Community Pricing titles closing in!

At the end of December, we put 10 new titles into our Community Pricing System. It’s fun to see which ones people latch on to and how fast (and how cheap they end up being)!

There are a few titles that are set to close today (Friday, January 6, 2006) at noon Pacific Time. Check ’em out to see if you want to get in on them at their cheapest:

History of Interpretation by F.W. Farrar just crossed the line yesterday and will move to prepublication next Friday.
There are some other titles that are getting close to the line:

Check out these (and all of the other titles we’re considering) and place a bid if you’d like us to do them.

Of the Making of Books (Part 4)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.
(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)
Galaxie Software

Back in 1999, Galaxie Software approached us about using our technology for a very interesting project. They had been electronically publishing back issues of a number of theological journals (Bibliotheca Sacra from Dallas Theological Seminary, Grace Theological Journal and several others) using a different technology platform. In May of 1999, they released Version 3 of their Theological Journal Library utilizing our technology. Version 3 contained a total of 150 years of various journals. By March of 2002, they were up to 250 years of journals in their Version 5 release.

Galaxie has continued to expand the list of included journals and now has 400 years of journals in their collections. The first 250 are still sold as a collection, now designated as Volumes 1-5. Subsequent additions have been released in 50-year collections and are sold separately as Volume 6, Volume 7 and Volume 8), which was just released in September of 2005.

The journals have proven to be one of the most appreciated additions to the Libronix DLS family. Beyond the spectacular savings in cost and space to have 400 years worth of journals at your fingertips, a large percentage of these back issues are only available in select seminary libraries, not readily accessible to most of our customers.

Galaxie has produced a number of other products using our technology, including Dan Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics.

Galaxie is also a partner with the Biblical Studies Foundation in producing electronic editions of the NET Bible.

Next: Biblical Archaeology Society

Review of the Library of Christian Worship

Even though I work at Logos, I like to check out the reviews that our products recieve. I just noticed a new review from the magazine Worship Leader. This review is a little different because it isn’t a review of Scholar’s Library or Scholar’s Silver, it is a review of The Library of Christian Worship on CD-ROM.

I remember when we did the work on this set of books. I was impressed with the attention to detail in the printed editions and with the encompassing scope of coverage, both from a historical and theological perspective. The books aren’t just about music, they’re about worship. They’re not about contemporary vs. traditional vs. “mixed” vs. whatever; they’re about worship. As such, the series is a valuable resource to consult when considering issues of worship and praise in the church today.

The Logos web site product description has much more information, with descriptions and tables of contents for each of the eight books (seven volumes; vol. 4 was published in two parts).

Fire Someone Today

FIre Someone TodayOne of the hardest lessons I had to learn about running a business is how important it is to fire people.

My reluctance to let people go (see how much easier it is to use euphemisms?) hurt the company and wasted a lot of peoples’ time. I thought that firing people was cruel and unkind. Over time I learned that not firing people, when firing is necessary, is really about selfishness on the manager’s part, and about a false sense of control and importance.

I could go on, and I did. Firing people is the first chapter in my new book about the lessons I have learned as an entrepreneur, and gives the book its title: Fire Someone Today. It starts with a short anecdote about John, an employee I went to great lengths to keep before finally realizing I needed to fire him.

I did not see John for almost ten years, but in the book I share what I heard about how being fired freed John to seek the Lord’s calling and to find his place in ministry, rather than the software business.

On Friday my wife went out of town, and I came into the office late and with my twelve year old son. I was surprised to find John visiting on vacation. After greeting me with “thanks for firing me!” John took a few moments to bring me up to date on his life as a pastor (and Logos user!) in Michigan, and then shared with my son how God used the difficult times in his life and career to humble him and turn him toward His purposes.

As a young boss I wanted to “be nice.” Firing John was terribly difficult for me, and I know it was far worse for him. And that is why I am so thankful that he took the time to visit last week and to provide my son and I yet another reminder that it is God, not friends or family or employers, who is in control and who works all things for good.

Fire Someone Today is published by Nelson Business (an imprint of Thomas Nelson Publishers) and will be released in April, 2006. For more information you can visit the web site at http://www.firesomeonetoday.com.

So do I call it Logos or Libronix or what?

I apologize. I know it is confusing, and I am sorry.

Libronix is a brand name owned by Logos. The Libronix Digital Library System is what we call our software platform. Logos Bible Software is what we call the products that contain both the Libronix DLS and a collection of electronic books, because without the books there is nothing Bible-specific about the Libronix DLS.

Other companies use the Libronix DLS, too, under license from us, and they give their products (consisting of the Libronix DLS and their electronic books) different names, like eBible or The Essential IVP Reference Collection.

We created the Libronix brand many years ago with the idea of separating our technology from our content-based products in order to make it easier for other companies to license and use our technology in their own products. We did not use the word “Logos” in the technology brand in order to avoid confusion between ours and other Bible software packages; we also had secular publishers licensing the technology, and the word “Logos” did not mean anything in that context.

