Stunners plus.

Instead of mentally projecting your mentalism thoughts, type them here.

Postby C. Hampton » 10/05/02 11:15 AM

I was wondering if any of the readers has acquiered the new version of Stunners, called Stunners plus.
If someones has it, I will appreciate if he/she can give a little review.

Thanks
Carlos Hampton
www.damainquieta.com/conferencias
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Postby Jeffrey Cowan » 10/05/02 06:48 PM

Does anyone beside me take exception to the fact that Larry Becker is republishing a book (for the 2nd time!) despite his representations when he first advertised Stunners that it would be limited to 300 copies (or some number around there). As some of you may recall, the book sold out. Then came the paperback edition. Now, the "plus" edition. So much for exclusivity for those who paid a handsome sum (I think around $250) back in 1993.

Parenthetically, I sent Mr. Becker an e-mail last month asking whether he was going to offer any promotions for those of us who bought the original edition -- which would be the smallest of consolations. Thus far, Mr. Becker has not extended the courtesy of a reply.
-- Jeffrey Cowan
www.cowan-law.com
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Postby Guest » 10/05/02 08:18 PM

I do, Jeffrey. Of course, everyone should have learned their lesson after he promised not to reprint "Book 2". He didn't, though...He printed "The Best of Book 2"!
Most people who bought Stunners, figured it would be more or less exclusive material, and you would never have the chance again. Everyone should know better by now. I have zero interest in anything Becker puts out.
His ads are deceptive, to put it in the most mild of terms.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 10/06/02 06:04 AM

What is the plus?
2 more effects? 5 more? half the book?
I am sure that Larry reads this forum and he can reply.

Maxim
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Postby Doug Brewer » 10/07/02 08:56 AM

I'd be very curious to see what Becker says. He at best, changed his mind after the fact. At worst case, he deceptively marketed this material. You can only jerk your clientele around so long before they catch on to your shananigans. He should just let this material go. If he wants to publish new material with a new title, fine. But to resell this "exclusive" material in a new package over and over is unethical and bad business to us who paid the big bucks.
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Postby Guest » 10/14/02 10:06 AM

You can read more about this book here:

STUNNERSPLUS

-----

"Stunners-Plus!" contains every word of the original "Stunners," including the explanation of Larry's death defying "Russian Roulette", plus new material for a total of more than 100 killer mental routines using books, coins, paper currency, cards, pencils, pens, watches, newspapers, boxes, props, no props, and so much more...

-----

Many of the effects in Larrys videos are found in this book. I have learned several effects from his videos and they are very good.
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Postby Mark Jensen » 10/18/02 09:18 PM

As someone who bought and still has the original Stunners I think Mr. B has placed himself into the same catagory as another Mr. B. :mad:

Of course, with a little justice the Devil will have those 2 spend eternity together ripping each other off and telling Bold Faced Lies!!!

The least Mr. B could do is send all of us original owners a complementary copy of S+

Mark "I'm not goin to take it anymore" Jensen
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Postby Guest » 10/19/02 01:06 AM

Mr. B. posts on the magic cafe.

They have a very good mentalisem forum over there.

Maxim
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Postby Guest » 10/19/02 10:10 AM

I believe a replacement copy would be more in order than simply a free new copy of an expanded edition.

Perhaps Mr. Becker could offer the new edition at a reduced price after the exchange of the original version(s); i.e. mail him "Stunners" and say, $35, and you receive the new copy.

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Mark Jensen » 10/19/02 10:33 AM

So are you saying it is acceptable for Mr. Becker to sell the original book as a limited edition whose material will never be released again and then to go back on his word?

Remember that the original was a limited edition hardcover and cost $235 back in the early 90's. (According to Mr. Becker's web site it has been worth much more in the aftermarket) Now you say that I should give him my hard copy for a soft copy and pay $35 for the privledge? Even by my math that doesn't seem fair, since $270 ($235 + $35)doesn't equal $139.50. If Mr. Becker truely regretted his actions he would take appropriate action to recompense the people who purchased the original from him.

