ETD: Where Your Books Come From

Today’s guest post is from Brittany Young, a member of our Electronic Text Development team.

As one of Electronic Text Development’s Book Designers, the most common question I hear is, “Wait . . . do you have to type out the whole book by HAND!?” That’s when I get to give them a little insight into the text development process.

ETD is a vital part of Logos’ structure. Without us, there wouldn’t be any books to ship to your digital library. Those books also wouldn’t have hyperlinks, Greek, Hebrew or Transliterated language tags, images or any of the number of things that make Logos’ software unique.

How texts are developed

Usually, we’ll receive text files from the publisher of the book and format those files to match the print version. The book goes through many stages, first to a group of people called Reference Taggers. They add Bible tags and other data tags to our—over 100 different—data types (like the Works of Josephus, Strong’s Numbering, or The Laws of Hammurabi), and jump tags both to internal references and to other existing Logos resources. Then, the book heads to the Book Designer who does work on overall edits, final tagging, formats like indentation, font size or style, image insertion, and the list goes on. We use XML code and internal tools to help with the bulk of work, which are imagined and built by our talented Book Developers. The book then goes through an in depth series of final checks and corrections by our Team Leaders before it’s sent off to the boss to be shipped. After that, your book is ready for use in Logos 4!

Is ETD the best department at Logos?!

In my opinion—biased as it may be—ETD is by far the best department to work for at Logos. We are the undefeated champion of the annual departmental Christmas Decorating Contest, we have a history of Top 3 contenders for the many Cook and Bake-offs (yours truly placed third in last year’s Pie Bake-Off), and we’re often found spending time together in book clubs, bible studies and softball leagues. This might sound like a great time, but now you know that there’s more to Text Development than just fun, games and candy.

So, the next time you’re opening up a new title in Logos 4, think about the different steps it takes to get there. Depending on the size of the book, each one requires special attention and takes a different amount of time to complete. For example, consider your best friend, The Anchor Yale Bible Commentary set. This enormous series required a colossal amount of work and took over a year to complete. Sometimes we fly through the books, sometimes they take a bit longer, but either way we are committed to delivering Logos users the most detailed, accurate and exciting product possible.


  1. denise barnhart says

    Well, in my ‘book’ you guys are the best. The main reason I like Logos (plus the recipes) is the links between information. Indeed, my main ‘complaint’ about resource pages on is that they don’t show all the power the resource has (squinting at the little pictures). Many a time, I’ve bought a resource, hoping it has the links I really, really NEED. And sure enough, it does. Yahoo!! Thank you very much.

  2. Wow! Thanks for the information. No wonder Thayer’s English Lexicon isn’t out yet…lol…oh well, I preciate the work you do so we can enjoy our Bible study time. Thank you and thanks to the rest of the unsung heroes at Logos!

  3. Eric Fary says

    Very Helpful. This is definitely what makes these editions worth having. Anchor Bible is Highly recommended.

  4. Scott Criswell says

    Thanks for all your hard work! Great Job ETD team!

  5. I have gone through several updates and upgrades from past series, and have founded each series better than the last! With each series comes unbelievable and imaginable easiness of use and found knowledge for Christians of all levels of biblical studying, teaching and sermon preparations.
    I have had to call for software transferring from an old to a new computer of software with the professional courtesy from Logos’ software guru’s, where the software was transferred to the new computer with ease and without any glitches.
    Logos’ software store for coffee mugs, water containers and t-shirts have always been delivered in a timely manner.
    There should never be another Bible software on the market is my opinion!

  6. Jason Dodson says

    Very insightful. I’m the curious sort who always tries to imagine the behind-the-scenes side of things. I can now appreciate my library much more after reading this article. Thanks, Logos, for making the Bible come alive!

  7. Whenever I start Logos4 to prepare a sermon or Bible study my belief in miracles is boosted tremendously. As a Christian publisher I know the amount of work that goes into getting one opus off the electronic press. You guys are doing an incredibly gorgeous job. I don’t care so much for your Christmas decorations, but those pies I’d love to taste. When will they be available to Logos4 users?

  8. Carmen Gauvin-O'Donnell says

    Maybe they could create some “pre-pie” and “community-pieing” sections (“hey, we only need a few more votes before the pecan is down to $4.99!) :-)
    Thanks for the insights into how it all gets done. Keep up the good work!