Now the first three EEC commentaries are available individually

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fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 4:05 PM

Phil Gons:
my wife and I just welcomed our first son into the world

Congratulations!

"The Christian way of life isn't so much an assignment to be performed, as a gift to be received."  Wilfrid Stinissen

Mac Pro OS 10.9.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 7:59 PM

Phil,

Here's a screen shot of my post about this back almost 2 years ago. In it there is a screen capture of a section of the then existing pre-pub page referrring to the current issue:

The page is quite clear about 'only available as a set' and 'not available for individual purchase'. You can nuance all you want about whether in the second statement Logos meant 'not now' or 'not ever', but NO volumes were published at that point, so NO volumes could possibly be available then for individual purchase, the clear intent of 'are not available for individual purpose' had to be 'will not be available for individual purpose.' The whole EEC was discussed widely on the Forum at the time and I believe what I have stated is what was believed and no one from Logos contradicted that.

Here's that thread:

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/22500.aspx

As I said, I have no personal interest in this, but feel something is amiss here. Maybe I was the only one who misunderstood what was written.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 9:40 PM

Mark Smith:

Phil,

Here's a screen shot of my post about this back almost 2 years ago. In it there is a screen capture of a section of the then existing pre-pub page referrring to the current issue:

The page is quite clear about 'only available as a set' and 'not available for individual purchase'. You can nuance all you want about whether in the second statement Logos meant 'not now' or 'not ever', but NO volumes were published at that point, so NO volumes could possibly be available then for individual purchase, the clear intent of 'are not available for individual purpose' had to be 'will not be available for individual purpose.' The whole EEC was discussed widely on the Forum at the time and I believe what I have stated is what was believed and no one from Logos contradicted that.

Here's that thread:

http://community.logos.com/forums/t/22500.aspx

As I said, I have no personal interest in this, but feel something is amiss here. Maybe I was the only one who misunderstood what was written.

I misremembered what was written. I remembered that it said that "it will not be available as individual volumes." The screen shot you have is speaking in present tense of the time that the offer was made. At that time the only way to purchase was to purchase the set. I don't think it's reading too far into it or giving Logos undue benefit of the doubt to say that they were simply saying that only the set was available for preorder. You could not preorder at that time at introductory pricing individual volumes. 

I certainly misunderstood what was going on. I thought that the only way that I was going to get any volumes of EEC was to buy the whole thing (Genesis is what kicked me over the edge into buying it). I was wrong.

I'm sure that if I wanted to return the whole set based on that misunderstanding Logos would accept and refund. The issue is I don't want to return and refund. So for me at least, while I misunderstood, it was not to such a degree that I was actually harmed or wish to undo the transaction. So for me, I got what I paid for. I'm glad others can join in.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 5576
DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 10:42 PM

Mark Smith:
As I said, I have no personal interest in this, but feel something is amiss here. Maybe I was the only one who misunderstood what was written.

My understanding at the time is the same as your's Mark, I was surprised to hear they are breaking this set up, and now I see James volume is on offering on the pre-pub page.  

This is the second occasion now over the last month where Logos has had an issue where there interpretation of wording on marketing has lead to users concerns in the forums - the other being the word 'Free' in relation to Faith Life Study Bible Subscription.  

Maybe there just a little bit to keen.  I hope that's all that is at issue. I do believe their marketing has always been too aggressive since Logos 4 has been released. ( Note: I don't believe there has ever been any intent to mislead customers)

Posts 2279
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:50 PM

Mark Smith:
The page is quite clear about 'only available as a set' and 'not available for individual purchase'. You can nuance all you want about whether in the second statement Logos meant 'not now' or 'not ever', but NO volumes were published at that point, so NO volumes could possibly be available then for individual purchase, the clear intent of 'are not available for individual purpose' had to be 'will not be available for individual purpose.' The whole EEC was discussed widely on the Forum at the time and I believe what I have stated is what was believed and no one from Logos contradicted that.

This is precisely my understanding. If it didn't mean what I took it to mean (that there were no plans to split up the set in the foreseeable future), why add this line at all. Such a statement would have been meaningless at the point at which no volumes had been published. 'This non-existent set is not currently available individually,' is redundant, at best, when nothing has been actually published. Moreover, I cannot see a similar disclaimer on any other of the Logos sets. For example, you do not state this on the NICOT/NICNT page.

It is my perception that this was part of the sales pitch. Buy now before the price goes up. Buy now with the time-limited opportunity to access the payment plan. Buy now because this is only available as a set.

