Pre-Pub Pricing (Baker Books)

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This post has 263 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 637
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:02 PM

Bob Pritchett:

In some ways, it's up to you. If you value front-list titles enough to pay front-list prices, we'll sell them. If you'd rather pay back-list prices for back-list titles, we'll stop offering these fresh titles and sell just back-list. This is an experiment.

As for accusations of profiteering, greed, etc.... it just seems silly. The beauty of capitalism (and I do think it's beautiful -- if ruthless! -- just like the other laws of God's universe, including the ruthless beauty "gravity") is that excessive profits are wiped out by competition.Trust me, publishers aren't getting rich, they are struggling to survive. We're doing a little better at Logos -- we're better prepared for the e-content world -- but we're standing on quicksand. It's changing every day.

If you think the full-retail price for a Baker title is too much, you can buy it in paper at lots of prices, on the Kindle, soon on the iPad, etc. If Baker and Logos are going to charge full-retail for a Logos-compatible edition, it needs to be worth it, in both tagging, functionality, support, and timeliness. If not, you will all take your business elsewhere.

The good news is, we haven't taken anything of the "old model" away. We're still offering fantastic deals on lots of books on pre-pub. But the old model never had this simultaneous print/e-book release of new titles, with the latest books that are being required by professors, used in today's classrooms, etc.

I welcome your feedback on whether or not that's important.

 

Bob,

Great reply and as someone who really never uses Logos for a book reader; much more interested in the Bible Study aspect and will not invest in "reading" books; I appreciate the Logos model of business.

You are at least offering your customers what many have asked for, be it Zondervan or new items like those in pricing dispute by forum followers, but it does come down to whether or not those customers want them or not. So even though I doubtfully will ever be interested in most books that are being debated, I like that they are offered. Who knows maybe some day there will be one I'd like for Logos, though I don't see myself sitting at the computer to read a book, but I like the option and the fact that it is offered.

Now it comes down to supply and demand... If no one really buys, maybe Baker will work with Logos to lower the price... If it does sell, then the price is  correct for the consumer market...

Be Blessed,

 

Frank

Posts 579
Jim VanSchoonhoven | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:08 PM

Well, if I understand things right it, is not just publishers that are going through rough times right now, in fact who isn't, but is higher prices the answer?

But, the point that I would like to address is the stated purpose of the Pre-pub page.  Bob, you know how things are changing with the publishers, and in light of these changes, many of these books no longer fulfill the goal of the Pre-pub page, is it possible that your customers would be better served with some kind of change to the Pre-pub page, this would head off a lot of hard feelings.

Have things changed to the point where you need two different types of pre-pubs, one for those that need those special deals in order to afford books and another page that contain all pre-pubs regardless of discount.

As you can see this topic hit a sore spot and it took off fast.

In Christ,

Jim

 

Posts 516
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:22 PM

Bob,

thank you for your very informative reply. I personally want front listed titles, and am willing to pay front list prices, I hope the price can be reduced but don't we all want that. That being said I would hope we could expect timley delivey of items that go into production. It seems that after titles are good to go they languish in the "under development status". For instance N t Wright's 3 vol work is going on 8 months in development., Maybe that is a good time frame but without knowing roughly when to expect it I'm left feeling like something I really want is dragging in development.

I am very thankful for all we have avalable in Logos, and I try to understand that there are complexities behind the scenes, but I think it would be helpful to all of us when a title goes under development we were given a 1st quarter or 2nd quarter type of time frame when to expect to recieve the item.

Thanks!

Posts 979
Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:24 PM

I agree that these books don't belong on the pre-pub page given its stated purpose. Obviously Logos doesn't have another page but perhaps with hundreds of Baker titles coming (all singlely?) it might be a good idea. On the whole I don't think this process is going to work but perhaps you have received enough Zondervan orders to think that it will. Personally I won't be buying any Baker titles at full price. Here's an example of why not. I own Bock's Jesus Accordin to Scripture (080103308X), bought last year for a SS class I was teaching. It's a great book and very useful in preparing for my class. I haven't seen any other commentaries like it. However I won't be buying it for Logos because 1) I already own it and 2) It's not worth $36 to have it electronically. I love Logos and wish I had the money to afford all these volumes but that's simply not the case and I don't think it is something that Jesus would do either. That said, if you are interested in the gospels and don't own Bock - buy a copy or two - one for the church library.

Posts 149
David A. Peterson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:26 PM

P. Keith Larson:
I will not purchase any Logos format book that is not equal to or less in prices than the already heavily discounted hard copy price

I am not a "comapny man" nor one who celebrates all things Logos, but I think these comparisons are a bit hasty.  Heavily discounted copies seldom have the same quality or feel of more expensive copies.  A small example is Lewis' "Screwtape Letters" which I can either buy as a "heavily discounted" paperback, or a more expensive leather-bound collector's copy.  I think of Logos' indexing, and all the various reposts, comparisons and searches as "leather-binding" and, as a bi-vocational Youth Pastor, with a full-time outside job, a full-time ministry, and a full-time M.Div, student, the quick and through responses that I can achieve using the program are worth the dent, okay big gaping hole in my book budget.

