New release of Cervon Notebooks

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Steve Mills
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New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Steve Mills » February 29th, 2016, 12:46 pm

I see that virtually every dealer on the Internet is offering the Cervon Notebooks, 1 - 5, for $200 (Although no one has them in stock).

With my beer pocketbook, this is something I can afford, but I'm a little surprised. I thought this was a limited issue release when it was first promoted, but I can't actually find that information. Is this just a case of there be a Deluxe Edition for collectors and big spenders and a regular release for us common folk?

It appears to be released through Murphys, but I don't see a publisher listed.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Ian Kendall » February 29th, 2016, 12:49 pm

That's going to p1ss off a lot of people who paid the premium price for the information on the understanding that is was going to be somewhat exclusive...

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erdnasephile
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » February 29th, 2016, 1:22 pm

I had thought this was a one time sale of overruns viewtopic.php?f=14&t=47886

I will email L and L when I get home and see what's up.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Ian Kendall » February 29th, 2016, 5:09 pm

My understanding was that volume one and two sold out fairly quickly, so following the 'overrun' scenario, there should only be three volumes...

Roger M.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » February 29th, 2016, 5:36 pm

As the ads on every magic website are very clearly advertising all 5 volumes, I would expect it a safe bet that this is a re-release of the entire series.

Despite the apparent original selling point of being a "limited edition" (was that ever explicitly stated?), with L&L re-releasing seemingly all of their books as e-books and otherwise ... this is quite clearly not a dream, as it is being advertised on literally dozens of magic websites.

At $200.00, I suspect there will be a great many purchasers of the original set who will be quite upset, not only at the loss of exclusivity, but also at the complete loss of their original books value.

But admittedly, at $200.00 I'd most definitely be a purchaser of the apparent new (ghost?) set.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Dustin Stinett » February 29th, 2016, 5:47 pm

It is all five books. Murphy's Magic is the distributor (as they have been for L&L for quite a while).

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Brad Jeffers
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 29th, 2016, 5:56 pm

This will be disheartening news for the fellow who just paid THIS PRICE!

I purchased these, one volume at a time, when they were first released. Taking advantage of L&L's 10% off deal, I paid $900 for the complete set. I read them over a few months and then sold them for $1250.

I felt lucky to get that.

I will now repurchase them for $200, so in essence, I will have them for free.

Actually, better than free. :)

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » February 29th, 2016, 6:07 pm

...A bit of a ramble:

The reason I ask about whether it was ever explicitly stated by L&L that these were a limited edition, never again to be published in any form whatsoever ... is that this topic has come up a few times over the years when some unnumbered editions were released long after the numbered versions were sold out.

At that time it was briefly discussed that the edition had indeed been numbered, (with some publisher and authors family lettered sets in addition to the numbered sets), but that folks were having a hard time pointing out anything in writing that clearly stated that this was in any way an exclusive edition ... with the information contained within never again to see the light of day.

As has been noted in the past, a limited hardcover edition followed up by a paperback edition forbids the use of the phrase "limited edition" as an indication that the set will never be printed in any form, ever again.
That would presumably be a "limited printing" as in "never to be printed again", noting too that there can always be multiple "editions" of any given book.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 29th, 2016, 6:20 pm

An interesting side note to the Ebay auction that I linked to ...

The complete set sold for $2,751 however in the original listing the seller states "We have one or two copies of Vol 3,4,& 5 available for $50 each".

So in essence, the winning bidder was paying $2,600 for just volumes 1 and 2!

And on another side note, the seller, "hopey", is in fact Linda Cervon; Bruce's wife.

I doubt the bidders knew this, but perhaps they did, and this knowledge in some way effected the bidding.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » February 29th, 2016, 8:58 pm

Roger M. wrote:Despite the apparent original selling point of being a "limited edition" (was that ever explicitly stated?).


On the title page of each book of the set, it says: "Collector's Edition Limited to 500 copies" then a number is handwritten in.

I don't know if that constitutes an explicit statement, but it certainly seems to imply that the books were somehow limited.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » February 29th, 2016, 9:02 pm

If it turns out that this set will now be mass marketed, then this would hardly seem to jibe with Mr. Cervon's desire that the information remain "exclusive".
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Bill Mullins » February 29th, 2016, 9:21 pm

Roger M. wrote:Despite the apparent original selling point of being a "limited edition" (was that ever explicitly stated?),


From an ad in Magic, Dec 2007: "The first volume . . . is now available in a limited edition—just 500 copies will be sold!"

