New Vernon book, poor indexing

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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/16/09 09:46 PM

I just received the new L&L Pub Vernon book, "The Essential Dai Vernon." It's a great, of course but....

The book has no overall table of contents.
The book has no index.
The table of contents for each section lacks page numbers. For example it reads, "Chapter Five - Three Ball Transposing" without any page numbers!
Each book reprint has it's own table of contents, there are five chapter one's.

The book is over 1100 pages long, an index and master table of contents would have been really helpful!
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Postby the Larry » 07/17/09 06:56 AM

I guess all they did was slap the individual books together for a quick profit. You are so much better off buying the individual books than this unusable hunk of pulp.
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Postby Chris Deleo » 07/17/09 08:56 AM

it must weigh a ton....how does one handle it? Is the binding secure enough to last?
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Postby DrDanny » 07/17/09 09:00 AM

the Larry wrote:I guess all they did was slap the individual books together for a quick profit. You are so much better off buying the individual books than this unusable hunk of pulp.

You're surprised? Has L&L ever done anything but ship camera-ready material to the bindery?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/17/09 11:04 AM

Yes they have: the Jennings, Vernon, Elmsley, and Cervon books (just as examples) were all jobs done from scratch.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/17/09 12:20 PM

The book binding is excellent especially for a 2.5" thick book. Excellent quality binding, it lays flat with ease.

Did L&L just slap together a bunch of books to make one big one? Yes! But they did more than that... L&L also discontinued some of the individual books. For example L&L no longer published the Leipzig and Malini books, the only way you can now get the Leipzig and Malini books is to purchase the gigantic new compilation book.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/17/09 12:41 PM

I need to qualify my 1st post.

First of all...
- The book has NO master table of contents.
- The book has No index.

Some of the individual books retain their original pagination, some do not. There is no overall pagination for the book.

For example the last page in the book has a page number of, "26." This is because the last section of the book is, "Symphony of the Rings" which has 26 pages. In fact page 26 is found on about page 1100.

So here is a summary of the pagination:
"Dai Vernon Scrapbook" - No table of contents, true pagination, in other words page 60 is actually the 60th page.

"Dai Vernon Book of Magic" - Table of contents for this book contains no page numbers. The pagination of this section is off set by 76 pages, so page 21 is found on the 97th page in the book.

"Inner Card Trilogy" - Each book in this trilogy has it's own independent pagination. The pagination of, "Inner Secrets (1959) is off set by 313 pages, in other words page one is found on the 314th page of the book, however it's no too confusing because the table of contents shows a page numbers relative to the actual number found on the bottom of the page.



The poor pagination, the lack of a master table of contents, and the lack of an index shows a complete lack of care by L&L.
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/17/09 01:20 PM

Keeping the original pagination makes good sense to me because it lets you cite the material in a way that is useful regardless of what edition someone has.

You're on the phone brainstorming with a friend, and you have the separate editions and they have the compilation, it is enormously helpful to be able to say "it's on page 26 of Inner Secrets." Rather than hearing "it's on page 1100" and having to figure out what entry they're looking at.

Likewise, all of the citations in Giobbi's Card College remain accurate for users of the compilation.

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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/17/09 06:21 PM

Nathan has this exactly right.

During the planning of this volume (which I'm proud to say that I was a part of), a number of pagination schemes were discussed. However, several on the advisory team cautioned about repagination making the references to the Vernon books in other volumes (such as Card College) invalid. It was finally decided to leave the page numbering the way it was.

It is everyone's right, of course, to disagree with the final decision to leave the books as they were (and if we did repaginate, that would almost certainly cause a new set of critics to get their skirts in a bunch, too) but to say that this new volume "shows a complete lack of care by L&L," or that all L&L did was "slap the individual books together for a quick profit" is simply conjectured nonsense.

I personally spent hours proofreading just the scrapbook section alone. We then incorporated even more suggestions from David Ben, Stephen Minch and others. It was a massive task for all concerned.

So, to summarize, you're wrong. Deal with it.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/17/09 08:33 PM

The scrapbook section is fantastic, without a doubt. The photos of Vernon's close up case and the collection of his silhouette cuttings are amazing!

I'm just used to books with normal pagination. I guess without normal pagination an index and master table of contents would be impossible which explains why they are lacking.
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Postby Roger M. » 07/17/09 09:39 PM

It was easily solvable, on each page of the new book the original pagination could have easily been followed by a master pagination in brackets.
A master index and master table of contents could easily have referenced these bracketed master page numbers.

It was extra work that wasn't done for whatever reasons publishers don't do these little extra pieces of work that compliment the customers enjoyment of the book.

Further, not doing something as per the above in order to appease folks who have Card College or other books that reference these Vernon editions seems somewhat misplaced. The concept of making the purchaser of this books life difficult in order to make the owner of another set of books easier is..........well, odd.

The hallmarks of a quick job are on this release, whether they should be or not.......they seem to be there.