In Christ,

Dave

Posts 516
Bobby Terhune | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:30 PM

Tom,

I heartily second your feeling on the bock commentary, except I did place a prepub order. I've wanted this one for a long time! I can give my hardback copy to someone else.

Posts 3767
Forum MVP
Friedrich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:44 PM

Bob Pritchett:
Everyone is trying to figure out pricing in the new world of digital content.

Certainly 6 or 8 of us on the forums are! Wink

Bob Pritchett:
Electronic resources are not inherently cheaper to produce than paper

This is an important point to make.  I think most don't understand or think about what goes into making them, and delivering them (from code to tagging to servers, etc).  Even though I have registered some disappointment at the "non pre-pub, pre-pub" price (which was a result of the ridiculously good deals I was used to with Logos), and I would hope that even with all you have stated, those individual titles and collections, whenever they are on pre-pub, could even be a couple dollars off, even then, I really, really, really, like Logos and have invested heavily in it.  And if I have the choice between a 20 dollar book at Logos, or 13 dollar--hardcopy--via Amazon, I will go, more often than not, with Logos. 

Some of my willingness to buy will depend on the value of the book for me.  Some of it depends on what technology is in my possession.  I don't yet have an iPhone or iPad.  I don't have a kindle, so the reading experience is not what I want for some type of books.  I like to be more mobile and intimate, than I can right now, even with my laptop, when I am reading certain books.  Some of it is I just need to feel like I am not tied to my computer, even if it means using a more portable, lighter computer (iPad, eg).

I like what Logos is trying to do.  I just think Baker would experience more sales from me if they had better pre-pub prices.  They might not make as much per book, as they can at full price, but they might make as much, en toto, and will have sold more copies and good will in the process.

 

ooops.  gotta run.  Small group starts in 15 minutes!  Yes  more later.  thanks for posting more insight for us.

I like Apples.  Especially Honeycrisp.

Posts 2703
Forum MVP
Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 3:59 PM

Thanks Bob for your informative response and for taking the time to interact with users. Well, i am one of those guilty parties who have been requesting a lot of Baker stuff to be available. I guess i did not factor in the price tag - i thought it would be like other Pre-Pub offerings.

I appreciate your take on things, at the same time, try and see it from your customers point of view - this is a new development. I have many Pre-Pub orders to take care of, so i still remain a Logos fan. I wish i was that rich to close my eyes at the price tag but since i am not that rich i guess i will have to priorities what i buy.

Thanks again, really, for taking an interest in what your customers think and responding to them. I will keep my eyes on the Pre-Pub page for other offerings other than Baker. I hope you guys don't offer books from Baker that i really want Big Smile.

Best wishes.

Ted.

Dell, studio XPS 7100, Ram 8GB, 64 - bit Operating System, AMD Phenom(mt) IIX6 1055T Processor 2.80 GHZ

Posts 390
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 4:03 PM

Bob Pritchett:

 

If you think the full-retail price for a Baker title is too much, you can buy it in paper at lots of prices, on the Kindle, soon on the iPad, etc. If Baker and Logos are going to charge full-retail for a Logos-compatible edition, it needs to be worth it, in both tagging, functionality, support, and timeliness. If not, you will all take your business elsewhere.

unfortunately, this is more a problem for Logos than for the publishers. they figure out that they will continue to sell the books in print or in digital format. If customers believe the price for digital format is too high and retreat to print format, they still buy product X from the publisher . however Logos is not unaffected by such decisions from customers.

If Logos begins to offer books at the full-retail price, I will  have no choice but to rethink my desire to move to an all digital library as long as the books are available in digital format.

The math is pretty clear for me, Bock's Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels  has just appeared in prepub priced at $36.99, it is sold at Amazon for $24.73. a difference of around 33%. if I multiply that by 100 or 1000, the price of convenience becomes too high and will amount to thousands of dollars.

I might decide to absorb the cost difference for key resources that I am bound to consult often and that make heavy use of cross referencing with resources I have in Logos, but when it comes to books I might read once and maybe not open again during the decade, the price difference becomes a huge issue.

I also doubt that it would be a simple matter of books having been out for a few years before the price drops.  Jesus according to Scripture has been out since 2002 with a paperback edition having been issued for at least three years, however, the prepub price is still the full-retail price. Here it is clearly not a matter of trying to protect books that have just been published.

From a marketing perspective it is highly unimaginative for publishers to price the resources at the full-retail price without even given the illusion that one is getting a deal (there is something psychological about not buying books at the full-retail price).

