"I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Talk about what is being written in other magic publications.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Bill Mullins » March 22nd, 2008, 1:03 am

Spellbinder wrote:In all of my comments on e-Books, I am referring to Magic Nook e-Books, and the key word is "legally". None of our e-Books are sold on CDs, but are digitally delivered. Therefore, in order to transfer it to anyone else for sale or otherwise you have to make a COPY of it, which immediately infringes the RIGHT of the copyright holder. Public Libraries know this and deal only with a different type of e-Book. They would not stock or deal with ours.

An e-Book on a CD can be sold or traded without infringing this right, as long as it is the original CD being sold, and not a copy. I hope this clarifies several testy comments to my post from others that follow yours.


If I own a book, I can sell it. That's settled law -- the "first sale" principle.

If I "own" a Magic Nook ebook, apparently I can't sell it. Therefore I don't own it. At best, I'm buying a license of some sort.

This is one major benefit of a book, and why people resent paying as much for an e-book as a book. You don't receive as much value as you would if it were truly a book.

You've made they argument several times, though, that it's worth $40 regardless. Are you saying, then that it's the same value as a physical, ownable copy of any of the books the Chief Genii would sell you for that price?

Aftercraft: More Card Trickery (J.K. Hartman) $40
Arcade Dreams: Non-Card Magic of Ed Marlo (Jon Racherbaumer) $40
Discoverie of Witchcraft (Reginald Scot) $40
Duffie's Card Compulsion (Peter Duffie) $35
Feints & Temps of Harry Riser (Ed Brown) $40
Five Times Five: Scotland (Peter Duffie) $35
Folding Money Fooling (Robert Neale) $35
Gary Kurtz: Unexplainable Acts (Richard Kaufman) $35
Great Balloons (Jean Merlin) $35
Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields (Jon Racherbaumer) $35
Jennings '67 (Richard Kaufman) $40
Looking Glass (Complete File of 4 Issues) $40
Lou Gallo: The Underground Man (Kaufman/Phillips) $35
Magic of Edward Victors Hands (Rae Hammond) $40
Magic of the Hands Trilogy (Edward Victor) $35
Now You See It, Now You Don't Notebook (Bill Tarr) $35
Performance of Close Up Magic (Eugene Burger) $35
Sankey Panky (Richard Kaufman) $35
Secrets Draun from Underground (Richard Kaufman) $35
Stanyons Serial Lessons in Conjuring (Ellis Stanyon) $35
Street Magic, Hardcover (Jeff Sheridan/Edward Claflin) $40
Trickery Treats: Card Craft Continued (J.K. Hartman) $40
Vis a Vis, A Jack Avis Book (Jack Avis/John Derris) $40

And since the value of an ebook is wrapped up in the information it contains, not in the format, it's fair (it seems to me) to compare it to the used book market. These books sold or were offered lately on the forum for <$40. Are you saying your product is a better value than:

Amazing Miracles of Shigeo Takagi, The - Richard Kaufman - $35
The Cervon File - Bruce Cervon - $30
The Classic Magic Of Larry Jennings - Mike Maxwell - $35
Drawing Room Deceptions, A Collection of Guy Hollingworth - $30
Encyclopedia of Silk Magic Volume 3 - Harold Rice - $40
Five Times Five - Japan - Richard Kaufman - $40
Flashpoints: Ed Marlo's Full Tilt & Devilish Miracle -Jon Racherbaumer -$30
Flicking Fingers: The Book or Don't Forget to Point - $35
Lou Gallo: The Underground Man - Richard Kaufman & Mark Phillips - $30
One Hundred by Warlock - Elizabeth Warlock - $35
JENNINGS '67 NO DUST JACKET. FIRST EDITION $35
GENE MAZE AND THE ART OF BOTTOM DEALING $30 mp
SECRETS OF BRO. HAMMAN KAUFMAN EDITION $35
CARD COLLEGE #5 PERFECT SHAPE $30 mp
MAGIC AND METHODS OF ROSS BERTRAM $30
THE PERFORMANCE OF CLOSE UP MAGIC FIRST EDITION EUGENE BURGER $30 mp
THE NEW MODERN COIN MAGIC (ripped DJ) $10 f
13 STEPS TO MENTALISM $20 f
MAGIC WITH CARDS GARCIA & SCHINDLER $10 f
ULTRA CERVON $30 f
GARY KURTZ: UNEXPLANABLE ACTS $40 f
DAVID ACER NATURAL SELECTIONS $30 f
A Close-Up Kinda Guy, Paul Harris, hb dj in mylar $30.00
The Award Winning Magic of John Cornelius hb 1st dj in mylar $35.00
The Artful Mentalism of Bob Cassidy, 1st ed hd dj in mylar $40.00
Card Cavalcade Jerry Mentzer HB $20.00
Card Cavalcade: Finale Jerry Mentzer HB $20.00
Cardworks, Richard Kaufman, HB dj in mylar 1st ed $40.00 **SOLD**
Close-Up Card Magic Harry Lorayne copyright 1976 dj in mylar 1st ed third printing $30.00

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 2:01 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:Color is nice, sure. But I've never seen a card related book that really needed it. Many classic card magic books (most?)have no color at all and do not suffer from that.

