Do you want every ebook in the world in Logos?

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This post has 394 Replies | 12 Followers

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:01 PM

Dan Francis:

MJ. Smith:
Why are users focused on erotica?

I am trying to figure that out too...

Bob Pritchett opened the discussion with an example typifying erotic fiction. The focus derived from this example.

Dan Francis:
I remember an Australian friend once told me "Thank God we got the criminals and the Yanks got the Puritans."

"The attitude which employs labels such as “puritanical” to describe any effort to express restraint in sexual conduct or modesty in attire, while currently “politically correct,” has little basis in fact."

From this webpage: THE PURITAN VIEW OF MARRIAGE SEX DIVORCE AND FAMILY ...

Dan Francis:
American Christians seem to focus inordinately on sexual matters and ignore the weighty matters of Healing the sick, feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, etc.... I do not mean to attack anyone or group in particular.

Or is it possible that those remarking, about American Christians, focus inordinately on sexual matters?

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 452
Mitchell | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:02 PM

I wonder if it would be possible to put the bulk book distribution in some sort of a ghetto. Could you license the whole catalog, create a new site (apart from Noet or Vyrso) to distribute the whole catalog, and just avoid publicizing or marketing that site? It could be a very basic, no frills site. Then the title that Logos actually wants to promote could be added to a main site—Vyrso or Logos or Noet, depending on the subject matter.

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:14 PM

Mitchell:
I wonder if it would be possible to put the bulk book distribution in some sort of a ghetto.

        Broken Heart

_________________

OT: Warsaw Ghetto survivor dies at 92 Ynetnews‎ - published 2015/5/21.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:16 PM

As a direct descendent of Anne Marbury Hutchinson, with an aunt and niece carrying on the  Marbury name, I have my opinion of Puritans. Okay, in the same decade as I was born, Boston finally allowed her back in the "colony".Stick out tongue

 But if you think I should forgive and forget, I am also a direct descendent of Rebecca Nurse/Nourse whom Salem didn't treat so well.. Shall I develop a persecution complex?Wink

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

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:33 PM

Mitchell:

I wonder if it would be possible to put the bulk book distribution in some sort of a ghetto.

If they were to do that I would insist that one book would get premier marketing: Yosl Rakover Talks to God by Zvi Kolitz. BTW I consider ghetto to be an offensive concept - a term reserved for describing some of the worse consequences of humanities failings. However, Kolitz's fiction is a good example of why Logos should offer a broad range of literature.

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

Posts 5321
Dan Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, May 20 2015 11:55 PM

JAL:
Or is it possible that those remarking, about American Christians, focus inordinately on sexual matters?

It is possible and I do become a bit cranky when tired (as well as less self censoring).... I do believe in a holistic view of a person.. All morals (including sexual) are as important as our faith and serving God through others, I have actual had discussions with people including clergy who disagree. God cares about all of us, and  even more about our inside as the parables tell us. 

-Dan

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Reuben Helmuth | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 12:32 AM

Mitchell:
I wonder if it would be possible to put the bulk book distribution in some sort of a ghetto. Could you license the whole catalog, create a new site (apart from Noet or Vyrso) to distribute the whole catalog, and just avoid publicizing or marketing that site?

This is exactly what I was thinking as well, except that the word I was thinking of was repository. My thought was that this site, while not marketed or advertised in any way, should still include both filtering and sorting capabilities. The licensing might require the ability to buy books directly from this site, but it could definitely be made extremely difficult. Wink Faithlife could then migrate a curated list of books to Vyrso/Noet. Logos users could also be allowed to request/vote for certain works to be migrated.

I heartily sympathize with those who don't want junk coming at them...I wouldn't even allow Janette Oke books into my home (and wish I had a good way to filter them out on Vyrso)! On the other hand, if Faithlife does everything possible to limit the amount of inappropriate material, my feeling is that the onus is on the end user to make wise purchases.

The point I'd like to drive home is that there are generally ALTERNATIVES! To assume that there are only two options (yes/no) is to be guilty of  a logical fallacy.

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 1:04 AM

David Taylor Jr:

Mark Barnes:

David Taylor Jr:
Would having questionable content fulfill Faithlife's mission statement?

I think that's the wrong question. Bob isn't wanting to have questionable content.

The question is "Can we serve the church better by significantly broadening our content (even though some of it's questionable), or by keeping our content narrower"?

That answer is simple. The ends do not justify the means.

