider that the kinds of books we work with are inherently pretty complex (Greek, Hebrew, footnotes, indexes, cross-references, and a hundred other things). Take a look at the 1561 translation of Calvin’s Institutes and you’ll see what I mean. Smile
  3. Processing issues. Getting a good source text is just the start. We spend a lot of time going over books, tagging everything, and adding all the features that make books work to well in Logos. We work with lots of contractors and have an entire department that does an amazing job of turning texts into fully-tagged Logos books. (We don’t just do this for Pre-Pubs; we do this for all our books. Most of this work happens behind the scenes and you probably don’t notice it… here’s one of the bigger update projects we did recently: http://community.logos.com/forums/p/44241/329310.aspx.) Some of this work is automated and scripted, but at the end of the day, we have real humans working on our books (and these humans use the same books in our software—just like you).
  4. QA Testing. Our books go through a thorough testing process. If you see a ship date move, it’s usually because we caught something minor in the QA testing. If we catch something major, it can take awhile to go back and fix.

When you consider that we ship thousands of books every year, it’s inevitable that we’ll have a few hold-ups. But most of our books move through the Pre-Pub program pretty fast, and we’re improving our systems every day to make it even better.

 

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 11:49 AM

Kent Hendricks:
(hint: keep an eye on the Pre-Pub page next week…)

waiting with baited breath Big Smile

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Feb 9 2012 12:10 PM

alabama24:

Kent Hendricks:
(hint: keep an eye on the Pre-Pub page next week…)

waiting with baited breath Big Smile

Do you think you'll catch a fish?  Big Smile

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 12:23 AM

Thank you for taking the time to answer, Kent - I know your time is precious, so really: Thank you!

However, that's exactly the kind of answer I was afraid of. And as interesting as it might be to know what factors hold up books in general, this just isn't good enough for me. I already figured by myself that there are some difficulties with this book - otherwise it wouldn't be stuck in development for almost a year now, otherwise I wouldn't have asked. So this answer doesn't help me in any way.

As much as I love Logos and appreciate all the work you're doing here and as much as I try to understand to some level the complexity involved in producing a Logos resource, I don't buy these resources out ot compassion for hard working people, but because I want to do my studies with them, which involves some kind of planning. "You'll just have to wait" isn't something I can or want to build my study plans around.

In my opinion, offering a resource in PrePub is a way of advertising, which raises certain expectations on the side of the customer. In this case, Logos hasn't met my expectations at all. On the contrary! I really don't think it is asked too much expecting at least an approximate shipping date for a 350 pages book that has been advertised a year ago. As I said before, I don't want to wait longer for 350 pages of reading and studying than I have to wait for a new car or even a house to be built etc. - which involves even more contracts, complexity, processing issues and QA testing. And I certainly don't want to know that there are even more amazing PrePubs coming next week when I haven't even received the ones I've been waiting and asking for over and over again!

If Logos can't manage to deliver a single resource that has been advertised for such a long time, then Logos just has to do a better job. Until then I'll have to invest my time and money in other software or print books. Yes, I know they can't to all the exciting things Logos can. But at least I can read and do my studies with them instead of just having to wait - my time is precious, too.

I know all this may sound a bit harsh. It certainly is nothing personal, Ken - so, please, don't get me wrong! Again - thank you for taking the time to answer. It's just that I'm very disappointed in the way Logos as a company is doing business sometimes, and I think Logos has to hear it and do something about it.

"Mach's wie Gott - werde Mensch!" | theolobias.de

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 1:57 AM

Kent Hendricks:
Contracts and publishers. We might have an issue to resolve with the publisher. We work with more than a hundred publishers. Every year, there is consolidation, management turnover, new people for us to work with and build relationships, and so on. Even publishers we’ve worked with for years might change their strategypulling back from digital, or pushing ahead full steam
Emphasis added by me.

Theolobias:
If Logos can't manage to deliver a single resource that has been advertised for such a long time, then Logos just has to do a better job.

Theolobias, I understand your general point and frustration of not wanting to wait long for a 350 page book. How can Logos improve or do a better job on a matter outside their control, namely point one in Kent's post?

