How Many Would Like to See my Book SEANCE Reprinted?

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Brad Henderson
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Re: How Many Would Like to See my Book SEANCE Reprinted?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 20th, 2003, 2:10 am

I was one of the first edition pre-purchasers of Stunners. And no, I was not happy to see it released in a cheaper paperbound version.

First, one of the selling points was EXCLUSIVITY. He should have stuck by that claim.

Second, and this is the important one, was the price reduction. Had he reprinted it in any form but released it at the same cost, then I would have been far less ticked.

Since the value of a magic book is seen, in many people's eyes, as the value of its content; it was in essence a devaluation of the content we purchased at so high a price.(Interestingly, the value of his commercially sold effects which were included was another selling point of the first edition.)

Do I have a problem with reprints as a rule? No. It IS the author's right to reprint. But when the author sells the item based on its exclusivity and then turns around and makes it more widlely available AT A CHEAPER COST, then I think the purchaser who paid for said exclusivity should be upset.

Had he re-released it at the original price, I don't think he would have met with as much objection. In fact, it could have been a win-win situation. Those clamoring for the material got it for a fair price (but without the nice binding), but the original purchasers had the added value of having hard copy editions.

Chris Aguilar
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Re: How Many Would Like to See my Book SEANCE Reprinted?

Postby Chris Aguilar » April 20th, 2003, 11:51 am

Originally posted by Brad Henderson:
I was one of the first edition pre-purchasers of Stunners. And no, I was not happy to see it released in a cheaper paperbound version.

First, one of the selling points was EXCLUSIVITY. He should have stuck by that claim.
I've yet to see that he promised anyone complete EXCLUSIVITY (as you put it) in perpetuity.


Second, and this is the important one, was the price reduction. Had he reprinted it in any form but released it at the same cost, then I would have been far less ticked.
The man can price his goods any way he wishes. Does the fact that he reprinted it change the fact that you likely had near exclusive access to those effects for years? Does it somehow devalue the actual usefullness of the effects contained within?

Since the value of a magic book is seen, in many people's eyes, as the value of its content;
You're assuming that everyone values a book by it's monetary value alone.

...it was in essence a devaluation of the content we purchased at so high a price.
So you only get your moneys worth if you can resell the book at a higher price than you originally bought it for? Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

(Interestingly, the value of his commercially sold effects which were included was another selling point of the first edition.)
So? Does that mean the reprints devalues those effects (some of which are still being sold separately today) also?

Do I have a problem with reprints as a rule? No. It IS the author's right to reprint. But when the author sells the item based on its exclusivity and then turns around and makes it more widlely available AT A CHEAPER COST, then I think the purchaser who paid for said exclusivity should be upset.
Once again, I believe you should provide us concrete proof that becker intended to give you EXCLUSIVITY in perpetuity before you deign to be outraged. There have been other long discussions of this, and that concrete evidence is something I'm still waiting to see. The fact that he sold it cheaper was his decision and doesn't bear on the point of EXCLUSIVITY.

Had he re-released it at the original price, I don't think he would have met with as much objection.
The initial reprint was a softcover. If he had charged as much for it as for the original hardcover, a certain percent of people would likely have been upset with that also.

In fact, it could have been a win-win situation.
And why does your purchase of the original volume give you say in how a man chooses to release (or re-release) his own material? I smell sour grapes.

Those clamoring for the material got it for a fair price (but without the nice binding), but the original purchasers had the added value of having hard copy editions. [/qb]
And who are you to tell someone what they can and cannot charge for their own material?

Regardless of how much the reprint buyers paid, the original owners still have the benefit of a more nicely printed tome. Subsequent price decreases don't change that.

If you're unhappy with Beckers business practices, simply vote with your Dollars and don't buy his items anymore.

Publicly crying about it isn't going to change anything.

Brad Henderson
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Re: How Many Would Like to See my Book SEANCE Reprinted?

Postby Brad Henderson » April 20th, 2003, 2:06 pm

From the original ad for Stunners included with subscription to Bascom Jones' Magick:

"The price of "Stunners" reflects the incomparable quality of the material it contains. Nothing has been held back. (emphasis as per original) Believe it, at this price, you don't have to worry about curiosity seekers. And without a doubt, every Tom, Dick, and Harry won't be doing these dynamite effects."

So, when he lowered that price, he in essence lowered the value of the material that price was promised to reflect. When he republished it at a lower price, curiosity seekers were more likely to get their hands on it. (a $75 dollar investment - I believe that's what I saw them selling for through A1 - is a far cry from the $235 many of us chunked down.) He promised not everyone would be performing these effects, and he changed the rules. (Notice he didn't say, Harry won't be doing these effects FOR THE NEXT FOUR YEARS.)

He also uses the words limited, signed and number indicating the uniqueness of the product.

Finally, in a letter sent to prepublication purchasers he apologizes for the delay in receiving his "fourth and final book." While technically a reprint isn't a fifth book, I think you can see how many of us were led to believe that we had purchased something exclusive.

Did he have the right to do this? Of course. Was it the right thing to do? I don't think so.

Most professionals try to present magic that is unique or at least uncommon. When an effect is more readily available to other performers it DOES de-value that effect's usefulness in a marketplace where a performer's uniqueness is a commodity. (And yes, presentation is important, but when a booker sees 6 acts in a row do Key-R-Rect no amount of original presentation is going to save that audition.)

Further, nowhere did I mention the resell value of a book. But, to give you an example of my thinking on such things: I see no problem with Variations being reprinted. One, there was no limitation as far as I am aware. Second, even though the going market rate was quite high, I think the publisher's responsibility is to the original purchasers. As long as the next edition is released at a price point comparable to the original, or greater, then there can be no complaints from ANYONE. Also, to take Mr. Mara's suggestion, an expanded, enlarged edition at a HIGHER price point, may have even been welcome; but not a cheaper edition within 5 years(?) of the original print run.

By Larry's admission, the price reflected the value of the material, not the binding of the book. He should have released the softcover edition at the same price. Sure people would have complained, but they had the choice to buy or not. The 1st edition purchasers were left with no choice.

And for the record, I'm not crying in public. Instead I'm letting those interested in a discussion of the valuation of books going through subsequent editions hear an alternative viewpoint to the one you presented earlier in the post. You have stated your opinion, I have stated mine.

No amount of badgering, quote snipping, or accusations will make that which I felt any less true or valid.

Goodnight Mr. Wert, whomever you are.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: How Many Would Like to See my Book SEANCE Reprinted?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 20th, 2003, 6:38 pm

We've already gone through this debate in another and now mercifully closed thread. So let's nip this one in the bud.
Topic Closed.
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