Steinmeyer's Conjuring Now Available for Pre-Order

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/04/06 09:11 PM

I've been waiting a long time for this, what I feel is going to be one of the most important books of the decade: the collected "Conjuring" columns from MAGIC.
Jim Steinmeyer has done a beautiful job with this book and it's enormous!
You can see the banner (and click through to Jim's website) on the new "The Dealer's Room" section of the Genii Website:
http://64.91.240.159/dealers/index.html
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 08:04 AM

I'm also looking forward to Jim's new book, which should be outstanding. This appears to be a major year for Steinmeyer releases, as GLORIOUS DECEPTION is now out in paperback and ART AND ARTIFICE and THE MAGIC OF ALAN WAKELING are scheduled for mass market paperback release in the fall (they can already be pre-ordered from amazon.com).
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/05/06 08:33 AM

Forgot to mention that Jim's Conjuring book is being sold only directly through him and won't be available anywhere else. You won't be able to buy it through Internet dealers for any kind of discount. So step up to the plate (after you've ordered The Vernon Touch, or course :) ) and send him your order!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 08:54 AM

Other magicians might be surprised when I name Steinmeyer as one of my favorite magicians, as he doesn't perform professionally..... Yet his magic is so beautifully designed, with such great presentational premises and beautifully written scripts. He's one of the top magicians in the world.

There is a glut of books on close up magic, but virtually none on quality stand up. Here is a great, major book on stage magic, complete with presentations.

On my list of favorite books, Jim's take up most of the space at the top, including Device and Illusion, Jarrett, and The Wakeling Book.

This will be a major, important book. Don't wait and miss out!
Guest
 

Postby Jerry Harrell » 04/05/06 09:53 AM

Excuse me, but am I the only one who is stunned to find one of our finest books of secrets available on Amazon for under twelve bucks?

I am a huge Steinmeyer fan, and Art and Artifice I can understand, but I have to respectfully ask, does the general public need to see The Magic of Alan Wakeling?
Jerry Harrell
 
Posts: 200
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Norfolk, VA USA

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 10:35 AM

What are you talking about? It's listed as out of print -- limited availability. The paperback hasn't been released, either.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 10:46 AM

The paperback edition of THE MAGIC OF ALAN WAKELING is listed on amazon.com as slated for September 2006 release from Carroll & Graf (publishers of HIDING THE ELEPHANT and GLORIOUS DECEPTION) at a list price of $17.95, amazon price of just $11.67.
Guest
 

Postby Dustin Stinett » 04/05/06 11:24 AM

If there is anything that I have learned about the laity and books about magic, its that theythe laitycant last longer than 30 seconds looking at one. Notice I didnt say reading one. I have no qualms whatsoever about handing my layman friends a book from my library. They dont read them; they look at them, then their eyes sort of glaze over, hand the book back and say, Thats nice; thanks. They seem so uncomfortable that if I didnt have food in the house theyd run screaming out the front door.

Only people who are really interested in magic and its secrets will buy the book and actually read it and comprehend it.

Think about the incredible books that have been reprinted by Dover over the years. Were still here and in pretty good shape.

If anything, this reprint will give more magicians an opportunity to afford a magnificent book that is about more than just secrets.

Dustin
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5653
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 11:48 AM

Yeah, I just saw a hardback copy of Hiding the Elephant published by Barne's and Noble itself, with dustjacket, for $9.99. I think it has the same contents as the other versions I have seen.
Guest
 

Postby Ryan Matney » 04/05/06 03:05 PM

I'm glad the Wakleing book will be available at such a low cost but it is pretty surprising. I wonder what kind of fast talking Mr. Steinmeyer had to do in order to convince them to publish a technical book like that.