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 2:46 AM

Ted Hans:
Theolobias, I understand your general point and frustration of not wanting to wait long for a 350 page book. How can Logos improve or do a better job on a matter outside their control, namely point one in Kent's post?

It isn't completely out of their control!

1. If Logos offers a PrePub resource, there must have been at least first talks and a first contract with the publisher, which means that the publisher generally has given Logos the permission to advertise the product and start with the production. If a publisher can stop this whole process or delay it for so long, there are two things that need to be said:

a) Logos should negotiate contracts that make it very clear to the publisher that they can't just do as they like as soon as they've given Logos the permission to advertise the product. Once you go public with a product, every party has certain expectations that need to be met - and there are three parties we're talking about here: The licence holder, Logos, and Logos' customers. If the publisher still stops the whole process, than this is either a breach of contract (which should cause Logos to demand what is rightfully theirs and be even more clear towards the publisher in future negotiations), and/or

b) there have happened some unpredictable things on the publisher's side that haven't been their fault per se but that need to be communicated, which leads me to:

2. As already said, Logos can remind the publisher that there are customers waiting for a product. Logos' business depends on customer satisfaction, so Logos can and has to at least exert a reasonable degree of pressure. And: It should be clear to both Logos and the publisher that customers demand at least a certain degree of communication and information concerning the whereabouts of a product they've ordered. Telling the customer that he or she just has to wait is neither communication nor information - it's simply stalling.

That said, I'd at least like to know whether the delay for the two titles by Ben Witherington is the publisher's fault or has something to do with internal processes (or both). If the latter applies, then there is something seriously wrong and needs to be radically changed by Logos. Seriously: In a year's time I could transcribe 350 pages ten times by hand and on top of it memorize it - I wouldn't even need Logos anymore!

I don't have or even want to know all the details, but some specifics really concern me a bit - e.g. how long it will approximately take for a resource to ship. And I'd like to be informed by Logos without having to ask all the time. When you order a product at Amazon and it is delayed for some reason, Amazon informs you about it. Logos should really do the same. I know that PrePubs don't come with a shipping date in advance because they first have to be produced before they can be shipped - but, again: We're talking about a year here, and I don't have the confidence that it won't take even longer! If Logos can't manage to give us this kind of information, they should refrain from advertising a product. It's as simple as that.

"Mach's wie Gott - werde Mensch!" | theolobias.de

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 5:15 AM

Thanks Theolobias for responding. I now have a better perspective of your point of view & wish you all the best. Regards

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 7:34 AM

Ted Hans:
wish you all the best

Wish you all the best, too! Smile

"Mach's wie Gott - werde Mensch!" | theolobias.de

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Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 9:02 AM

Publishers are sometimes hard to deal with, i know of some items that were listed under pre pub for years only to completely vanish from the logo system. Now I can only assume that the resource I was thinking of was removed by the publisher. This is a very frustrating thing, but until the moment something ships there is always the chance that publishers will have second thoughts. One great example is the Anchor reference Library, Logos had it already for release in October 2010 I believe, but someone new came along at Yale and the going over the contract ended up caused the release to be delayed by over 6 months. And this from a publisher already distributing theirs anchor dictionary and Anchor Bible series, (although to be fair the dictionary was done through Double Day NOT Yale who years later purchased the series rights). I am just hoping that when the New Interpreter's Bible finally makes it under contract, things can go more smoothly.

-dan

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 9:14 AM

I think part of why we get an unreasonable expectation of the speed at which something will be produced once it is advertised is that Logos has a rather unique pre-pub program. They offer us a vastly discounted price in exchange for some uncertainty about whether the product will even ever make it into production and when. It should be considered a win-win situation. Logos gets to gauge user interest and sign up enough interested buyers before expending the money and time to produce a work, and we get a great deal.

That pre-pub model worked better back in the days when Logos was the only game in town for digital books. They were still a relatively novelty, and it's pretty amazing that they've had them for so many years before Kindle came along, and with way more features than Kindle books have. But now that the big boys are in on it too, and they've got more clout with publishers, more money, more employees, they can crank these things out before we get our next credit card statement. So they can offer pre-pubs that they are certain will be produced, and they know precisely when. We are comparing Logos to that, and they cannot match our expectations. I hope for Logos's sake they can continue to compete in the new world. Being first to market with a new product concept doesn't necessarily guarantee anything anymore.