Mark Jensen
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Postby Guest » 10/19/02 10:39 AM

"i.e. mail him "Stunners" and say, $35, and you receive the new copy."

And then he will sell the copy that you sent him
for 200$

:) :( :o :mad: :rolleyes:
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Postby Guest » 10/19/02 01:49 PM

How can Becker EVER put things right? He can't. A lot of people putting up the cash for the original edition, realized it was expensive, but figured they were buying "exclusivity". Because of Becker's own words. Then the soft cover comes along and ruins that. Now another edition comes along. If you bought the hardcover and feel that a free new edition is any kind of compensation, you're wrong. It's the MATERIAL that's getting into everyone's hands now, that you thought was limited. The best thing about buying the book for me was the pleasure I felt when I sold it. Out of my life. One would do far better in my opinion with THEATER OF THE MIND and PARAMIRACLES and MIND, MYTH AND MAGIC. And, I might point out, you can own ALL THREE of these beautiful Hermetic Press hardcover books for what you'd pay for the new edition of "Stunners". Why would anyone support anything Becker does after being treated this way? A lie is a lie is a lie. And another lie is another lie is another lie. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here?
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Postby Andy Hurst » 10/19/02 07:29 PM

Becker is just one of many. It's standard practice these days. Who else bought a copy of the 'limited edition' Swami Mantra for example?

We just need to be aware that in the world of magic "limited edition" means just that. Limited number of THIS EDITION. If there's cash in it, these publishers will reprint, plain and simple.

Andy.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/02 07:23 PM

My Oh My! Sorry I haven't logged on before this. Come to think of it, maybe I should just keep my mouth shut. But, some of you have been kind of vocal about me, my books, my veracity, etc. etc. etc. I don't know you by name, but I note that a Mr. Cowan, Mr. Blaze, Mr. Maxim, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Jensen, Mr. Cambell and Mr. Hurst are all obviously NOT members of my fan club. There's nothing that I can say that would probably make any difference to you...but I WILL say something. To begin, when I published Stunners in 1992 I had no idea what the response would be. I also had a very difficult time trying to price it. The primary reason that I felt the material should be priced higher was because of the value I placed on the material. True, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But, I have purchased many books during my 60 years in magic and mentalism. Most often I was lucky to come away with but one or two effects that I really could use. If I did find something of use, I was generally happy with my purchase. If not, I figured that I has gained a little more knowledge than I had before I read the book. But, on the shelf it went. Tipping the Russian Roulette was something I struggled with on many levels. But, when I decided to include it, I felt that given the success I had with it, perhaps others would value it as much as I did. At any rate, I ordered a thousand books to be printed. But, given the eventual price of $235 (most were sold at the pre-publication price of $215) and the limited size of the mental/magic market...I only had 400 hard bound. That was the limited hard bound edition. I don't have a copy of the letter I sent out to prospective buyers, but I'm sure I wouldn't have promised to never print the material ever again. If someone can send me something to the contrary, I'd be most happy to stand corrected.
In fact, I never thought I'd sell 400 copies at that price. Remember, I didn't write the book for it to become a collector's item. I never thought it would ever be auctioned off for ridiculous prices on eBay. I never thought I'd receive the Milbourne Christopher Foundation Literary Award for it the following year. I'm a mentalist in name only. I wrote the book for the same reasons I wrote three books before it. Because I wanted to share with others like so many others shared with me over sixty years. Can I write a hellava ad? You bet. I made my living at it for 35 years as the creative partner of a NJ advertsing agency. When it came to marketing the book I did it the way I had learned over a career of writing advertising for others. When I discovered that the book was being universally praised, I had a decision to make. Should I have the additional 600 copies bound??? The answer my friends was NO! I decided that the first 400 was, in fact, a limited hardbound edition and should remain that way. I also felt that those who had been willing to spend $200+ for a book should have every opportunity to benefit from that material. I called the printer and asked him to store the balance of unbound books. I paid a monthly storage fee for that for four years. Eventually I decided that the original purchasers had certainly had the material for several years and to ensure that the limited edition stayed that way, I bound the remaining books four years later with soft covers. The softbound edition sold for approximately $100 PP. And like its predecessor sold out after 18 months. During the next few years, I had many, many requests to reprint the book. So 10 years after the first publication I put together what I have called "Stunners-Plus!" It consists of the original Stunners material, plus the material I developed over the 10 year period after Stunners. In addition I included many of my commercial effects. A total of 676 pages. Approximately 300 pages of additional material. I advertised it in several chat rooms and on a new website: ww.stunnersplus.com. The pre-publication price for the US was $125.55. Just $25 more than the 600 softcover copies of Stunners released in 1996.

