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Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 7:36 pm
by Brian Hebert
I just received an email from L&L publishing stating that they have
Additional copies of the castle notebooks that they
Are selling for 25% off.

Am I wrong in thinking that there is something
wrong about this. They state that they are
over-run copies, but that to me doesn't matter.
I believe we were told that there would be only a
limited number sold.

I may be not seeing this in the right light but I believe
they made enough money off of the notebooks and they
shouldn't be selling the information in any way.

Any thoughts?

Brian

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 7:45 pm
by Richard Kaufman
They're probably not selling copies of volume 1.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 8:17 pm
by Terry
Wasn't it limited number of sets being sold?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 8:35 pm
by Dustin Stinett
I think it was a blunder to make the books limited in the first place. I see no problem with selling limited "deluxe" editions, but in general limits are, well, limiting.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 9:14 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Creating an artificial limit can cause a stampede mentality in the buyers. It worked for the few book. The others are out there and you can, I think, pay less than the original retail.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 9:50 pm
by Jim Martin
Richard Kaufman wrote:They're probably not selling copies of volume 1.
Nor Volume 3, apparently.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 8th, 2012, 11:33 pm
by Joe Naud
3,4 and 5 are available on Ebay right now for 49.99 but they are not signed. These copies have been going for less than $100 each as there have been multiple listings of late.
Peace, Joe

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 9th, 2012, 2:58 am
by JimW
None of the books were signed, but they were numbered. The copies L&L are selling now are not numbered. Here is the description of the books from today's email. They are listed as "Publisher's Comp & Overrun Sale"

This sale entails a very limited supply of publisher's overruns and comps that are not numbered like the original limited editions but contain the exact same material. These overruns were made to compensate for any possible defect or damage in the limited edition run of 500.

Volumes 2, 4 and 5 only. Volumes 1 and 3 are not available.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 9th, 2012, 10:00 am
by Gary Kosnitzky
Joe Naud wrote:3,4 and 5 are available on Ebay right now for 49.99 but they are not signed. These copies have been going for less than $100 each as there have been multiple listings of late.
Peace, Joe


Joe,
You are absolutely incorrect.
3,4, and 5 are not selling for 49.99.
There are no 'Buy It Now' options.
When the auction is over there will be a final price and I am sure it will not be 49.99.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=BRU ... 97.c0.m627

I also see 4 and 5 selling for $650.00.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 9th, 2012, 2:00 pm
by erdnasephile
It's curious that Volume 1 sold so many, while many more copies of the subsequent volumes are apparently out there on the market. Sounds like either 1) readers didn't find volume 1 compelling enough to complete the set, 2) the volume 1 folks ran out of $$ or 3) the completists finally got their OCD treated.

If L and L pubished the proposed commentary on the set, I'll bet the remaning stock would be snapped up right quick.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 4:40 am
by Matthew Field
Multi-volume (magic) books typically show declining sales for each subsquent volume in the series.

I originally proposed making "Magic Page by Page" a two volume series but everyone, from Pat Page to Charles Reynolds to Richard Kaufman convinced me it was the wrong way to go.

Matt Field

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 4:47 am
by Ian Kendall
Two volume sets that come out at the same time seem to be doing okay? The Wonder and Victor books spring to mind...

The Page book is (ironically) _just_ too tall for my bookshelf, and has to be kept in a different part of the house :(

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 4:59 am
by Joneseymagic
You could look at it the other way round. Rather than the series not being compelling, the people who purchased vol 1 are holding onto it ( and maybe the others in the set) while those who missed out on vol 1 are selling their later volumes because it's now difficult to obtain the first and thus complete their set.

I think the declining sales can be accounted for by the fact that Cervon mentions in the Lost Inner Secrets that the Vernon material appears mainly in the early notebooks, while the later books contains mainly Cervon's work.

I only wanted the Vernon stuff, so I only purchased the first three books. Perhaps others felt the same?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 11:21 am
by Richard Kaufman
It's also possible that the mystique of the Castle Notebooks had been built up by Cervon to such an extent that those who purchased the first one felt an almost inevitable letdown and didn't purchase the rest.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 12:04 pm
by erdnasephile
Good points, all!