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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 10:15 AM

I understand your arguments, Rosie - but: I don't think they really apply to what we're talking about here.

1. The PrePub resources I mentioned have already made it into production - the one I mentioned in my first post has been under development for almost a year now -, they just aren't ready for shipping yet.

2. Even though Logos resources are more valuable than Kindle ebooks because they are fully tagged etc., I'm still paying 16.95 USD for "What Have They Done with Jesus?" in PrePub (!), whereas I could have it for 9.37 USD as Kindle edition and for 5.98 USD as print edition. I'm willing to pay this for the extra value - but let's be honest: That's almost twice resp. three times the price for a resource that has been available on Amazon since October 2009 as Kindle edition and since October 2007 as print edition. It still is a deal I'm willing to make - but it certainly isn't great.

With this in mind, my two main points still remain:

1. I want Logos to do a better job when it comes to making contracts with publishers everyone can rely on. And if this is really so hard to achieve, I

2. at least want to be informed by Logos in a much better way. This is my money I'm willing to give to Logos, and this is my time I'm doing my studies in (well, ultimately, it's God's money and God's time - but you know what I mean ...). I could have really used these resources several times now but always decided to wait until Logos is ready to ship them - I just don't have the kind of money that would allow me to buy every title both in print and for Logos. This is why I do not want to be kept in the dark by Logos all the time and why I do not want to write emails and posts like this all the time just to learn that I will just have to be more patient. To say it even more clearly: This has something to do with respect for the customer as a human being as opposed to just an opportunity for making money. I know Logos doesn't see their customers that way, but that's how I feel treated when I'm told to just be patient over and over again for something that I'm willing to invest in and for something that Logos actively advertises.

"Mach's wie Gott - werde Mensch!" | theolobias.de

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 10:27 AM

Theolobias:
I understand your arguments, Rosie - but: I don't think they really apply to what we're talking about here.

I think my second paragraph does apply to what you're talking about. Nobody ever had this issue with Logos pre-pubs before Amazon.com came along with Kindle books, but you're not the only one now. Logos pre-pubs were always viewed as an elite and exciting program to be part of and nobody cared how long they took because there was no other alternative. Now that we are beginning to see how fast the turnaround could be and how cheap they could be, we have something to compare it to and are disappointed with Logos.

Logos can't compete with the likes of Amazon.com. You are disappointed with Logos, with good reason. I can't offer you any hope that it will be different. I'm sorry. I feel badly for Logos. I think they're up against a tough wall. Your railing at the situation isn't likely to make it any better. I suggest you go ahead and buy the book from Amazon.com and vote with your wallet and stop griping here. You're only going to drive more customers away from Logos. Maybe that's what you want to do, though, which is surely your prerogative. But it actually would not help Logos to produce their books faster. More customers would help.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 10:29 AM

Theolobias:
1. The PrePub resources I mentioned have already made it into production - the one I mentioned in my first post has been under development for almost a year now -, they just aren't ready for shipping yet.

Have they really?  Perhaps there is a misunderstanding regarding what "Under Development" means in Logos-speak.  Perhaps it simply means that it is approved for production rather than actually being developed.

Theolobias:
I want Logos to do a better job when it comes to making contracts with publishers everyone can rely on. And if this is really so hard to achieve,

If, and I reapeat "if", "Under Development" signifies "approved for production, part of the development process could then be the inking of contracts to allow for its production.  If that is the case, the "hang-up" could reside in that stage of the process.  Perhaps "Under Development" needs to be changed to "Approved for Development" with "Under Development" being reserved for when staff actually begins to develop the resource.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 10:34 AM

George Somsel:
inking of contracts

You think they still use ink for their contracts? Smile I'm sure they're all done digitally these days.

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George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 10:42 AM

Rosie Perera:

George Somsel:
inking of contracts

You think they still use ink for their contracts? Smile I'm sure they're all done digitally these days.