I can't help what people made out of my efforts to write a book that my peers could benefit from. I never intended it to be a collector's item. As for my honesty, how many creators of magic do you know who sell their effects with a money back guarantee like I do? As for my reputation for honesty and integrity...I'll let those who have known me at anytime over the past 73 years answer that one for me. If any of those who I listed above had taken the time to contact me personally, they would have had this information a hellava lot sooner. But no, they think nothing of slandering and insulting me. And they don't even know me or anything about me. They could care less for my status in this industry, for being a living member of the Society of American Magicians Hall of Fame. And as for Jeffrey Cowan, I did try and respond to him with my pre-publication price and the answer to his his query. But, the e-mail was returned as being undeliverable.

I'm sure that the above will mean little or nothing to the insensitive individuals who so thoughtlessly tried to damage my name and reputation. Perhaps when I can ascertain their credentials and achievements in life I'll have a better understanding of what they're really all about. For those of you who have known me or dealt with me over the years...no explanation is necessary. For those of you who share the feelings of the above...no explanation will do! Im sorry for taking so much of your time with this response and I apologize for not discovering it sooner.
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Postby Guest » 11/01/02 08:36 PM

Posted by Larry Becker:

I don't know you by name, but I note that a Mr. Cowan, Mr. Blaze, Mr. Maxim, Mr. Brewer, Mr. Jensen, Mr. Cambell and Mr. Hurst are all obviously NOT members of my fan club.
Larry:

It's an elite and talented group of fellows you've lumped me in with, but if you carefully read my post you will not find any comment, pro or con, with regard to this Stunning saga. My post was a proposed method to deal with the new edition. In a small sense it could be said I was defending your actions.

If you check your records you will find I am one of the early buyers of "Stunners Plus."

--Randy Campbell
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Postby Guest » 11/01/02 09:21 PM

Sorry Randy. Sometimes in a moment of extreme anger it's difficult to separate the good guys from the not so good guys. You're absolved. Thanks for for trying to help.
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Postby Andy Hurst » 11/01/02 10:39 PM

I wasn't actually trying to come down on you Mr Becker.

The point I was making is that many publishers reprint books that they DID say were going to be limited editions and if you had done the same would you have been any worse than the rest, and assuming you had originally sold Stunners as a limited edition I was pointing out that other people have done the same.

If you didn't originally sell it as a limited edition then I am sorry if my post sounded like an accusation of such.

Andy.
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 01:25 AM

Andy, a limited edition can mean one of several things . Webster defines it as "an issue of something collectible." That was definitely not what I had in mind when I published Stunners in 1992. It goes on to state, "books, prints, medals, that is advertised to be limited to a relatively small number of copies." That is precisely what I did. I produced only 400 hardbound copies of the original Stunners. I have never produced another hard bound edition. Did I say that I would never, ever publish any of the effects in Stunners. Absolutely not. What I did do over the years was to continue improving and fine tuning many of those effects and continued to update them periodically. For example, the original Ultimate Flashback insructions consisted of 14 pages. The current edition contains 28 pages of instruction. And that's only one of many. Regardless, I take great exception to the foul manner in which I was treated on this forum. I'm 73 years old and have no time, patience or inclination to share with people who don't appreciate what I have contirbuted and contiue to contribute to magic and its practitioners for over 60 years and who insult me with thoughtless and baseless accusations. Just who do they think they are to tell me what I can and cannot do with my life's work. Do they really think they bought my soul for a lousey $200?
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 02:45 AM

I am a big fun of you Larry, that's why I ask
all this qustions.
Your post is very long .
Just tell us if we are right or wrong.
(and can I buy just the "plus" ? I have all
the rest...)