Not entirely happy the books will be SO easy to come by.
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 03:21 PM

Originally posted by Brian Rasmussen:
Yeah, I just saw a hardback copy of Hiding the Elephant published by Barne's and Noble itself, with dustjacket, for $9.99. I think it has the same contents as the other versions I have seen.
The paperback edition includes an introduction by Teller, which was not included in the original hardback printing (it was a modified version of Teller's review of the book).
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/05/06 05:01 PM

When half a dozen laymen come up to any of you and tell you how much they've learned about magic, and the methods behind what they've just seen you do, from reading the Alan Wakeling book, I'll eat my shoe.
Jeez--think about it! Think about how many hundreds of books on magic have been on sale to the public for who knows how many years. I've never had anyone tell me they knew how a single trick was done from reading the tens of thousands of copies of Expert Card Technique or Modern Coin Magic--all printed by Dover and WIDELY available for a few bucks--that have been sold to the public. Or all the Bruce Elliott books, or all the Karl Fulves books, or Harry Lorayne's Magic Book, and on and on and on and on.
The only thing that merits discussion is whether you're going to buy copies to give to your magic friends as gifts at the new lower prices.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Jeff Haas » 04/05/06 05:30 PM

I agree. People don't care.

Even the Masked Magician has been forgotten.
Jeff Haas
 
Posts: 917
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Mateo, CA

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 05:48 PM

Someone just pointed out this posting, and it was interesting to read the various opinions and speculation.

I suspect that most don't really want the full story behind any of these books. I've already learned how much fun it is to speculate: I still have the rope burns around my neck from when it was announced that I was going to write Hiding the Elephant. Dear, dear.

There wasn't any "fast talking" involved on my part. It was the publisher's idea to reprint Alan's book, not mine. I thought long and hard about it, and it was a tough decision. The publisher is interested in developing a line of "standards" in the field of magic. It was immensely flattering to me and to Alan's material. The book has been out of print for some time now, and I could only think of what impact a book like this might have had on me when I was growing up in magic. It's true that Alan's material is all at least 30 years old, but it's been beautifully revivied and perfected by a number of current performers. If someone sincerely interested in magic gets a hold of this book and reads a billiard ball routine right next to a discussion of routining an act, or designing an illusion, I think that it might be an inspiration.

When I was a kid, I read books about "vaudeville" performers, who had worked 40 or 50 years before that time. Alan was working in nightclubs and coffee houses, 40 or 50 years ago.

I suppose I don't need to list the books -- all near and dear to our hearts -- that were sold to the public, not to magicians. There's been a long tradition of this, as we're all aware.

In many ways, I'm the one most affected by these "exposures for the public," as it affects my business. There's no question, in my mind, of the "damage" it will cause to the precious art of magic. I just look back at previous historical examples, starting with Modern Magic, following through Secrets of My Magic, Royal Road to Magic, The Magic of John Mulholland. . .

As for Alan's book being a failure and then being remaindered for $5.95 -- well, that's a happy thought. It won't happen, because this book is not being produced to be a best seller. It's being printed by Carroll and Graf with the same intention as Dover books, to serve as a sort of text. For the "magic" shelves, not the "bestseller" shelves.

As for the Barnes and Noble edition of Hiding the Elephant, it is not remaindered, it is being published by B&N in a less expensive edition. I was flattered that it was chosen for this new edition.

This all reminds me of a discussion I had with Pat Page years ago. (He also had rope burns for publishing a book for the public that had excellent magic in it! Magicians were outraged!) Pat's theory is that we all scan a row of books and see the word "MAGIC" on the spine and it jumps out at us. We think that it jumps out at everyone. But no, the fellow next to you is looking for the word, "COIN COLLECTING," or "FERRARRIS" or "HOME IMPROVEMENTS." We all tend to obsess about the availability of these books.

It's been a real education writing for the public as well as magicians, and being involved in material that appeals to both without being demeaning or overly-technical.

Along these lines, I'm certainly grateful for the interest in The Conjuring Anthology, and it's been an exciting book to assemble -- for magicians.

As for those who insist on the rope -- well, that's your prerogative.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 07:52 PM

Richard is spot on. In thousands of shows I can recall one woman casually pointing out that her husband had one of "those" wallets when I was doing Polaroid Money with a Himber wallet.

I still do the Sponge Rabbits even though they're available on a rack in every novelty shop in the country.

Nearly every magic set for the past hundred years has included a set of Linking Rings and cheap plastic Cups and Balls, yet you find that those two tricks still fool today's audiences.

On top of that, magic book sales are miniscule compared to "best sellers." Most titles sell a thousand or so and that's it. No magic title has ever come close to the numbers a low-end "best seller" creates.