Just to be clear, I am not accusing Logos as mis-selling (i.e. deceiving customers). I am suggesting that Logos has oversold on this item. Thinking about this now in the clear light of day, I agree that it is unreasonable to expect Logos to never split this set. My issue is that the original marketing implied that this set would not be available individually and now, just a few editions down the line, the situation has silently changed.

Alan Charles Gielczyk:
Please Logos do not stop releasing the individual volumes. Things change and I wish I could have gotten in on the early deal some here are lamenting now but don't take away my access to these commentaries!

Finally, as I stated above, I am not suggesting that Logos now reverse this latest decision to break the set up. It is their business and what is done is done. You state your surprise that people are disappointed with this decision. I do not have significant funds at my disposal. When I made the decision to purchase this set, it was at the expense of something else. Part of the decision (when discussing this with my wife) was grounded upon the fact that the price would go up (which it has) and that I would not be able to buy the individual volumes which most interested me. This is why I am disappointed. I am not angry.

My only request is that Logos would review the way in which it markets such items in the future. Whether they do or do not is entirely their business.

 

Posts 2279
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 17 2012 11:56 PM

William Varner:
I am SO sorry to hear that some are disappointed and even feel a bit deceived.

Dear Dr Varner,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. For my part, you have nothing to apologise for whatsoever. I fully understand your position and appreciate your insight into the situation of those who do not have the funds to purchase the set. My sole issue pertains to how the set was originally marketed. I fully accept that this issue, even as it is, is not the biggest deal in the world.

I would also like to add that I greatly look forward to the publication of your volume on James.

Thank you once again,

Andy

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 4:41 AM

Phil Gons:
I'll make sure we do a careful review of all of our marketing messages from two years ago (which I should have done originally) and make any changes necessary to preserve the truthfulness and reliability of our word.

For the record, I was also one of the early adopters, but I do not remember marketing language that promised the EEC would forever only be offered as a set. If Logos made such a promise, it was very foolish. People have complained all over these forums that commentaries are only available in sets, so it is a bit strange to now see so many complaining that this set is now being offered individually.

I applaud your action is breaking up this set, and wish it would be done with other high-dollar sets. In graduate school, I had a volume of NICNT and one of Hermenia as textbooks. Did not really use Logos at the time, so it would not have mattered in my case. However, how many sales does Logos miss because students cannot afford to purchase an entire set to get a single volume?

Mark Smith:
Here's a screen shot of my post about this back almost 2 years ago. In it there is a screen capture of a section of the then existing pre-pub page referrring to the current issue:

Sorry Mark, I do not read that ad the same way. To me, it is not a promise to never offer individual volumes. Again, I applaud the breaking up and wish for more sets to follow.

Posts 1674
Paul N | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 6:35 AM

I thought I'd throw my thoughts in here now that its been a couple days.

I too was under the impression that once I missed the pre-pub it would be a long time before I would have access to any of the volumes.  I'm really excited to see the James volume so affordable on Pre-pub.  Needless to say I'm in for that one!  As others have said maybe it should have been communicated a little better, just for Logos users' awareness sake.

Now we know!

I hope the new volumes continue on pre-pub so they're available to as many people as possible.

 

[EDIT] - Oh and congrats Phil and spouse on the new arrival.  We just had our second at the end of last month.  They certainly add a whole new perspective to life!

Posts 47
Dean J. Ferguson | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 6:40 AM

I appreciate and understand that life changes and things move beyond the best made plans.  It appears that it was the policy of Logos to sell EEC as a set only.  The decision to release individual volumes appears to reflect a decision to change the policy that existed.  If the original plan included the future release of individual volumes, there would be no need to change policy, unless it was a change in the timing of the release of individual volumes.

Having already invested in the set, I am glad that Logos will "protect" my financial investment.  I hope that they will continue to protect my investment in other ways as well.  Many volumes still have publication dates TBA.  I would feel more comfortable seeing an actual date.  I realize that it is difficult to project future dates with busy schedules, but if it were easy, more of us might be inclined to enter the publishing business.  There have been changes in author assignments form the earliest announcements.  Some of the individuals currently working on volumes are reaching "senior" status.  I do hope that health will allow them to complete their work.  But should health issues prevent them from finishing and Logos needs to find a different author, I hope they will protect my investment with high quality proven teachers as opposed to someone who holds the promise of a strong future.

I am glad to see that Logos is deciding to sell volumes individually as this will bring in more people to review and use the volumes.  This will also allow one of the most exciting parts of the set to grow.  The opportunity for the author to revise and expand the original work with additional editions that will automatically update my original edition.

The two volumes I have read to provide insight into the passage and I have learned in the process.  I look forward to more to come.

Dean

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 7:28 AM

I don't have a dog in this hunt, but the comments by Dr Varner are the best I've read in my (few) years on the forum.

