Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

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Todd Karr
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Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Todd Karr » January 29th, 2010, 3:56 pm

Hi, everyone:

Now you can save $50 off our forthcoming book, Martin Gardner's Impromptu, if you order this week! Normal price is $150 but you can save $50 if you pre-order now for only $100...but it's for one week only, so order now.

Martin Gardner's Impromptu is finally arriving later in 2010 and will be worth the long wait. You'll get the thousands of original items in Gardner's original book...instant effects with scores of everyday objects. Plus, Martin's granted us access to his files of new material, and we've added new period illustrations as well as Michael Weber's commentaries throughout the book. An endless source of great magic, ideas, and fun!

(Note: This is our beautiful regular edition. The limited edition is sold out.)

Visit The Miracle Factory Martin Gardner's Impromptu page to order!

Best wishes,
Todd
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Todd Karr » January 29th, 2010, 8:09 pm

Just an added note: I'm expecting both the regular and limited edition by this summer or fall at the latest. The final completion date depends on when we complete the layout and receive the rest of the wonderful commentaries by our friend Michael Weber. We're not far from finishing...finally!

Added note to those wondering about our late deliveries: We always finish and deliver our products, and even though we're often poor at estimating exact completion dates, everyone's been happy with the results despite any wait. This year has been especially difficult keeping everything on schedule, and our wonderful customers have been very patient. Up this year is a daunting schedule (Gardner, Nyman, Bloom, Secret Lexicon) but with two new full-time assistants and other business refinements, we're speeding along. If you have ANY concern about an order, please write me at toddkarr@aol.com and I'll take care of you.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Bill Mullins » January 30th, 2010, 12:01 am

Too bad it won't be ready for the 9th Gathering for Gardner -- It'd be a hit there.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » January 29th, 2013, 1:43 am

Since today marks 3 YEARS since the above post soliciting pre-orders for Martin Gardner's Impromptu at $100 apiece was made here at Genii, and very nearly 7 YEARS since $300 deluxe edition orders were taken, I'd like to invite Todd Karr to provide an honest, informative, detailed status update on this book.

Specfic questions:

1) How close to ready was this book on Feb 28, 2006, when the $300 deluxe edition was offered for sale by email and at MiracleFactory.net?
2) How close to ready was this book in January 2010, when these $100 orders were solicited here at the Genii Forum?
3) How close to ready is it now, 3 full years after the Genii solicitation and 6 years 11 months after orders were solicited for the deluxe editions?
4) What specific difficulties have blocked this project from completing?
5) What specific steps remain to complete?
6) When do you honestly expect to go to press?
7) Given that the pre-sale monies (including the $300 deluxe edition orders taken back in 2006; 125 x $300 = $37,500) are presumably long spent and gone, will you actually have enough cash available to pay the printer to print these books?

[Archived webpage from April 2006]

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » January 29th, 2013, 2:26 am

I paid $300 for a Limited Edition on April 25th,.....wait for it.....2007

Almost 6 years.

wtf

??????

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » January 29th, 2013, 2:32 am

Disclaimer:
I've complained and he's given me some free ebooks but that's not what I paid for and not what I want. I want the damn book. He puts out some great products but I'm not feeling the love on this one.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Charles Spector » January 29th, 2013, 12:54 pm

I received a refund after about 3 or 4 emails. The going back and forth over free stuff, etc. It came down to "I want my refund. This is the last email you will receive from me." and I got my refund with, what I believe was a sincere apology. Personally, I think he is honest to the extent of publishing it, but I think he is in way over his head.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » January 29th, 2013, 1:18 pm

I don't think he's a thief either. I have had long delays waiting for other orders to be filled but not like this. As I told him after several unanswered emails, "You have great products but your customer service sucks."

Six years (for me, almost seven for others)....seriously?

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby the Larry » January 29th, 2013, 2:02 pm

Mark, including inflation and time value of money you probably paid $400 by now. I wonder how many who have pre-paid have already died. Perhaps a new strategy in the making ...

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 29th, 2013, 3:11 pm

"I wonder how many who have pre-paid have already died."

Never thought about that.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » February 28th, 2014, 12:48 pm

Happy anniversary!

Eight (8) years ago today, on 28 February 2006, Miracle Factory's Todd Karr sent out his first email announcement and began accepting advance money for the $300 deluxe edition of Martin Gardner's Impromptu.

Eight years.

He pre-sold all 125 copies of that deluxe edition. 125 * $300 = $37,500.

Over those eight years he additionally pre-sold an unknown number of the regular edition, sometimes at $125, sometimes at $100 (right here in this thread).

No book has been published.

Happy anniversary.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Zig Zagger » February 28th, 2014, 1:05 pm

Sad story indeed!

And probably a sure winner for another Houdin Award or what not, for the longest running pre-sale announcement in recent magic history.

Glad that I saved more than 50$ by not jumping on that train! Luckily I found an original copy for less than 70$ some time ago.

