Can you answer these tough questions about Logos?

From: Nathan Smoyer

To: Marketing Dept

We recently had a blogger ask a few tough questions before deciding to review Logos. Phil took the time to answer his questions.

Below you’ll see the questions and answers. Please read these. I believe the answers will help you describe, understand, and speak about Logos books.

  1. When it comes right down to it, do I own the books I purchase through Logos? Or is it more accurate to say that I license them? It is most accurate to say that you own a license to the content you’ve acquired. The EULA might prove helpful in articulating some of these distinctions (e.g., “Ownership of the Content remains with Copyright holders.”). There are two different kinds of licenses: perpetual (i.e., ownership) and temporary (i.e., rental). Rental is new, so very few products [currently one, but probably multiple in a week or two] are available this way currently, but you’ll probably see us experiment more with rental in the future.
  2.  I have theological works, commentaries, and reference books my father owned before me because he helped establish my theological library by thinning his own. It was encouraging and very helpful when he did this. If at some point I determine to do the same for my son, and if I have built my collection in Logos, will I be able to transfer ownership of certain titles to him? Yes. See here, here, and here. The key principle is that you can transfer anything you purchased as long as you transfer it in its entirety. You cannot transfer part of a product. For example, if you purchased WBC as a collection, you’d need to transfer it as a collection. You couldn’t transfer a subset of it.
  3.  It is one thing to give away books while I love. It is something else entirely to have my entire collection simply cease to be when I die. When I die, will I be able to give my book collection to my son? If not my collection, can I pass my account to him or to anyone else? Yes. See #2 above.
  4.  As time goes on, we are seeing more and more classic works that are no longer under copyright released very cheaply on Kindle and in other ebook formats. For example, I can find The Reformed Pastor for $0.99 on Kindle while the same volume is $15.95 for Logos. Why the discrepancy? Do you ever expect that this gap will close? If all you want to do is read a PD work, it might be difficult for some to justify the increased price for Logos books compared to Kindle books [I’d be happy to do so if you want] (but it might also be hard for some to justify any cost when Google and others make scans available for free). If you want to research, it becomes easy to justify the cost [which I’d also be happy to do]. You’re paying for the robust markup and the interconnected digital library, not just the content. Our markup accompanied by our powerful tools makes our content superior to Kindle and other ebook formats. However, I do see us continually trying to be more competitive with PD content. We’ve tended to focus on selling collections and have priced individual titles to incentivize the collection sale, but that’s changing a bit with the growth of mobile users. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention our Community Pricing program, where it’s often possible to get books for ~$1 each. Customers set the price, maximizing their discount rather than our profit.
  5.  We are seeing classic works fall in price, but we are also seeing publishers regularly discount current works to $1.99 or $2.99. Can we find similar deals for Logos? If not, do you expect that such a time will come? Vyrso books are more analogous to Kindle books (although superior in some smaller ways). Vyrso distributes publishers’ content just like Amazon does. Most sales publishers do are multi-channel. We participate in as many of them as we can. [I can explain more about the differences between Logos and Vyrso if you’d like.]
  6.  Are Logos books a proprietary format or can anyone create and distribute books that can be added to my library (or anyone else’s library)? Logos books are in a proprietary format, and in many ways this is what sets us apart. Our markup is the secret sauce that allows the software to do really cool things with the content, and we’ve only scratched the surface of what we plan to do. However, our free desktop apps come with a Personal Books tool, which allows users to create and distribute their own content. Very soon, they’ll be able to distribute this content in our store and even sell it (think Apple App Store).
  7.  If the history of computing has taught us anything, it’s that things changed quickly. Most of the hardware, software and files we used only ten years ago are now completely lost and inaccessible. What assurance do I have that 5 years from now, and 20 years from now, and 100 years from now, Logos will still exist and still be usable?  I’m not going to pretend that we can provide any sort of guarantee, but I do think we have a track record that instills confidence. (1) We’ve been in business for 22 years, and we’ve never been stronger. We’re not going anywhere, if God wills. (2) A license to content from 22 years ago is every bit as good as a license to the same content you’d purchase today. File formats have changed, software versions have changed, delivery methods have changed, but the license hasn’t. We provide free updates to the all content you have a license to. Read more on this point. See also here.


Nathan Smoyer

Social Media Coordinator, Marketing