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Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 6:07 PM

Note that in all of your examples, you are working with books where both the old and new editions are available. Reasonable Faith isn't in that situation at all -- Logos is currently selling the first edition for more than the third edition is selling elsewhere -- and the third edition has been available for 6 years. If you search the Logos web site, you find no mention, anyplace of there being a more recent edition available, whether Logos will ever carry it, etc. So this isn't like Expositor's, or Erickson, or Carson.

Rosie Perera:
They don't anywhere say "this is the current edition" and I think it's more a matter of they haven't gotten around to updating their catalog, or they need to renegotiate a contract with a publisher than that they're being unethical. If you walked into a bricks and mortar bookstore and they happened to still have last year's edition of the CIA World Factbook on the shelf even though a new edition had just been published a couple of months ago, you might fault them for being a little behind the eight-ball, but you wouldn't say they were unethically trying to pass that book off as the latest and greatest. Bookstores (and Logos is no exception) have thousands of books, and it's hard to keep up with all the new editions of all of them.

Several points -- 

1. If you went to Amazon and purchased a copy of MS Windows, downloaded it, and then discovered that it's a five year old version, and MS won't honor any upgrade deals -- would you feel even a bit of, "why didn't they tell me that?" after? Or would you say, "well, I should have asked and researched before buying," and just throw it in the trash -- along with the money you just spent? I'm certain you'd be on the phone to Amazon immediately to get a refund. And you'd be mad if there weren't one available.

2. The CIA factbook has a yearly edition, so I know what to look for there. A lot of these books don't. I could spend the time looking up each one, but how much of my time, as a customer, should Logos expect? Isn't Logos in business to provide a product that's _better_ than a brick and mortar store? Isn't customer service -- which includes making certain your customers are informed -- a part of the total package?

3. This isn't a brick and mortar store -- there is no physical inventory, just bits to download. You don't have to go looking through the stacks to find some hidden copy of an older edition you didn't know you have had on the shelf for the last 15 years. Further, Logos, being in the position they're in, should know about new editions when they ship, if not sooner. We're not talking about the average bookstore employee who just works the register.

The bottom line, for me, is Logos should mark older editions as such, and let the buyer make the decision. I appreciate your position (they're busy, it's hard to keep up with, they can't get the newer edition, the buyer is ultimately responsible), but I don't really buy it all -- it still seems a little "slick snake oil salesman'ish" to me.

Russ

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 6:29 PM

Russ White:
Note that in all of your examples, you are working with books where both the old and new editions are available.

The only reason I gave that list was to show that Logos/Faithlife is capable of bringing out new editions to replace older editions, lest anyone think this Reasonable Faith case was the norm. And, if anything else, to agree that they should get the updated version of it, since they've shown that they can do that with other books.

Russ White:
The bottom line, for me, is Logos should mark older editions as such, and let the buyer make the decision. I appreciate your position (they're busy, it's hard to keep up with, they can't get the newer edition, the buyer is ultimately responsible), but I don't really buy it all -- it still seems a little "slick snake oil salesman'ish" to me.

Fine, you win. I agree with you. I'd hate to be a slick snake oil salesman. I'm not going to defend Faithlife.

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 6:29 PM

I can see Russ's point, given a HIGHER price.  Last week I was comparing Logos to Amazon; Logos was lower on a specific volume.  But it was the 'old one'.  Amazon had the new one.  I was happy to buy the old one.  But until checking, I thought Logos had a good price (which it did on another series of volumes).

I just don't know how practical the exercise would be.  I always check.  Of course, as a result, I'm on the competitor site, so .....

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

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 7:32 PM

Russ White:

The bottom line, for me, is Logos should mark older editions as such, and let the buyer make the decision. I appreciate your position (they're busy, it's hard to keep up with, they can't get the newer edition, the buyer is ultimately responsible), but I don't really buy it all -- it still seems a little "slick snake oil salesman'ish" to me.

I don't disagree with you but on the other hand the majority of sources I use for books don't indicate old versions or do so inconsistently ... so I guess I'm like a fish swimming in snake oil and assuming its the norm. When Logos sells both an old and the new edition, I do expect them to be differentiated.