Making a buck as a writer is tough enough and even though Jim has other things going, I'm pleased to see that he's squeezed some extra royalties out of his publisher. Good for him.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 07:57 PM

Amen, Jim. Amen.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/05/06 10:33 PM

If you suffer from rope burns, you should brush up on Tenkai's Rope through Neck, which I learned from Karl Fulves'Big Book of Magic Tricks , Dover, $5.88 from Amazon.com , and visible through Google Print.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/06/06 08:31 AM

I must admit to having the same visceral reaction as Jerry Harrell when the information first came out. But the fact of tne matter is, that was just a reflex action... kind of like when the doctor hits your knee with the little hammer.

Having had a minor professional relationship with Jim years ago, the one thing I can safely say is that the field of magic has little to fear and much to gain from his efforts. His genius is applied for love first, lucre second as nearly as I can tell.

That being said, Ryan Matney's comment about not being entirely happy the book will be so easy to come by is understandable. I have a deep fear of people unwilling to put in the time and trouble to learn how to adapt the effects going out and doing them badly.

P.S.- Admire the new look very much, Mr. Kaufman.
Guest
 

Postby Jerry Harrell » 04/06/06 10:03 AM

Yeah, my knee is still smarting from that little hammer. But I'll get over it. Please note, folks, that I said stunned. I did not say appalled, or outraged, as I am neither.

Jim Steinmeyer may be the best author of magic books we have today, and I support and applaud all of his efforts. I pre-ordered Conjuring the day it was announced, and I hope he continues to write about this subject for as long as he wishes.

Now then, when can we expect the paperback editions of Doctor Albo's books?
Jerry Harrell
 
Posts: 200
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Norfolk, VA USA

Postby Doug Brewer » 04/06/06 10:06 AM

Just ordered your book, Jim. Looking forward to burying my head into a great read.
Doug Brewer
 
Posts: 120
Joined: 01/25/08 01:00 PM
Location: San Diego, CA

Postby Ryan Matney » 04/06/06 10:10 AM

Didn't mean to give you rope burns, Jim. I know next to nothing about publishing and I just assumed that you had to convince the publisher to do art and artifice and the wakeling book, not the other way around.

I thought large publishers were more interested in beginner books and the like.

I still have mixed feelings about it but I'll also be pre-ordering copies of each, so I'm not bothered so much that I wouldn't reccomend them to friends and buy them myself.
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby magicking » 04/06/06 10:31 AM

I am personally happy the Wakeling Book is going to be available in paperback as I have been wanting this book for a long time and just could not afford it... I agree only magicians would be interstead in this and who other than magicians would search for Steinmeyer on Amazon?
Michael King
All Things Are Possible If You Believe!
magicking
 
Posts: 1036
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Dixon, Missouri

Postby Ryan Matney » 04/06/06 02:59 PM

You're right, I'm glad I'll be able to afford the book now too.
Ryan Matney
 
Posts: 729
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hurley, Va

Postby John LeBlanc » 04/06/06 04:58 PM

Originally posted by DustinStinett:
They dont read them; they look at them, then their eyes sort of glaze over, hand the book back and say, Thats nice; thanks. They seem so uncomfortable that if I didnt have food in the house theyd run screaming out the front door.
Wow. That describes my own response to several magic books I've picked up recently. :)

I think it's a good thing to have these books -- especially the Wakeling book -- at such affordable prices. I don't feel one bit bad for what I paid for the hard cover, but $11 and change for the paperback? Astounding.

This may open the door for similar projects regarding some of magic's many other important but painful- to impossible-to-get titles.

John
new blog post: Cheung phooey.

http://www.escamoteurettes.com/blog/
John LeBlanc
 
Posts: 866
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Houston, TX

Postby Guest » 04/20/06 07:42 PM

I wish that Jim Steinmeyer's "Alan Wakeling" book had been available when I was a kid. I also hope that in time his book "Conjuring" will follow the same route. Why should a young magician have to wade thru crap or lesser effects to find the good material which when learned will encourage them to continue. A good magic book is essentially a curated collection and guide for future magicians.

When a music student is starting out they are not told that they will have to wait year's before being allowed to play the music they desire. Simplified arrangements of music from the Beatles to Beethoven are made available so that the student will experience the pleasure of making the music they desire from the earliest steps.

