Pre-Pub Pricing (Baker Books)

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BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 4:40 PM

MJ. Smith:

Bob Pritchett:
Though I must confess the stuff that borders on character assassination is getting on my nerves.

On my nerves too. Thanks for stepping in.

Yes +1

Grace & Peace,
Bill


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Posts 168
Bill Gordon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 5:09 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Amazon.com now works directly with authors to create e-books and print on demand titles. They are trying to kill traditional publishers, and have been eating losses in e-book sales to reset consumer expectations, which they're apparently doing successfully. And I'm not making any judgment on this -- it's the nature of competition -- I'm just saying the $9.99 is a number with artificial influence.

You are correct about them trying to kill traditional publishers. Amazon recently offered authors 70% royalties on eBooks.

By the way, were you aware that Logos was favorably mentioned in the book An Uncommon Union: Dallas Theological Seminary and American Evangelicalism by John D. Hannah?

 

Posts 1355
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 7:51 PM

MJ. Smith:

Bob Pritchett:
Though I must confess the stuff that borders on character assassination is getting on my nerves.

On my nerves too. Thanks for stepping in.

Yes

Posts 352
Mike & Rachel Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 8:11 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Though I must confess the stuff that borders on character assassination is getting on my nerves.

That's definitely putting it nicely.

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 9:45 PM

It gets on my nerves too, but I am glad it is allowed. you are far better off to know how people are really thinking, instead of having a bunch of yes men!

In Christ,

Jim

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 10:17 PM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
you are far better off to know how people are really thinking, instead of having a bunch of yes men!

Yes men are not desirable but politeness appears to be underrated on the forum. The message is lost in the delivery.

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

Posts 569
J. Morris | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 10:27 PM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
a bunch of yes men!

And there certainly arn't any of those around here.... Wink

Logos is a business NOT a ministry, and I expect it to be run as such.  And like any other business that I, or the Church the Lord has entrusted me with, spends thousands investing toward, I expect to voice an issue when I have one, and I'm glad we are able to do it. (If we didn't do it here, it would be done elsewhere and Logos wouldn't be able to learn from it)

I do wish there weren't any personal attacks involved.  However, I hope that all complaints are not accused of being personal attacks...

-I do not like the new direction the pre-pub program is taking.  I also truly believe that if the baker/zon. 'experiment' is successful that we WILL see both greater increases in prices in the pre-pub program as a whole. (the other publishers would most certainly catch on) and we'd see more resources listed at MSRP.  I don't see a way around this, and it seems rather obvious to me.  (these are my main issues)

 

-I believe there were/are many valid points made from all sides on this thread, and I believe Logos has gained in the long run from hearing from those that allow it to function. (that is their consumers)

-Thank you Logos for a great program, and the opportunity you give your customers in voicing their opinions and concerns.

Posts 569
J. Morris | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 10:35 PM

Jeremiah Daniel Morris:
I don't see a way around this, and it seems rather obvious to me.

This BECAUSE Logos is a business, and if any business realized that its customers are willing to pay more for a product, they are going to offer it at the higher prices...  Or if the publishers realized that other publishers were getting more for their resources obviously there is going to be the ban-wagon effect...  (Like all the new Saints fans today... Wink )

Posts 352
Mike & Rachel Aubrey | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Feb 8 2010 10:52 PM

Jeremiah Daniel Morris:
I also truly believe that if the baker/zon. 'experiment' is successful that we WILL see both greater increases in prices in the pre-pub program as a whole.

I don't understand. Is Bob's word not enough for you? I thought he was rather explicit about his desire to make books available and affordable.

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 2:39 AM

MJ. Smith:
Bob Pritchett:
Though I must confess the stuff that borders on character assassination is getting on my nerves.

On my nerves too. Thanks for stepping in.

I also agree.

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 2:43 AM

MJ. Smith, the message is only lost in the delivery, if we are not walking by faith.  When we let outer pressures determine our response, the problem is not them, it is with us.

Lest we forget everyone on these boards may not be believers, do we really want them to believe that outward conformity to certain standards equals good?

The issue is really one of the heart, and attempting to get people to cover up the true condition of their heart by being polite or good, does not change the heart, it only makes it more difficult for us to see where they are at.  And if we are not careful we put ourselves up as judges of what is good or bad, or polite or not polite.

