Editorial feedback...?

All beginners in magic should address their questions here.

Postby Guest » 12/21/06 05:17 AM

Hi, I was wondering if anybody could give me some editorial feedback on some magic product reviews I've written? Basically, I'm a former creative writing major and managing editor of a newspaper, and I'm thinking I'd like to take a shot at writing about magic professionally.

I understand that not having a reputation in the magic world might be a hindrance, but since I can't do anything about that overnight I figured I might as well work on my other skills.

In any case, here are a couple of reviews I've written. If there's any chance somebody's got too much time on their hands, would you be able to give them a look at see if they're helpful, or interesting, or at (or close to) a professional standard? Any criticisms would be just as helpful, of course.

Thanks for any help anybody can offer...

Darwin's Encyclopedia of Thumbtip Magic:
http://erlandish.blogspot.com/2006/12/r ... ia-of.html
The Magic of John Ramsay
http://erlandish.blogspot.com/2006/12/r ... amsay.html

PS: Despite being a former editor, I reserve the right to typos. I don't currently have a copyeditor in my employ...

-bd erland
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Postby Guest » 12/21/06 06:49 AM

BD,

I find them thoughtful, balanced, and intelligently written.

The piece on Darwin's Thumb Tip DVDs seemed a little bit heavy-handed with the Penguin prejudice (not that I don't tend to agree, just that I felt it was getting intrusive). But both reviews seemed to give a very fair overview in a very readable style, and your knowledge of the subject matter comes through as well, lending weight to the opinions.

Have you considered submitting reviews to My Lovely Assistant ? They're generally my go-to destination for reviews, and they've got some real talent writing reviews for 'em.

--Josh
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Postby Guest » 12/21/06 07:16 AM

Thanks for the reply. You're right, and I'll keep the comments about the Penguin Magic bashing in mind... certainly if I ever get lucky enough to hook up with a paid writing gig such comments might not be appreciated by the guys in ad sales. I think I was hoping that if my general skepticism of PM was made obvious, it would give the rating some added weight.

My main concern about websites that allow lots of different reviewers is that they usually have some unified scoring system that undermines the whole process, especially when you get the fanboys giving their favourite products all 10/10. I think it tends to put a negative light on some of the ratings that I give, when really I consider 3 stars out of 5 to make a good product. I think ratings do have value, but only when presented within the context of a single reviewer's opinion, if that makes sense.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/21/06 08:30 AM

Knocking a whole point off for issues with duplication wouldn't fly with the editor at Genii. And of course you should pay NOTHING to have these items returned. That is entirely the dealer's responsibility to pay all back and forth postage on defective items.
You might also have a cheap DVD player. :)
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Postby Guest » 12/21/06 09:03 AM

Richard,

Holy... Thanks very much for giving them a look. Given your background in this side of the industry, I want you to know I consider it very generous of you to take the time.

How should poor production values of that sort be addressed? That's definitely the case here, since I've tested it on multiple players. If it had been just one defective DVD I would have written it off, but since it was on two different ones I thought it might factor into a purchasing decision. Is it a situation where the DVD just shouldn't be reviewed until its production values on the large scale can be verified?

I agree about the postage problem, by the way. I'm no longer making any purchases from that distributor. I let it drop once because their service to that point had been pretty good, but when they didn't offer to replace this one free of charge, I said sayonara.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/21/06 11:58 AM

I would address the question of defective discs, if you're a reviewer, directly with the manufacturer, International Magic in London.
I haven't heard about many other defective discs, so yours may have been an anomaly.
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Postby Guest » 12/21/06 04:39 PM

Alright, cool. Thanks very much for that advice.

Maybe I'll do that and re-write the review.
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