Of course they use ink—e-ink.

george
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Theolobias | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 11:04 AM

Rosie Perera:
Logos pre-pubs were always viewed as an elite and exciting program to be part of and nobody cared how long they took because there was no other alternative.

Well, if I had ordered these PrePubs at a time when there were no Kindle editions, I still would've had to figure out whether I was willing to wait for this long or just buy the book as print edition.

Rosie Perera:
Your railing at the situation isn't likely to make it any better.

Is demanding to get a little more information from Logos for things I am willing to pay for really asked too much? I don't think so. Other companies manage to do so, so should Logos.

Rosie Perera:
I suggest you go ahead and buy the book from Amazon.com and vote with your wallet and stop griping here. You're only going to drive more customers away from Logos. Maybe that's what you want to do, though, which is surely your prerogative.

Are you serious? If yes, then I have to be very clear on this, Rosie: I find you saying this really offensive and harmful. I think I was very specific on what I'm asking of Logos, and I was also very clear that I appreciate Logos for what it has to offer. There's absolutely no need to assume a hidden agenda. For where I stand financially, I spent a lot of money for Logos products, so I think that I have some right to share my mind on things that I think could be done better. We certainly have different opinions here, but I'm really trying to get your point and deal with your arguments in a reasonable way. There's no need to covertly tell me to shut up just because you don't share my opinion. Stop it.

George Somsel:
Perhaps it simply means that it is approved for production rather than actually being developed.

Even if so, it wouldn't change much for the customer, would it? I still would want to be informed in a better way and I still would ask contracts and internal routines to be reviewed when it takes this long. I already mentioned why.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 10 2012 11:14 AM

Theolobias:

Rosie Perera:
I suggest you go ahead and buy the book from Amazon.com and vote with your wallet and stop griping here. You're only going to drive more customers away from Logos. Maybe that's what you want to do, though, which is surely your prerogative.

Are you serious? If yes, then I have to be very clear on this, Rosie: I find you saying this really offensive and harmful. I think I was very specific on what I'm asking of Logos, and I was also very clear that I appreciate Logos for what it has to offer. There's absolutely no need to assume a hidden agenda. For where I stand financially, I spent a lot of money for Logos products, so I think that I have some right to share my mind on things that I think could be done better. We certainly have different opinions here, but I'm really trying to get your point and deal with your arguments in a reasonable way. There's no need to covertly tell me to shut up just because you don't share my opinion. Stop it.

Dear Theolobias, I'm very sorry for offending you. I just meant I don't think they can do any better. I think they're doing the best they can. I'm happy to have you sharing your views here, and while I actually share them, I'm not as worried about it because I haven't even got enough time already to read all the pre-pubs that are being released frequently.

I'm feeling for your frustration, just trying to help you see that is isn't likely to get any better. First, I don't think the Logos employees read the General forum much. And second, Logos has been told about this problem repeatedly and they always say back to us that it's out of their control. So I think you're really just going to end up getting more frustrated the more you talk about it here. I'm not trying to get you to shut up. Far from it. So I'm really sorry if it came across that way. Just trying to help you be less frustrated. Buying from Amazon is a real option if you can't wait any longer for the book, though I know you would prefer not to, and for that I'm happy. I wasn't meaning to be offensive by telling you to go away elsewhere. I just hear you saying you are really quite desperate for this particular book. And unfortunately I don't think you're likely to get satisfaction on it in the very near future from Logos, sad to say. I'm good friends with Logos management, and of course I don't want to hurt them by driving you to buy one book elsewhere, but in this one case it might be your better choice. Maybe for other books you aren't in as much of a rush.

I also suggest maybe you formulate some of what you've said here into a letter directly to Logos (Bob Pritchett and/or his brother Dan who is in charge of marketing). It's more likely to have an audience with the people who might be able to do something about your frustration. I'm very sorry that we fellow users can only attempt to ameliorate your frustration by giving you other alternatives, but we (and in this case I alone) seem to have only added to your frustration. Again I say, I'm very sorry. Please know I meant no harm. I won't do it again.

 

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