I've been questioning myself as to why I haven't taken that view myself. For what it's worth, I think this is my logic:

  1. I think that bad theology is more dangerous than bad morality, and I've long come to terms with the fact that Logos has to sell lots of bad theology (some really bad theology). For me, that made the bad morality much less of an issue than it might have been.
  2. If Amazon sold Logos compatible books, I'd buy them in a flash, without worrying about the morality of what else they sell.
  3. From the perspective of a user, I simply want to be able to buy more books in Logos format. I'm not interested in fiction or most secular stuff, but things like MacCulloch's A History Of Christianity (published by Puffin). A lot of Church history (or history relevant to church history) is published by secular publishers. From a selfish point of view, I simply want to say to Bob, "Do you you need to do to make that happen".

Following other posts on here, I've asked myself a different question. "If I were Bob, would I want to do this?". And I've got to say that the answer would be "no". And in that sense, I hope he doesn't do it. But then I wouldn't sell popular really bad theology books, either. (If I was in charge of Faithlife, it would probably remain a niche product for evangelicals, perhaps reformed evangelicals. And yet opening up the platform to bad theology has been good for everyone, I think. With bad theology, perhaps the ends have justified the means.)

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 1:18 AM

Bob Pritchett:
I need your advice.

        Just do it!

Bob Pritchett:
What do you think?

        I think you will act with integrity.

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 3771
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 1:24 AM

Mark Barnes:
Following other posts on here, I've asked myself a different question. "If I were Bob, would I want to do this?". And I've got to say that the answer would be "no". And in that sense, I hope he doesn't do it.

This is encouraging.

Mark Barnes:
But then I wouldn't sell popular really bad theology books, either.

I would have a hard one with this one too although this is, in my view, less straight-forward. Erotica is for entertainment, but reading heretical views held by biblical studies is not for personal edification or enjoyment but for educational purposes. If FL was my church library, I would say 'no', but if it were my seminary, I would say 'yes'. Different purpose, different use, different implications. So, I don't think that your second consideration (you wouldn't sell bad theology) takes away at all from the first. 

Posts 3771
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 1:35 AM

I make this into a separate post so that it may not be misconstrued as a continuing response to Mark. It is not. It is however a more general response to those who avoid answering the very precise questions of Christian morality and keep on trying to muddle the issues by blab that circumvents them altogether.

What comes to mind is the story of Balaam. Balaam "consulted" Yahweh and was told clearly His will: do not go with those who are seeking to harm my people. The lure of money and rewards was such that Balaam could not content himself with that answer and in the end did go and was almost slain by the angel of Yahweh on the way. A talking donkey was needed to stay the prophet's madness.

Then he was asked to do something Yahweh did not approve of, curse Israel. Balak proposed to do it anyway. Yahweh answered with an oracle of blessing. Balak tried to change the "perspective," to find a way to get it to work anyway: change your location, nope; only curse a part of the people, nope. All along, Yahweh's will was clear however unsatisfactory it was for both Balak's and Balaam's wants (contrast with Rahab and Ruth).

Even after all this, we find out that Balaam did encourage Balak to continue in that way by advising him to entice the Israelites to idolatry and bring Yahweh's disapproval on them. Those of Yahweh's people who fell for it incurred the vengeance, and so did Balak and his people, and Balaam. 

It's in the Bible, it's in Logos. I don't think I need to expand on how this all relates to the topic at hand.

Posts 623
JAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 1:52 AM

Deleted - Superfluous

"The Christian mind is the prerequisite of Christian thinking. And Christian thinking is the prerequisite of Christian action." - Harry Blamires, 1963

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 2:59 AM

Francis:

Mark Barnes:
But then I wouldn't sell popular really bad theology books, either.

I would have a hard one with this one too although this is, in my view, less straight-forward. Erotica is for entertainment, but reading heretical views held by biblical studies is not for personal edification or enjoyment but for educational purposes. If FL was my church library, I would say 'no', but if it were my seminary, I would say 'yes'. Different purpose, different use, different implications. So, I don't think that your second consideration (you wouldn't sell bad theology) takes away at all from the first. 

Heretical views for biblical studies are by no means the only type of bad theology stocked and sold by Logos. The worse books for promulgating heresy (or at least very bad theology) are some of the most popular mass-market 'Christian' books, that are read by millions for personal edification and enjoyment. I wouldn't stock them on my church bookstall, and I wouldn't sell them if I ran a Christian bookshop. But Logos sells them (and books like them), and has done for several years.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 3771
Francis | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 3:12 AM

Mark Barnes:
Heretical views for biblical studies are by no means the only type of bad theology stocked and sold by Logos. The worse books for promulgating heresy (or at least very bad theology) are some of the most popular mass-market 'Christian' books, that are read by millions for personal edification and enjoyment.