I'm very much impressed. His students are very lucky (and us, to read his work).

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

Posts 1358
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 8:48 AM

Paul Newsome:

As others have said maybe it should have been communicated a little better, just for Logos users' awareness sake.

Now we know!

I hope the new volumes continue on pre-pub so they're available to as many people as possible.

Yes

Posts 1358
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 8:50 AM

Dean J. Ferguson:

I appreciate and understand that life changes and things move beyond the best made plans.  It appears that it was the policy of Logos to sell EEC as a set only.  The decision to release individual volumes appears to reflect a decision to change the policy that existed.  If the original plan included the future release of individual volumes, there would be no need to change policy, unless it was a change in the timing of the release of individual volumes.

Having already invested in the set, I am glad that Logos will "protect" my financial investment.  I hope that they will continue to protect my investment in other ways as well.  Many volumes still have publication dates TBA.  I would feel more comfortable seeing an actual date.  I realize that it is difficult to project future dates with busy schedules, but if it were easy, more of us might be inclined to enter the publishing business.  There have been changes in author assignments form the earliest announcements.  Some of the individuals currently working on volumes are reaching "senior" status.  I do hope that health will allow them to complete their work.  But should health issues prevent them from finishing and Logos needs to find a different author, I hope they will protect my investment with high quality proven teachers as opposed to someone who holds the promise of a strong future.

I am glad to see that Logos is deciding to sell volumes individually as this will bring in more people to review and use the volumes.  This will also allow one of the most exciting parts of the set to grow.  The opportunity for the author to revise and expand the original work with additional editions that will automatically update my original edition.

Yes

Posts 10817
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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 1:30 PM

Paul Newsome:
As others have said maybe it should have been communicated a little better, just for Logos users' awareness sake.

Agreed, but communication seems to be an ongoing Logos problem. Sad

While I applaud the change in policy, I do recognized that Logos could have done a better job of communicating with the paying customers.

Posts 2980
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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 2:11 PM

William Varner:

I am SO sorry to hear that some are disappointed and even feel a bit deceived. May the author of a soon to be released volume on James offer an opinion here?

I personally encouraged Logos to change their policy. I am sure it was not just me, but I do "bear some blame" if there is any!  I am a professor and many of my students, past and present, bemoaned the fact that they simply could not afford the price of the whole set with their low pastoral salaries or their poverty as students. I also saw on the blogosphere many who complained about having to pony up a large amount for unseen goods. I also argued that giving some people the opportunity to check out one volume will help them to make their decision to purchase the whole set (and you will still save money). In that regard please read again Michael Childs' post from August 15.

I hope that the quality of the volumes will display both a real depth and balance between exegesis, Biblical theology, and practical-sermonic ideas. I worked hard at that!

I feel very bad that some have charged Logos with false advertising. That grieves me because I know these people to be highly ethical and committed to ministry, not to making money off the backs of their users as effectively as they can!

Tell you what. I believe so strongly in the quality of what the Logos authors are producing and because I was one of the big pushers to get them to change their policy, I will personally refund anything you pay for my commentary if you are unsatisfied with it.  I can't make that promise regarding the others, but I am very confident that you will be as satisfied with them as well.

Believe me, you will win in the end with a purchase of the entire set or with purchasing one.

Dr William Varner                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The Master's College                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Author of James EEC

I am studying and teaching through James right now in my smallgroup and so wish I could have your commentary available now. Your previous commentary (New Perspective on James) is my favorite now as I am working through the book to look for the cohesiveness of the book, to get inside James' mind to understand what he is saying and what he isn't saying by following the flow of thought. It'll be good to see you take that work and then expand a bit more on meaning and application (which is what I hope the EEC will contain). September 1st can't come soon enough. Thank you for your contribution to the set. 

I too, as I placed an order early for the whole set, am very happy that the set is being offered broken up. I hope that many in my church and smallgroup who are going through James with me will be able to pick this commentary up at a good price. I know that they wouldn't be able to do so if they had to buy the whole set.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

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Jacob Hantla | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 2:13 PM

Jacob Hantla:

 September 1st can't come soon enough.

EEC website says September 1st. Logos preorder page says September 4th.

Jacob Hantla
Pastor/Elder, Grace Bible Church
gbcaz.org

Posts 30
williamvarner | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 3:04 PM

Jacob, drop me your email. I have something for you.

DrV  ibexdr@yahoo.com

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 4:11 PM

William Varner:
I will personally refund anything you pay for my commentary if you are unsatisfied with it.