You may not see my point and if you don't that's okay, but I want to see honest expressions rather than white washed thoughts.

If no one ever disagrees or attacks us it is harder for us to learn to rest in Christ, in this case how Bob handles these comments is what is important, will he allow the flesh to fight back or will he walk by faith, resting in Christ.

And you may be right, I may under rate politeness!

In Christ,

Jim

Posts 502
Randall Hartman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 4:42 AM

It amazes me how so many on this thread seem to be experts in marketing and the finer points of e-publishing.  And, just maybe, some sould get back to spending more time in Bible study.

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Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 4:50 AM

Bob Pritchett:
What if their Christian fiction was all Scottish highlands based when everyone wanted Amish romance?

 

This has got to be your best line ever!!!  Thanks for such a great start to my day!

 

Bob Pritchett:
With regards to the description of pre-pub: It's interesting to see how pre-pub has taken on a very specific meaning for many of you, and that's fine. In my mind, though, it still means one thing: We offer it for sale "pre-publication", and only produce it if there's enough interest. The discount for early orders is an incentive to force decisions, not a promise inherent in the words "pre-publication." 

 

This is very true.  And that has crossed my mind as many have complained (and even I "argued" for taking at least a couple dollars off the new Baker Books, and also expressed my suspicious frustration--perhaps based on previous annoying experiences on the whole with them--with Z's new offerings).  Even with my own whining, I realize "pre-pub" means just what you said it does.  While I did not share the abundant sense of being betrayed--if the pre-pub page wording wasn't changed to "reflect" the Baker deal, or that Logos has suddenly turned into a  money grubbing corporation, let's call you "Big Epub" from now on--it is not unreasonable for people to be confused/upset/surprised/disappointed at a perceived "policy change."  I think you understand that.  And that is the image that Logos portrayed, even stated.  Someone suggested that it would have helped a lot to have clearer, more "up-front" (in the sense of disclosure regarding the departure from the norm) communication about that.  That said, i don't feel any animosity toward Logos and I think we ALL share responsibility to check our reactions based on our disappointment at the loss of pre-pub discount.

Perhaps some of us DO feel entitled.  Perhaps some of us are stressed by money issues already and not getting a perceived "good deal" takes away a rationalization to buy (SurpriseStick out tongue).  That said, I am very glad Baker has entered in to this way with Logos.  yeah, I STILL wish they were cheaper, but I don't see a conspiracy, and I will probably buy some of those resources, even if I can get them 50% cheaper in hard copy.  I love Logos, I want it to get better, not worse.  And I want it to last.  thanks.

Hmmmm.  could there be a "Logos Lite", with all these "reading books" in a cheap production edition, and regular Logos with great tagging?  Maybe the two levels would increase Logos' reach, and increase sales.  I could see myself getting books in both styles.  Some reading books like "Simple Church" in Logos Lite, and other, more intense books (with tagging/searching capability to the max) at full SRP, as I need them.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 6:37 AM

Thank you Bob. I really appreciate your openness at the time you've taken to make your position clear. It is exactly what we've come to expect from Logos. Thank you. Now, if you could persuade a Baker representative to make a similar, if briefer post on their take on this pricing strategy, our understanding would be complete. Can Baker rise to the challenge?

Posts 334
Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 7:22 AM

 

Garrett Mercury:

It amazes me how so many on this thread seem to be experts in marketing and the finer points of e-publishing.  And, just maybe, some sould get back to spending more time in Bible study.

And, just maybe, some should quit with the moralizing tone.

Posts 299
Robert Mullen | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 7:51 AM

Thanks Bob. This is one of the reasons I LOVE Logos and have spent more money on the library attached to the software than I have ever spent on any other computer based program. I appreciate the descriptions and we do all choose to buy or not every time we are tantalized by products we desire and don't have. I don't understand all the pricing models as some of them seem to have an inherent mental impedance mismatch. If you could comment on this it would be greatly appreciated. I know you are busy and swamped with question but your view on this is the one that really matters.

With a ~$2,000 commentary set in view it seems to some of us that it is aimed at Institutions or Libraries where the resource can be shared. That is definitely the model for the paper version. I know of very few who would buy something like that strictly for private use. Based on other posts though sharing a resource like that would NOT be legal so it is intended in its electronic form to be consumed by the individual. I seriously doubt many individuals can afford it though. I assume the price is driven by the publisher and wonder if they understand the new delivery and consumption model via software?