Back then we also imagined that we might split the company into two organizations, one focused on technology and one on Bible software content. We created the Libronix Corporation as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Logos in anticipation of that split. Our strategy has changed, though, and we are now completely focused on serving the Bible software market and our publishing partners in Bible-related publishing. Libronix Corporation still exists, but as no more than a file folder of paperwork and a separate phone number that rings at the Logos reception desk.

What do we call our product? Logos Bible Software. This is the product you can buy, in specifically named collections: Logos Bible Software Pastor’s Library, Logos Bible Software Scholar’s Library, etc.

What do we call our software platform? The Libronix DLS. This is the technology platform shared by many publishers, including Logos Bible Software. When you are installing or activating or upgrading the software itself you are working with the Libronix DLS, and all of those actions affect all the Libronix DLS based books you have installed, regardless of which product they came in.

And finally, Libronix is a word that we made up. That made it easier for trademark and domain name purposes. We pronounce it like “library” and “electronics”.

Greek Syntax: Lexham SGNT Expansions and Annotations

Last week, I posted on the Lexham SGNT “running text”. I mentioned at that time that there are three primary pieces of the Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament:

  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament
  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Sentence Analysis
  • The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament: Expansions and Annotations

Today it is time to look at the Expansions and Annotations resource. This resource is still in a state of flux, so the implementation may change somewhat between now and the time that the Lexham SGNT is released.

[Read more…]

ICC: A big job but somebody had to do it

Nearly two years after the initial prepublication announcement, the complete International Critical Commentary Series (ICC) is finished… The commentary series that took more than 100 years to write (and counting) has been digitized in just over 2.

As you can see, this is one big set of books. Fifty-three bound volumes to be exact. When we posted the prepub page on December 12, 2003, we had no idea how many people would pony up $1,000 for the set. But we knew the value of the series for biblical study and knew that of any electronic publisher we were in the best position to get it done.

The books were shipped off to the data keying center and came back needing lots of correction. In particular, the ancient language text (like Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Coptic and Greek) required a team of developers to go through it word by word, correcting the files as they went. This turned out to be such a headache that we devised a new tool (dubbed Shibboleth and mentioned briefly by Bob on his own blog) to speed up the process.

The specifics about the ways Shibboleth speeds up and improves the process is fodder for another post, probably by someone who knows more about it than I do. But I can say that “there was much rejoicing” in the text development department the day the final volume was completed, ship-checked and ready to head off to replication.

And now, just over two years after announcing the start of this massive project, it is being delivered to users so that these important volumes can be utilized by seminary professors and students, preachers, teachers and other folks studying the Bible.

Of the Making of Books (Part 3)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.

(This is the third in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)

Fortress Press

With some publishers, we start small and work our way up to bigger projects. With Fortress Press, it’s been quite the opposite. The first project we did with them in October, 2001 was the voluminous Luther’s Works on CD-ROM, co-published with Concordia Publishing House.

This massive, 55-volume work is one of the most ambitious projects we have ever embarked upon. Luther’s Works is one of those products, however, where the simplicity and compactness of the electronic medium vastly understates the significance, complexity and value of the work. For the price of a handful of print volumes, thousands of pages from one of Christianity’s most prolific and influential writers are yours in a format that is portable, easily accessible, and exceptionally useful.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Fortress Press has since released a series of single or dual book/CD combination products that have proven very successful in the academic market.

Beginning with their Christian Theology Set, they now have 17 different titles in this category, including Hanson and Oakman’s Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Walter Brueggemann’s Theology of the Old Testament and most recently, Jewish Literature between the Bible and the Mishnah by George Nickelsburg.

We’ve recently made all of these titles available for sale on our web site, both individually and in an all-in-one collection. We like to think of them as free paperback books with purchase of your Libronix-compatible electronic editions!

Next: Galaxie Software

Looks Pretty Festive Around Here

Each year here at Logos, we have an inter-departmental Christmas decorating contest. The rules are pretty simple: Each department decorates its area, judges come around at the appointed time, and a winner is declared.

For the past few years in a row, the Logos Accounting department has won both the decorating contest and the bragging rights. It’s not hard to see why: The “Accounting Angels,” as they call themselves, are a group of ladies who are serious about their Christmas Spirit. In short, the Accounting department has been something of a juggernaut in this contest.

[Read more…]

Merry Christmas!

Now that you are done with all your Christmas shopping (you are done, aren’t you?) you may want to take a look at some books for your own library. We just added a number of titles to both Community Pricing and the Pre-Pub programs.

It is a great blessing to have a job like ours, providing tools to help people study the Word. We are thankful for this privilege and for all of you, our customers, partners, and friends, who put those tools to use in study, teaching, and preaching. Thank you for your support and encouragement and prayers.

Merry Christmas!