Very gracious of you and also reflects great confidence in the quality of your work. I like that in an author.0

Posts 2109
Kenneth Neighoff | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 5:21 PM

Dr. Varner,

 

I am looking forward to the James volume in the EEC.  Currently I also am teaching through James on Wednesday night. I have enjoyed your devotional commentary and the discourse commentary you did on James. I am looking forward to seeing how the EEC volume fits with these other two commentaries. 

Posts 1717
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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 6:09 PM

I just want to add my apology for the confusion and surprise.

I feel like the issue has been thoroughly examined from all sides now, but I do want to add a summary of "how we think about these things" here at Logos:

- Communication is hard, especially with 300 people. (The present size of Logos.) I'm guessing that half of the marketing team wasn't with us at the start of the year. Unless we dedicate 98% of our working day to reviewing previous blog posts, forum comments, emails, and web sites, it's highly likely that someone on our team is going to say something different than something we said in the previous 20 years. You can count on it, in fact. :-)

- For this reason, we try very hard to say absolutely nothing about the future. This is to prevent us from making promises we fail to deliver, and thus angering customers. (Unfortunately, this policy also angers some customers, who are upset that we didn't tell them we would do X or Y or Z in the future, or didn't tell them yesterday that something was happening today.)

- Sometimes the future isn't what we expect. A long-scheduled release is delayed by last minute discovery of a bug. Someone assumes that Project X is just like the completed Project Y and makes predictions/assumptions/promises based on that incorrect fact. Third parties don't deliver things when promised. Developers expect to have it done by Friday, but then can't for some reason and leave for vacation. Platform companies release new operating system versions that change our development priorities.

Consequence: We tell the truth as honestly and completely as we know it to be right now, and we try to write ALL of our communications in the present tense, with zero promises about the future. If you see a promise about the future in our communications, please feel free to report it to me (bob@logos.com) and I'll have it turned into a statement about the present only. The only exception I can think of is our promise that we won't make you re-purchase the same books from us. (We once promised that a particular "Library Builder" collection would not be sold or repeated after a certain date. I was nervous about that for months.)

- People hate legalese. Legal language is full of caveats, conditions, exceptions, and language to cover remote possibilities. This keeps attorneys employed, but makes for very poor marketing copy. We try to get all the necessary caveats into everything we say -- I've sent someone in marketing an email that said "No, FSB is only free through March, 2014" just this morning! -- but real humans resist writing legalese. It's easier to say "It's free!" -- which it is, right now. But not necessarily forever. This battle between "completely precise, anticipating all caveats" and "succinct and clear" will continue...

- Things change. We're in the business of selling stuff. What people buy, why they buy, what they'll pay... it's all changing. As a rule of thumb, you can expect everything we sell in bundles to someday be sold separately, and everything sold separately to eventually be sold in bundles. But don't ask when -- because we have no idea. Could be tomorrow, could be in ten years. (I was actually surprised to see EEC sold separately so soon myself. I thought the safest rule of thumb was to never split up a commentary set until you'd recovered costs on Leviticus... :-) )

The one other thing I think I can safely promise is that we always try to do the right thing by our customers. While it's becoming increasingly difficult to make everyone happy (witness the people glad / upset that we split up EEC), we can at least make sure we don't treat anyone wrongly. I think in this case we haven't harmed anyone -- the bundled price was still the best price, and there was no deception or deceit involved. This change was apparently just made. But if you feel treated wrongly -- compelled to buy the set when you only wanted one volume or something -- give us a call and we'll work it out.

-- Bob

 

Posts 1358
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 18 2012 9:36 PM

Bob,

Thanks for the response.

I have never questioned the intentions or integrity of Logos.

Having worked in Christian publishing for 20 years, I was surprised by the marketing used by Logos in promoting the EEC. I knew that things would change. I knew that deadlines would slip. I knew that things would not be close to schedule for a project this size. I knew that the ambition for this project was unlike anything ever attempted before in Christian publishing.

I think marketing got carried away (I've seen it happen to a wide variety of Christian organizations). I've been in the room when barnstorming wound up far from reality.

You have great vision and know where you want Logos to go. Customers only get glimpses. A fast expanding group of employees won't know what the past has been.

It seems that much of the complaints that I see on the Logos forum comes from marketing hype. Logos knows what they meant to say, but sometimes they don't understand how their customers are reading what they say.  

I was reluctant to commit to buying the EEC set. I knew that I might not make it to see the last volume released. I ordered it based on my confidence in you and Logos to do the best you could to fulfill your commitment to the venture. Your expanded installment plan made it feasible.

I am confident that I have made the right decision. I am glad to see Logos make the volumes available to others. This should help others get onboard with the set.

Edwin

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