ProductsQ: Do you have student reps at the schools where your products are sold? We do not have student reps, which are regulated on most campuses. During our annual pre-order sale, we do work with customer service affiliates called Student Associates (SA) to assist us. They do not take orders or distribute our products on campus like student reps but rather are there to answer questions. We have SAs at most of the naturopathic schools.Q: Do you do group orders? My classmates and I want to order a large number of study materials or textbooks.WBP does not do group orders of study materials. Why? First, medical school programs generally have constraints about the gathering of personal and financial information about their students, as well as constraints on financial transactions that occur on campus.
Second, it is time-consuming and stressful for the student who organizes the group order -- far more than they could ever anticipate. Unless the individual is organized, detailed oriented, and has extra time on their hands, the potential for an unpleasant experience is significant.
Finally, the expense of packing, organizing, and shipping a group order, in addition to logistical headaches like finding an address where a large, expensive order worth hundreds of dollars can be safely shipped, make group orders unprofitable for us.
The only author that is allowing group orders of their textbook(s) is Dr. Yarnell. Please contact him if you are interested in pursuing this further. Q: I understand that Healing Mountain Publishing (HMP) closed down in part due to slumping sales and decrease demand for printed materials, as well as increased costs for printing and shipping. Will you be offering printed study materials for the foreseeable future? We will be offering printed study materials for as long as there is a demand for them. By that we mean: for as long as students are interested in buying them at a level that can sustain our business. If the student community loses interest in buying printed study materials, they will vanish - just like HMP.
HMP's business model was based on printed materials, so rising printing and shipping costs were a major challenge for them. Our business model is different in some significant ways, one of which is that we offer online subscriptions. We are optimistic that this "hybrid" model will be more successful in the current business environment we are all operating in.
Study MaterialsQ: When does the annual pre-order sale happen? The annual pre-order sale is the period of time when WBP provides our printed study materials to our customers at a discounted price. Our subscriptions are typically not discounted. The timing and length of time we offer this opportunity changes from year to year but it typically occurs in March.
Please note that this is a pre-order sale, which means the study materials are still in production when the sale starts. It takes a minimum of three weeks to print them, and then they will ship out to you. This helps control costs and that savings is passed on to you, which is the reason the study materials are discounted. If this doesn't work for you, please wait a month and order at the end of April, when the orders will ship out within three days. You will pay full retail at that time, however. Q: Does the content of the manuals and flashcards change from year to year? Are the updates extensive? This is a very good and important question.
Updating the printed study materials is a very expensive and time consuming process. The manuscripts have to go through an extensive editorial process, after which they are re-typeset and reviewed by the printer. Clearly it is not in the best interest of the publisher to do this unless they can recoup their costs through sales of their product.
On the other hand, our customers have told us they would like the study materials updated annually and extensively. Finding a balance between these two important considerations is quite difficult. In talking to the former staff of Healing Mountain Publishing (HMP), this is a key area they wished they had done a better job working with.
WBP has a different orientation than HMP did. It sees its future primarily in the digital area, since that is where education and exam preparation is going. Like integrative health care, however, it sees value in both the contemporary and traditional publishing models.
For these reasons, the content of the printed study materials change as the content of the NPLEX blueprints and the demands of exam preparation change. WBP has no control over the content or changes to the NPLEX blueprint and therefore we cannot predict from year to year how much change will occur within any particular manual or flashcard set.
As to the extensiveness of the updates, there is no way for us to determine what is essentially a personal and subjective assessment. It is up to each individual student to decide how significant that update is relative to his or her study needs. Q: When do the new WBP study materials come out every year?The new study materials typically come out in March.Q: Will the WBP study materials cover everything I need to know on the NPLEX board examinations? The short answer is: no. The longer answer is that no reputable publisher would claim that they can provide everything necessary to address a major board examination. As with all board examination agencies, NPLEX/NABNE is continually upgrading and evaluating the naturopathic board examinations. For this reason, there is no way for us to anticipate what will be on the examinations during any given year. Q: How do Wild Brilliance Press materials differ from the NPLEX/NABNE blueprint?The NPLEX/NABNE blueprint is a listing of all possible topics that can be on the NPLEX/NABNE board examinations. WBP study materials "flesh out" the blueprint by providing information about these possible topics. Please note that WBP does not guarantee that every question/topic on the board examinations will be in the study materials. We make an educated guess based on historical evidence and the current blueprint, but sometimes non-obvious materials are added to the boards that we could not have anticipated.Q: Not to be rude, but how do you justify the prices of your printed study materials?No offense taken.