I think that when a book has both a high mystique and price it puts a lot of pressure on the books contents to be "worth it" to the average buyer.

I suspect that once people figured out that these were scanned copies of the notebooks, and that many (but not all) of the gems had already seen print elsewhere, they lost enthusiasm for spending that next $800. (FWIW, I stuck it out throughout the entire set.)

It would be interesting to compare the sales figures from Card College (the polar opposite to the CN's) to see if there was a corresponding drop off in sales.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 12:20 pm
by El Mystico
I'm sure some people did feel that scanned and sometimes crypic notes were not helpful to them. And as Richard has mentioned elsewhere, lots of the moves were described in barebones only.
I think to really appreciate what was in the books, you had to be pretty familiar already with the published work of Vernon, Jennings, Cervon etc. Then you were in a much better position to join the dots. So that was going to severely limit the target audience.
Personally, I love the books. But I completely understand why they weren't to the taste of the general magician.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 1:11 pm
by Richard Kaufman
The Card College series is the best-selling set of books around the world published in the last 20 years. No doubt.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 6:10 pm
by Steve Bryant
I rarely dip into the Cervon Notebooks without being pleasantly surprised by some new move or ruse or complete routine, virtually always quite adequately described and/or illustrated (despite being outlandishly misspelled). But that isn't the real value. The notebooks are an amazing time machine, like nothing else in magic, that lets us know what was happening when in the early days of the Magic Castle. Too bad there isn't a similar record of the Marlo sessions or of that cafeteria in NYC. Indeed it would be comforting to know that someone is keeping a similar record today for future generations. Ah, what will our grandkids pay for the Dustin Stinett notebooks?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 6:15 pm
by Joe Mckay
Didn't alot of the material from that 'cafeteria in NYC' end up in Apocalypse magazine? I forget the name of it but most of the material from Apocalyse seemed to be drawn from there.

But yeah I agree. I love digging through old notebooks as well...

Joe

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 7:23 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Some of the material from the Governor Cafeteria time period went into Apocalypse. A lot of the coin magic went into my book CoinMagic. The Complete Works of Derek Dingle also has a lot of material from that time period. Karl Fulves's magazines of that era contain more.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 7:38 pm
by Joe Mckay
Did Karl Fulves hang out at the Governor Cafeteria? I always imagined him to be too underground to actually meet up with magicians regularly.

Joe

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 10th, 2012, 8:39 pm
by Richard Kaufman
Yes, Fulves did come to the Cafeteria on occasion, and he also came to Tannen's quite a bit. That's where I met him.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 12th, 2012, 6:34 pm
by Mark Jensen
I've been talking to a few other people who purchased the entire 5 volume set and we are not happy about L&L and the recent offer of these "overrun" copies.

In particular:

1. They advertised each volume was to be a limited numbered edition of 500.

2. The copies they are selling are identical to our numbered copies, except they aren't numbered. As many have already stated, the numbering aspect of these books doesn't seem to be a big deal to collectors.

3. They are selling them for a substancially reduced price, which is impacting the value of the sets already sold. A complete set with matching numbers sold yesterday on Martinka for $801 + $120.15 + shipping, which is below the $200 per volume the books sold for.

Unhappy with L&L in Dallas,

Mark

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 12th, 2012, 9:32 pm
by The Magic Apple
ditto

This is bad business on ALL LEVELS!!!

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 12th, 2012, 10:57 pm
by Ted M
If anyone aims to try to show that the overrun notebooks are affecting value on the secondary market, here's some data. Unfortunately except for vol 1, the books have already been bringing prices far below original retail. These are completed eBay sale values since Dec 20, 2011:

97.00 Vol 3, Dec 20

899.99 Set, vols 1-5, Jan 1 2012

141.50 Vol 2, Jan 19
143.50 Vol 3, Jan 26
152.50 Vol 4, Jan 26

346.00 Vol 1, Feb 1
97.01 Vol 2, Feb 1
65.00 Vol 3, Feb 1
93.00 Vol 4, Feb 1
102.50 Vol 5, Feb 1

77.00 Vol 2, Feb 23
72.91 Vol 3, Feb 23
70.00 Vol 5, Feb 23

762.06 Set, vols 1-5, Mar 1

102.50 Vol 3, Mar 9
98.99 Vol 4, Mar 9
98.99 Vol 5, Mar 9

I believe the overrun notebooks were announced March 10, so these would be the prices before the extra books entered the market.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 12th, 2012, 11:36 pm
by Gary Kosnitzky
Mark Jensen wrote:I've been talking to a few other people who purchased the entire 5 volume set and we are not happy about L&L and the recent offer of these "overrun" copies.

