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#1 Howard509

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:00 PM

What do you think of the claim that the Urantia Book has sold over six hundred thousand copies worldwide and that the number of copies sold per year has steadily increased? I looked on Amazon to see how well it sells compared to other books of its genre, and it's ranked all the way down at #254 among new age books:

http://www.amazon.co...&qid=1363647445

Even the Satanic Bible is selling more copies on Amazon. Why is this?

Edited by Howard509, 18 March 2013 - 06:01 PM.

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#2 Absonite

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:30 PM

The number of sales means next to nothing these days.

The number of people reading, contemplating, and enacting (living according to the essence of the UB teachings) is all that matters. And that number is NOT directly dependent upon sales of the book, as it was even as little as 10 years ago.

Just focussing on readers (I cannot speak for contemplating and enactors), I have turned more people onto the UB by suggesting the APP more than any of the books I've given away over the years. And that APP is totally free and available to be read on smartphones and tablets. Even more people browse the entire book for free at various sites online than buy it nowadays.. Again - whether it not they make the jump to becoming contemplations and enactors is another issue that really cannot be measured.

Yet.

In the end, the only consistent way I have found to encourage people to make the step from just reading to contemplating and enacting is by personal example.

And that has far less to do with how many people buy it and rank the book high on Amazon's bestsellers list.

Edited by Absonite, 18 March 2013 - 08:33 PM.


#3 Rick Warren

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:29 AM

The number of sales means next to nothing these days.

The number of people reading, contemplating, and enacting (living according to the essence of the UB teachings) is all that matters. And that number is NOT directly dependent upon sales of the book, as it was even as little as 10 years ago.

Just focussing on readers (I cannot speak for contemplating and enactors), I have turned more people onto the UB by suggesting the APP more than any of the books I've given away over the years. And that APP is totally free and available to be read on smartphones and tablets. Even more people browse the entire book for free at various sites online than buy it nowadays.. Again - whether it not they make the jump to becoming contemplations and enactors is another issue that really cannot be measured.

Yet.

In the end, the only consistent way I have found to encourage people to make the step from just reading to contemplating and enacting is by personal example.

And that has far less to do with how many people buy it and rank the book high on Amazon's bestsellers list.


Very well said Absonite. Book sales of every kind have gone down, especially where the book is available free digitally. Book stores are closing everywhere, the whole print industry is succumbing to the digital age. But interest in the text is still soaring, indicated by ever rising search engine numbers.

#4 Howard509

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:09 AM

Very well said Absonite. Book sales of every kind have gone down, especially where the book is available free digitally. Book stores are closing everywhere, the whole print industry is succumbing to the digital age. But interest in the text is still soaring, indicated by ever rising search engine numbers.


Where does the Urantia Book rank in terms of ebook sales?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#5 Rick Warren

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 10:16 AM

Where does the Urantia Book rank in terms of ebook sales?


No pay needed, it's free, and in many idioms! http://www.urantia.o...xt-urantia-book

#6 Howard509

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 09:56 PM

If you compare the Urantia Book to other so-called new age sects that have appeared in the past fifty years, also known as new religious movements, it really isn't all that obscure.

http://en.wikipedia....igious_movement

http://en.wikipedia....gious_movements

Edited by Howard509, 20 March 2013 - 10:02 PM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
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#7 Absonite

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 07:56 AM

Seems to me that exponentially more people today than ever before know about the UB - thanks to the Internet. Our conversations here and elsewhere are ONLINE, folks. They show up in searches. People interested in a spiritual perspective stumble across what we share as UB Readers with each other, and I don't doubt that such conversations (coupled with Google, etc...) encourage many to check into it all further once they obtain a sample.

The teachings of the UB are increasingly unobscure with each day.

And there is a big responsibility on all our parts to ensure that what we do put in here on the Internet reflects the quality of character one successfully develops from pursuing diligent study - as well as earnest praxis.

#8 Howard509

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:04 AM

Seems to me that exponentially more people today than ever before know about the UB - thanks to the Internet. Our conversations here and elsewhere are ONLINE, folks. They show up in searches. People interested in a spiritual perspective stumble across what we share as UB Readers with each other, and I don't doubt that such conversations (coupled with Google, etc...) encourage many to check into it all further once they obtain a sample.


If average people mostly learn about the Urantia Book from internet forums, we're all doomed. :)

Edited by Howard509, 21 March 2013 - 08:05 AM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#9 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:25 AM

If average people mostly learn about the Urantia Book from internet forums, we're all doomed. :)


Please try not to fulfill that prophesy. :)

#10 Bonita

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:56 AM

And there is a big responsibility on all our parts to ensure that what we do put in here on the Internet reflects the quality of character one successfully develops from pursuing diligent study - as well as earnest praxis.