The assertion that a hardcover is needed to hold 230 pages is ridiculous. Have you been to a bookstore lately? Ever read a large trade paperback?

You are comparing apples to oranges using a surious argument. Because you have never seen a card magic book that needed color, you assume that color is not needed. You obviously haven't seen one of Magicbob's effects, but most require that you use a color template from the e-Book, direct to your computer, so that you can print out the gaffed card(s) used in the effect following his detailed instructions for doing so. Lulu.com does not allow for a publication that has a mixture of color photos and black and white photos, so since color is necessary, not only for Magicbobn's color-coded diagrams, but also for his templates, the only solution is to go with all color pages. Granted another publisher might be able to mix B&W with color photos, but then you would still have the awful prospect of having to transfer the color photos from the book into a computer via a scanner in order to produce the gaffed cards. Our goal is to make our customers happy (we have no control over the happiness of our non-customers) and this method of publication would not.

A 230 page paperback (even a 655 page paperback) is fine for reading, but not for working with. Magicbob's audience does not merely read his e-Books, they use them to make his effects. Anyone who has ever tried working with a paperback cookbook in the kitchen knows how quickly the book breaks apart when you open it and hold the page flat while you are beating up the eggs with one hand and searching for the next ingredient with the other hand. All of the effects we work with at The Magic Nook are "Do-It-Yourself" magic effects, and Magicbob's are no different. Folding a paperback flat to try to get the templates from a scanner, or try to hold it flat so you can work on one part of the effect and read up as the glue is drying, etc. will end up with a seriously damaged paperback.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 2:15 am

John LeBlanc wrote:But, this is a free market economy. If you can actually sell an email for $40, written by someone named "MagicBob" and marketed by someone who allegedly legally changed his name to "Phineas Spellbinder" -- I say knock yourself out.

As Mr. Pokhis is known to say, "America: what a country!"


Thanks! Since this seems to be as close as I'm going to get to a positive posting from a non-customer on this Forum, I say "America; the land of the free and the brave!"
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 2:19 am

Cugel wrote:
I think it's an admirable objective: to maximise the creator's return on their energies and investment. But actually there are two sides to the coin and the other side is the expectations of the customer. It's one thing to say you want to pour dollars into the coffers of the author, but the customer would also like to get VALUE for their money. An actual book is the undisputed, established industry benchmark for delivering intellectual property to a magic customer base. When you charge the exact same price for a digital file (and usually one of around 30 to 40 pages!), you are effectively short-changing the customer in terms of the product you are delivering.

I know you have stars in your eyes over this low-overheard, profit-maximization delivery method, but if you can't see that plenty of magicians feel they are not getting their money's worth, then you are in denial.

Does sir want cracked pepper with his hat ring?


You only get me to eat a hat ring by disproving my calculations in hard cash, not by arguing your philosophy as to how things ought to work because they have always worked that way in the past. Hold onto the cracked pepper, however, since Richard has not weighed in yet.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 2:40 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:Ah, now I remember "Spellbinder" and his literary endeavors.
Seen here pimping a book allegedly written by his 8 year old prodigal grandson "Eleazar Goodenough".


My grandson is now ten years old and still contributing magic ideas to The Wizards' Journal, but not as prodigiously as he did in the past. These days, magic is competing with his music (clarinet, trumpet, and guitar) and sports (mostly baseball) and videography and 3-D cartoon drawing (science fair project on optics). His six year old sister may have to take over writing his Hat Ring book in order to finish it. That is, between her violin, oil painting:

Image

and other kindergarten craft projects she keeps bringing home.

But thanks for asking about him and I'm sure you'll be hearing about Wilhemina Goodenough's magic endeavors soon enough, so you'll have even more to grumble about.

"Oh, don't the day seem lank and long when all goes right and nothing goes wrong?
And isn't your life extremely flat when you've nothing whatever to grumble at?" ... W.S. Gilbert
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 22nd, 2008, 2:40 am

Spellbinder wrote:
You only get me to eat a hat ring by disproving my calculations in hard cash, not by arguing your philosophy as to how things ought to work because they have always worked that way in the past. Hold onto the cracked pepper, however, since Richard has not weighed in yet.


I'm not actually interested in getting you to eat your ring.

My only interest in all of this is pointing out that an ebook is a book before someone actually prints it. But it ain't a book and, therefore, it logically follows that it isn't worth the price of a book of similar word length.

That has been proven time and again in this thread and any sophistry or tapdancing around it will never change the fact that if $40-50 is the industry standard for a magic hardcover, then you are getting gouged if you pay the same amount for someone's password protected PDF.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Chris Aguilar » March 22nd, 2008, 2:57 am

Spellbinder wrote:
Chris Aguilar wrote:Color is nice, sure. But I've never seen a card related book that really needed it. Many classic card magic books (most?)have no color at all and do not suffer from that.