In the end my motives are selfish. I am not in seminary and am not a pastor but enjoy and am edified by studying with commentaries and other top notch resources. I would love to have ICC and/or NICOT/NICNT for my own use but just can't rationalize the price. Am I really that far out of the norm?

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 9:04 AM

Dan DeVilder:
(and even I "argued" for taking at least a couple dollars off the new Baker Books, and also expressed my suspicious frustration--perhaps based on previous annoying experiences on the whole with them--with Z's new offerings).  Even with my own whining, I realize "pre-pub" means just what you said it does.

As mentioned earlier, we have come to expect Pre-Pubs to be heavily discounted based on past practice. Don't get mad at Logos for successfully using an advertising technique. Every day we respond to ads that promise "up to 90% off." Just be glad some Pre-Pubs are discounted and go from there. All that really matters in a business deal is if the Buyer & Seller agree on a price.  I like having the opportunity to decide for myself rather than not have any chance at all to purchase.

Dan DeVilder:
Perhaps some of us DO feel entitled.

Some are feeling entitled because they invested in large collections with Zondervan only to pay retail again. I have no sense of entitlement with Baker. I have purchased previous Baker collections and saved a lot. I am very happy with Baker's track record. Their software still works fine whereas Pradis never has been finessed. Baker's mistake in their current pricing was being realistic in setting their retail prices. Academic titles from Sheffield, Paternoster, Brill and most every college bookstore go for hundreds of dollars each, not $19.99.  I would feel much better to buy a Baker title at their current Pre-Pub prices if they would only list their retail at 4x what they do.  If you examine Baker's Pre-Pub Collections the per book price is no different than the new listings in Pre-Pub. The only difference is we get to pick & choose individual titles.

Dan DeVilder:

Hmmmm.  could there be a "Logos Lite", with all these "reading books" in a cheap production edition, and regular Logos with great tagging?  Maybe the two levels would increase Logos' reach, and increase sales.  I could see myself getting books in both styles.  Some reading books like "Simple Church" in Logos Lite, and other, more intense books (with tagging/searching capability to the max) at full SRP, as I need them.

Logos is the PERFECT software for academic & vocational use. In the past I would not have considered Logos for just "reading." Bob has changed all that with the introduction of the iPhone app and the "cloud" model of having a downloadable library with online access. Logos is now nearly the panacea of Bible software. My hope is to see Logos further expand to include the LOEB library and other "secular" works.  btw: The Harvard Classics is on Pre-Pub. http://www.logos.com/products/prepub/details/3661 

Do you know about the Nelson 501 book unlock?  http://www.logos.com/products/details/5905
This is a good example of how to mass market the "reading" material. I don't expect to get the same percentage discounted off "academic" or reference titles. 

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 9:08 AM

Bob,

Thank you for weighing in on this issue. Your insights are a great help to helping us understand the realities of the your business and I hope that our interactions are helpful to you in getting a pulse of where your customers are.

I am a bit surprised that your are surprised that your customers have the idea that PrePub means that the item is to be discounted. The old wording of the PrePub pages certainly suggested this and with just a few exceptions almost everything has been discounted.

Moreover, the way you price resources in your “download store” has conditioned us to not expect the resources there to 1) respond to completive pressure and 2) not reflect the realities of front-line vs. back-line prices. Let me give you an example.

Way back in Logos 1.8 days you started your first “publishing partner” relationships and one of your first was Baker. Baker released a number of Baker Byte products. At first these were just individual books. One of the very first resources I added to my library was the “Evangelical Commentary on the Bible.” I purchased it at a local Christian bookstore for the full MSRP which at the time seemed reasonable to me because it was still a fairly new book and at the time the only discount retailer I knew of that discounted Christian books was CBD.

Then Baker, decided to bundle a number of these resources together in their Level 1, 2 and 3 collections. While the cost of any of these collections at the time was more than the cost the individual books together they were such a good deal that I purchased Level 3 and still felt I came out ahead. I believe I spent something like $149 on it. In time, the normal retail pressure has been at work on these Baker collections and now a person can purchase one of these for $19.95 ($9.95 on sale) plus postage. I am still OK with this, I was an early adopter, and this is the price one has to pay for being an early adopter.