It was doable, it just wasn't done.
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Postby NCMarsh » 07/17/09 11:14 PM

The concept of making the purchaser of this books life difficult in order to make the owner of another set of books easier is..........well, odd.


?!

This is a bizarre, and indecipherable, comment. How would the pagination of this book affect those who don't own it?

The point of the, for example, Card College references being correct is to make the lives of the people who own the new Vernon book easier. You encounter a reference to a Vernon technique while reading Card College, and you want to look it up, because the page number is the one given in Giobbi it is very easy to do.

Those of us using the separate Supreme and L and L editions already have consistent citations, it would be owners of the new edition who would be left out.

Now, keeping the original pagination has nothing to do with not having a master t.o.c. or index -- which I would have expected in such a volume (you can bracket, as mentioned, or just give the title of the work and the page number -- as is done in many compilations). Had I purchased the book, I certainly would be disappointed.

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Postby Roger M. » 07/17/09 11:52 PM

Well Mr. Marsh, I don't own, nor do I ever plan on buying Card College.

I also have NO books in my library of any importance to me which reference the Vernon material by page number and for which I demand INSTANT access, and even if I eventually come across some I'll most definitely have the extra 2 minutes it will take me to figure out where it is in the new book with proper pagination (which of course isn't a worry, as the pagination in the new book is designed as if these are all still separate volumes.....saves time and money don't 'ya know).

Therefore designing the pagination of a book (the new Vernon book) to make it "easier" for those who own Card College (or any other book which references the Vernon material) is a total and complete waste of paper and my time.
Being as this is my opinion, that's all that really matters to me.

A properly considered index, table of contents, and pagination in this new volume would be worlds more assistance to me than this ill conceived layout.

Hardly a bizarre and indecipherable comment as per your rather forward statement. I rather suspect you're a bit of a windbag (either that or you're being willfully obtuse), and looking for a problem where one currently doesn't exist.

Good day to you.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 07/18/09 12:08 AM

I don't understand this commentary about a work that's already published as if someone would say "okay..." and all the copies would just change into hypertext.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/18/09 12:51 AM

Jonathan Townsend wrote:I don't understand this commentary about a work that's already published


I hope that my comments may be helpful to:
#1- People who are interested in buying this book.
#2- Publishers who are considering similar projects in the future.

Who knows?
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Postby Denis Behr » 07/18/09 02:22 AM

Roger M. wrote:It was easily solvable, on each page of the new book the original pagination could have easily been followed by a master pagination in brackets.
A master index and master table of contents could easily have referenced these bracketed master page numbers.

That's certainly the standard way to do projects like this (adding a pagination in brackets). That nobody thought of this is hard to believe.
The lack of a master index is even harder to believe. A real pity.
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Postby erdnasephile » 07/18/09 02:33 AM

Quick question: was the paper this new compilation printed on the nice glossy paper of the reprint of "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic" or the cheaper paper of the "Malini and his Magic" reprint?
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Postby the Larry » 07/18/09 06:36 AM

It is even harder to believe given the high power consultants of Ben, Minch, etc. I think Mr. Sisti is blowing more smoke up the chimney than there is wood buring below.
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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/18/09 10:36 AM

the Larry wrote: I think Mr. Sisti is blowing more smoke up the chimney than there is wood buring below.


And, Mr. Larry (or may I call you "the"?), you would be wrong yet again.
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Postby Roger M. » 07/18/09 10:37 AM

Random explanations as to why a master index, master TOC, and an overall master pagination are not included in this work are exactly what they appear to be......excuses for something that obviously should be there.

It's an error in judgement on the part of the publisher, and customers have caught onto it.

The appropriate statement from the publisher (or his sycophants) is "yes, we should have put in the extra effort, and we're sorry that we didn't".

This is a great project, something for the ages.
A sizable chunk of Vernon's major published works in one place is nothing to sneeze at in terms of importance or value.
Nobody is slamming the concept of the book, quite the opposite in fact.
Folks are wishing this major work contained the basic tools required for a lifetime of reference.

It would seem to have been such an obvious requirement that customers seem only to be asking "why"?.

Perhaps somebody involved with the project will answer with something beyond excuses chalk full of holes and empty references to Card College.

(I also wouldn't for a second accept at face value that Mr. Ben or Mr. Minch "approved" this design or layout without hearing that statement directly from each of them. Obviously Mr. Ben would have to approve of the book project as the executor of the Vernon estate, which doesn't mean he approves of no TOC, index, or pagination).
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/09 11:12 AM

David Ben and Stephen Minch probably had absolutely nothing to do with the physical production of the book. In fact, they might have had nothing to do with it at all except looking over the new scrapbook pages.

I can understand why the publisher might have not done the new pagination, however the lack of a complete table of contents is a mystery.
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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/18/09 11:13 AM

Roger M. wrote:(I also wouldn't for a second accept at face value that Mr. Ben or Mr. Minch "approved" this design or layout without hearing that statement directly from each of them...)