The assertion that a hardcover is needed to hold 230 pages is ridiculous. Have you been to a bookstore lately? Ever read a large trade paperback?

You are comparing apples to oranges using a surious argument. Because you have never seen a card magic book that needed color, you assume that color is not needed. You obviously haven't seen one of Magicbob's effects, but most require that you use a color template from the e-Book,
So then you'd be passing the cost of printing out those expensive color templates on to your customers on top of the $40 you're already charging them for the privilege of receiving a pdf in their e-mail. Great value there.

For the price you charge ($40, as much as many professionally printed hardcover books), I'd think you could throw in some hard copy templates (or some of the gaffed cards) or sell a hard copy of the book (with a low production cost (b/w plasticoil or perfect bound)of $9.13/copy) and make the color templates available as a download.


A 230 page paperback (even a 655 page paperback) is fine for reading, but not for working with.


Oh [censored].

You could offer it plasticoil which lays flat. lulu.com's "print on Demand" offers coil binding effective up to 470 pages.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 3:01 am

Bill Mullins wrote: You've made they argument several times, though, that it's worth $40 regardless. Are you saying, then that it's the same value as a physical, ownable copy of any of the books the Chief Genii would sell you for that price?

(LIST OF BOOKS AND PRICES ELIMINATED AS IRRELEVANT]

And since the value of an ebook is wrapped up in the information it contains, not in the format, it's fair (it seems to me) to compare it to the used book market. These books sold or were offered lately on the forum for $40. Are you saying your product is a better value than: (LONG LIST OF BOOKS AND PRICES ELIMINATED AS IRRELEVANT]


Yes.

Why is Magicbob's e-Book a better value than any of the books in the long lists you felt compelled to provide (really, one or two examples would have been sufficient)?

Reason 1. Because none of those books is available in a large print edition for those of us with aging eyes. Any e-Book can be instantly resized to fit the reader, and photos can be magnified without reaching for a magnifying glass.

Reason 2. (Already mentioned above) Because Magicbob's e-books do require color photos, and they do allow you to print out your gaffed cards so they look like the real thing and not some black and white imitation.

Reason 3. If you feel the need to make a hardcopy to have on your table as you work, you can print out just the pages needed instead of the entire book, and lay them perfectly flat so they don't get in your way.

Reason 4. If you lose the files on your computer due to flood, fire, acts of god or otherwise, you just e-mail Magicbob (or me, if he's on vacation like he is right now), identify yourself as a purchaser, and we send you another copy.

Reason 5. If you are reading through the e-Book and you don't understand something, it's poorly written or otherwise unclear, you e-mail one of us and we either walk you through the problem step by step, or we rewrite the entire sentence or passage as needed.

Reason 6. If you point out an error that requires us to rewrite a section of the e-Book, every former purchaser is also sent an up-dated copy with the correction or addendum.

Reason 7. If you are searching for a particular spot in the e-Book and can identify that spot by a unique word, just use the "Find" feature on your computer to get right to the spot. Better than an index.

I don't want to make this list too long, so I'll stop here and allow you to locate one of the books in your long lists of printed books that has comparable features.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 3:15 am

This is fun, boys, but pointless. We both know that the nay-sayers here will never, ever, see a Magic Nook e-Book. We also know that the majority of our customers are repeat customers who look forward to getting our latest e-Books.

I'll come back from time to time to see if anyone has an argument worth eating a hat ring over, but if you're just going to go around in circles with the same old arguments based on not knowing what you are talking about and refusing to ever investigate Magicbob's e-Book(s), you'll have to go play by yourselves, as I have work to do.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 22nd, 2008, 3:19 am

Whatever. They're still not books. Cost as much, though.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Chris Aguilar » March 22nd, 2008, 3:23 am

Why not mail a copy of the e-book to Genii for review? I'm sure a few of us would like to see some in depth commentary from experienced reviewers.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 22nd, 2008, 4:44 am

Excellent idea. I would recommend Jamy Swiss review it.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 9:21 am

Now that is truly ostrich-like head-in-the-sand behavior, except that's giving ostriches a bad name because only humans act like that. This is really the first time the quality of the content has been mentioned in this thread. The focus, so far, has been e-Book versus paper book, no matter how good the content is.

The review page has been in plain sight ever since the book was completed. Did anyone bother to even glance at it? http://www.magicnook.com/magicbob/IHCT/reviews.htm

However, I am sure you will now begin to pull apart the reviewers, declaring them "inexperienced."
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 22nd, 2008, 10:57 am

The quality of the content is actually irrelevant to this discussion. The discussion is about how someone has the gall to charge $40 for a fancy electronic file containing 10 tricks with no production costs other than time.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 22nd, 2008, 11:08 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The quality of the content is actually irrelevant to this discussion. The discussion is about how someone has the gall to charge $40 for a fancy electronic file containing 10 tricks with no production costs other than time.