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

Posts 3051
Doc B | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 8:32 PM

Russ White:

Logos needs to fix this.

Russ

Agreed.

One thing I've learned about Faithlife Corp. is, they are good at letting you find out key information when it is too late to do anything about it.

This isn't as onerous a fix as it first might seem.  I don't know what percentage of Faithlife resources are public domain, and thus not subject to new editions, but I'm pretty sure it is significant. Those can be ignored, and the focus put on following new editions they sell for updates.

The reason I don't suspect the publisher as much as some others in this thread is, having been a professor for 20 years, there's one thing I know about publishers...they aren't going to let anything get in the way of selling new editions, including big epub companies (except Amazon, which is too big to fight with).

My thanks to the various MVPs. Without them Logos would have died early. They were the only real help available.

Faithlife Corp. owes the MVPs free resources for life.

Posts 41
Todd Beall | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Dec 30 2014 11:11 PM

Hi Russ,

I agree with you that Logos should indicate that the item they are selling is not the most recent edition. It is not that onerous a task. Amazon does this with their books.

However, I disagree that Logos should only sell the newest edition. As long as they clearly mark older editions as such, some people won't mind getting older editions, since it may save them money. Also, not all "new" editions are better. I still remember when Thiessen's Lectures in Systematic Theology was "revised," the reviser changed the theology in numerous places! In that case, I'd want the old one!

In other words, each book is different. I do not simply "update" my collection if there are few changes; on the other hand, more substantial ones (such as the VanderKam Dead Sea Scroll volume mentioned earlier) I need to upgrade.

In any case, whenever there is a newer edition, Logos needs to include a note on the product page of the old edition (whether Logos happens to sell the new edition or not).

Thanks!

Todd

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 2:48 AM

Todd Beall:
Logos should indicate that the item they are selling is not the most recent edition. It is not that onerous a task. Amazon does this with their books.

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, Amazon only does this when they sell the updated version. In this case Logos often retires the old one from the store (often forced by the publisher to do so).

I think, we all agree that Logos should try to have the most current version of all the books in their offering - and they surely could make money from a "you own edition X of ABCDE, we are shipping edition Y soon and you can have it for a great old-version-owner's price!". The point may be that converting a new edition to Logos standard is probably as costly as doing it for a book for the first time, and so new editions face the same upstream than other suggestions would - plus some people might think that the new edition will sell less than the old, because a number of potential buyers already owns the old and won't buy the new unlless heavily discounted (I'm a case in point as a happy owner of Erickson's "Christian Theology" 2nd edition who didn't buy the 3rd - but then I'm not in seminary on either side of the catheter) 

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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Veli Voipio | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 3:23 AM

There is also the reference/tag/link problem between versions, quite complex

Gold package, and original language material and ancient text material, SIL and UBS books, discourse Hebrew OT and Greek NT. PC with Windows 8.1

Posts 2589
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 3:40 AM

NB.Mick:

but then I'm not in seminary on either side of the catheter

Posts 1819
Rick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 3:48 AM

NB.Mick:
Actually, to the best of my knowledge, Amazon only does this when they sell the updated version.

I'm not sure that Amazon is entirely consistent on this. Revelation: Four Views is an example. Amazon sells both the first and second editions. I could not find any warning on the first edition's web page. The closest that I see is in the "Customers Also Bought" section. I see the second edition there. Maybe I am just missing the warning though.

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 6:03 AM

Lee:

NB.Mick:

but then I'm not in seminary on either side of the catheter

sorry, my bad. I probably meant "lectern" (German: Katheder [ seemingly not: Katheter as I just found out Embarrassed ] - you may think of the Latin phrase "ex cathedra" ) but should have written "teacher's desk" or "professor's desk" in the firstplace.

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 6:08 AM

Rick:

NB.Mick:
Actually, to the best of my knowledge, Amazon only does this when they sell the updated version.

I'm not sure that Amazon is entirely consistent on this. Revelation: Four Views is an example. Amazon sells both the first and second editions. I could not find any warning on the first edition's web page. The closest that I see is in the "Customers Also Bought" section. I see the second edition there. Maybe I am just missing the warning though.

In this case it's also in the author's bio on Amazon... and Logos should give us an update on https://www.logos.com/product/2271/revelation-four-views (on my wishlist, now de-posed from "nearly bought" status...) 