In particular:

1. They advertised each volume was to be a limited numbered edition of 500.

2. The copies they are selling are identical to our numbered copies, except they aren't numbered. As many have already stated, the numbering aspect of these books doesn't seem to be a big deal to collectors.

3. They are selling them for a substancially reduced price, which is impacting the value of the sets already sold. A complete set with matching numbers sold yesterday on Martinka for $801 + $120.15 + shipping, which is below the $200 per volume the books sold for.

Unhappy with L&L in Dallas,

Mark



Hi Mark,

How are you?

I am not that smart, having dropped out of school at a very young age so I really don't know a lot about things of this nature.
I am confused, that's all.
I am not an attorney but may be an attorney out there may be able to briefly explain what has happened.

I personally believe L&L has too much integrity to have done anything wrong.I am not making any accusations nor even implying any.
I am just stating what I have read; on the inside cover of the books and some information I read.

It plainly states on the inside of every book-

COLLECTOR'S EDITION LIMITED TO 500 COPIES

Does the above statement imply that only 500 printings of the book will be released with the same design treatment?

Now that more than 500 books are being released did the statement "COLLECTOR'S EDITION LIMITED TO 500 COPIES" turn out to be a true statement or a false one?

Was anyone aware that more than 500 copies were to be released when they purchased the book?

Did buyers rely on the truth of the statement, "COLLECTOR'S EDITION LIMITED TO 500 COPIES", to base their decision to buy the book, since that statement connotes a level of scarcity or exclusivity ?

I also read that a limited edition book as defined by the standards of the industry is:

"A limited edition book is a description of a book which is released in a limited print run quantity, usually much smaller than publishing industry standards, and connotes a level of scarcity or exclusivity. The term also implies that no further additional printings of the book will be released with the same design treatment, unlike open-ended trade editions wherein further copies may be released in more print runs as the first printings are sold out."


Citing:

"Morlan v. Kelly, No. 2009-UP-002, SC Supreme Court, 2009". Judicial.state.sc.us.

"Schnellmann v. Roettger, 373 S.C. 379, 382, 645 S.E.2d 239, 241 (2007)". Judicial.state.sc.us. 2006-01-17.


Common law fraud has nine elements:
1.a representation of an existing fact;
2.its materiality;
3.its falsity;
4.the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;
5.the speaker's intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
6.plaintiff's ignorance of its falsity;
7.plaintiff's reliance on the truth of the representation;
8.plaintiff's right to rely upon it; and
9.consequent damages suffered by plaintiff.

My question to anyone who knows the law is:
Has any laws been broken in this situation?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 12th, 2012, 11:50 pm
by Gary Kosnitzky
Ted M wrote:If anyone aims to try to show that the overrun notebooks are affecting value on the secondary market, here's some data. Unfortunately except for vol 1, the books have already been bringing prices far below original retail. These are completed eBay sale values since Dec 20, 2011:

97.00 Vol 3, Dec 20

899.99 Set, vols 1-5, Jan 1 2012

141.50 Vol 2, Jan 19
143.50 Vol 3, Jan 26
152.50 Vol 4, Jan 26

346.00 Vol 1, Feb 1
97.01 Vol 2, Feb 1
65.00 Vol 3, Feb 1
93.00 Vol 4, Feb 1
102.50 Vol 5, Feb 1

77.00 Vol 2, Feb 23
72.91 Vol 3, Feb 23
70.00 Vol 5, Feb 23

762.06 Set, vols 1-5, Mar 1

102.50 Vol 3, Mar 9
98.99 Vol 4, Mar 9
98.99 Vol 5, Mar 9

I believe the overrun notebooks were announced March 10, so these would be the prices before the extra books entered the market.