So what has happened in your unlock store? Well the Evangelical Commentary on the Bible is still selling for the full MSRP of $59.95! This is more than twice as much as the total collection is selling for! If a person was to unlock all the books on your web site that are on that $19.95 CD they would spend more than $500!

I take you at your word that you want to offer your customer the lowest prices possible, so the only conclusion I can draw from this is that there must be something in your agreement with your publishing partners that keeps you from competing with them in price. This BTW is why the majority of the anger is being directed towards your publishing partners, not Logos.

Moreover, your earlier front-line, back-line example does not hold true for your unlock store. Historical once one of your resources leaves PrePub it will remain forever at “front-line” prices. The Evangelical Commentary on the Bible is hardly a front-line product anymore, but it is still being priced as it was back in the day when I purchased my very first Baker Byte produce and had to install it with a 3.5 inch floppy.

I would be one of the biggest cheerleaders of this new deal with Baker if I knew that your resources would be priced like normal products were: Very expense for front-line products and discounted for back-line. This is the way I purchase other forms of digital media. I never purchase anything on new release Tuesday, but wait 6 months to 2 years until it can be found discounted. If this is the way things would work here I would be a happy camper.

However, from all I have historically seen from the way things work for Logos unlocks, Logos will be forced by your publishing partners to sell these very same books ten years from now for 100% of the MSRP. The PrePub for me was the one guaranteed opportunity I had to purchase Logos formatted resources at a discount. While some book might be discounted more heavily in a future by being included in a base product or in a “special” or in one of your partner’s box products, the PrePub was still the one shot guarantee of a discount. With this in mind, please understand our alarm when we see Logos book coming out of the gate at 100%.

I take you at your word that you truly believe that this “experiment” will not change the behavior of your other publishing partners. I ask you to please try to understand why many of us find this an unlikely scenario. If IVP sees, as one poster put it, “tons” of Baker books sold at 100% MSRP, I find it difficult to believe they would not want to be a part of the action and start demanding their “front-line” products to be sold for 100% MSRP.

Thanks Bob, for taking the time to be in dialog with us.

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Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 9:30 AM

P. Keith Larson:
If IVP sees, as one poster put it, “tons” of Baker books sold at 100% MSRP, I find it difficult to believe they would not want to be a part of the action and start demanding their “front-line” products to be sold for 100% MSRP.

There are many other factors that are part of this, some of which I'm reluctant to go into because they get into party-by-party contract details. But I can assure you that full-price doesn't sell "tons" of anything, and that there are other cash-flow and "who pays up front production costs" issues that ensure that the old model will continue to run in parallel. I personally think it's better for the publisher.

While there are a few imperfections, exceptions, and even "books we forgot to revisit the price on" (there are 10,000 -- sometimes we forget some!), for the most part the full vs. discounted price decision is based on the book's present paper sales strength. That's why BDAG and HALOT, though not brand new, still command high prices -- they still do in print -- and why for other titles they'll only do so while they're fresh and new.

And, of course, publishers have different sales goals and expectations for different books. Sometimes something keeps a high price because their is an expectation that it has a small audience, and that lowering the price won't increase the audience enough to matter. Other times the goal is to get the book out as widely as possible. (That's why so many copyrighted Bible translations are effectively free at http://bible.logos.com.)

Posts 321
Rene Atchley | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Feb 9 2010 9:55 AM

I do appreciate the reasoning behind some of the pricing decisions that Logos takes along with the customer interest shown in this thread.  Yet this seems like a rather large thread in relation to most of the others maybe not all though.  The issue at hand seems to be, from what I can tell, is some general concerns with pricing of Logos products in general (or a kind of pricing creep). 

For me the simple act of purchasing some journals and Christian counseling sources spent my whole semester book budget with Logos.  No updates, no cheap commentary series, no theological resources simply because I can't even afford or justify going into more debt for Logos products.  Perhaps there is some, if not a great deal, of concern about the present and future pricing of Logos products of customers who appreciate the effort of the company and want to continue to support it.  There is a lesson to be learned from so many posts but Im not sure who exactly the lesson is for. 

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