Thank you for the compliment, but our pdf files really aren't that fancy. They are designed to be useful to the working magician. As for having the gall, I explained all that in an earlier post, which you must have somehow overlooked in your haste to post another gibe. I'll quote myself:

"I'm going to assume that remark about e-books costing "nothing to create because there is no production expense" as directed at other publisher's e-books which are largely text, with no layout, no photos, no diagrams, no research, no citations, no references, no professional editing, no proofreading, and no lifetime updates. Anyone who has seen Magicbob's e-books knows that he doesn't just think up these card effects and write them down. He builds each one, photographs each step, overlays the photos with diagrams, etc. There is a great deal of production time and work involved, for which you, Richard, would have to pay someone a great deal of money to produce for Genii. Do you do all that work yourself? The fact that Magicbob does all this work himself with editing, proofreading and Web layout work from me does not make the process cost-free.

But just for argument, let's say Magicbob wanted to turn just one effect into a printed book, using a low cost Internet service like lulu.com. Let's just use "The Mismade Queen" from his book "I Hate Card Tricks!" as an example. That e-book is 20 pages with 20 color photos/diagrams. Converting it to a comparable printed book with Lulu, we use the U.S. Letter Color, Plasticoil binding (8.5" x 11") to make it comparable with many other magic publications. Lulu's handy-dandy little cost calculator reveals that the COST per unit would be $7.35. You get a discount when you have more than 25 books printed, but the COST is still going to be more than $5.00. That's what Magicbob would have to pay for the prestige of providing you with a printed copy of his e-book. Let's say he managed to get the best discount by ordering thousands of copies of this 20 page book and his cost is $5 per book. He still has to package and ship the book to you and store boxes of just this single chapter of his book in his house. If we use the cheapest possible packing and shipping (plastic bag-slow boat magazine rate) it's still going to add about $2.00 to his costs, even if he does all the work himself. So far the cost of the printed book is $7.00. 40% profit is usual, so give him $4.60 for himself. You would have to pay $11.60 for that single chapter printed out as a book. Instead, you pay $5.00 for an e-Book; Magicbob gets to keep $4.50 after PayPal processing costs.

You think that the cost of an e-Book should be commensurately lower than a physical printed book? It is.

The full book, by the way, which is 230 pages in length with 20-30 color photos per chapter, would have to be published as a hardbound book to hold together. The COST of publishing a single book of that size at Lulu is $48.50. That's not what YOU would pay, that's what Magicbob would have to pay. Applying the same math, biggest discount, cost of packaging and shipping plus adding on a 40% profit for the author/publisher ends up making YOUR cost $75.00 and Magicbob's profit $30. For the e-Book you pay $40 and Magicbob gets to keep $38.

You think that the cost of an e-Book should be commensurately lower than a physical printed book? It is.

Do you want to make Magicbob a better offer than he could get from Lulu.com, Richard? I'm sure he would be interested, but I doubt he would be getting $4.50 per effect and $38 per collection of ten effects with any print publication.

Prove I'm wrong and I'll eat a Hat Ring. "
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 22nd, 2008, 11:28 am

Phineas, or whatever your reak name is, you're never going to convince us, so why don't you just give it a break. lulu.com is not the only option in the world for getting a book printed, so please don't keep beating that dead horse.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Chris Aguilar » March 22nd, 2008, 12:44 pm

Repeating the same [censored] ("...230 pages in length with 20-30 color photos per chapter, would have to be published as a hardbound book to hold together.") does not make it true.

I'd guess that not too many of us give a [censored] about, or have much faith in, the quotes you've posted up from "names" on your site as those are not reviews, but rather advertising blurbs.

Let's see a real review from someone like Swiss or Regal. Any reason you wouldn't want to take a few seconds and mail a copy of your pdf to the head Genii for that purpose?

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Bob Farmer » March 22nd, 2008, 1:47 pm

This may be the odd opinion out here, but I've never made a purchase decision about magic information based on its format. I don't care if it's a pdf, a hardback, a booklet or a scroll made from walrus hide. I simply decide if the information is worth the price for me. So, for me, a pdf with the complete workings of the Hooker Rising Cards would be a deal for $300, while 50 cents would be too much for a spiffy, hardbound book with 35 more Matrix variations.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby NCMarsh » March 22nd, 2008, 4:41 pm

Who wrote this eBook?

N.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 22nd, 2008, 9:30 pm

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Let's see a real review from someone like Swiss or Regal.



Regal's reviews are increasingly courageous, but Mead and especially Swiss are well known for not holding their punches. I'd want to see one of the latter two do the review - focusing both on content and value for money.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Jim Maloney » March 22nd, 2008, 10:38 pm

NCMarsh wrote:Who wrote this eBook?

N.

