Logos and Catholic publishers - what to expect?

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This post has 29 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Sep 18 2012 12:20 PM

 

My enthusiasm since I initially purchased a Logos license about a year ago has not faded. There are a lot of important and wonderful resources on Logos but I also want more (like most of you, I’m sure). After I learned that relationships between Logos and publishers are extremely important for any serious development in logos resources (especially Catholic ones, since this is my main interest), I decided to write emails to some of my favorite publishers asking them about whether there were any plans of publishing works on logos.com. The responses, sorry to report, were disappointing.

This is the core subject of the email template I sent out:

“... I use Logos Bible software for my bible study and most of my reading (logos.com). I am greatly interested in purchasing almost all of your publications if they were available on that platform. It seems that the catholic customer base of the Logos program is expanding rapidly and I'm confident that there are many who would be equally interested.
Is there a timeline for any plans to make that possible?”

Responses were:

“At this time there are no plans on publishing books on Logos.  Please check our website periodically for future updates.” (Liturgical Press)

Ignatius Press e-books will not be made available through the Logos.” (Ignatius Press)

“At this time we do not have any plans to put our material on the Logo platform [sic]. All our products we have are on our shop site.” (Catholic Answers)

I also received similar answers from a couple of other publishers.

Jimmy Akin, one of my favorite Catholic apologists and bloggers, recommended Logos during one of his podcasts interviewing Andrew Jones. I ended up purchasing the Catholic Scholar library as a result (so Andrew, if you’re reading, kudos to you and to Jimmy for selling it to me). I’ve also been adding resources along the way. I admit I don’t use it as often as I would like to, but I learned a lot since I started and continue to do so.

There’s a litany of questions on my mind. The first list below is addressed to the staff at Logos (Bob, Andrew or others):

-       Is Logos still actively working with the publishers I listed above? Is there reason for hope?

-       Is the Logos Catholic team still as ‘optimistic’ as you first started on the development of the Catholic market; or perhaps more ‘realistic’ now?

-       Would you give a snapshot or at least some examples of what great Catholic resources you’re confident in getting in the near future?

I'm not a pastor, priest or deacon. Not a seminary student, nor a biblical scholar, nor a spiritual guide or leader in any way. I'm just a lay Catholic with a secular job and a family with 3 kids. If you’re reading this, a Catholic and have made the plunge like me, I’d appreciate it if you could share your experience:

-       On average, how much would you say is the percentage of study/religious material you read using Logos? Other software? E-books or printed material?

-       Does the list of available Catholic resources on Logos generally satisfy your expectations and are you as excited as the moment you started with Logos?

-       Are you ordained or member of the laity? How many do you know in your parish who are using Logos? do they share a similar experience?

 

Sorry if the above sounded more like a survey than a post in a forum, but I'm very interested in this and hence eagerly waiting for replies.

Thank you and Pax Christi

 

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 1:02 PM

There was a time not too long ago when there were virtually no resources that a Catholic would be seriously interested in.  That has changed significantly in the past few years. For me, me the fact that things like the Catechism, Papal documents, and Conciliar publications are out says Logos has some excellent relationships with the right people in the Catholic world!

There is no doubt in my mind that Logos has realized that people interested in Catholic resources are a huge market, and it would do well to continue to serve them.  I am also greatly encouraged that many non-Catholics on this forum are interested and buy resources about the Catholic faith, the same way I purchase resources primarily focused in other faiths. As Pope Benedict has stated, we as Christians have a lot more in common than we do differences, it' nice to be able to realize benefit from many great Christian thinkers across the board - another advantage of Logos.

Lastly, across the board Logos has put out more resources in the last year than it ever has. It used to be, years ago, you could almost count the prepubs on one hand that were being worked on.  Today, right now, we have almost 300 Prepubs and over 90 on Community pricing. They won't all make it to published resource, but they will be replaced by others that will. That's a huge number of resources, and Logos only stays in business if they offer resources of value.

Just totally my opinion, I would not put too much weight on what you may have received as an email response from a publisher.  There could be conversations going on pretty high up that the people manning the web site are unaware of, and for negotiation purposes it may not be wise to commit to plans publicly until a deal is done. We see Logos does that too.

Andrew Jones and the team has done a great job in product management, maybe he will jump in and offer a comment here.

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 2:02 PM

Great thread idea.  Btw, did you query Loreto?  The fellow who runs it is quite the entrepreneur and I imagine he'd be open to the idea.   

To me, however, what I'm really looking for isn't more books from Ignatius, etc., but more from the public domain:  for example, the complete St. Augustine & St. Aquinas in Latin.  To me, that sort of thing would be much more useful. 