What is likely to happen is that for the many books that do not benefit much from tagging and added functionality (customers who just want them in digital format and do not intent to do much more than reading them in that format), the much cheaper print or -e-reader version will be preferred. If I get an Ipad or similar device with a Logos App, i see myself using both Logos (for reference works and commentaries) and another e-reader (to read books that I want to read cover to cover). of course this would take business away from Logos but it would be a better deal for me as far as some resources are concerned because I would get the best of both worlds, cheaper resources the day they are published and in digital format.

I like Logos but I also have limited resources (I actually got into Logos and digital resources because it was a money saver); this new development cannot be good.

Logos might have to find another business model when it comes the prepub. Maybe find a way to keep the substantial discounts when one spends a large amount  with the same publisher ( have custom collection as opposed to what Baker attempted to do).

Maybe Logos should consider publishing some books in two format, one with full functionality (and added cost) and one for SIMULA reading without much added work done but with a cheaper price tag

 Alain

 

Posts 1403
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 4:23 PM

Kevin Becker:
Here's my take. I am willing to pay MSRP for an e-book if it has a demonstrated benefit to being in Logos. Mostly these include dictionaries, commentaries, and original language tools ect. However, when it comes to the "trade paperback" category I am much less willing to make these purchases. Many of these books do not contain enough information to consult many times.

I totally agree. If it is not a reference material, I see no benefit to having it in logos.

Posts 1403
Blair Laird | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 4:35 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I welcome your feedback on whether or not that's important.

For reference material,it is a go for me. I dont mind paying retail for hot off the press reference material. I dont see the benefit for purchasing regular books in logos format at full retail. I am only speaking for myself. I use Logos for research, so my focus is reference material. I dont use Logos for casual reading.

Thanks for your input Bob.

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 4:44 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I welcome your feedback on whether or not that's important.

 

I want to begin by saying how much I have appreciated the Pre-pub system in the past. It truly has been a win-win program for me. Thank you very much for many great books at a great price.

This is why I am so alarmed by the changes I have been seeing on the Pre-pub page. I can understand publisher wanting to get "front-list" profits from "front-list" titles. I can also understand the your higher production cost and smaller customer base means that you don't have as much margin as Amazon does with their 50% and if it takes the MSRP to bring "front-line" titles into production today. But such titles do not belong on the Pre-pub page or at least the Pre-pub page needs to modify its description by no longer promises a win-win scenario to your customers.

 

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 4:53 PM

David A. Peterson:

P. Keith Larson:
I will not purchase any Logos format book that is not equal to or less in prices than the already heavily discounted hard copy price

I am not a "comapny man" nor one who celebrates all things Logos, but I think these comparisons are a bit hasty.  Heavily discounted copies seldom have the same quality or feel of more expensive copies.  A small example is Lewis' "Screwtape Letters" which I can either buy as a "heavily discounted" paperback, or a more expensive leather-bound collector's copy.  I think of Logos' indexing, and all the various reposts, comparisons and searches as "leather-binding" and, as a bi-vocational Youth Pastor, with a full-time outside job, a full-time ministry, and a full-time M.Div, student, the quick and through responses that I can achieve using the program are worth the dent, okay big gaping hole in my book budget.

In Christ,

Dave

 

I have a very large Logos library, 4000+, I can afford to wait it out. If a resource is truly stellar, I am sure it will end up in a L5 or L6 base package. In the mean time I have plenty of other great books to read and use in my Logos library.

Posts 3661
BillS | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:00 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I welcome your feedback on whether or not that's important.

Hi Bob,

I think it's WONDERFUL that we have an opportunity to get front-list titles earlier.

Most of the confusion on the forums seems to be around your past policy on prepubs--you've been successful at educating us to expect a discounted price.

I think we're hearing you loud & clear, too, that front-list titles have to pay for themselves before they become eligible for the discounts we're all hoping for (whether via inclusion in collections, or by single title).

To me it looks like there are at least 3 ways forward, all of which I HOPE will keep Logos on the path of getting front-list e-works to us earlier... Here are the 3 I thought of:

  1. PREPUB. Stay on the current path (introduce front-list titles via prepub). If so, we're likely to continue to be confused with each new introduction of a publishing house (1st Zondervan, now Baker, next...?)
  2. CONSUMER PRICING. Since you're also concerned about cost recovery, use the other method you have for introducing new titles: consumer pricing.
    The main advantage to this method would be that you already have it. The main disadvantage would be the same as with the 1st method: you've already trained us to expect low prices via this method of book purchase.
  3. SOMETHING NEW. Give front-list titles their own space, about which you can educate us on the value of front-list titles, received earlier, & having all the benefits we've come to expect in a Logos resource.

Many blessings on your decision, & thanks for allowing (even inviting) us to weigh in...

Blessings to you!

