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.
Cugel did, indeed, reply in that thread:
Pity it's an ebook rather than an actual book. Priced like an actual book, however.
The comments here have been sharper. I think one reason is credibility. David Alexander -- not the author or publisher, and someone known on this board as a highly experienced, knowledgeable full-time professional performer of several decades -- came on to say that the book was worthwhile.
Here, we have a publisher come on -- calling himself "Phineas Spellbinder" -- pushing an electronic file with 10 card tricks by "MagicBob" for the same cost as one can get a real physical book with hundreds of tricks by someone with an earned reputation
in our community. (and this is why I so appreciated and respected Mr. Pulver's taking the time to actually introduce himself)
There is no mention of why these ten tricks should be as valuable as the life's work
of Paul Potassy, or (for an extra 1.5 card tricks) Geoffrey Durham...or why MagicBob's 10 card tricks are worth as much as hundreds of tricks developed over months and years by Derek Dingle, Larry Jennings, Darwin Ortiz etc. etc.
Now, maybe MagicBob's 10 card tricks rise to that level. But to me, it comes off as unbelievably arrogant to charge the same amount and then, when called on it, to talk about how you can zoom in on the page, see it in color, etc. etc. As if the content didn't matter.
Many of us suspect that if you had to take the risk of real paper publication, of spending the money and not knowing if all the copies would move, this publication never would have happened. But you don't have to worry about how many are sold...each copy is just profit...
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.
"The King of Gaffed Cards?"
Mr. Grams wrote a pamphlet on making double-faced, double-backed, and latex enhanced gaffs that was good. I also understand that magic's chop-shop did a dvd with him on the subject. To jump from that to "The King of Gaffed Cards" is absurd, particularly when there are also folks like Gary Plants in our community.
It also conflates being able to make a tool (or, more precisely, being able to teach someone to make a tool) with being the best judge of how the tool is used.
The comments about the specific reviewers are just asinine. Mead and Swiss are highly accomplished and highly informed professional performers with a strong and deep background in card magic. David Regal has his own very successful career -- and I don't know how extensively he performs professionally, but his work is unquestionably of a professional caliber and all are more than qualified to give a review of this offering.