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 2:26 PM

Mr. Micawber:
Btw, did you query Loreto?  The fellow who runs it is quite the entrepreneur and I imagine he'd be open to the idea.

Thanks, I just did. Will report back when I get a response.

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 2:34 PM

Dominick Sela:
Just totally my opinion, I would not put too much weight on what you may have received as an email response from a publisher.  There could be conversations going on pretty high up that the people manning the web site are unaware of, and for negotiation purposes it may not be wise to commit to plans publicly until a deal is done. We see Logos does that too.

Good point. I'm hoping too that Andrew - and others - weigh in on this.

Posts 27
Andrew Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 2:50 PM

Hello,

Generally, we are trying to produce as much quality content as possible. There are certain publishers that have specific resources that are of particular interest to us and to our customers, as you have pointed out, and we do talk with them. You will be seeing more important works on pre-pub soon. For materials such as the works of Aquinas in Latin, I agree completely that the Logos system will get better and better as we add them-- and again, I think you will see the number of such works in the Logos format increasing rapidly in the future. You can send requests to me at andrew.jones@logos.com. I'd love to read them.

Thanks.

Posts 26479
Forum MVP
MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 3:07 PM

Andrew Jones:
Logos system will get better and better as we add them-

And a major improvement would be to add the promised expansion of the Bible Facts data, an update of the Logos Controlled Vocabulary and the addition of the Deuterocanonicals for the translations to which they apply.Big Smile

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

Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 4:10 PM

Some general thoughts:

• In the last year and a half Logos has hired at least four people specifically to work the Catholic market -- a Product Manager (now promoted to Director), a Sales rep, a Marketing Assistant, and a Manager of Strategic Partnerships. They've also put together some Catholic base packages, and started a Catholic Twitter feed, a Catholic Facebook page, and a Catholic blog. That tells me they mean business.

• From what I've seen Andrew has done a fantastic job since he was hired, and I see no reason to expect him to do less in the future. I do hope Logos has the sense to hold on to him as long as they can.

• The Year of Faith is about to start, and even the Vatican pushes "the wider distribution of these texts through electronic means and modern technologies”. The timing could hardly be better for Logos. 

• There are a good many popular American Catholic authors and speakers who endorse Logos. That should help them with publishers, as should their seemingly good relationships with PBI and the Libreria in Rome.

• The more publishers they get onboard, the easier it should get to convince the remaining ones. It's not like the Protestant world, after all, where pretty much each new publisher means yet another denomination to convince. If they do a good job, and if the books sell, the word should spread fairly quickly.

• I'm pretty certain they know they can't put too much up at once -- we couldn't afford it -- so we probably shouldn't expect Catholic books to appear that much more frequently than now until the market share has increased.

• You can find some more publisher suggestions at http://community.logos.com/forums/p/29521/218692.aspx#218692.

• Although I certainly want more Catholic (and Orthodox, and Jewish) resources, at this point I'm actually even more eager to see an equivalent effort put into making the software itself more "Catholic". E g there are some desperate shortcomings when you try to work from the lectionary instead of directly from a Bible.

As for more specific issues:

Sleiman:
“At this time there are no plans on publishing books on Logos.  Please check our website periodically for future updates.” (Liturgical Press)

But they are selling at least three resources via Logos, and there have been others long ago. Wonder what made them retreat instead of go forward?

Sleiman:
Ignatius Press e-books will not be made available through the Logos.” (Ignatius Press)

The Ratzinger and von Balthasar collections are both Ignatius. I do hope that person didn't know what he/she was talking about. If the relationship with Liturgical Press went sour long ago for some reason, that can hopefully be fixed by the new Catholic team at Logos, given some time, but if Ignatius got cold feet after two collections with the new team in place, that is seriously troubling.

Mr. Micawber:
To me, however, what I'm really looking for isn't more books from Ignatius, etc., but more from the public domain:  for example, the complete St. Augustine & St. Aquinas in Latin.

Unfortunately, I doubt there are enough Latin reading users yet to get such works through CP in a reasonable time. I presume you know you can make Personal Books out of them?

Logos should send a team to Rome for a week or more, working their way through the universities, institutes and seminaries. That should get the Latin reading user base up! Smile

Btw, they just put Man and Woman He Created Them: A Theology of the Body on prepub, so Pauline is now on board. Smile

(Sorry for the length! I see Andrew answered while I wrote.)

 

"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.

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 4:20 PM

fgh:

Unfortunately, I doubt there are enough Latin reading users yet to get such works through CP in a reasonable time. I presume you know you can make Personal Books out of them?

With a larger Catholic presence here, no doubt the Latin readers will increase.  Cool

There are so many sites that have the complete texts - which are in public domain, I assume.  Why go through a publisher? 

Will the personal books be linked to lexicons, etc?  