Which is precisely why I sometimes spend hours developing a post. After all, the revelators admit to using over one thousand outstanding human ideas as a basis for the Papers. Undoubtedly, higher minds than ours pay attention to our ideas, even those presented here, so best to always put forward the best you can muster.

0:12.12 Accordingly, in making these presentations about God and his universe associates, we have selected as the basis of these papers more than one thousand human concepts representing the highest and most advanced planetary knowledge of spiritual values and universe meanings. Wherein these human concepts, assembled from the God-knowing mortals of the past and the present, are inadequate to portray the truth as we are directed to reveal it, we will unhesitatingly supplement them, for this purpose drawing upon our own superior knowledge of the reality and divinity of the Paradise Deities and their transcendent residential universe.

#11 Howard509

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 08:59 AM

Which is precisely why I sometimes spend hours developing a post.


Could that time be better used in other ways of being of services to others? Internet forums are mostly for preaching to the converted. I wonder if our time would be better used out in the real world, actually doing things to help people, or perhaps even at home, making life easier for the people you love by doing something as simple as washing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom when you'd rather be doing other things like posting on internet forums. I am not saying you don't do these things, but pretty much anyone who reads that post who doesn't already believe in the Urantia Book would think it's a little silly.

Edited by Howard509, 21 March 2013 - 09:02 AM.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience. -
Teilhard de Chardin


#12 Absonite

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:31 AM

Conversation here can be a kind of service to others.

Like it or not, the Internet is part of the "real world". Many people are assisted, encouraged, motivated, etc... by the information and conversations that happen online.

If the implication is that people should not be assisting, encouraging, motivating, etc... - according to whatever degree of scholarship and expression they choose - then I disagree.


People who conclude that their efforts would be better spent offline assisting others certainly can do what they are urged to do ... and just as they don't have to devote more time online just because others do, others don't have to spend more time offline just because some people do.


This is NOT about trying to judge individuals' online contributions compared to their offline contributions.

Edited by Absonite, 21 March 2013 - 09:34 AM.


#13 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Well Howard, you are welcome to follow your own path and have your own opinion. But allow me a different opinion if you will. Those who do not teach do not learn as the Revelation clearly states and one who does not teach does not progress. Teaching is critical to learning. Your critical dismissal of the teachers here, the format provided here, and the audience itself is misplaced and judgemental and incorrect....all. You can only determine what's best for you Brother and not any other. We cannot control who approaches the Revelation or how or why but the WWW has provided a new form of distribution of the text AND connectivity between students around the globe in powerful and effective ways unknowable or seeable by us in this life. Let us remember that The Most Highs rule in the kingdom of mortals and the angels and midwayers attend to us relentlessly and effectively. Why such despair? And why such demeaning sexism? Many who post here are homemakers and parents and children of the elderly but are also well trained and engaged professionals and community activists. Is laundry and cleaning the limit of service or importance or value or impact? I find your whole post demeaning and without merit for any worthy consideration. Just my opinion.
Peace be upon you."

#14 -Scott-

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

@Howard I agree that posting on online forums is not "personal" hence it's not the service that Jesus instructed his followers to perform. This forum and others is more life a ink blot test. Where everyone reads a section in the book and shares what they see. The Spirit of Truth is activated by personal social service not writing on forums. But I post a lot online so I am hardly walking the 2nd mile myself.

The measure that we have to go out to people with our message is a reflection of our own failure to live the gospel.

Edited by -Scott-, 21 March 2013 - 12:22 PM.

If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#15 Bonita

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 02:31 PM

Could that time be better used in other ways of being of services to others? Internet forums are mostly for preaching to the converted. I wonder if our time would be better used out in the real world, actually doing things to help people, or perhaps even at home, making life easier for the people you love by doing something as simple as washing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom when you'd rather be doing other things like posting on internet forums. I am not saying you don't do these things, but pretty much anyone who reads that post who doesn't already believe in the Urantia Book would think it's a little silly.


How do you know the way I spend the other 18-20 hours of my day, Howard? Are you qualified to determine what the best use of my time is? I do what is in my heart to do, and I'm very sorry to inform you that you, nor anyone else for that matter, are qualified to be my judge. And as for your complaint about me being silly, I think this quote applies:

102:7.6 It requires no great depth of intellect to pick flaws, ask questions, or raise objections. But it does require brilliance of mind to answer these questions and solve these difficulties; faith certainty is the greatest technique for dealing with all such superficial contentions.

I have certain faith that I'm doing God's will. I guess you'll just have to prove that I'm not. Good luck with that.

