But I got an email asking, "What did you do to Dale Hildebrandt." I don't know Dale, and I'm not sure what I did to him. But he's certainly free to have his opinion about my site. I'm not bothered if he (or anyone) doesn't like it. And it especially doesn't bother me when someone doesn't like it who clearly hasn't read it. He seems to think I write about Brooks and the Cafe a lot, which makes it clear he doesn't read the site.
I talk on my site like I talk in real life which includes "vulgar words" sometimes, but I don't give that any thought. It's certainly not to be "controversial."
I wanted to answer Dale's questions:
Are you going to get any direct communication from “Andy”?
Yes, I communicate with virtually everyone who has purchased the book. To whatever extent they want to. And, of course, there's that "controversial" blog of mine which is direct communication that keeps people abreast of what's happening.
Does he have any record of producing manuscripts that he can show?
It depends on your definition of "manuscript." I have a monthly newsletter that goes out. It's 7 issues in. It's never been late.
Will he answer your questions to the best of his ability?
Well, I'm answering yours.
Does he allow comments on his blog posts?
No. I think comments are a burden to the reader. There are enough place online begging for your opinion. I don't need your opinion.
Does he care?
Sure, I care about a lot of things. Just not the things you think I do. Your mistake is in thinking I want attention. You think that because you want attention for your blog. So you assume that's universal. But it's not. I've never promoted my blog at all, I don't engage when my site is posted on boingboing or reddit, I turned down a book deal with Vanishing Inc, I declined John Lovick's request to do a story for Reel Magic, I declined an offer to speak at the upcoming Magic Live, and finally -- as you pointed out -- I write semi-anonymously. These aren't the actions of someone who wants attention.
I do want to say that I ADORE the notion that you think writing about Steve Brooks is good for SEO. He's not quite the trending topic you imagine him to be. Even when I used to write about him on my old site, that's not what got people there. Here are the search terms that brought people to my old site in April of 05. This list is completely genuine. And this is back when the Cafe was relevant. And still hardly anybody was searching for it or Brooks.
http://thelinesyouamend.blogspot.com/20 ... terms.html
I also really love the implication that I started my site in 03, abandoned it in 05, waited 10 years, and came back to monetize it by selling an expensive book to a small number of people. Like that was my big plan. That is one of the dumber things I've read, and I've read Lim-tricks.
The economics of the book are this: I started this site last year to put some ideas out there. I expected it to go for a few months but I was getting a lot of positive feedback and I still had a lot more to write. The problem was it was a huge time commitment for me. I knew I had a small group of passionate fans who might be able to support the site to an extent that I could devote the time necessary to it without completely screwing myself over financially. You call me an "opportunist" and a "capitalist," but the truth is, while I've made some money from my site, it is a fraction of what I would make devoting that time to the work I do in my real life.
"Ah, Andy, you're so full of it. If it's not about attention and not about money, then what is it?"
This iteration of the site began because I thought I had some ideas that might be of interest to people. The site continued because in those first few months it became something that a lot of people liked. Not a huge number of people in the grand scheme of things, but a good amount for a magic blog. And people would write all the time to tell me how much they enjoyed it and how much they looked forward to checking in every day. Now, this is going to sound very maudlin, but when I was thinking about stopping the site I thought about the things in life that make me happy and how bummed I am when they go away. Especially when you're going through a rough patch. I remember being younger and going through a break-up or having to deal with a death in the family or work drama and just wanting to watch MST3K or read a Paul Harris book, or just engage in something that was solely positive in my life, and I figured if my site was that for some people then I should do what I could to keep it around. That may sound cheesy or like [censored], but it's true. I got an email just today that said:
"Didn’t think I was going to purchase your book, but I went to a funeral yesterday – a very sad affair.
Afterwards I thought to myself, “F--- it! Life is too short and Andy’s blog has brought me such joy, I want to be in!”
So today I ordered THE BOOK!
Thanks for what you do."
It's hard to stop something that people tell you directly makes them happy. And, of course, I've gotten a lot out of it too. It's not just some benevolent thing on my part. I get to share ideas with a lot of interesting people, I hear all sorts of magic gossip, I've picked up some work from the site, I've gotten a chance to consult with a couple of the biggest names in the business, and it's just generally a lot of fun. I hope to think it's a very symbiotic, positive thing in people's lives. The people who like it, I mean. I don't particularly care about the people who don't like it. I look at the things they DO like and think, "Thank sweet christ they don't like my site." Honestly, I don't really want everyone to like my site.
And finally, the book is real. This is no vaporware. The financial end of things is handled be real people with real names (as you'll see on your paypal receipt). The publishing company is Thomson-Shore. The illustrator is Stasia Burrington. Marc Kerstein created the app that goes along with the book. And my name is Andy. You don't need to put it in quotes.
I won't be monitoring this thread because, as I said, I feel like people should be free to talk trash about me without having to get into it with me specifically. And if they do want to send me a message my email is right on my site. I hope I was able to answer some of Dale's questions. Either way he's free to have the last word because I don't need it.