The Magic Rainbow

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Matthew Field
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The Magic Rainbow

Postby Matthew Field » February 11th, 2019, 9:33 am

Just bought myself my next birthday present -- Juan Tamariz's "The Magic Rainbow." Vanishing Inc is selling it and it's not cheap, but it's Tamariz and a must-have for me.

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PapaG
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 11th, 2019, 10:00 am

£137...

I appreciate the significance of Tamariz but crazy prices for a non-deluxe/slipcased black and white book.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 11th, 2019, 10:46 am

Is it? Any idea what a several hundred page hard back costs to produce? ShippIng, editing, layout . . . Not cheap. Then there are the 40 plus years that went into its writing.

If I recall I paid about $40 for each volume of the magic way and five points when I first obtained them in the early 90’s. This book is at least three times thicker and much better produced.

sonata was $60 and less than half as thick.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 11th, 2019, 12:19 pm

I know exactly what books cost to produce.

And here I will discuss only the business aspect, not the value of the books in question, until the last paragraph.

DeLand: Mystery and Madness is the same retail price as The Magic Rainbow.

I'm sure I don't have to point out the differences in the physical product.

However, DeLand is underpriced for what it cost me to produce because I don't think magicians would pay more for the product.

The Magic Rainbow is overpriced for what it cost to produce because magicians will pay for the product. Plus ... there are a lot of fingers in the pie of The Magic Rainbow that need to be paid:
1. Stephen Minch
2. Juan Tamariz
3. Rafael Benetar (the translator)
4. Penguin Magic (the publisher)

That's a lot of mouths to feed. With DeLand, it's just me.

Since Juan began talking about The Magic Rainbow many years ago, people have been waiting for it. His prior books have not disappointed and interest has built to a fever pitch.

My personal view of the book, which I have yet to read, is that it is likely to be one of the most important non-trick books ever published in our field. Everyone should own it and read it.
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 11th, 2019, 12:33 pm

I can only look to other niche hobbies of mine and the pricing of similar books with similar overheads. There is no comparison.

Also one would have thought that the economies of scale - Penguin Magic's relative size compared to Hermetic Press - would have been brought to bear.

I understand fully the cost of deluxe items that Kaufman and co produce. This is not a deluxe item.

My other concern, beyond the pricing of this book per se, is that this sets a nasty precident. Of course magic publications can always justify pricing on the basis of 'what would you pay for the information contained within this tome - it's priceless...' And magicians, being the exclusivity-addicts that they are, lap it up. Obviously there is always the 'the market will dictate what the market can bear' response, but that really is another debate.

£137...

It's a shame that these concerns are being raised around a Juan Tamariz publication.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 11th, 2019, 12:36 pm

To reiterate, I am not disputing Tamariz, nor this book's, importance.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 11th, 2019, 12:58 pm

PapaG,How many magic books do you own? I can look at one shelf in my library - filled with unbound (or spiral bound) pamphlets - some of only a handful of pages - each of which cost as much as this nicely and professionally produced book by penguin.

So to suggest this book might ‘set a precedent’ indicates a complete lack of familiarity with the magic marketplace.

Also, I don’t understand how you can exclaim that it’s a shame these issues are being raised around a tamariz publication, when you are the only one raising said issues.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 11th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:PapaG,How many magic books do you own? I can look at one shelf in my library - filled with unbound (or spiral bound) pamphlets - some of only a handful of pages - each of which cost as much as this nicely and professionally produced book by penguin.

So to suggest this book might ‘set a precedent’ indicates a complete lack of familiarity with the magic marketplace.

Also, I don’t understand how you can exclaim that it’s a shame these issues are being raised around a tamariz publication, when you are the only one raising said issues.



Oh God, here we go.

Firstly, I own a lot of magic books and pamphlets. Thanks for asking. The sort of precedent I am referring to is that of a major publisher of the scale of Penguin Magic charging £137 for a non-deluxe b&w hardback.

Secondly, I am referring to MY reaction and MY regret that it is in relation to a Juan Tamariz book.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby SebT » February 11th, 2019, 2:02 pm

I, personally, have no problem whatsoever about paying 150$ for a 600 page book by Tamariz that we've been waiting for forever... Seems a non-issue to me ;)

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PickaCard » February 11th, 2019, 2:41 pm

$150 is a lot of money for a magic book.

Of course I did buy it but I am from a generation that reads books.

I wonder how many copies of your average magic book is sold to the younger demographic, as I assume from what I observe that they don’t really read magic books.

It seems expensive books are more common these days, Johnny Thompson, Paul Vigil, David Ben’s book on erdbase, the wonderful Tenyo books, Deland, and others...

Maybe $150+ books will become the norm?