#16 Bradly aka/fanofVan

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:07 PM

Well Scott, let me (finally) disagree with you as well. Uplifting the 5th Epochal Revelation gifted to us here and now and personally and globally, makes the learning and the teaching and the sharing of its contents, meanings, applications, and results SERVICE. Loving, selfless, outward focused, tender, kind service. And those who make the time and commitment to teach me are REVERED by me and loved by me for their endless service. Do you not think those who have committed a decade of their life to make this site a reality a service to Father and His children?? How many souls have found a nurturing encouragement here? How much time do you think Bro Rick spends a day on OPAD and the TB&G, etc.? Every day for year after year. What an example of supreme devotion to others and the work of our Father. He is hardly alone. Does anyone know how many souls work how many hours every day of every year to bring the Revelation to its audience and do so sweetly, fraternally, expertly, with scholarship and comraderie?? I've been around awhile in many venues, including many UB venues and groups and efforts. This site and these folk are a bright beacon of light on a high hill. We cannot judge what path and task Father puts before any other. We each have our own way and contribution. I'm but a grunt in the foxhole or the man with shovel standing in ditch. We are called to build the Garden and the Temple to come. I wonder if we understand the foundation building and canal digging and work to come so we can see the work at hand to do now?? There are those who give books, or host study groups, or organize conferences, or write articles, or make beautiful artwork, or...or....or....or.....or....or. It is unbecoming to any believer to criticize another for their what, when, how, why, who of personal love and service. Pardon my irritation as it is certainly not triggered by you or anything you've said but I do disagree that there is not relationship here or service here as Jesus would describe it. Poppycock. But I do love your ink blot metaphor....for it is by this triangulation of perspective that I have learned far more here in the past year than decades before. Love you dude....hope you take this as friendly disagreement for it is nothing more than that. ;)
Peace be upon you."

#17 Cal

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:48 PM

I think it's a valid question for each person to ask of themself whether the way they spend their time is best or not, it's hard not to do this day in day out, not just on the UB topic but on any given topic. I personally don't participate in forums that much because I think there are more fruitful ways for me to spend my time but that's just me. I'm glad others are avid posters and participants on forums like this, it's one of the few ways to get a sense of broader community among readers.

On the original point though of the thread, UB sales, and more generally, indicators of its popularity or obscurity, I think amazon sales rank can be one measure but there are deficiencies with that because of all the other avenues of obtaining the book (many for free).

There are some other interesting public indicators out there like using Google Trends in various ways and using the published page view statistics that wikipedia has.

For instance, take the word "dianetics". Like the word "urantia", it has only one specific meaning and context, is also for a book, and is also associated as a key indentifying word of a new religious movement. I find it interesting that for all the advertising, proselytizing, and very public pushing of the book by a dedicated well-funded organization with millions (billions?) of dollars, under the radar "urantia" quietly and steadily has become more and more searched out on google. For a long time it has been searched more than "dianetics" worldwide but a lot of this could be attributed to the strength of interest in Spanish speaking countries for the Urantia Book, most likely due to the JJ Benítez books:

http://www.google.co...ianetics&cmpt=q

What's pretty interesting is that even just in the U.S., where "dianetics" should be stronger, now for the past 4 years more people on the internet have searched for "urantia" than "dianetics" on google:

http://www.google.co.....09 49m&cmpt=q

Google Trends shows an overall gradually lowering volume of searches for both but you can also see that trend with other words like "Koran". Who knows, maybe it's from people shifting toward Bing, Facebook or other places for searches.

Meanwhile people looking for info go to wikipedia, these are the number of page views for the Urantia article each January for the past few years (to show the general year-over-year trend) --

Jan 2010: ~8,360 page views (2 days of data missing, so normalized it to be for 31-month day)
Jan 2011: 11,049
Jan 2012: 13,399
Jan 2013: 16,257

Doubling in 4 years seems to be heading in a good direction. :)

#18 Rick Warren

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 04:59 PM

I think it's a valid question for each person to ask of themself whether the way they spend their time is best or not, it's hard not to do this day in day out, not just on the UB topic but on any given topic. I personally don't participate in forums that much because I think there are more fruitful ways for me to spend my time but that's just me. I'm glad others are avid posters and participants on forums like this, it's one of the few ways to get a sense of broader community among readers.

On the original point though of the thread, UB sales, and more generally, indicators of its popularity or obscurity, I think amazon sales rank can be one measure but there are deficiencies with that because of all the other avenues of obtaining the book (many for free).

There are some other interesting public indicators out there like using Google Trends in various ways and using the published page view statistics that wikipedia has.