The economy is affecting the value of all books on the secondary market not overrun books or the lack of.

Your post is white noise.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 4:16 am
by Brad Jeffers
On the L&L website they state, "These overruns were made to compensate for any possible defect or damage in the limited edition run of 500". This being the case, I think upon finding no defects or damages to the originial 500 books, the extra copies should have been destroyed.

I am sure they have done nothing that they could be held accountable for, from a legal standpoint, but that's not the point at all. In my eyes, they have done something wrong. No matter how cleverly they worded their original adds for the set of books, I believed that there would only be 500 copies of each volume in existence ... EVER.

This was an expensive purchase. The idea that these books would hold their value, or prehaps increase in value, was a factor in my decision to buy them. The resale value for these books may have been on the decline before L&L decided to put the overrun copies up for sale, but their decision to do so can only serve to worsen the situation. They don't care. The amount of overrun copies, and the decision to sell them, was probably made long before the first copy of volume one rolled off the press.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 4:38 am
by Ian Kendall
Gary; L&L explicitly stated that 'in order to preserve Bruce's desire for exclusivity' there would be only 500 copies (ironic as that seems). Their marketing was based on this 'grab it now or it's gone' concept.

How many extra copies did they print? How many mistakes did they expect to be made in a 500 copy print run?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 6:30 am
by Andrew Pinard
10-15% is a normal overrun in the print industry. One might order 500 copies and be expected to pay for up to 575 copies.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 10:54 am
by The Magic Apple
I bought my set, as I'm sure others did based on the fact that only 499 other people woulkd be getting these books. If there is an overage, we should have been told about them FIRST. Maybe something like "We have 500 LIMITED NUMBERED copies and about 75 NON-Numbered copies for a few bucks less"
Than I would not feel cheated or lied to.
Imagine if Toyota came out with a limited edition car and only produced 500 of them and a 500 dumbass celebrities bought them, then a year or so later another 75 were released...you don't think those people would be pissed...!?

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 11:17 am
by Ted M
Archive.org has preserved the original advertising text from L&L's website. The limited number of copies was indeed used as a major selling point, as the text stresses the number of copies that will be sold no less than 3 times:

"...just 500 copies will be sold!"

"Only 500 copies will be sold."

and in boldfaced caps to close the ad:

"JUST 500 COPIES WILL BE SOLD!"

Archived here, snapshot from Nov 22, 2007: http://web.archive.org/web/20071122091213/http://www.llpub.com/zenshop/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=2462

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 11:36 am
by Ted M

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 11:58 am
by Richard Kaufman
Okay, I think we all get the point that the books were advertised as only 500 being sold. You're beating a dead horse, as they say.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 12:24 pm
by Gary Kosnitzky
Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat

It may not be as bad as everyone is working themselves up to think.
You have trolls here who don't even own the book and just get off on rabble rousing everyone into a feeding frenzy.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 12:48 pm
by Ian Kendall
I have a set of the books. I understood that there would be only 500 copies. I reserve the right to be a tad pissed off.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm
by mrgoat
I'm genuinely astounded L&L lied and would mislead people to try and make a quick buck out of magicians. Not like them at all.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 1:42 pm
by luigimar
What's done is done. Why don't you use your energy into opening those books and learn something out of them? That way you get more value out of them than what they cost, whatever amount you paid, collector's edition or otherwise.

L&L is already selling them with or without your approval and there isn't much you can do about it. Let the market settle and the value of your books will go up again soon. THEY WILL.

Re: Castle notebooks for sale again

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 2:18 pm
by mrgoat
luigimar wrote:What's done is done. Why don't you use your energy into opening those books and learn something out of them? That way you get more value out of them than what they cost, whatever amount you paid, collector's edition or otherwise.

L&L is already selling them with or without your approval and there isn't much you can do about it.


Good point. When someone lies to you, breaks the terms of the contract under which an item was sold, just pull your pants down and take it like a man.

I can't wait for another couple of years to pass, and they reissue them again, with bonus vernon videos unseen and only sell them as a set for 5k.