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Marco Pusterla » February 11th, 2019, 3:17 pm

I have to admit I haven't bought the DeLand book yet (sorry Richard!) but I did not stop a single second to think whether I could afford the Tamariz book and I ordered it straight away last week when Penguin offered it for pre-sale (post-free to the UK). I read both Spanish and French, and could have bought either edition, as they have been available for years, but I have preferred to wait for the English edition, as I feel more comfortable with it.

As a performer, I know I will benefit from Tamariz's book. I don't perform any of his tricks (yes, I have all his books, been buying them since the 1980s...) but that's not the important bit. The importance of Tamariz's work is not in the tricks, but in the thinking behind them and now that a lifetime of magical thought has been finally committed to paper, I'm sure I will benefit from studying and learning from this book. $150 is a small part of my fee for an hour of close-up magic and at the same time, an investment to further enhance the impact of my magic.

I'm sure reviews will appear in print soon: Michael Close has published a short review in his latest newsletter, and if Mr. Close finds the book thought-provoking and useful, who am I to disagree?

600 pages of theory and $150 are completely wasted if you are just interested in tricks. I cannot imagine a single, dedicated professional magician who will think more than five minutes on whether to buy this book or not. For a professional, this book represents a training course and may be the single major investment of the year (even if it will take years to absorb the contents).

Just my 2 cents...
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 11th, 2019, 3:40 pm

PickaCard wrote:$150 is a lot of money for a magic book.

Of course I did buy it but I am from a generation that reads books.

I wonder how many copies of your average magic book is sold to the younger demographic, as I assume from what I observe that they don’t really read magic books.

It seems expensive books are more common these days, Johnny Thompson, Paul Vigil, David Ben’s book on erdbase, the wonderful Tenyo books, Deland, and others...

Maybe $150+ books will become the norm?


As long as there are customers for books at these price points, they will continue to be sold for these prices.

Consider them "event" books.

I know, even now long before publication, that my new edition of Greater Magic (which will double in size) won't be cheap! :)
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Ted M » February 11th, 2019, 4:40 pm

I see most of those more as legacy books than event books.

An "event" is (too) readily declared by anybody for any purpose, but a legacy book for a major, non-overexposed magical figure is pretty clear.

Berglas, Tenyo, Thompson, DeLand, Tamariz fit clearly into the legacy book category. Most of those also had years of advance buzz and anticipation. Hopefully they are few and far between.

Greater Magic, despite being great, has had a lot of prior exposure and no active buzz among the young. It's also pretty readily available, thanks to 12(? 15?) printings under Carl Jones and the expanded edition of 1994. But over the past decade I haven't seen it very actively cited or recommended. I really can't think of anyone talking about the book, let alone agonizing over the wait to see what extra material may be coming. Certainly I can see its dedicated publisher viewing a new expanded edition as a major event, but I don't see that built-up anticipation among the populace.

Kaplan's The Fine Art of Magic has become a fetishized book with a lot of buzz and desire around it, though.

Ridiculously overpriced books by mentalists are their own weird category.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Lyons » February 11th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Ted M wrote:Kaplan's The Fine Art of Magic has become a fetishized book with a lot of buzz and desire around it, though.


Must be the couple of chapters on mind reading tricks.
;)

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Ted M » February 11th, 2019, 4:59 pm

Also:

Geoff Latta's Long Goodbye was also a legacy book, but a bit more cautiously priced, likely due to fading of his name recognition and probably because coins sell less strongly than cards. But its $80 price was then used to set the price for the next coin book by Bertini, which exhibits the inflationary jump that folks are expressing discomfort with...

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 11th, 2019, 5:08 pm

Joe Lyons wrote:
Ted M wrote:Kaplan's The Fine Art of Magic has become a fetishized book with a lot of buzz and desire around it, though.


Must be the couple of chapters on mind reading tricks.
;)


Actually, and ironically, it’s because it’s considerd one of juan’s Favorite magic books. That’s the reason everyone is hot for it.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 11th, 2019, 5:09 pm

The world is more expensive than it was 30 years ago.

Paper ain’t cheap.

PapaG - think of it this way - the penguin edition is a $150 deluxe edition. It’s printed on paper. The other edition is free, but invisible.
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby AJM » February 11th, 2019, 5:15 pm

This has the potential to be a great topic.

So many factors to consider.
Is a magic book all that different to any other book?
All books cost money to produce.
All books have an abitrary value based on what is contained between the covers - entertainment, information, education, great writing etc.

Then there are market forces, large v small print runs etc.

Do I think a non-deluxe, non-special edition book of c.600 pages, irrespective of content, should cost £140? Definitely not.

Do I own own books like this. Yes, many.