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » February 29th, 2016, 9:27 pm

More text from the L and L website at the time:

You won’t find this Collector’s Item anywhere else . . . not on the Internet . . . not at your local magic shop.

Over 400 pages, over 375 items.
Each page scanned from the original hand-written notebooks.
JUST 500 COPIES WILL BE SOLD!

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Bill Mullins » February 29th, 2016, 9:53 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if these are part of the original print run. It always seemed optimistic that the magic hobby could absorb 500 X 5 X $200 = half a million dollars in magic books in so short a time. I doubt the original print run sold out.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 29th, 2016, 10:43 pm

When you print a book, you don't order an exact number. The printer will always stipulate "10% under or over." So, there could have easily been 50 more sets of these books printed than were initially advertised. You don't know when you do the ad how much the over run will be.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » February 29th, 2016, 10:54 pm

erdnasephile wrote:
Roger M. wrote:Despite the apparent original selling point of being a "limited edition" (was that ever explicitly stated?).


On the title page of each book of the set, it says: "Collector's Edition Limited to 500 copies" then a number is handwritten in.

I don't know if that constitutes an explicit statement, but it certainly seems to imply that the books were somehow limited.


Not to be pedantic, but that's my point.
The "Collectors Edition" is limited to 500 copies, with the new paperback edition released in an unlimited number of books.
It doesn't say limited printing anywhere I can see, and nothing you've linked to here or in your posts below says limited printing. It just notes a Collectors Edition in an edition of 500.
I'm not agreeing with it ... I'm just pointing it out.

Also, as to the these "new" books being part of the original print run ... wouldn't that make the authors wife recent sale on eBay for over two grand somewhat disingenuous in tone?

Not saying it's impossible, just that the seller would have to know about the upcoming release of the books, and would have to have auctioned off her copies for $2500.00 knowing that a "new" set was just around the corner for $200.00?
It would take a lot of jam to auction off a set of originals for $2500.00, when a few hundred more originals were just about to go on sale for $200.00.

It makes slightly more sense that such a eBay sale would happen with a new, cheap paperback edition around the corner. Still a bit wonky IMO, considering the somewhat ambitious language used to describe the original "Collectors Edition".

**EDIT**
Don't know what it means, but:
Vanishing Rabbit magic shop in Canada clearly has them noted as a "Pre-Order", with no indication that there's any limitation on the number of sets available.
Penguin clearly states they will have stock on March 28th, no limit indicated on number of sets available.

As well, L&L clearly note here:
http://www.llpub.com/zenshop/index.php? ... ts_id=2647
that the last books from the original print run were being sold as unnumbered editions years ago.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » February 29th, 2016, 11:20 pm

Roger M. wrote:
erdnasephile wrote:
Roger M. wrote:Despite the apparent original selling point of being a "limited edition" (was that ever explicitly stated?).


On the title page of each book of the set, it says: "Collector's Edition Limited to 500 copies" then a number is handwritten in.

I don't know if that constitutes an explicit statement, but it certainly seems to imply that the books were somehow limited.


Not to be pedantic, but that's my point.
The "Collectors Edition" is limited to 500 copies, with the new paperback edition released in an unlimited number of books.
It doesn't say limited printing anywhere I can see, and nothing you've linked to here or in your posts below says limited printing. It just notes a Collectors Edition in an edition of 500.
I'm not agreeing with it ... I'm just pointing it out.



Roger:
That's a fair point. I agree with you on the technical absence of the claim of a limited printing, but boy, that is certainly deceptive, since exclusivity was such a key point of the sales spiel for these books when they first came out. To reprint after a 8 years under these circumstances is not a great way to treat loyal customers, IMHO.

Question: are the new editions paperback? The pictures I've seen on the various websites look very much like the collector's edition hardbacks.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Bill Mullins » February 29th, 2016, 11:54 pm

erdnasephile wrote: To reprint after a 5.5 years under these circumstances is not a great way to treat loyal customers, IMHO.


Does L&L worry about "loyal customers" anymore? It's not like they've released any new product in a long time. Every email I've gotten from them for many months (a couple of years?) has either been heavily discounted DVDs/video downloads (typically 1/3 issue price), or ebooks of books that were formerly only offered as printed books, again at a significant discount to original prices.

I'm not all that happy that videos I paid $35 each for can be had at substantial discounts. Likewise that the Collected Alex Elmsley books which I paid full price for were offered at $10 each (in ebook form, to be sure, but still . . .)