Bob Pulver

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Magicbob » March 23rd, 2008, 3:00 pm

Wow! What a firestorm has been created. I had no idea such a lively discussion was occuring here. But, as the author, I guess I should really weigh in.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I am not some teenager out to make a fast buck. My name is Robert Pulver. I have been performing magic since I was a kid (I'm now 42 years old). I'm not a full-time magician, which is one reason why you've never heard of me before now. My "day job" as a performer in the music industry (my other great love) provides a great living and, as much as I would enjoy performing magic full-time, it wouldn't be responsible of me to start over "paying my dues" in that field. Plus, I also love music and could not bear to give it up either. So, due to my rehearsal/performing schedule, etc., I pretty much limit my performing to occasional children's shows in my local area. I do this primarily because I get such joy out of entertaining kids. So, you need not worry that I'm just some pimply teenager who thinks he's a hotshot card magician. :)

One comment earlier makes a great point and (perhaps inadvertently) points out a marketing error on my part. I chose as a pen name the (admittedly somewhat cheesy) stage name I use for kid's shows. On further reflection, I probably would not buy something from an author referred to only as "magicbob." :)

Although my full name does appear elsewhere on the website and in the book, I am going to change the cover and publicity materials to reflect that I am, indeed, a real person.

There are a lot of peripheral discussions/arguments over the e-book format, etc. I'm no expert in those subjects, but I think there are some good points on both sides concerning book publishing, etc. Regardless, my material is currently only available in e-book format. I have been told by several of the pros that reviewed the book that I should consider a print edition. I am definitely considering this, and will research all of the publishing options. But for now, it's an e-book. If you have an aversion to e-books, then I guess it's not for you. I'd venture a guess that if/when I release this in print, there will be a certain segment of the population that complains because it's not a DVD! :)

Anyway, I understand that some people think the price is too high. Others who have purchased it have stated that it's well worth the cost. But of course, everyone has their own opinion and I respect that. I'm a firm believer in market forces. If the price of something is high enough that no one buys it, it will invariably come down. I'm in the process of analyzing the price to sales ratio and may consider dropping the price. Now sales will probably drop to zero due to people speculating about a lower price on the horizon, but I'm not worried about that. Like I said, I'm not some Professor Harold Hill (see "The Music Man" for that reference), out to make a fast buck and then hop on the next train out of town.

Concerning submitting my material to a Genii reviewer... I'd be happy to do so and let the chips fall where the may (even if I sense a little bit of a "let Mikey try it... he won't like it... he hates EVERYthing!" attitude).

Let me just close by asking that everyone take a breath and try to keep the discourse civil. I'm on vacation with my family right now but, but upon my return, I will contact Mr. Kaufman to arrange for a review. I'm thick-skinned enough to handle it if someone gives it a less than glowing review. In fact, I welcome any and all CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. It can only serve to help me provide better and better quality products.

Bob

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 23rd, 2008, 5:06 pm

No one is ever under any obligation to submit things for review.

Ebooks, just like single-trick DVDs, are inevitably held to a high standard because their prices are higher than printed books or normal DVDs which consistently have a larger amount of material for similar prices.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 5:27 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:Ebooks, just like single-trick DVDs, are inevitably held to a high standard because their prices are higher than printed books or normal DVDs which consistently have a larger amount of material for similar prices.


An interesting comment in light of this Review: http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... #Post38759

This in no way detracts from Tom Baxter's excellent e-Book (a 45 page pdf file which sold for $35 Canadian). I just include it as an apparent double standard comparison which makes me doubt that this fuss is about the price of an e-Book versus the price of a print book.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 23rd, 2008, 5:35 pm

Erase all doubt from your mind. I can confirm that this "fuss is about the price of an e-Book versus the price of a print book".

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 6:03 pm

Cugel wrote:Erase all doubt from your mind. I can confirm that this "fuss is about the price of an e-Book versus the price of a print book".


I am much relieved. I have a simple solution for that. Don't buy it if you can't afford it. That will help keep the secrets exclusive for those who really want them, who can appreciate them and who can afford to pay for them. American capitalism at work!
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 23rd, 2008, 6:37 pm

Wow, cutting. I prefer not to blow my money on an email for the price of a book so now I "can't afford it" and can't "appreciate them". Zing. You got me bad. Oh, I'm bleeding here.

The essential point about making choices is true, however. I choose quality of format and content every time, so I'll keep buying books from H&R, Hermetic and Kaufman and let you sell your emails to the other folks.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 7:04 pm

Excellent decision. I'm sorry if you felt offended, but I doubt you lost any blood. I also buy paper books from the same sources you mentioned, as well as e-Books from others (it's a perfectly good word, like e-Mail, and you needn't feel ashamed to use it). Now I can go back to work without wasting any more words on this subject.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 23rd, 2008, 7:20 pm

Not ashamed. But I prefer precision in my communications. The term ebook is a misnomer - a little white lie used for marketing purposes. Email is the correct term for what you are selling.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 23rd, 2008, 7:21 pm

I didn't write that review, so it has no bearing on my remarks.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby NCMarsh » March 23rd, 2008, 7:46 pm

Spellbinder wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:Ebooks, just like single-trick DVDs, are inevitably held to a high standard because their prices are higher than printed books or normal DVDs which consistently have a larger amount of material for similar prices.