Maxim
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 02:54 AM

Why are you talking about the book itself and not the effects?
It would be very bad if this book not get out in print. I use several effects from the Stunners book and they works excellent for me. If Larry has some new effects to publish, then we should be glad that he lets them out in public. I must thank Larry here for his great effects. I enjoy them plus my spectators.
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 08:28 AM

I am not a big fun of you anymore.
All you say is that you are old enough
to do what you do?
It was 250 $ and they were not lousey when
I bought the book

Maxim
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Postby Guest » 11/02/02 09:11 AM

I give up! My first thought was the best. Consider the source and keep my mouth shut! Shame I didn't follow my first instinct. But...better late than never. I'm out of here!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 11/02/02 12:44 PM

Larry,
Sorry you've been roasted here. I think some of our members get carried away at times. The mentalists seem to be a particularly senstive group!
I would hope that you might find time to contribute to some of the other posts: I'm sure that many of the thousands of people who read The Genii Forum could benefit greatly from your life-long experience as a mentalist and performer.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
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Postby Kendrix » 11/02/02 03:42 PM

Larry: I am not a mentalist by any stetch of imagination, but , I attended your seminar in Orlando last year. I told my wife I would go for and hour or two and be home. I was so impressed by you and Lee Earle I stayed for the whole seminar and enjoyed every second of it. What you are seeing, is concern about the further distribution of this killer material. If I had "Stunners", I would want to keep it to myself as well. If it has been 4 years, I feel bringing out "Stunners Plus" is appropriate and I wouldn't give it a second's thought.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/02 03:44 PM

I have been away for a while and so am now just catching up with my reading and as I see this post, I feel compelled to write.

Anyone who complains about Larry becker releasing Stunners-Plus has obviously not read what is in there. Larry is one of the most brilliant thinkers in magic and mentalism today. Just to sit with the man for an hour will show you why. He never stops thinking about ideas and applications, and that goes for improvements too. There are very few men that I know that can do this in our art. Some can take an idea and work it continuously from different angles and aspects like Marlo in magic and Busch in mentalism. Some can clean up effects and ideas like Vernon and others just keep spewing out idea after idea like Harbin and becker. These people are few and far between.

Unlike Harbin's book, which unless you were the forunate few were the only ones to ever get the rights to performing the Zig-zag girl (That's right folks, unless you have that book you are performing a rip off of the effect and likely not performing it the way you should anyway), Larry Becker took a lifetime of incredible, practical effects and released them in a limited form to our community. It sold so quickly that he later (much later) decided to share that information with some more which also was swallowed rapidly.

Now, many years later, as with most creative geniuses, he has worked and reworked much of his successful material as well as thought up even more effects and he has decided to once again share with our community these treasures. Beleive me when I tell you that the new material - imporvements and effects are more than worth the price of the book alone. I for one use many ideas of Larry Becker's and consider myself extremely fortunate for several reasons.

1.) Thank you for sharing those ideas with me Larry so that I could develop them into my own and use them in my professional performances over the years. My growth through both magic and mentalism is greater because you cared enough for sharing those ideas.

2.)Thank you for your continued friendship because you are the definition of a friend and a caring individual that at times, when one questions why they even bother, you show them the "light". I am very fprtunate to have you as a friend and am greater because of it.

Instead of the whining by the few that just like to whine to see their names in print, I suggest that they purchase the newbook and see for themselves what it is all about beforte condemning the actions of a generous individual who has given so much to our community. If you are going to complain about performers, why don't you put your energy somewhere better like towards Ian Rowland.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/ABstagecraft
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Postby Mark Jensen » 11/03/02 07:13 PM

Why is everyone missing the point and defending Mr. Becker's lack of ethics. By his own post above he did not expect to sell all of the original Stunners. Since I am one of the many who purchased it, (from him personnally), I still stand by my statement that he sold the book claiming that the material in it would not be published again. Not an unreasonable statement to make when you don't expect to sell all the copies.