When I think of some of the magic books that I received as gifts I shudder at the memory. Books like "Dunninger's Cyclopedia of Magic" and "Scarne's Magic tricks" left me cold at the age of twelve. I fhtese had been the only sources available I would not have continued. Fortunately there were also the books of Karl Fulves, Frank Garcia, George Schindler and such Dover classics as "Abbot's Encyclopedia of Rope Magic," Henry Hay's "Amateur Magician's Handbook" and later on the "Mark Wilson Course in Magic" which has been the book I am most likely to reccomend to the serious student.

The real secrets of the professional are those which are not easily discovered in a quick read of a book in a bookstore or a rapid internet search. Secrets such as how to establish rapport with our audience's, how to create wonder and how to truly entertain are not easily exposed, they come fom experience and hard training.


I once heard that the best way to keep something a secret is to publish it. I believe there is truth there. What is more, an audience member who has been richly entertained and delighted by a performer is less likely to seek out answer's as to how things are done than a spectator who has been ill served by either mediocre entertainment or being used at their own expense to create a laugh for the magician.

So, Bravo to Jim for making this work available to the next crop.


All the Best


Joshua Kane
Guest
 

Postby Erik Hemming » 04/20/06 10:23 PM

I'm hesitant to post after Mr. Kane's note, because there's a sweetness to it that I'm loathe to disrupt.

But I'm good at bathos, so here goes.....

Jim Steinmeyer is a superlative writer, thinker and artist and deserves the reward a larger audience will bring. Futher, his future students deserve the quality of information he brings to the table.

For those who subscribe to the "Don't give the animals tools" school of intellectual ontogeny, let me clarify....

Daily, I make available to the public the fundamental information required to become an accountant, doctor, lawyer or engineer. I'll sell it to anyone. If you have the money to purchase it, and make the time to study it, it's possible you might absorb sufficient information to pass a state bar or attain a CPA.

But it won't really make you a decent accountant, doctor, lawyer or engineer. Only time, concerted effort and practise will do that.

Not many people do it on their own. Not many at all.

So why all the huffing about secrets and exposure?

If anyone REALLY cares enough to make the financial expenditure and take the time to STUDY what they purchased, then they deserve our thanks and praise, not oprobrium.

So, if there's anyone out there still howling about exposure from Steinmeyer, or Kaufman or Minch or you-name-it, just chill.

Be thankfull there's someone out there still reading and still caring enough to turn words into actions...and sometimes actions into miracles.

They are few and far-between and truly precious people.

'nuff said,

Gordon Corbin
Merchant of Fine Printed Information to a Largely Complacent and Video-Addicted Society
Erik Hemming
 
Posts: 128
Joined: 01/19/08 01:00 PM
Location: Madison & Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Postby Guest » 04/21/06 12:38 AM

Exciting news. I'm off to order immediately.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/21/06 10:26 AM

The fact is, for the most part, we don't have "secrets" in magic. We have "specialized knowledge." The idea of "secrets" started its downward spiral with that Hoffman chap back in the mid-1800s. It has only accelerated in the last 20+ years with the advent of cheaper typesetting and printing and the inexpensive camcorder.

The majority of most magic performed today by amateurs (and a few professionals) is material found in books/DVDs/video tapes available to almost anyone who has the price. Magic, sad to say, has become more commonly available than it was when I started out and that is, from the standpoint of a working professional, not a good thing.

The precise workings of many professional's acts remain secret, however there are many working pros who simply adapt off-the-shelf effects to their own performing persona and have something "unique."

While there are some secrets in magic, they are far fewer than most would suppose. "Specialized knowledge" is, I think, a far more apt description.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 04/26/06 02:58 PM

Most of us cannot afford to hire Jim Steinmeyer's brain to create effects for us. However, the next best thing (and considerably less expensive) is to get effects he's already worked out. I'm referring to the compilation of his "Conjuring" columns from MAGIC.

My copy arrived today and I've spent the last two hours going through it.

For a tiny fraction of what they're worth to the working professional, Jim lays out a marvelous collection of effects and presentations that are nicely thought-through.