I agree with you and have certainly found this to be regrettable even as the trend has become stronger as time went by. I wish it were not so. Yet if FL's catalog was expanded in such a way as to include erotica, this would take the problem to new heights. I don't think we can change the current holdings, but it does not mean that we cannot express how repulsive, disappointing and grievous the new direction would be, as well as how objectionable it is in the light of a ministry-oriented company mission statement. 

Posts 1376
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:09 AM

I'm being terse here because I don't have a whole lot of time to write more, but really, I think with Bob's clarifying comment that they might be able to accept 90% of a publisher's catalog and reject the rest removes most of the moral dilemma and rational basis for concern:

-Rejecting 10% of a catalog should allow FL to eliminate the most objectionable stuff of any particular catalog that is worth carrying.

-Any catalog that is more than 10% junk FL probably wouldn't want to carry anyway.

Also, very much what Mark said:

Mark Barnes:
Heretical views for biblical studies are by no means the only type of bad theology stocked and sold by Logos. The worse books for promulgating heresy (or at least very bad theology) are some of the most popular mass-market 'Christian' books, that are read by millions for personal edification and enjoyment. I wouldn't stock them on my church bookstall, and I wouldn't sell them if I ran a Christian bookshop. But Logos sells them (and books like them), and has done for several years.

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:17 AM

Is the concern that this new store will might offer questionable books for sell or actually sell them? If the concern is that they might actually sell them there are three things Faithlife can do to insure they do not sell them.

1)      As Bob has already stated it appears some if not all the publishers will always Faithlife to remove questionable books. There will be a day or two when they will be in the store, because if I have read Bob correctly new books are automatically uploaded into the new store as they become available. This being the case the second step well minimize possible sells until they are removed.

2)      All new books are sold at FULL retail price until they are reviewed by Faithlife. Because Amazon rarely sells books at full retail price, most if not all potential purchases will not purchase these books from the new Faithlife store.

3)      For the rare book the publisher does not allow Faithlife to remove, Faithlife can add an enormous markup on those books, let’s say $10,000. No one will purchase 50 Shades of Gray if it costs $10,000. If the publisher refuses to allow Faithlife to markup the books, Faithlife could refuse to do business with that particular publisher.

 

I am sure there are additional ways Faithlife could sabotage sales of questionable books. Perhaps warning pop ups. Maybe a series of 100 popups that will cause the customer to just give up. Smile

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:36 AM

Keith Larson:
Is the concern that this new store will might offer questionable books for sell or actually sell them?

That they WILL sell them. Bob made it quite clear that they would have to offer the ENTIRE catalog. It's all or nothing. 

macOS, iOS & iPadOS | Logs |  Install

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:38 AM

alabama24:
That they WILL sell them. Bob made it quite clear that they would have to offer the ENTIRE catalog. It's all or nothing. 

He changed his view on this halfway through the thread. He now says 90% is a possibility.

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 13428
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:52 AM

Keith Larson:
For the rare book the publisher does not allow Faithlife to remove, Faithlife can add an enormous markup on those books, let’s say $10,000. No one will purchase 50 Shades of Gray if it costs $10,000. If the publisher refuses to allow Faithlife to markup the books, Faithlife could refuse to do business with that particular publisher.

Publishers will almost certainly set the prices in a store like this. Only behemoths like Amazon get to dictate pricing on selling eBooks. (Logos.com is different, because Logos is not reselling books, but effectively acting as a co-publisher.)

This is my personal Faithlife account. On 1 March 2022, I started working for Faithlife, and have a new 'official' user account. Posts on this account shouldn't be taken as official Faithlife views!

Posts 1130
Keith Larson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 21 2015 7:52 AM

alabama24:

Keith Larson:
Is the concern that this new store will might offer questionable books for sell or actually sell them?

That they WILL sell them. Bob made it quite clear that they would have to offer the ENTIRE catalog. It's all or nothing. 

As Mark just stated some if not all the publishers have agreed to allow Logos to remove books. I think the period between the automatic uploading and the review period is the area of concern now. As I suggested selling new books at full retail price or even with a very expensive surcharge until they can be removed we discourage any potential purchases.

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