An interesting comment in light of this Review: http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... #Post38759


1. That is a post on a bulletin board, not a review in the magazine Richard edits. What is the gotcha?

2. Even if it had been a review in the magazine Richard edits, the fact that e-books priced as hardcover books are held to a higher standard does not mean that they can't meet or exceed that standard. I share Richard's higher bar for these releases. I have also paid $300 for a single-plot e-book (Bob Kohler's Human Phone Number), and been extremely satisfied.

In any case, I really appreciated Mr. Pulver's introducing himself. I do disagree with the suggestion that Swiss and Mead "hate everything," there are many, many quality publications that they both enthusiastically recommend.

N.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Bill Mullins » March 23rd, 2008, 8:34 pm

Spellbinder wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote: You've made they argument several times, though, that it's worth $40 regardless. Are you saying, then that it's the same value as a physical, ownable copy of any of the books the Chief Genii would sell you for that price? . . . Are you saying your product is a better value than: (LONG LIST OF BOOKS AND PRICES ELIMINATED AS IRRELEVANT]


Yes.


Wow. That is one high-value ebook.


Why is Magicbob's e-Book a better value than any of the books in the long lists you felt compelled to provide (really, one or two examples would have been sufficient)?

Reason 1. Because none of those books is available in a large print edition for those of us with aging eyes. Any e-Book can be instantly resized to fit the reader, and photos can be magnified without reaching for a magnifying glass.

If you are making the argument that ebooks are easier on the eyes (even the eyes of people who don't see well) than physical books, you are using readers with which I am not familiar.


Reason 2. (Already mentioned above) Because Magicbob's e-books do require color photos, and they do allow you to print out your gaffed cards so they look like the real thing and not some black and white imitation.

Not a counter-argument here, just a question. Are you saying that to do the tricks in the ebook, I need to print out some cards? When I print them out, do they need to match cards from an ordinary deck? If I print them out on bond paper from either a laser or ink jet printer, will it be painfully obvious that I've wrung in a gaff?

Reason 3. If you feel the need to make a hardcopy to have on your table as you work, you can print out just the pages needed instead of the entire book, and lay them perfectly flat so they don't get in your way.

You can do this with a photocopier and any real book.

Reason 4. If you lose the files on your computer due to flood, fire, acts of god or otherwise, you just e-mail Magicbob (or me, if he's on vacation like he is right now), identify yourself as a purchaser, and we send you another copy.

Does the license agreement allow me to make my own back-up copies?


Reason 5. If you are reading through the e-Book and you don't understand something, it's poorly written or otherwise unclear, you e-mail one of us and we either walk you through the problem step by step, or we rewrite the entire sentence or passage as needed.

A cynic might say that your ebook has not gone through the editorial review process I could expect from any book released by Kaufman, Hermetic, etc., and thus is not quite ready for release (or at best, is only a pre-publication draft). I won't go this far, but I will say that I've had email conversations with a number of the authors/editors on the list I generated and have found the writers in contemporary magic to be uniformly helpful in explaining their work.

Reason 6. If you point out an error that requires us to rewrite a section of the e-Book, every former purchaser is also sent an up-dated copy with the correction or addendum.

A "feature" which is of value only if the original production team didn't do their job well in the first place.

Reason 7. If you are searching for a particular spot in the e-Book and can identify that spot by a unique word, just use the "Find" feature on your computer to get right to the spot. Better than an index.

Searchability is truly an advantage that ebooks have over real books. But a well-done index and table of contents is 90% as good.

I don't want to make this list too long, so I'll stop here and allow you to locate one of the books in your long lists of printed books that has comparable features.


I notice that you didn't address the first (and in my mind, the greatest) disadvantage of your ebooks over printed books -- they are merely licensed instead of owned.

1. They are useful for only as long as the hardware on which they reside is alive. In an era of advancing hardware, the failures of small businesses, etc., I would bet that the majority of ebooks released before 2010 will be nonexistent by 2025 and nonreadable soon after (and if you disagree with my dates, but agree with the inherent problem, then you've essentially agreed with the argument).

2. I take you at your word with your promises to maintain a database of customers and commitment to re-issue the files, if need be -- but where will you be in 10 years? 20 years? I've subscribed to journals and magazines which failed, and whose publishers won't respond to emails -- but at least I've still got the hardcopies.

3. I thought about buying a copy of "The Protocols of the Elders of Magic" and felt pretty sure that even if the content wasn't to my liking, I'd be able to recover much of my investment on the secondary market. The ability to resell a book means that my physical magic library will always have some tangible value. Not so with emailed ebooks.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 8:52 pm

Cugel wrote:Not ashamed. But I prefer precision in my communications. The term ebook is a misnomer - a little white lie used for marketing purposes. Email is the correct term for what you are selling.