Running Logos 9 latest (beta) version on Win 10

Posts 19177
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 8:36 AM

Todd Beall:
In any case, whenever there is a newer edition, Logos needs to include a note on the product page of the old edition (whether Logos happens to sell the new edition or not).

I seem to recall they have done this once in a blue moon, with a link to the newer edition, though I can't recall what book I've seen that on, and maybe my memory is just playing tricks with me. It doesn't seem to be too much to ask that they should do this consistently, at least when they do sell the new edition. Doing it when they don't sell the new edition, however, seems to be an admission of failure and directing people to buy the book elsewhere, and I hardly expect they would consider that to make good business sense. They should rather focus on getting the new editions in a more timely fashion, I would think, so that they don't need to include such notes.

NB.Mick:

Lee:

NB.Mick:

but then I'm not in seminary on either side of the catheter

sorry, my bad. I probably meant "lectern" (German: Katheder [ seemingly not: Katheter as I just found out Embarrassed ] - you may think of the Latin phrase "ex cathedra" ) but should have written "teacher's desk" or "professor's desk" in the firstplace.

Smile

Posts 1281
toughski | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 11:01 AM

Rosie Perera:
Doing it when they don't sell the new edition, however, seems to be an admission of failure and directing people to buy the book elsewhere, and I hardly expect they would consider that to make good business sense.

Rosie,

please do not mistake the short-term profit as a good business sense versus developing trust and excellent customer service. Consider Amazon, because they are actively pro-consumer (in my view) by providing reviews, marking editions and pointing me to the newer version when available - they have become my number 1 stop for everything, except Christian books. I don't always end up purchasing from Amazon, but I always start there.

If someone really needs edition 3 and Logos only has edition 2, they will find out and exercise their 30 day return privilege. Logos will lose a sale anyway. If customers find out after 30 days they will feel as if Logos could have warned them, but did not and some (probably not all) could feel tricked into buying an old version.

That is why I think it is in Logos' best interest to: 1) always strive to acquire the newest version available (even years after they secured licensing for a 1 edition - keep checking if newer editions are available), 2) if they are only able to sell an older edition - clearly mark it as such, and possibly even link to the newest e-edition on the Publisher (or competitor, if Faithlife is unable to acquire a license for a long time) site - remember a famous Nordstrom customer service example when a clerk went and purchased an item from another retailer to serve his customer? 3) if Logos is able to sell multiple editions of the same resource, clearly mark them and link them to one another, so the customer can chose whether they want the latest edition or a possibly cheaper older edition.

Posts 19177
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 12:08 PM

toughski:

Rosie Perera:
Doing it when they don't sell the new edition, however, seems to be an admission of failure and directing people to buy the book elsewhere, and I hardly expect they would consider that to make good business sense.

Rosie,

please do not mistake the short-term profit as a good business sense versus developing trust and excellent customer service. Consider Amazon, because they are actively pro-consumer (in my view) by providing reviews, marking editions and pointing me to the newer version when available - they have become my number 1 stop for everything, except Christian books. I don't always end up purchasing from Amazon, but I always start there.

If someone really needs edition 3 and Logos only has edition 2, they will find out and exercise their 30 day return privilege. Logos will lose a sale anyway. If customers find out after 30 days they will feel as if Logos could have warned them, but did not and some (probably not all) could feel tricked into buying an old version.

That is why I think it is in Logos' best interest to: 1) always strive to acquire the newest version available (even years after they secured licensing for a 1 edition - keep checking if newer editions are available), 2) if they are only able to sell an older edition - clearly mark it as such, and possibly even link to the newest e-edition on the Publisher (or competitor, if Faithlife is unable to acquire a license for a long time) site - remember a famous Nordstrom customer service example when a clerk went and purchased an item from another retailer to serve his customer? 3) if Logos is able to sell multiple editions of the same resource, clearly mark them and link them to one another, so the customer can chose whether they want the latest edition or a possibly cheaper older edition.

