Watchtower Bible & Tract Society: Pretending to Be Alive?

by David_Jay 14 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • David_Jay

    According to market analysis, the e-book market has taken a dip in 2015. Because companies that publish e-books can (and do) monitor the use of the e-books materials they release, not only their sales but the individual e-book’s use gets tracked. Companies like Amazon and Kobo as well as Nielsen Book Research in the UK all report that while the format remains popular, sales have dipped more than a quarter last year in some places like Britain, and that hard copies of books still are preferred.

    Amazon (U.S.A.) sales figures give an example of how things are working on the world scene. For instance non-fiction hard copy printed books sales (including religion) made up a healthy 42% of their purchased books in 2015. In the same category, however, e-books made up only 6% of the sales.

    Kobo monitored its e-book sales and found that 60% of the electronic versions never even got opened.

    Amazon UK reported that 15% of its e-book sales were made up of Amazon and self-published titles and not mainstream publications.

    While paperback sales have still exceeded hardback over the recent years, printed copies of books continue to be popular and sell far more than e-books. In the field of religion, printed Bibles and other religious books are still highly prized in their printed form and often preferred. The printed Bible market has seen soaring numbers, with printed Catholic Bibles becoming one of the most expansive genre of religious printing in recent years.

    Non-mainstream publications made up around 2% of the e-book market according to some reports for 2015. Tablets and e-readers are still inaccessible to large numbers around the world, even in developed countries.

    The United Bible Societies, while having some of their publications they distribute available to e-readers, has seen a surge in their Bible publication and distribution work. In 2014 the UBS distributed 428.2 million copies of the Bible, in whole or in part, around the world in a dizzying number of languages. That was a 17% increase in partial Bibles from 2010-2014 and a record 14% rise in full Bibles over the same period. Almost all these numbers are printed hard copy books.

    To concentrate on merely e-books like the Watchtower is now doing would signal a death knell not merely for mainstream publishing but the UBS as well. Hard copy printing is only increasing, especially in the field of Bibles and religious materials, and despite the convenience of tablet readers and e-books. The demand for a hard copy book is only growing in 2016.

    In the face of this, it seems odd that the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society is printing less and less. The demand that Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world rely on tablets and electronic book readers is not indicative that it is measuring or even considering the needs and demands of the public at large. Either those running the show are ignorant of what it means to run a real Bible society or they cannot continue to do so for other reasons.

  • Wild_Thing

    There seems to be a movement that has formed the last few years that push hard copy books over digital books. I can't tell you how many people in this camp have said things like "You just can't replace the feel of holding a book" to support their stance that physical books are better than ebooks. Primarily, they are people in at least their forties that might be resistant to change.

    I think the push to go back to hardback books is a fad. I think ebooks will still become more of the norm eventually, but hardcopy books will never go away, either. But I do think hardcopy books will primarily be bought for kids, or for books that you want to keep forever, like a bible.

    I think the fact that we see less and less of the Watchtower printing literature just follows the trend we see anywhere. Even in public schools in America, there is a push in schools for digital textbooks to replace hard copies, and that has already happened in a lot of districts. At the same time, I absolutely believe the Watchtower is going to digital literature because of money. Since when has the Watchtower EVER embraced a new technology and changed with the trends of the world? Never. The only motivation left is to save money.

  • slimboyfat

    This is a very true analysis. The Watchtower is getting out of books because there is no profit in them any more since they can no longer charge for them. This has much more to do with their switch to digital than general trends of media consumption. As you say physical books remain popular. They're just not so popular with the WT because they can't charge for them.

  • sparrowdown

    I'm sure there is method to the WT's madness. I see it as them as reducing as much of their physical presence as they can as quickly as they can without spooking too many of the sheeple, cept I think it's spooking more than a few.

    IOW I think everything that WT is doing is deliberate, was planned quite some time ago and has a purpose, we just don't know what that real purpose is yet. Though I suspect it has something to do with securing as much of their liquidated assets as possible and a "bunker."

    In reality they couldn't give a flying fig about the so-called "true knowledge."

  • slimboyfat

    I don't know that it's planned. Announcing lots of building projects, then cancelling them, selling buildings and closing branches abruptly, doesn't seem very planned to me. It seems to me they had an unexpected financial crisis of some sort last year.

    The withdrawal from publishing has been longer term. It started in the late 1990s when they began to phase out hardbacks and has continued ever since.

  • sparrowdown

    The change to digital books and website was planned, so couldn't a reduction in KHs and bethel lay-offs be planned as well, since they wouldn't need as many anymore.

  • slimboyfat

    Yes I guess so, the branch closures have been going on for years now.

    But the sudden cancellation of projects and appeals for funds last year was something else.

  • sparrowdown

    SBF - Agreed, I reckon something has happened to speed up their timeline and cause them to cancel projects.

    Although, sudden cancellations does add to the illusion of urgency. Forgive me, I see conspiracy in everything WT does.


    The WTBTS is a business. As a business, they occasionally "re-brand." It's inevitable, because $$$ is the bottom line for any corporation. The WTBTS inc. is very much "alive", and that's the problem. It must be fed.

    The fear of real life, where nobody deserves a damn thing that they don't earn, must scare the living shit out of the GB and their sycophantic ass-kissers. So, they have no choice but to try and adapt/experiment to keep the $$$ flowing.

    There is an added advantage to the Borg, when it comes to e-books. They can "adjust their history and doctrine at any time. There is no longer any need to worry about the sheeple finding a hard copy and comparing it to the e-version. Sure, we do those things, but we are awake. We are a tiny, tiny minority. For the most part, (99%) JWs are the worst Bible students, so they just open their gobs and catch what mommy regurgitates.

    Personally, I have never read an e-book. Why? I don't enjoy curling up with an electronic device. ( Well, there are exceptions 😘 ) I love physical books, making regular trips to the used book store. I have sci-fy books that I purchase for the cover art, or the cut of the pages. Some of the embossed covers are awesome. They go on the shelf, and maybe I'll read them again someday.

    I don't want to buy a e-book tablet, because I can't afford a machine for one use. I can buy a tablet, I suppose, but I'm don't really need one. I do enjoy writing, so any device must have a keyboard too. Hell, I may just buy a type-writer...

    Anyway, the WTBTS has the money to experiment. They also enjoy the added benefit of being a cult. They can issue a "decree" stating that e-books may be "worldly" trend, but Jeehoober says to keep using them. LOL!!!


  • sparrowdown

    Exactly WT is a business and businesses need business plans. Big businesses, like WT need even bigger plans. The whole idea that they sit around waitng for holy spirit inspired direction to tell them what to do is ludicrous.

    You cannot rebrand a massive religion like WT in a major way without it being in the pipeline for years.

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