What was the last new video they published? What was the last new book they published? L&L may be running a fire sale to the bitter end.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » March 1st, 2016, 12:03 am

In the language of the new ads I can see for these books, they're indeed hard covers.
(I was using the paperback notation as an example of a "new" edition, different from the Collectors.)

I guess these are hard covers, but not "Collectors Edition" hardcovers.

As per one of the websites I noted above, the new blurb reads:
"Linda Lipps Cervon, in conjunction with L&L Publishing, is releasing Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks in a facsimile set of hardcover books. Each page is scanned from the original hand-written notebooks."

I agree that it seems a less than honorable undertaking on the part of those who would control the copyright for this material to re-release this set even though the language used for the sale of the original "Collectors Edition", now seems nebulous enough to wriggle through the very small hole they could wiggle through that would seem to suggest the publication of another, presumably different edition than the first Collectors Edition.

Definitely a low blow to the original buyers of the Collectors Edition, and only marginally less a low blow to those who kept the used market for these books alive, and kept the going prices very high.

It would seem that purchasers of L&L publications make a grievous error in thinking their buy represents any sort of financial investment over time.
Indeed, L&L seem focused now on wringing every last penny out of their existing inventory, regardless of apparent promises alluded to, or dedicated L&L customers dissatisfaction with the impact these endless re-releases have on the market for the original releases.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby BobLynn » March 1st, 2016, 12:38 am

OK guys, you have a lot of misinformation and erroneous speculation posted here.

Now let's set the record straight with FACTS.

So you know who I am, I'll post my creds to start.
Been involved in Magic since 1958
My AMA number is low 4 digits
I'm a 49 year member of IBM
I live in Ventura, California and Bruce Cervon was a friend of mine for decades.
If you look in the BCCN, you will find me listed as a contributor.

First, I'd like to thank Richard Kaufman for the insight into publishing. Yes, there were slightly more than the exact number printed because of what Richard told you and because there are always defective books in the production run. A couple of the defective books were used for reviewers copies. These books were clearly marked as being for review, missing the gold stamping on the cover, and more. The remainder of the defective books were destroyed.

What follows is an accounting of the remaining sets.

A small group of sets known as "Authors Copies" were made for Linda Cervon to give to family and contributors to the Notebooks. Known as the "Roman Numeral" sets.

A group of 26 sets were put aside by Linda & L&L for use after the tenth anniversary of Bruce's death that are known as the "Alphabet Series". They were identified by a letter between A & Z. This group of 26 sets was intended to be sold as a special edition that was to have a selected group of memorabilia that included decks, photos, tricks, etc. as a value added.

I spoke with Linda minutes ago and with Louis an hour ago and I can state that they said there are no other sets in existence beyond what I have enumerated here.

They both flatly stated that there isn't and will never be a soft cover "mass market" edition. As Linda said it: "in my lifetime I will never authorize a reprinting of Bruce's notebooks."

Regarding eBay and the supposed sale of a set at $2700.

The facts are: The buyer backed out and the auction was canceled. That set did not sell but unfortunately eBay doesn't show that.

If you take the time to go in and read the auction it clearly indicates that it is from Bruce's estate - - - And who here is not smart enough to realize that is Linda?

If you were paying attention, Linda has been selling the few copies that she owned that were not sold in the original offering on eBay since 2009, one at a time. The set that was most recently offered was the last complete set that Linda had for sale from the set of "Authors Copies" There are no more complete sets in her possession. That set was an auction that was scheduled to appear in February, but she assembled and wrote it up before Christmas of last year. She no more knew about the release of the 26 sets at that time than you know the winning lottery numbers for next week.

Linda has been an eBay seller since the 1990s. She has never made any bones about who she is and what her real name is. Anybody who says differently is evil-minded.

Now to get down to the situation at hand.

Louis made the decision to sell the 26 sets that were to be released by L&L and the estate at this time. I know his reasons, but they are not relevant here. He made the decision to sell the group of 26 sets to Murphy's Magic.

They were offered to Linda and to me to market according to the original plan, but neither of us are in a position to put up the amount of cash needed.

Louis today confirmed the price he invoiced the books to Murphy's for. The price he invoiced was far above the $200 per set that you are seeing advertised.
. I repeat: Louis of L&L invoiced Murphy's a lot more money per set than the $200 being advertised.

This means that either someone at Murphy's has made a mistake in creating the ad or someone was trying to cost Murphy's a lot of money by selling the 26 sets for way less than cost.

Murphy's will have to address the exact nature of the problem as I'm not privy to their business. What the actual price that they will sell them for is up to them, but I have a hard time believing that they would sell the 26 sets for way less than the invoice cost.