Alas, as we all know, there are huge differences between impromptu, improvised and unprepared magic. Which may apply to publishing, too.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 28th, 2014, 1:34 pm

I asked Todd about the status of this book at Magic Live! last August. He said that he is making progress and hopes to have the book out this year.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » February 28th, 2014, 2:49 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I asked Todd about the status of this book at Magic Live! last August. He said that he is making progress and hopes to have the book out this year.


He said that (in this thread) over 4 years ago and has been saying some version of 'within a year' ever since. Is there some reason to believe that this time is different?

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 28th, 2014, 2:56 pm

I can't answer that question.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Todd Karr » February 28th, 2014, 6:56 pm

Hi, everyone

First of all, the book is coming out, and anyone who's written for a refund or explanation for their preorder has been personally taken care of.

Obviously, predicting completion dates amidst an overloaded publishing schedule (Gaetan Bloom, Andy Nyman, Shakespeare, Cardini, 60 DVDs and CDs, 200 ebooks, a dozen effects, and one Erdnase Scroll) was not the easiest path to choose.

And The Secret Lexicon simulataneously. Yes, a mindreading dictionary, created from scratch. These are not the simplest projects imaginable.

You've seen the meticulous care that goes into the 7000+ pages I've published. It is indeed a very long wait. But Martin deserves an unmatched blazingly wonderful final work.

Impromptu will be killer, and it will be worth the wait.

So what's the status? If you were a Miracle Factory customer, you'd know.

You would have seen a sample PDF chapter filled with Martin Gardner's sketches, notes, new tricks, and gorgeous vintage illustrations.

You would know that the book is not just looking beautiful, but also that it's going to be almost twice as large as the original, filled with previously unknown effects by dozens of eye-popping names.

You'd be aware that Mark Setteducati heads the Gathering for Gardner and will be doing the intro, and that Michael Weber says he's proceeding on commentaries.

You would have also received hundreds of dollars in free ebooks of your choice as a thank you for your patience (and lost interest) during the long wait.

The Gardner estate and others involved and I are in communication, and love the color pages that have been added.

Everyone will get their book.

I told the aging Jay Marshall that I hoped he would be able to see it. He said, "Hurry!"

I'm hurrying.

I won't be responding further on this thread, but feel free to write me at toddkarr@aol.com

Love and peace,
Todd

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » February 28th, 2014, 7:32 pm

Thank you for the update Todd.

I am a customer of The Miracle Factory and I've bought several of your books. I have received some ebooks but not the preview chapter you mentioned. It's encouraging to see you respond here. If I didn't believe the book would eventually come out and be very well done, I would have asked for a refund a long time ago.

In the seven years since I preordered the deluxe version I have received one single update where you offered some ebooks, which I took advantage of and I thank you for that.

I look forward to receiving the book. Hopefully, it will be this year.

I wish you well.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » February 28th, 2014, 11:42 pm

Todd Karr wrote:I told the aging Jay Marshall that I hoped he would be able to see it. He said, "Hurry!"

I'm hurrying.

I find this part baffling.

Jay Marshall died nine years ago.

Does this mean we'll all likewise be dead before these books are delivered?

I just can't wrap my brain around taking approximately $40,000 from people without the book ready for press, let alone with the special matter of the book nowhere close to finished and dependent on someone else to be written.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Charles Spector » March 1st, 2014, 11:34 am

I requested a refund after a few emails. After what I thought were excuses he explained he is a "one man show," apologized, and gave me the refund. I suggest that if anybody has any problems with waiting that they should ask for a refund.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » March 1st, 2014, 3:18 pm

If I had paid for a regular edition, I would have asked for a refund years ago because I could still buy the book when/if it finally comes out. However, I paid for 1 of 125 deluxe editions and I would rather have the book than a refund.

I think it would be reasonable for Todd to offer a refund with the option of repaying when it is ready to ship. If the book comes out this year, the point is moot but there is ample reason to remain skeptical.

Miracle Factory has put out some really great books. I have bought several of them and likely will buy more. I can't imagine I will ever preorder form him again.

I said I wish Todd well and I do. I hope the book gets shipped and I hope it is fantastic. I hope he continues to put out great books. But with the history of unanswered emails and the unacceptable long wait for this book, I make no apology for expressing my frustration in this public forum.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 1st, 2014, 3:29 pm

It has actually been quite a few years since Miracle Factory put out a new book. The last was Andy Nyman, and that must be three or four years ago now. (It appears to me that the Gaeton Bloom books were essentially published by Kevin James.)

Books take a huge amount of work. I know it as well as anyone as I finish the writing of the Tenyo book next week. After a year of four trips to Japan, hundreds of hours of interviews, and hundreds of emails, I've written a manuscript that is 328,000 words and over 800 pages long. I believe the new version of the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic is of similar size.

Having once taken money long in advance of certain publication and been on the receiving end of many deservedly irate letters and phone calls (thank the lord it was before the internet), I made the decision never to do it again. Most independent publishers go through something like this at least once. My sympathies are with Todd as he tries to dig himself out of the hole he's in.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » January 21st, 2015, 1:15 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:I asked Todd about the status of this book at Magic Live! last August. He said that he is making progress and hopes to have the book out this year.