For instance, take the word "dianetics". Like the word "urantia", it has only one specific meaning and context, is also for a book, and is also associated as a key indentifying word of a new religious movement. I find it interesting that for all the advertising, proselytizing, and very public pushing of the book by a dedicated well-funded organization with millions (billions?) of dollars, under the radar "urantia" quietly and steadily has become more and more searched out on google. For a long time it has been searched more than "dianetics" worldwide but a lot of this could be attributed to the strength of interest in Spanish speaking countries for the Urantia Book, most likely due to the JJ Benítez books:

http://www.google.co...ianetics&cmpt=q

What's pretty interesting is that even just in the U.S., where "dianetics" should be stronger, now for the past 4 years more people on the internet have searched for "urantia" than "dianetics" on google:

http://www.google.co.....09 49m&cmpt=q

Google Trends shows an overall gradually lowering volume of searches for both but you can also see that trend with other words like "Koran". Who knows, maybe it's from people shifting toward Bing, Facebook or other places for searches.

Meanwhile people looking for info go to wikipedia, these are the number of page views for the Urantia article each January for the past few years (to show the general year-over-year trend) --

Jan 2010: ~8,360 page views (2 days of data missing, so normalized it to be for 31-month day)
Jan 2011: 11,049
Jan 2012: 13,399
Jan 2013: 16,257

Doubling in 4 years seems to be heading in a good direction. :)


Fascinating, thanks for breaking silence. Google Trends, what a great service, as is Wikipedia.

#19 -Scott-

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:42 PM

Well Scott, let me (finally) disagree with you as well. Uplifting the 5th Epochal Revelation gifted to us here and now and personally and globally, makes the learning and the teaching and the sharing of its contents, meanings, applications, and results SERVICE. Loving, selfless, outward focused, tender, kind service. And those who make the time and commitment to teach me are REVERED by me and loved by me for their endless service. Do you not think those who have committed a decade of their life to make this site a reality a service to Father and His children?? How many souls have found a nurturing encouragement here? How much time do you think Bro Rick spends a day on OPAD and the TB&G, etc.? Every day for year after year. What an example of supreme devotion to others and the work of our Father. He is hardly alone. Does anyone know how many souls work how many hours every day of every year to bring the Revelation to its audience and do so sweetly, fraternally, expertly, with scholarship and comraderie?? I've been around awhile in many venues, including many UB venues and groups and efforts. This site and these folk are a bright beacon of light on a high hill. We cannot judge what path and task Father puts before any other. We each have our own way and contribution. I'm but a grunt in the foxhole or the man with shovel standing in ditch. We are called to build the Garden and the Temple to come. I wonder if we understand the foundation building and canal digging and work to come so we can see the work at hand to do now?? There are those who give books, or host study groups, or organize conferences, or write articles, or make beautiful artwork, or...or....or....or.....or....or. It is unbecoming to any believer to criticize another for their what, when, how, why, who of personal love and service. Pardon my irritation as it is certainly not triggered by you or anything you've said but I do disagree that there is not relationship here or service here as Jesus would describe it. Poppycock. But I do love your ink blot metaphor....for it is by this triangulation of perspective that I have learned far more here in the past year than decades before. Love you dude....hope you take this as friendly disagreement for it is nothing more than that. ;)


I am just saying there is a difference between service, and personal service. I do not not see posting on these forums as personal service which IMO is essential. I agree that participating in these forums is still doing some sort of service and that doing something of service is usefull. I just don't think its possible to perform personal loving service over the interwebs. Its nothing personal against anyone, its just how I feel about the internet in general, its a great tool but to a degree it seperates us personally. I think I speak for most people in saying it would be great to actually go out and take these concepts and use them in real life situations instead of just posting them on the interweb. Which I am sure most people here are doing anyways. No offence taken :). I think me and you are both grunts here haha. I just hope one day I can take my shovel and use it to effect people in the world of the living haha.

Edited by -Scott-, 21 March 2013 - 06:45 PM.

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#20 Absonite

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 06:55 PM

-Scott- do you realize that admitting you don't think it's possible to perform personal loving service over the "interwebs" reflects you and whatever you share here?

You've just affirmed that you feel separated from us personally, and affirmed that whatever you share here (although something of a service) is not done to offer personal loving service, because you think doing so (offering personal loving service) here is impossible - for you.

Yes.
For you.

Regardless of why you might think that no one else can do it just because you cannot do it - just focusing on the fact of what you think is not possible with regard to performing personal loving right here and now - why you are here engaging all these conversations?


Very seriously:


Since you realize this for yourself -

Since you cannot fathom how it's possible to perform personal loving service here online - and

Since you know that we're all supposed to be striving to do that (performing personal loving service to the best of our abilities in whatever way(s) we can) -


- then why exactly are you not totally devoting your efforts in the realm (offline) where you feel that you actually can fulfill the mandate of offering personally loving service to others?

Edited by Absonite, 21 March 2013 - 09:58 PM.





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