However, as I get older and my bookshelves are full to bursting, I now think long and hard before buying any more. Do I really need even one more book? Do I not currently have enough on my bookshelves to last me several lifetimes?

By and large I stopped buying non-magic books a while back - all those are now downloaded to a Kindle. How long before I need to restrict my magic purchases to e-book format only? Can’t be too far down the line.

I think this is great topic in general without the need to cite specific authors or publishers.

Andrew
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Bill Mullins » February 11th, 2019, 5:24 pm

His recent DVD set is also $150. Which would cost more to produce? Which would have more/better content?

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Lyons » February 11th, 2019, 5:39 pm

AJM wrote:This has the potential to be a great topic.

Then there are market forces, large v small print runs etc.

Andrew


Good points all, Andrew. I think it boils down to the market. The Johnny Thompson books were twice as pricey and sold out the first run in short order.

I would like to attend more pro football games but the ticket prices forbid it.
Stadiums, however, remain full.

This book promises to sell out shortly, it would have to languish for a while to say that the publisher made a mistake with regard to price point.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 11th, 2019, 7:30 pm

Clearly ‘a mistake’ for you is simply one where profit wasn’t absolutely maximised.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Jack Shalom » February 11th, 2019, 7:53 pm

The premise that a precedent has been created for the sale of $150 non deluxe magic books is faulty; the precedent that has been created is for $150 non deluxe 600 page *Tamariz* books.

I don't expect too many more of those.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Steve Mills » February 11th, 2019, 8:03 pm

Leaving potential future customers a feeling of being gouged is never a good thing.
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Lyons » February 11th, 2019, 8:05 pm

PapaG wrote:Clearly ‘a mistake’ for you is simply one where profit wasn’t absolutely maximised.


When we are discussing the free market, yes.

It's not perfect but I'll take it over the alternatives.

And I have to live with it whether I like it or not.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Naud » February 11th, 2019, 10:27 pm

I look at it this way, to really get as much out of this you need to slowly digest it. Let’s say it takes 4 months, 150 pages a month. $37.50 a month or $9.37 a week. Nit too bad. You will have to reread it. There’s a few mire weeks. What can you get to enrich your mind, let’s you peer into the mind of a genius and help you grow in your job or hobby for that price? Besides that I have credit so why not. :D

Peace, Joe

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 11th, 2019, 10:30 pm

In the case of The Magic Rainbow, it is a book that truly broadens all pathways into the construction and performance of magic. It's like an inexhaustible fountain that keeps giving. Few books reach that goal.
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Q. Kumber » February 12th, 2019, 3:57 am

At least with sleight-of-hand, a move, even a complicated one can be described by a competent writer. It can be demonstrated and taught.

Putting onto paper one's thoughts and feelings about the how and why mindset is a different kettle of fish, as more often than not, you are trying to explain what you know instinctively, have learnt by osmosis, and the years of doing it.

To figure it out so you can articulate it in such a way that others can grasp your meaning is infinitely more difficult than simply describing how a trick is done.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Matthew Field » February 12th, 2019, 5:00 am

Todd Karr, whom I consider a friend, and whose many excellent books published by his Miracle Factory grace my shelves, broke the ceiling on non-mentalism book prices. I don't blame him, but he helped pave the way. Similarly, Luis de Matos for magic videos. Magic books (and videos) have a limited potential audience and contain knowledge that is of practical and possibly money-earning use to professionals and amateurs. Take into account some of the things Richard has mentioned about production, research, printing, storage etc. and I think Todd was just being realistic (and Luis as well). I'm happy to pay the price for the Tamariz book, but I have become much more selective about the books (and videos and apparatus) I purchase, for practical reasons. (I'm old and pretty much retired, to name two of those reasons.)

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Dick Koornwinder » February 12th, 2019, 8:54 am

Let us discuss the content instead of the price.
Don't skip pages 92-95.....I was really touched. :D :D

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 12th, 2019, 9:09 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:In the case of The Magic Rainbow, it is a book that truly broadens all pathways into the construction and performance of magic. It's like an inexhaustible fountain that keeps giving. Few books reach that goal.


No one is doubting the quality of the contents of the book. If there ought to be a direct correlation between quality of contents and price, as many seem to be arguing, God knows how much you should be charging for the Genii subscription, or indeed your recent works. Clearly there is something else at work in your pricing decision beyond simply ‘market forces’. One hesitates to speak for someone else, but one can imagine that a sense of fairness, having respect for the community in which one works, love for the hobby, a desire to try to see that the book is not completely priced out of the reach of the vast majority, all inform pricing decisions. All these factors speak to more than ‘the market dictates’. Again, I can only assume...