Then he finds that the copies all sold and that their is still demand for it. He then justifies releasing stunners again, by saying that it was only the hardcover that wouldn't be released again. Come On!!! What kind of sales pitch is that? Why would people buy Stunners at that price if they knew a less expensive paperback was coming?

Now with Stunners Plus he is doing it again. If you look at his promo materials he states that it includes the complete text of Stunners...plus more material. I don't have a problem with the more material. It is the unethical behavior with regards to the original Stunners material that I have a problem with.

Personnally, I don't think that Mr. Becker planned to sell Stunners in other forms when he sold the original hardcover. It was later that he started rationalizing it and chose to go back on his word for the additional $$$. That was his choice, but it doesn't make it right.

And the waiting 10 years is just another excuse. 3 editions in 10 years is 2 editions too many.

Mark Jensen
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 05:41 AM

I think that Larry is right.
Sorry for all the attacks

Maxim
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Postby Doug Brewer » 11/04/02 09:35 AM

Mr. Becker (if you're reading this): I think you are missing our point. I don't deny this material in this book is great. I don't deny your years of experience and ingeniuity. In fact, that's why so many of us were willing to pay an exclusive price for the original book. We VALUED your years of experience and reputation enough to pay a lot of money for the original Stunners. Regardless of how Webster defines "limited edition", the book was marketed with the implication that this was an exclusive purchase ("exclusive" meaning if you didn't buy it now, you would not have the chance again). So we paid. We invested a large sum of money (without complaining) because WE placed value on your name. Now you decided to print it again with more material and half the price. I think you can understand our head turn, our surprise and dismay, with YOUR decision to do this. You are a big boy and can make your own decisions. There is no LAW that says you can't do it again - we out here, your former fans - just question whether you SHOULD have done it again. If you had extra material to publish, embellishments on the original material, perhaps you should have marketed this at the people who bought the original book - as an exclusive. You may be surprised to know that WE WOULD HAVE PROBABLY PAID a handsome sum to obtain this material. So you say we who had the actual AUDACITY to complain have hurt your reputation? You are the victim here? Please. I believe we placed more value on your reputation than you did. If it bothers you we called you on it - well, I don't know what to say. If you feel mishandled - well, now you're walking in our shoes.

I'm outta here too.
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 10:45 AM

I have to date published a total of approximately 1500 copies of the original Stunners and Stunners-Plus. The circulation of the three major magic publications runs approximately 8,000 to 10,000 each. Assuming that many subscribers receive all three or at least two of the three, I'd say that the material contained in the original Stunners is a rather small percentage of the total magic market. But, having said that, I do believe everyone is entitled to their opinion as several of you have chosen to express publicly.

In answer to questions regarding whether or not previous owners should, in fact, order the book I publicly stated on the Magic Cafe website that in my opinion (for what that's worth) anyone who had previously purchased Stunners, or the material that made up my Professional Mentalism lecture notes (over a 100 pages) and who have purchased some of my commercial effects over the years...should NOT purchase Stunners-Plus. Frankly, I didn't think owners of the original Stunners would be interested in the new book.

As to whether or not I should have offered a special discount to owners of Stunners...I don't have a list of the people who purchased the original Stunners. So I offered a special pre-publication discount to EVERYONE who wanted to take advantage of it. If anyone, including those who have chosen to question my integrity, had contacted me privately...I would have endeavored to find a compromise.

I'm sorry if some of you feel betrayed by my including the material from Stunners. To you, I APOLOGIZE! I doubt that that makes any difference, but I did not intentionally seek to hurt anyone. And I still haven't seen anything in writing that indicates that I promised NEVER to republish all or portions of the book!!!

But, to everyone who was NOT exposed to my creations...and that means everyone OVER the approximately one thousand people who have had the exclusive use of the material over the past ten years...to you I say, "Stunners-Plus" is now available from me at my website: www.stunnersplus.com.
And when you dive into its 675 pages of material, you are in for the treat of a lifetime!