Here we go again. I feel like I'm teaching kindergarten. So because I buy my print books and receive them by mail, the correct term for them, by analogy and reverse logic, is simply mail. Perhaps P-mail. Your convoluted logic assumes that the delivery system provides the correct name for the item received. I prefer to think that an e-Book, although delivered by e-Mail, more closely resembles a print book in that it has many pages, usually numbered, and is a separate file that is detached from the e-Mail by which it is delivered and it is stored as a separate file on the hard drive of your computer.

Class dismissed. Go outside and play.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 9:25 pm

Bill Mullins wrote: A. If you are making the argument that ebooks are easier on the eyes (even the eyes of people who don't see well) than physical books, you are using readers with which I am not familiar.

B. I notice that you didn't address the first (and in my mind, the greatest) disadvantage of your ebooks over printed books -- they are merely licensed instead of owned.

1. They are useful for only as long as the hardware on which they reside is alive. In an era of advancing hardware, the failures of small businesses, etc., I would bet that the majority of ebooks released before 2010 will be nonexistent by 2025 and nonreadable soon after (and if you disagree with my dates, but agree with the inherent problem, then you've essentially agreed with the argument).

2. I take you at your word with your promises to maintain a database of customers and commitment to re-issue the files, if need be -- but where will you be in 10 years? 20 years? I've subscribed to journals and magazines which failed, and whose publishers won't respond to emails -- but at least I've still got the hardcopies.

3. I thought about buying a copy of "The Protocols of the Elders of Magic" and felt pretty sure that even if the content wasn't to my liking, I'd be able to recover much of my investment on the secondary market. The ability to resell a book means that my physical magic library will always have some tangible value. Not so with emailed ebooks.


A. Open any pdf file you may have on your computer using Adobe Reader version 8 (freely available). The little + button in the toolbar at the top will magnify the page; the little - button will reduce it. If you prefer to use the text toolbar, go to View and use the Zoom function to do the same thing. That will be 25 cents for the lesson, please. Give it to a charity for the seeing impaired.

B. 1. In the event of a nuclear holocaust, asteroid or comet collision with the planet, or excessive volcanic activity resulting in the extinction of civilization as we have come to know it, e-Books would disappear first, and print books would be next in line, being highly flamable. If we manage to survive, we need not fear the loss of digital information as we move from one system to the next. All of the files which I had saved on those old style floppy discs from the 80s were easily transferred from computer to computer and I continue to use them today. My current computer has no slot for any kind of disc except a CD/DVD. Next, I assume, it will only work with an HDDVD... but the digitizing has been done. That will always be 1's and 0's into the foreseeable future, so nothing need be lost, only enhanced.

B. 2. If you are worried about my health, feel free to make back-up copies of the files onto CD (always your right, under the copyright act) or hard copies for your own use, but not for sale or any kind of distribution.

B.3. Our e-Books are for active, working magicians, NOT for collectors. Collectors should continiue to collect what they feel will retain (and increase in) value. Our e-Books are not collectors items, but for those who want to build their own effects following our directions. This also refers back to your question about printing out cards; following Magicbob's directions, you can print out cards on cardstock and they will look just like the cards you find in the average deck. Now, I can look at a photograph and a printed photo on photo stock and tell the difference between the two, and I have no doubt that some spectators can do the same with the cards that are handed out as souvineers at the end of the effect, but it will not diminish the effect for them to discover under close examination that it was printed by a different process.

I hope I have responded to each of your questions and concerns, and I thank you for the gentemanly nature of your posts.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Spellbinder » March 23rd, 2008, 10:57 pm

NCMarsh wrote:1. That is a post on a bulletin board, not a review in the magazine Richard edits. What is the gotcha?


There is no "gotcha," nor was one intended. I merely thought it was interesting to find that thread and wondered why there were no negative comments about the price of e-Books versus the price of printed books connected with that. I thought that possibly a double standard was being, that's all. I was assured that no double standard was intended and that's the end of that.

Your other comments can be responded to by Magicbob when he returns from vacation, if he so chooses. As an Independent Author, it will be entirely up to him to select his reviewers.

It is my personal opinion that Marty Grams is the ideal person to review his work, since Marty is "king of gaffed cards" in a manner of speaking. Jamy Ian Swiss does not seem to be into gaffed card tricks, but David Regal might appreciate Magicbob's approach and sense of humor. You just have to like someone who can come up with an effect named "Pure Filth" and "Off With His Head." At first I thought Eric Mead was too much of a mentalist to appreciate Magicbob's effects, but I see that he also worked as a bar magician, and that would be a good background for appreciating the commercial crowd-drawing appeal of Magicbob's effects. However, the decision to send out his e-Book for reviews is in the hands of the Author, not the Publisher in this case.
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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 23rd, 2008, 11:22 pm

Spellbinder wrote:Here we go again. I feel like I'm teaching kindergarten.


Do you? I feel like I'm debating whether an ebook should attract the same price as a physical book of similar length. Oh, I see. You're trying to demean me. Well, that is indeed your choice.