Anybody that suggests that Linda was doing anything that is less than honorable or would tarnish Bruce's reputation or legacy should issue an immediate retraction and apology. Shame on you.

Lastly, consider this: With single copies of the BCCN books selling for $100 to $1000 each on eBay, why would anybody be stupid enough to sell this deluxe edition for $200 for five books? The old saw about if it looks too good to be true it is most certainly is true here.

So, those of you that impugned her motives, now is the time that you crank up your keyboards and write Linda apologies and do it in public.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 1st, 2016, 1:47 am

Even at $200, the books were not sold at less than cost. The five books cost about $10 each to produce (my educated guess).
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » March 1st, 2016, 1:55 am

Your first post doesn't deal with the the reality that there are multiple websites advertising the set of Notebooks for $200.00 and with a March 28th delivery date. That my friend - is a FACT!

Indeed, that's what folks in this thread are discussing, and having that discussion without the need to apologize to anybody.

Although your post is difficult to parse in places, you've participated in the forum discussion underway, and brought some information forward.

Thanks for that information, and please don't be put out if folks don't immediately acqiese to your post as the gospel on the subject.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby BobLynn » March 1st, 2016, 2:08 am

Richard, it's really late New York time, so you must be almost asleep or you wouldn't have said that. You know perfectly well that the cost of printing has little to do with the cost of a book. If it did then the last book of yours that I bought, one that I paid north of $75 for, would have been only $20.

Go back and read it again. It clearly says that the $200 price is less than what Louis INVOICED them to Murphy for.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby BobLynn » March 1st, 2016, 2:46 am

Roger M. wrote:Your first post doesn't deal with the the reality that there are multiple websites advertising the set of Notebooks for $200.00 and with a March 28th delivery date. That my friend - is a FACT!
.


You're right, they are advertising them at $200.
Ten thousand people could advertise them at $200. That doesn't mean they can deliver. There were only 26 sets available. Regardless of advertised price, the 27th buyer will get NOTHING!

The fact is that they are being advertised at $200 doesn't change the fact that Louis invoiced them to Murphy's for far more than what is advertised. If Murphy chooses to sell at a loss that's up to him.

To suggest that Linda was in possession of knowledge she didn't have and was acting to the detriment of magicians is an affront that should be apologized for.

Go reread my post again when you understand all that is there, I'm sure you will agree with me.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Ted M » March 1st, 2016, 12:47 pm

While they are listed on Murphy-supplied retail websites for $200, I don't currently find them on Murphy's own website at all.

If Murphy's didn't obtain their stock of books at crazy fire-sale prices, then it's most likely that the $200 listing was pushed out from Murphy's with a pricing error.

How often do retailers supplied by Murphy's get listing updates? Weekly? More frequently? I expect those $200 listings will quickly disappear or be tagged as "discontinued," orders placed for $200 will be refunded, and new product listings with a higher price will be pushed out to the retail sites, all well in advance of the March 29 date when the books are actually supposed to become physically available.

And any medieval knights wanting apologies for their ladies can please go jump on horses and joust for their honor. Thanks.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Q. Kumber » March 1st, 2016, 4:55 pm

I suspect the listed price should have been $1200 or $2000 and that the $200 is an error.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby I.M. Magician » March 1st, 2016, 5:16 pm

I suppose we will eventually hear what is going on concerning these books. Lots of confusion here.

On the L & L site, they say that they have only three volumes, not all five. Everywhere else, they claim to have all five volumes. Strange situation but will be clarified soon I suspect.

Tell you one thing, someone really botched the notice for whatever this is! :roll:

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby BobLynn » March 1st, 2016, 5:45 pm

I.M. Magician wrote:I suppose we will eventually hear what is going on concerning these books. Lots of confusion here.

On the L & L site, they say that they have only three volumes, not all five. Everywhere else, they claim to have all five volumes. Strange situation but will be clarified soon I suspect.

Tell you one thing, someone really botched the notice for whatever this is! :roll:


The answer is simple: Louis has a few of the unsold volumes 3, 4, and 5. He doesn't have any volumes 1 or 2.

Louis sold the 26 complete sets, the sets that are known as the "Alphabet series" to Murphy. See my post above.

I do wish that Louis could have stuck to the plan of marketing them slowly after the tenth anniversary of Bruce's death, but Louis has other responsibilities and priorities to satisfy so they were sold as a lot. Regardless, there are still only 26 sets of them any way you cut it.