And no one is suggesting that they did. If you'll re-read my initial post more carefully, you'll discover that I was referring specifically to their input regarding the scrapbook section.

Please exercise greater care in future slagging... :)
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Postby Roger M. » 07/18/09 01:57 PM

No need to re-read your post (or for me to exercise greater care) as your choice of punctuation leaves open the possibility that you could have either been referring to the entire book, or just the scrapbook.
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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/18/09 02:18 PM

Hmmm...that's strange. Several that I've corresponded with via e-mail concerning this thread have encountered no difficulty with my meaning.

Also, if you're going to reduce this discussion to matters of punctuation, etc, you might want to check out the following link with regard to your earlier post:

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/chalkfull.html

You take care now, 'kay?
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Postby Roger M. » 07/18/09 03:15 PM

That's spelling Jim, not punctuation.

It's widely said on internet forums when somebody is reduced to correcting spelling errors rather than continuing to make their case, they're simply admitting to having lost the debate.
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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/18/09 03:30 PM

Since you're being a bit anal rententive here, it's grammar, actually, not spelling. You didn't misspell "chock" - you simply used an entirely different (and incorrect) word. Pot...meet kettle.

Nice try, though. Buy a clue, OK?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/09 05:03 PM

Make nice, boys.
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Postby Jim Sisti » 07/18/09 05:11 PM

Daaaad...he started it... :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 07/18/09 05:17 PM

Go to your room.
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Postby Roger M. » 07/18/09 05:22 PM

Can I keep arguing on the computer in my room?

..........kidding :)
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Postby Terry » 07/18/09 06:33 PM

For the complainers on this thread - have you bothered to take your complaints to Louis? Or is complaining on a public forum your only way of doing something?

Conjecture of L&L's business practices is worthless without specific insight which no one but Jim Sisti or Steve P. apparently have.

Don't like the book, put it on ebay.
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Postby Bob Farmer » 07/18/09 07:53 PM

This all suggests that some industrious lad should prepare a small pamphlet which would include and index of the book and a table of contents and a pagination concordance.

Denis Behr where are you when you are needed?
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 07/18/09 10:12 PM

Terry wrote:For the complainers on this thread - have you bothered to take your complaints to Louis? Or is complaining on a public forum your only way of doing something?

I always thought that forums were tailor made for that sort of thing. ;)
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/19/09 12:19 AM

Bob Farmer wrote:This all suggests that some industrious lad should prepare a small pamphlet which would include and index of the book and a table of contents and a pagination concordance.


It would not work because of the way the book is set up, for example there are seven page 20's.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/19/09 12:23 AM

Terry wrote:For the complainers on this thread - have you bothered to take your complaints to Louis? Or is complaining on a public forum your only way of doing something?

Conjecture of L&L's business practices is worthless without specific insight which no one but Jim Sisti or Steve P. apparently have.

Don't like the book, put it on ebay.



#1 - Yes, I've contacted L&L.
#2 - Genii Forum is an appropriate place to post reviews of magic books.
#3 - Love the book, just wish it had a master table of contents, an index, and normal page numbers.
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Postby M. Yandorf » 07/19/09 12:29 AM

erdnasephile wrote:Quick question: was the paper this new compilation printed on the nice glossy paper of the reprint of "The Dai Vernon Book of Magic" or the cheaper paper of the "Malini and his Magic" reprint?


The new Vernon compilation is printed on standard white paper.

The Malini book re-print was printed on a textured heavier paper than this new Vernon compilation. But guess what? The Malini book is out of print, so now the only way to get it from L&L is to buy this new compilation.

Heavier paper would have definitely increased the cost, the weight, and thickness. The book was a bargain, an excellent value for the price, people who pre-ordered it got it for $99 which included shipping!
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Postby rage » 07/19/09 12:51 AM

Two words come to mind when thinking about a project of this nature and how it should be done: Allan Slaight.
with an N
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Postby Denis Behr » 07/19/09 04:56 AM

Bob Farmer wrote:This all suggests that some industrious lad should prepare a small pamphlet which would include and index of the book and a table of contents and a pagination concordance.

Denis Behr where are you when you are needed?

Several of the individual books are already indexed, see HERE. This new volume with the reprints certainly will not be in my database, but I'll add the Malini and Leipzig books in the future. (However, at the moment I'm still stuck in the middle of Greater Magic...)
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Postby David Alexander » 07/20/09 12:24 AM

Professional quality indexing is not cheap. It can be massively time consuming. The index for my Roddenberry bio was, fortunately, limited by contract to $1,500. The bill ran almost $2,000. I was only responsible for the contract limit.

There are a number of professional indexers and a professional society. One service lists the following:

RATES: The usual fee is 60 per index entry. (An index entry is a noun or descriptive phrase followed by one or more page numbers.)

For a rough idea, count the nouns and descriptive phrases in 40 or 50 pages and extrapolate.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 07/20/09 10:15 AM

That's what I should have charged when I indexed all seven of the Tarbell books. HARRY L.
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