So because I buy my print books and receive them by mail, the correct term for them, by analogy and reverse logic, is simply mail. Perhaps P-mail. Your convoluted logic assumes that the delivery system provides the correct name for the item received. I prefer to think that an e-Book, although delivered by e-Mail, more closely resembles a print book in that it has many pages, usually numbered, and is a separate file that is detached from the e-Mail by which it is delivered and it is stored as a separate file on the hard drive of your computer.


However you want to spin things, you know you're charging people the same price for a digital file that others charge for an actual book. In other words, you are overcharging them and under-delivering. It's a market economy. If people want to buy your emails, then that is their decision. It is still the case that hardcover books are the baseline from which we judge all other methods of publication and many of us feel they are and will remain superior to emails.

Class dismissed. Go outside and play.


You sure taught us. We learnt you're only too happy to charge the same price for an email that others charge for books and if anyone questions the fairness of that then you'll dismiss them in a snooty and patronizing manner.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Cugel » March 23rd, 2008, 11:43 pm

Of course, the possible unforeseen consequence of this marketing trend is to encourage those who produce actual books to increase the sale price.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby DrDanny » March 24th, 2008, 6:06 pm

Cugel wrote:Of course, the possible unforeseen consequence of this marketing trend is to encourage those who produce actual books to increase the sale price.


Oh, great.... if they hadn't already thought of it, they sure as heck will now that you spilled the beans! ;-)

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Bill Mullins » March 24th, 2008, 6:38 pm

Spellbinder wrote:A. Open any pdf file you may have on your computer using Adobe Reader version 8 (freely available). The little + button in the toolbar at the top will magnify the page; the little - button will reduce it. If you prefer to use the text toolbar, go to View and use the Zoom function to do the same thing. That will be 25 cents for the lesson, please. Give it to a charity for the seeing impaired.


So the advantage of an Magic Nook ebook over a real book for the sight impaired is the ability to zoom on a screen. I can do likewise with a magnifying glass on my real book -- and panning left/right and up/down is much easier.

B. 1. In the event of a nuclear holocaust, asteroid or comet collision with the planet, or excessive volcanic activity resulting in the extinction of civilization as we have come to know it, e-Books would disappear first, and print books would be next in line, being highly flamable. If we manage to survive, we need not fear the loss of digital information as we move from one system to the next. All of the files which I had saved on those old style floppy discs from the 80s were easily transferred from computer to computer and I continue to use them today. My current computer has no slot for any kind of disc except a CD/DVD. Next, I assume, it will only work with an HDDVD... but the digitizing has been done. That will always be 1's and 0's into the foreseeable future, so nothing need be lost, only enhanced.


I think you're ducking the issue. Year in, year out, for the past 20 years or so that I've been working with computers, they last about 3 -4 years and need upgrading/migration. Media formats become obsolete. For your product to have any long term value, I either need to print it out on paper (a step that I save when I buy a book), or copy it from media to media or computer to computer.

I've got files that are only a few years old that for various reasons, I can't read. If I had taken the trouble to back up, reformat, migrate, etc., that wouldn't be the case -- but an unspoken cost that must be added to the $40 is the time it will take every few years to update the files.
B. 2. If you are worried about my health, feel free to make back-up copies of the files onto CD (always your right, under the copyright act) or hard copies for your own use, but not for sale or any kind of distribution.

While I hope you stay healthy, that's not my question. I'm more interested in your business practices. The publishers of Mr. Gadfly, Onyx, Epoptica, Arcane, Braue Notebooks, AM/PM, and others have all had production hiatuses, I believe, and few of them were due to health issues. Even Richard Kaufman has had journals which didn't come out on advertised schedules (but Genii's not like that).

My point is, as long as I need your permission to do certain things with the product, I am at the mercy of your availability as a publisher.

For these reasons, I think it's somewhat dishonest to talk about "buying" an ebook. At best, you rent it. I send money, you send a file. What can I do with it? Read it. I can't sell it or loan it. I have to invest time that has value to maintain it for any length of time into the future.

BTW, I can still read my century old copy of Hoffman's _Modern Magic_. I can sell it, loan it, photocopy pages (using the zoom button if need be). I don't need Hoffman's permission to do any of these things (and good thing, too, since he long ago assumed room temperature). I'll probably get a new computer this year. I won't have to copy the book over. But when I get a new bookshelf for my magic room, I may have to move the book.

Much of this discussion has been rehashed many times on the forum. (Has Chris Wasshuber signed back up?) Ebooks won't push bound books away for a long time. There is a place for ebooks (I really enjoy my cd-roms of magic magazines), but I think that eventually electronic media will end up more like the AskAlexander database, in which I don't "own" any of it, but have some sort of permission to access a grand library.

Good luck to you and Magic Nook.

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Re: "I Hate Card Tricks" by Magicbob

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 24th, 2008, 7:33 pm

Im still waiting for someone to show me the section of the law that pertains to an ebook which forbids me from giving it away or selling it after I've paid for it.
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