Grace & Peace,
Bill


Asus GF63 8RD, I-7 8850H, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, 2TB HDD, NVIDIA GTX 1050Max
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Posts 1355
Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:14 PM

Thank you Bob for your very informative post.

I was involved in Christian publishing for over 20 years--first as a bookstore manager and then as a publisher's rep calling on bookstores. I can affirm that Bob has accurately described some of the factors involved in publishing that most users never consider. If anyone is interested in learning more about the changing world of publishing, read some of Michael Hyatt's (Nelson) blog posts. http://michaelhyatt.com/

Bob also has the unique advantage of being a key player in the digital publishing business.

I vote for Bob providing Logos users the opportunity to buy more recent titles. I understand that by the nature of the business, those may carry higher prices than we have been used to.

I am sold on the Logos electronic library paradigm. I prefer the availability of my study tools in my Logos library instead of a print edition. It is worth more to me! If it is not worth more to others, they are not compelled to purchase the Logos format.

Logos users asked for NICOT/NICNT. Bob delivered.

Logos users asked for Zondervan titles. Bob delivered.

Logos users asked for more Baker reference works. Bob delivered.

**SENTENCE DELETED BY USER**

I expected people using Bible study tools would also show a little more respect for someone who has worked very hard to deliver over 10,000 Christian titles for Bible study. This thread comes after 3 months of constant berating by users over problems with Logos 4.

To the best of my knowledge, Bob and Logos have always exhibited Christian character.

**SENTENCE DELETED BY USER**

Posts 1129
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:24 PM

Daniel Lee:
I can't tell if you're joking or not, but I think we all need to wait a little bit and see if Logos has any response to these concerns and/or if the price changes. In other words, I shouldn't be unwise by jumping on a pre-pub immediately if it's too expensive for my budget, but I also shouldn't assume there's some kind of conspiracy.

 

I was not suggesting a conspiracy or anything remotely unethical. However, I was not joking. This is a win-lose scenario if I ever saw one. The only conceivable "win" those who are placing these order will get is that they are helping a book go into production that they want in Logos format.

If the auto industry did this, GM for example would have put the Volt on a pre-manufacturing page by calculating the development and production costs, dividing this by how many people they estimate believe in global warming and posting this price on the internet. GM has no risk in development and production and those who purchase the Volt for twice as much as a normal sub-compact have the reward of thinking they have saved the world from a melt down. Big Smile

Posts 2774
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:45 PM

Edwin Bowden:

I am sold on the Logos electronic library paradigm. I prefer the availability of my study tools in my Logos library instead of a print edition. It is worth more to me! If it is not worth more to others, they are not compelled to purchase the Logos format.

Logos users asked for NICOT/NICNT. Bob delivered.

Logos users asked for Zondervan titles. Bob delivered.

Logos users asked for more Baker reference works. Bob delivered.

AMEN!!!

 

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 334
Paul Strickert | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:53 PM

Edwin Bowden:

I am disappointed in the tone of many posts on this thread.

What tone?  The holier-than-thou tone?

Posts 2824
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 5:54 PM

Gregg stated,  "it's unreasonable to expect users to pay the same amount for an e-book as a hardcopy."

I agree; however, the Logos edition of the NIV commentaries is $600 more than the street price of the hardcopy.  That hasn't keep it from selling, apparently.  This seems to be a trend.  I am saving for the NIV commentaries, but I am not sure if I will buy them in hardcopy for $1,000 or the Logos version for $1,600.  It becomes a question of stewardship - that and poverty.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

Posts 2824
Michael Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Feb 5 2010 6:15 PM

As ususal, Bob is quite reasonable.  His point about simultaneous print / e-book release is well taken.  I can see why a publisher would want simultaneous release to be equally priced - (though that is not the case with e-book novels released through Kindlle.)  A publisher cannot be expected to hurt his own profits.

I prefer my resources through Logos, and appreciate what they offer.  It is the quality and variety of what is offered that makes Logos so valuable.  I realize that costs.

Of course, reality is that most of us have invested heavily in Logos during the L4 upgrade.  Many of us have gone beyond the upgrade and purchased more additonal books to take advantage of the L4 features.  Unlike the federal government, my deficit spending must come to an end.  I had hoped to be able to replace almost all my paper books with Logos reources.  I now see the foolishness of that.  I will have to continue to use a variety of formats in study - Logos where possible, paper where necessary financially, pdf, html and whatever else I can afford.  I think many are in similar circumstances.  The tremendous volume of sales during the L4 startup was never expected to sustain.

I do not think any of us want to participate in any organized boycott of any Logos resources.  What I can afford, I will buy.  What I can't I will not buy.  But I will not be ungrateful to Logos or Bob for the wonderful tool they have given us.  I hope they sale a ton of Baker Books.  Maybe this will get upgrades to several commentaries already in Logos format out quicker.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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