 

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 4:39 PM

Mr. Micawber:

There are so many sites that have the complete texts - which are in public domain, I assume.  Why go through a publisher? 

...such as:  http://www.corpusthomisticum.org

 

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

Posts 8893
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Sep 18 2012 5:08 PM

Mr. Micawber:
With a larger Catholic presence here, no doubt the Latin readers will increase.  Cool

Hence my "yet".Wink

Mr. Micawber:
There are so many sites that have the complete texts

Which is why it would be fairly easy to make Personal Books.

Mr. Micawber:
Why go through a publisher? 

Who's mentioned going through a publisher? CP's are public domain, but they still cost Logos money to produce, so they cost us money to buy. PB's are free.

Btw, just because someone's put a PD book up on a website, that doesn't necessarily mean Logos can just take their work and sell it. Plus, many of these websites have texts that are so badly typed in as to be unusable. Logos normally do their own typing of older books.

Mr. Micawber:
Will the personal books be linked to lexicons, etc?  

They will be as linked as you make them.

"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.

Posts 3163
Dominick Sela | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 2:23 AM

And as we speak, THREE new collections of Catholic resources go on PrePub:

Classic Wisdom Collection - Therese of Lisieux, John Henry Newman, Catherine of Siena, Thomas a Kempis, John of the Cross, Jane Francis de Chantal, Theresa of Avila, Francis de Sales!

Theology of the Body Collection 

Meditations for Lent and Advent Collection

 

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 7:36 AM

Andrew, thank you for the concise answer. I also echo what others have said about the appreciation of the good work you're doing. 

Andrew Jones:
There are certain publishers that have specific resources that are of particular interest to us and to our customers

Which, again, raises the natural question in my mind: what specific Catholic resources of particular interest are most in demand by the user base and how is it determined? I understand I'm venturing into the market study area which is not really my business and I don't need to know the answer, but I'm wondering to which customer demographic I belong.

Andrew Jones:
You can send requests to me... I'd love to read them.

Thanks, will do :)

Ranking the references used in prominent Catholic resources, such as the Catechism and Encyclicals, in order of occurrence and then going down through the list in that order will make the availability of these references very useful for most users and easily sell-able. My guess is that widening the availability of patristic resources is a good idea.

 

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 7:48 AM

Dominick Sela:
And as we speak, THREE new collections of Catholic resources go on PrePub

That's wonderful! I just ordered and hence totally disregarding my resolve to stick to a certain monthly budget.

fgh:
I'm pretty certain they know they can't put too much up at once -- we couldn't afford it --

With the recent updates, a part of me is hoping they slow down a bit... yet another is hoping they don't Stick out tongue

Posts 737
Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 8:41 AM

Sleiman:
Which, again, raises the natural question in my mind: what specific Catholic resources of particular interest are most in demand by the user base

Im interested in Pre-Reformation.Big Smile

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 8:47 AM

Evan Boardman:

Sleiman:
Which, again, raises the natural question in my mind: what specific Catholic resources of particular interest are most in demand by the user base

Im interested in Pre-Reformation.Big Smile

I'm interested in the full Aquinas & Augustine in Latin.  Big Smile

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

Posts 670
Sleiman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 11:42 AM

Mr. Micawber:

Mr. Micawber:

There are so many sites that have the complete texts - which are in public domain, I assume.  Why go through a publisher? 

...such as:  http://www.corpusthomisticum.org

 

Mr. Micawber:
I'm interested in the full Aquinas & Augustine in Latin.

You probably already know about http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/ ?

Posts 27
Andrew Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 11:51 AM

The digital versions of public domain texts are not themselves in the public domain. So, for example, the texts on corpusthomisticum.org are copyrighted by them. The complete works of Thomas Aquinas would be great and it is on my list of projects-- but I'm afraid even public domain projects are more complicated than they might seem.

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 12:15 PM

Sleiman:

Mr. Micawber:

Mr. Micawber:

There are so many sites that have the complete texts - which are in public domain, I assume.  Why go through a publisher? 

...such as:  http://www.corpusthomisticum.org

 

Mr. Micawber:
I'm interested in the full Aquinas & Augustine in Latin.

You probably already know about http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/ ?

Yes, thanks!

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

Posts 466
Butters | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 20 2012 12:16 PM

Andrew Jones:

The digital versions of public domain texts are not themselves in the public domain. So, for example, the texts on corpusthomisticum.org are copyrighted by them. The complete works of Thomas Aquinas would be great and it is on my list of projects-- but I'm afraid even public domain projects are more complicated than they might seem.

Thanks Andrew, I had no idea.  I suppose it does make sense though.  :)

“To love means loving the unlovable.  To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable.  Faith means believing the unbelievable.  Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” ~Chesterton

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