There are a few ideas in the collection that I'm sorry will now see larger circulation. I'd hoped they would remain buried in old magazines. Ah well...
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/01/06 02:15 PM

I received my copy of Steinmeyer's Conjuring Anthology today.
It's a helluva book ... and if I had to take only a few books to that mystical desert island where I'd spend 20 years harvesting coconuts, The Conjuring Anthology would certainly takes its place along Greater Magic, Lang Neil's Modern Conjurer, Erdnase, and Hofzinser.
I can't recommend it highly enough, so click over to The Dealer's Room on the main page of the Genii website and find Jim's banner. Go to his website and buy this book. (And you might as well purchase Further Impuzzibilities while you're at it--another purchase with which you can't go wrong.)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 05/01/06 02:43 PM

Got back from 4F and The Conjuring Anthology was waiting for me. A Steinmeyer book on stand-up magic... a glorious conception!
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 02:49 AM

It's a shame no dealers will be stocking the book; you guys in the US can have it for $65 and over here we'd have to pay $100 :(
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/02/06 08:36 AM

Doesn't he offer shipping by surface mail? Or is it only $35 extra for airmail?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 09:25 AM

Its a standard 35$ fee. I must admit i was sitting here Card in hand, ready to buy a copy, but the shipping Kind of put me off a bit.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 09:29 AM

As far as I can see there is only the $35 charge.

I suppose this does throw up the issue of foreign buyers being heavily disadvantaged should a creator/author decide to go exclusive.

Having to pay an extra 54% because I don't live in the States is a pretty heavy levy. Which is a shame, because I respect and admire Mr Steinmeyer's work enormously.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 10:22 AM

I hope we don't someday see the beautiful "Conjuring Anthology"
on the shelves of Barnes & Noble.

It certainly looks like a great book
I can't wait to read it and study it!
Proud to own it, and everything he's written.

Regarding the "Wakeling" book...I am a collector/invester. The fact that the contents can be readily available certainly cut into the perceived value of the book as an investment piece. So goes speculating.

Please Jim, don't put "Thurston's Workbooks" on the shelf after your publisher comes up with the idea and you have to wrestle with a tough decision.

Ted
Guest
 

Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/02/06 10:25 AM

Well, considering how the dealers in other countries increase the prices of my books, I still think you would be paying about the same price if you ordered it directly from Jim or bought it from a dealer in, for example, the UK if you could. Many of them simply take a $65 dollar book and charge 50 to 65 pounds for it, which comes out to the same. (The dealers have to add their postage costs onto the retail price as well.)

Since the prices are about the same, AND you're going to receive the book by airmail, I can't understand why you wouldn't order it directly from Jim. (And he can offer you something that your local dealer can't--he'll probably sign your copy if you order it and ask nicely. :)

I also want to add that we charge $35 for airmail postage on books to overseas, and that we have a lot of folks ordering directly from us because even with the postage it comes out to less than the charge from their local dealer.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20006
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 10:46 AM

Richard, I understand all that and yes we do see some big mark-ups on products over here, (though with the number of dealers around now on the web it's possible to avoid really crushing price-hikes. E.g. Paul Wilson's Royal Road set retails for $80 in the US, but retails for 60 - $110 - with the majority of British dealers. I found it, [at a bricks-and-mortar dealer], for 48 - a much more comparable $88).

It just stands out as so bold and "bleak" to see the book hiked up to a three-figure dollar sum, (though not three-figure sterling :) ). And the three-figure sums cross that line and become more psychologically resonant and alarming.

You lucky people get the book post-free, meaning the cost of postage is absorbed somewhere into the $65 cover price, leading me to muse that maybe that same allowance could be offset against part of the foreign shipping charge. But all there is is that big, fat $35 .

I've ordered directly from Stephen Minch at Hermetic Press and the airmail price was around $17, (no it wasn't Redivider, it was a substantial hardback and it was recently).

Anyway, I don't wish to start an argument, and understand Mr Steinmeyer can market his book as he wishes. Even at $100 the book will be worth it I'm sure.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 05/02/06 10:50 AM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I also want to add that we charge $35 for airmail postage on books to overseas
But you also offer a surface mail option which takes longer but costs the buyer $0. Some dealers only offer airmail which (for heavy books) is always expensive.
Guest
 

Postby Matthew Field » 05/03/06 07:49 AM

Just received my copy here in the UK. And yes, I did pay the postage.

And yes, it is worth it.

Matt Field
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2425
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Next

Return to Buzz