Tick Tock

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » March 17th, 2015, 4:55 pm

Michael Weber's name has been removed from the book description at Miracle Factory's website.

http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/inde ... ucts_id=78

$40,000+ worth of this book was pre-sold as:

Featuring Commentaries by Michael Weber
[...]
Commentaries throughout by Michael Weber
[...]
we've added new period illustrations as well as Michael Weber's commentaries throughout the book.


Without the Weber commentary throughout, this is drastically different than the book that Todd Karr pre-sold for more than $40,000.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Bill Mullins » March 17th, 2015, 5:44 pm

The sample chapter he released in late 2013 didn't have anything that was obviously from Weber.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » March 17th, 2015, 6:14 pm

This is looking like a nine-year long, $40,000+ Bait & Switch.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 17th, 2015, 7:34 pm

He will refund the money of anyone who asks. So, if you're that unhappy, ask for a refund!
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » March 17th, 2015, 8:35 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:He will refund the money of anyone who asks. So, if you're that unhappy, ask for a refund!


I think that is a fair point. I also think it's fair to continue to hold his feet to the fire. He told you it would be out by the end of last year.

He's still taking pre-publication orders and has quietly taken away one of the incentives that he used to get many people to plunk down their money so long ago.

I think Ted M also raises a fair point.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 17th, 2015, 10:54 pm

It's a pity that all the Weber material is gone.
Or ...
I wonder if Todd Karr ever actually had the Weber material in his possession, or he's been waiting for years for delivery of it and that's what the hold up has been. Maybe Todd's decided to stop waiting and decided to finally proceed without it.
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Ted M » March 17th, 2015, 11:32 pm

Hey, if we're speculating...

Maybe Todd K never paid Weber for the annotations, and Weber eventually told him to screw off.

In any case, it's the Weber material that would've made this book different and better than the original. Now this looks like nothing but a fancy expensive reprint.

This is a different and vastly inferior book than the one people paid for.

Recalling the bank failures of the Great Depression, anybody seeking a refund might want to be first in line as opposed to last.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Mark Collier » March 17th, 2015, 11:52 pm

I asked Michael Weber about this at Magic Apple's "A Day of Lectures" a couple of years ago. He told me he had given all of his notes to Todd Karr already. That's what I remember anyway.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Bill Mullins » March 18th, 2015, 12:16 am

Ted M wrote: In any case, it's the Weber material that would've made this book different and better than the original. Now this looks like nothing but a fancy expensive reprint.


I don't believe this is completely true. Karr always said that the new one would have Weber commentary and additional material from Gardner which he (MG) had accumulated since the publication of the original book (just as the original book had new material beyond that which was originally written up in Hugard's Magic Monthly). And the sample material Karr sent out in 2013 bore this out -- there was significant new content credited to Gardner's additional files and notes.

Should the book ever come out, I'm sure I'll be pleased with the contents (the timeline, not so much . . . ).

Mark Collier wrote:I asked Michael Weber about this at Magic Apple's "A Day of Lectures" a couple of years ago. He told me he had given all of his notes to Todd Karr already. That's what I remember anyway.


This is pretty much what he said to me at the Erdnaseum in 2011.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 18th, 2015, 2:12 am

If Weber already gave Karr the material, then there's no excuse I can think of that it's not in the book.

It's true that Martin collected a large file of material to add to the book, so the new edition will not be merely a reprint, but a greatly enlarged edition. Once the book is actually on the market, I will certainly buy a copy. The original is one of the great literary treasures in our field.
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Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby John McDonald » March 18th, 2015, 2:38 am

Would've been great with Weber commentary.
Best John

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby erdnasephile » March 18th, 2015, 6:24 am

I emailed Mr. Karr. He says the Weber material is in the book, the edits are done, and the layout is in progress. He is hopeful the book will see print in the next few months. He also offered me a refund if I needed it. (I do not know why the ad was changed).

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Joe Mckay » March 18th, 2015, 9:09 am

Maybe the ad was changed because Weber was tired of people asking him for the latest update on the project?

I asked him about this about 3 years ago and he also said that he had already sent all his notes to Todd. And was himself waiting as much as anyone else for it to see publication. Weber pointed out that he was particularly sad that the book was never printed before Gardner's death.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 18th, 2015, 11:12 am

erdnasephile, why didn't you ask him why Weber's name was removed from all promotional material?
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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby erdnasephile » March 18th, 2015, 11:22 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:erdnasephile, why didn't you ask him why Weber's name was removed from all promotional material?


I should've asked--was time pressed and forgot to ask.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Rigonally » May 6th, 2015, 12:56 pm

Another year and no book.

Does anybody actually believe that this book will see the light of day?

Has anybody received a refund?

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Charles Spector » May 7th, 2015, 10:45 am

I received a refund after several requests and his offers to give me free stuff. I took the refund.

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Re: Save $50 on Martin Gardner's Impromptu

Postby Rigonally » May 7th, 2015, 11:06 am

Charles,

Do you think we will ever see the book? When did you first pre-order?


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