It should also be noted that, given the nature of the magic market, many magic products could be classed as giffen goods. Not only does the notion of possible scarcity generate greater demand, but the higher value, rather than scaring people off, can whip up greater demand.

Resisting these kind of tactics obviously suggests that a sense of fairness and respect can, for some, be more important than simply maximising profit (unlike the suggestion of some people above).

Returning to the Magic Rainbow pricing, I can only compare it with the pricing of Mnemonica, a similarly important Tamariz work, when it was released by Stephen Minch.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Q. Kumber » February 12th, 2019, 9:19 am

PapaG wrote:Returning to the Magic Rainbow pricing, I can only compare it with the pricing of Mnemonica, a similarly important Tamariz work, when it was released by Stephen Minch.


I refer you back to my post above.

Let me add:
Mnemonica is a book of tricks.
The Magic Rainbow is a book on creating magic.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Smurf » February 12th, 2019, 9:27 am

I had to look up the term "giffen goods." I've learned something new today and the day has barely begun.

Thanks PapaG.

John

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby PapaG » February 12th, 2019, 9:35 am

Q. Kumber wrote:
PapaG wrote:Returning to the Magic Rainbow pricing, I can only compare it with the pricing of Mnemonica, a similarly important Tamariz work, when it was released by Stephen Minch.


I refer you back to my post above.

Let me add:
Mnemonica is a book of tricks.
The Magic Rainbow is a book on creating magic.



Yes, I remember it well, the minimal anticipation in the English-speaking world for the translation of just ‘a book of tricks’.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 12th, 2019, 10:21 am

PapaG,

You speak of fairness for the community - but what about fairness for the people who spend years of their life developing the material and presenting it in a form which can be shared?

Why should you get to dictate what is fair? Do you know how much work went into getting to the point to be able to create the material, any idea how many hours were spent in development, rehearsal, and refinement over years of performance, let alone the countless hours at a keyboard?

Who are you to put a price tag on someone else’s time and talent?

You ask what the impact will be for the ‘community’? I’ll tell you.

When people like you bitch and moan about paying a fair price for a human being’s life’s work you only discourage people with talent from sharing that work with you.

Why would someone who can make exponentially more money actually performing their material waste the energy to share it when people like you aren’t willing to invest a fraction of the resources required to produce it in the first place?

It’s statements like yours which are used by the pirates and thieves to rationalize their theft of material. ‘It’s not FAIR this is so expensive. How can anyone expect me to pay THIS much for someone else’s life’s work? But daddy, I want it now!!!!!’

You don’t care about the community or fairness, PapaG. You care about your own selfish interests.

Why would great artists want to take a loss on their investment required to share their work when people like you are motived only by selfishness? Do you tend to want to help out the selfish? Why should we expect the artist to be more magnanimous than you are willing to be?

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Lyons » February 12th, 2019, 10:28 am

Brad Henderson wrote:PapaG,
Why would great artists want to take a loss on their investment required to share their work when people like you are motived only by selfishness? Do you tend to want to help out the selfish? Why should we expect the artist to be more magnanimous than you are willing to be?


Who is John Galt?

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Brad Henderson » February 12th, 2019, 10:35 am

Joe Lyons wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:PapaG,
Why would great artists want to take a loss on their investment required to share their work when people like you are motived only by selfishness? Do you tend to want to help out the selfish? Why should we expect the artist to be more magnanimous than you are willing to be?


Who is John Galt?


Not quite. More like basic math - if you can’t make enough to justify the time required to produce the item, it simply isn’t financially viable to do so.

But to your point - there isn’t an English edition of the fechner Robert-houdin books (vol 3/4) for a reason.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby erdnasephile » February 12th, 2019, 10:41 am

Richard:

Will Genii possibly be publishing an excerpt of this book? I hope so, as having a taste of the contents might provide some context for the discussion. Right now, all most of us have are non-specific magic celebrity endorsements and previous works to go by. (Am I the only person who finds some of the English translations of Sr. Tamariz' previous writings hard to decipher at times?)

Full disclosure: I'm not fishing for a freebie--my copy is on the way. I just find it a bit ironic that we are rather passionately discussing something that 99% of us haven't even read yet.
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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Joe Lyons » February 12th, 2019, 10:42 am

You're correct Brad, objectivism doesn't explain it perfectly, but it's close.
I'm just agreeing with you.

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Bill Mullins » February 12th, 2019, 11:05 am

erdnasephile wrote: I just find it a bit ironic that we are rather passionately discussing something that 99% of us haven't even read yet.


Some are discussing the specific book and whether it is too expensive or not; and some are discussing the broader principles (for which discussion you don't have to read The Magic Rainbow.)

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Re: The Magic Rainbow

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 12th, 2019, 11:11 am

Mr. Henderson, you are getting a bit carried away.
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