When the 26 sets are gone, they are gone.
Poof!
Kaput!
Zilch!
Nada.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby AJM » March 1st, 2016, 5:47 pm

Man: I'd like to buy the Cervon Notebooks please.

Shopkeeper: Certainly, that will be $1200 please.

Man: $1200? The shop down the street is selling these for only $200, but they don't have any left.

Shopkeeper: They are? Well I'll make you a deal. When I don't have any left I'll also sell them for $200.

Man: That sounds great. Here is my number, let me know as soon as you are out of stock.

Shopkeeper: Will do.

Man: Thank you. Good day.
Corner-person Begrudger

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 1st, 2016, 5:51 pm

I asked the guys at Vanishing Inc. about this and got this reply ...

"Hello,
I am afraid that these are now permanently out of stock. Sorry about that.
In answer to your question, it was all 5 for $200.
Best wishes,
George"

So it seems that they are permanently out of stock before they ever were in stock.

The ads for this that were on many sites, are now vanishing, one by one.

I knew it was to good to be true.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Bill Mullins » March 1st, 2016, 8:12 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:When you print a book, you don't order an exact number. The printer will always stipulate "10% under or over." So, there could have easily been 50 more sets of these books printed than were initially advertised. You don't know when you do the ad how much the over run will be.


The overage copies have been on sale for a while.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Steve Bryant » March 2nd, 2016, 9:23 am

A little more than 10 percent? I had been routinely receiving number 34 of "limited collector's edition of 500" but failed to order on time to get my preference for Volume 3. Instead I eventually received number LVIII for that volume.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Steve Mills » June 5th, 2016, 7:01 pm

I guess I find this curious.

Today, I see Penguin advertising all five vols for $75 each, due in 6/27. Vanishing Inc. shows them in stock and available now for $100 each. They are also showing on Murphy's site.

None of my business, obviously, but is there a back story here?
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 5th, 2016, 7:35 pm

No idea. But I did manage to snag one of the sets of all five volumes for $200, which was a ridiculously low price, some months ago when they showed up.

Not sure where this new batch is coming from. Maybe they found some boxes ... it happens.
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby PickaCard » June 5th, 2016, 9:58 pm

This must be the only limited edition set to have lost this much value.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » June 5th, 2016, 10:41 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote: Maybe they found some boxes


It would have to be an awfully big box!

It's showing up in a lot of places as "in stock" and ready to order.

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » June 5th, 2016, 11:08 pm

I know this stuff happens, but I'm going to do my best to not fall for the "only 500 will be sold" line next time.

(The one person I think is handling this issue well is Helder Guimarães. His recent limited edition specifically states how long the purchaser can expect exclusivity before a possible reprint may occur--in this case, 10 years from publication date.)

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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby Roger M. » June 6th, 2016, 1:39 pm

To be totally fair, and as much as I've always been surprised at the number of suddenly "found" editions of this book that have shown up seemingly well in excess of the 500 editions that were to form the limited edition, in truth there's still nothing completely solid to indicate a new edition has been released.

I suppose Vanishing Inc's apparent ability to ship you complete sets, or individual volumes for $99.00 each is the most obvious suggestion that there might indeed be a new edition, but that could (I suppose) be explained away as simply an error on the part of Vanishing Inc's webmaster.

I can't see any reference to a delivery date on Penguins web site, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place.

Murphy's, which is from which most magic sold in North America flows, definitely seems to have the books on their site, available for immediate purchase and delivery, but I suppose that too could be simply explained as an error on the part of Murphy's webmaster.

SO ... either folks associated directly with the book are going way out of their way to not in any way indicate they've released a second edition (for obvious reasons) ... OR assorted magic site webmasters are simultaneously making some major errors in the cataloging, pricing and notice of availability of a long discontinued edition of books :!: :?:

PapaG
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby PapaG » June 6th, 2016, 2:04 pm

These books (full sets...) are now popping up in stores all over the place.

What an absolute p!ss take by the publisher.

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erdnasephile
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Re: New release of Cervon Notebooks

Postby erdnasephile » June 6th, 2016, 4:51 pm

Since Ms. Cervon is quoted as saying: "In my lifetime I will never authorize a reprinting of Bruce's notebooks," it seems to me these probably do not these represent a new edition. Perhaps they are yet more overruns?

I understand the need for overruns; however, I do wish that publishers would destroy the overruns of sold out books advertised as "limited editions" (after enough time has passed to exchange defective books, of course).

At least this 3rd wave of books is being advertised at a more realistic price than the previous $40 a book).

I also will be interested to see what happens on June 26th (which is the "in stock" date for several magic dealers' sites).


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