In answer to Richard's request that I continue to participate in other threads. Absolutely! I've never backed down from a controversary before. Why start now!
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Postby Pete McCabe » 11/04/02 01:19 PM

Does anyone who is here accusing Larry Becker of bad faith have a copy of the advertisement for the original Stunners?

I mean, it seems that every criticism of him in this thread is based on the specific wording of that document, which as far as I can see no one has provided.

What exactly did he say? Am I the only one who thinks this is relevant?
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 02:16 PM

I'm outta here too.
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Postby Matthew Field » 11/04/02 02:43 PM

I bought the original "Stunners" from Larry Becker. I got more than my money's worth. I never expected that Larry would never publish the material in "Stunners" anywhere else ever again.

As far as I am concerned, four years' of exclusivity is a square deal.

I'm interested in the "Plus" part of the package, and I'd love it if that were made available separately, but I remain a "Stunners" fan, and a fan of Larry Becker's as well.

Matt Field
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Postby C. Hampton » 11/04/02 04:50 PM

Mr Becker,

I am duplicating a post that I posted under mentalism performances that apparently you skiped.
I just want to set the record straigh, because I am one of the many that didnt get the chance to get your original stunners and would like to get this edition.
Thank you Mr Hook.

All I am trying is to get information in a respectful way and I ended up being spanked with the rest of the attackers.

At no time Mr. Becker I said anything negative against you or your publication, and in difference of other I have contacted you directly, I think I deserve some credit for that.
Thanks
Carlos Hampton
www.damainquieta.com/conferencias
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 04:55 PM

Carlos. Sorry! I didn't mean to include you in anything. Contact me offline and I'll be delighted to take care of your request. See my last post for additional information even though it doesn't apply to people who don't own the original Stunners.
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 05:02 PM

To all: I truly didn't think it through in the rush to get the book published. However, I have thought it over and if you are a purchaser of the original 350 - 400 (I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast, much less what happened 10 years ago) signed, numbered hardbound edition,I believe I have a possible solution for supplying the additional material contained in Stunners Plus at no additional cost. If you contact me offline I will endevor to work it out. For those who purchased the original softbound edition of Stunners, I have a second alternative. Please contact me offline and I will supply details for that alternative.
For anyone who purchased "Stunners-Plus" even though they already had either the hardbound or softbound copy of the original Stunners and you are not satisfied with your recently purchased copy of Stunners Plus, you may return it to me in the same condition you received it and I will refund your purchase price less the postage. I don't anticipate any returns, but my guarantee stands. This applies ONLY to people who have within the past two months purchased their copy of Stunners Plus from me.

I sincerely belive the above will satisfy anyone who for whatever reason has a problem with my release of the current book. I should have anticipated this, but in the rush to meet my self imposed deadline, I didn't. I wish that I had. But, better late than never.
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Postby Joe M. Turner » 11/04/02 05:30 PM

Wow. Talk about "Ask and you shall receive!"

Looks to me like Mr. Becker is going WAY out of his way to appease anyone who still has any problems with his decisions. That's a pretty generous gesture, from my perspective.

Good on him.

JMT
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Postby Guest » 11/04/02 06:48 PM

Once again Larry, you demonstrate what the word "mensch" means. You are one class act that is very hard to follow!
as always I remain,
PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/ABstagecraft
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Postby Craig Matsuoka » 11/04/02 06:48 PM

Mr. Becker,

Matthew's idea is great. Could you make the additional material available as a separately bound (or downloadable) update?

I, too, bought the original softbound edition when it first came out. As a very happy, very satisfied customer, it's been a pleasure and privilege to have it in my library.

I'm very interested to learn what you've added since the first edition.
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Postby Guest » 11/05/02 04:53 AM

Larry you are great
A nice way to say :" I am sorry but I need the money".

Page 177 Webster's Large Print Dictionary
Limit=The maximum or a minimum number or amount

Sorry 254/R
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Postby Guest » 11/05/02 08:15 AM

Hanan, don't forget my offer applies to you as well. It'll cost you nothing to update your copy of "Stunners." I'm in London too often to take a chance of being run over my a bus.
<grin> <grin>
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