I agree with all of your points. I'm just trying to put myself in Logos/Faithlife's mind and figure out why they might be doing it the way they do. I confess I don't really understand it, but most things that baffle us do make logical sense to the other one we can't agree with. I'm someone who always likes to try to see things from someone else's point of view. It's very mind-expanding and helps us to grow in charity towards others (though it might not help us get what we want! Smile).

Thanks for the discussion. I'm not really interested in carrying on though, since my purpose was never to defend Logos/Faithlife from the beginning, which nobody seems to have picked up on. So I wasted my time. Oh well.

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 12:22 PM

It seems to me if a customer is a seminary student they are now adults who should accept personal responsibility for what edition they are purchasing. 

I can hear the cries now, "I was ignorant! Why should I be responsible?"

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 297
Hapax Legomena | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 12:26 PM

There is even a worse case:  for public domain works in community pricing, Logos doesn't always offer the latest edition.  For example, Logos offers the 1845 edition of J.H. Newman's Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.  There is an updated 1878 edition in the public domain which Logos doesn't offer.  They apparently missed the revised edition when they put the collection together.

Posts 19177
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 12:55 PM

Super.Tramp:
It seems to me if a customer is a seminary student they are now adults who should accept personal responsibility for what edition they are purchasing.

A person has to go to Amazon.com to search and see if there is a newer edition? Yes, it's possible to do, and we're all adults so we know how to do it and should if we're responsible students. But I agree with the OP that we shouldn't have to go to another bookselling website to find this out. That other website is likely to get our business if we do. Whereas if we see that Logos is aware of it and might come out with the new edition, we might wait. I know that Amazon.com has become the de facto authority on what is the current edition of everything, but there's no reason Faithlife couldn't be as much of an authority on that for theological works. We like to think they are the authority on theological works, but in this one small area, they fall a bit short.

See, toughski, I'm able to see things (and defend them) from anybody's perspective, even yours and Russ's, even though it appeared at first that I was disagreeing with you. And I'm doing this at great risk of being critiqued back again by ST or others on the other side of the issue. But that's a risk one takes. I guess I wasn't finished with this thread after all... Wink

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 1:30 PM

Rosie Perera:
And I'm doing this at great risk of being critiqued back again by ST or others on the other side of the issue.

Maybe it is a generational thing. Thirty-seven years ago my New Testament professor owned the bookstore that supplied the textbooks to students. He frequently would require older editions. If we purchased the current edition from another bookstore our grade would be penalized. It was up to the student to purchase the correct required edition. We did not have the luxury of referring to Amazon.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Dec 31 2014 2:03 PM

Super.Tramp:

Rosie Perera:
And I'm doing this at great risk of being critiqued back again by ST or others on the other side of the issue.

Maybe it is a generational thing. Thirty-seven years ago my New Testament professor owned the bookstore that supplied the textbooks to students. He frequently would require older editions. If we purchased the current edition from another bookstore our grade would be penalized. It was up to the student to purchase the correct required edition. We did not have the luxury of referring to Amazon.

Yes, but you had the luxury of a professor who told you a specific edition to look for. Any intelligent person can compare what's on the syllabus with what is offered on a bookstore's website (or in a physical bookstore back in the day when that's all we had available), as long as the bookstore provides enough information (publication date) to make that comparison. Logos.com does provide the publication date, so we can know if it's an old edition. If it seems really old (20 years, for example) it behooves us to check whether there is a more recent one if we want the most recent one or if our professor's syllabus requires a more recent one.

I've seen syllabi from professors who required an older edition too. It's because that was the edition they had read and were familiar with, and they wanted to require specific page numbers for us to read which would only work if we bought the same edition they had. A professor who has taught a course for years using the same required textbook might not want to buy a newer edition when it comes out. But some diligent professors will at least get the newer edition of the book out of the library and look up the equivalent page numbers for the students and put those in brackets after the old edition page numbers in the syllabus. That way students are at liberty to buy whichever edition they can get their hands on. Sometimes the older editions are harder to come by and it's nice to be able to buy the latest version, which might be more accurate in some ways (typos fixed, at least, if not other editorial improvements).

However when there have been lots of changes and reorganization between an older edition and a newer one, then it can be hard to map page numbers in the old edition onto newer edition page numbers. In that case, either the professor requires the older edition, or he/she must purchase the newer edition and rework the syllabus and course content based on it.

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