This is an important question that gets asked frequently because most people have little experience with the publishing industry.
To give some historical background, we received our printed study materials from Healing Mountain Publishing (HMP). HMP went under, despite what some considered to be high prices, because even at those prices it could not keep up with rising labor, shipping, fulfillment, and printing costs.
HMP did its best at trying to balance keeping its customers happy while dealing with the financial realities and rising cost of publishing. Underpricing its products (relative to its cost) contributed to its going out of business.
HMP (and we) do not have the resources and economies of scale that Thieme, Elsevier, and other large corporate publishing houses have. HMP (and we) was serving a small, specialized group: naturopathic students preparing for the NPLEX. That's about 1000 students a year. Printing a smaller number of books makes our manuals more expensive compared to mass-market books from very large publishing houses geared to a larger audience. In addition, HMP was reliant on this tiny student market for its existence, a market that historically does not have much in the way of disposable income.
Our business model at WBP is somewhat different. We are neither completely dependent on print-based products, nor are we fanatically attached to having those products. As noted above, naturopathic board exam preparation is a very specialized market – one that most companies to date cannot survive in. The cost of our study materials include not just paper and ink, but the effort of authors, editors, graphic designers, and others. We are striving to deliver quality materials geared toward NPLEX success with a minimum of overhead, while meeting our obligations to everyone who came together to create these books.
We are attempting to provide print-based study materials because there is currently a demand. However, we are not inclined to make the same mistakes that put HMP out of business. In order for this resource to survive, it needs to be able to cover its costs. WBP is not a huge, monolithic corporation. It is basically three of your colleagues working diligently to advance naturopathic education in a small but useful way. We are not seeking to get rich – we simply want this resource to be sustainable. Otherwise, there is little reason not to invest our time more fully in our private practices.
It is always your choice whether to buy print study materials or not. If enough students continue to purchase the print study materials, they will continue to exist. And if enough students do not buy them, they will go away. Just like HMP. Because that is the reality of business, both in publishing and in private practice.
Q: Are there other NPLEX board exam resources we can check out?
Dr. Chris Habib's site has gotten good reviews. Check it out: passnplex.com
SubscriptionsQ: What if I am not happy with my subscription? As per our Terms and Conditions, if for any reason within the first 2 days of purchasing a subscription you are dissatisfied with the Service, you can request a full refund. Q: Is any of the content in the subscription area downloadable? None of the content in the subscription area is downloadable. Clearly if that was the case, our business would not last very long.
One of our authors actually had an experience where one person shared a digital copy of her manual without her knowledge or consent. The shared copy then was passed around and, within a year, it had been widely disseminated. Our author basically had to start from scratch, because a retail version of her work was no longer possible. This meant that many, many hours of work were lost and the income stream it would have represented went up in smoke.
Perhaps the saddest aspect of this incident was that the person who pirated her work was a colleague. Q: I would like the option of picking and choosing which digital resources I subscribe to. For example, I would like to access the Clinical Botanical Medicine text and the NPLEX I material, but not the Dr. Journal Club or the NPLEX II Material. Is that possible? In order to provide the best quality control we could at this phase of our development, we constrained the subscription packages to ones available on our website. By doing so, it is easier for our developers to troubleshoot any problems.
We certainly would like to provide an “a la carte” experience for our customers. The programming fees to do that, however, would cost several hundreds of dollars. If the subscriptions are successful, and can support the additional programming costs, we hope to be able to offer this option in the future. Q: Is the information contained in the subscription packages available to me at any time during the subscription period, or is it released on a time table (for example, every week or month)? The totality of the subscription information is accessible during the period of the subscription. It is not "metered out" on some sort of schedule. We are continuing to add content to the subscriptions as well as improving the experience of accessing it. Q: Do you suggest I purchase my subscription early or wait until the year I take the board exams? NPLEX/NABNE is continually making changes to the board exams. For that reason, we would suggest you wait until the year you will be doing the board exams to purchase your manuals and subscriptions. The flashcards, however, can be helpful at any time.