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Michael Daniels
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Has anyone thought of (or tried) offering magic ebooks as shareware? Basically giving away the ebook as a free download but asking for a donation to reflect the perceived value of the book. A suggested donation could be indicated, or readers could decide for themselves how much to pay, depending on what they think the ebook is worth. Donations could be easily made using PayPal.

It would be necessary to restrict downloads to bona fide magicians - e.g., by using webpage password protection that tested knowledge of magic. Or the ebooks could be sent out as email attachments to selected recipients who proved their credentials.

This might be a way for new people on the scene to get their ideas out there, or to market relatively small-scale items. It would also be a way for purchasers to help avoid rip-offs for over-hyped and over-priced material.

Of course, like shareware in general, this would depend on people's willingness to pay up. But I think that magicians in general are a pretty decent lot and would be willing to play by the rules. Or am I being too optimistic?

Mike
Einmaliger
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That's not what shareware means. Shareware would mean that you get a part of something for free but need to pay to get the whole thing. Might indeed be an interesting idea for EBooks.
Michael Daniels
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Quote:
On 2010-09-01 07:28, Einmaliger wrote:
That's not what shareware means. Shareware would mean that you get a part of something for free but need to pay to get the whole thing. Might indeed be an interesting idea for EBooks.


Yes, that's the way that shareware has evolved (to encourage people to pay up). It would certainly be one way of working this concept.

Mike
Mind_Magic
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Michael:
Maybe this concept would work if you give a limited version of the book and allow to only read it for a limited time.
After payment you will provide a password to access the full document.
I´m not sure if there is something like that.
Just my thoughts

Regards!
Michael Daniels
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Mind_Magic,

Yes, this would work. It is easy enough to add password protection to a PDF. I don't think there is a simple way to add time limitation however.

Many mainstream (non-magic) publishers offer free extracts of their books (e.g., Chap 1 of best-selling novels). But I'm not sure how well that would work with magic ebooks (especially those that are single effects).

I suppose I was thinking more along the lines of an "honesty box" approach to shareware.

Mike
Olympic Adam
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It could really work, something I might consider were I to publish a book for the first time.

lots of music is distributed this way, you can choose how much to pay for a download. the thing is, perhaps it would be better to pay AFTER reading a magic trick, but what is the incentive to get people back to your site and back with their paypal info? usually they pay before they download an album, not after. This wouldn't go along with the giving a correct value to something idea, how do you know my new idea isn't worth £1000 before reading?
funsway
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I tried this last year for five months. I hade 10 of my eBooks offered as "ShareBooks" requiring only that the purchaser give me feedback. Any monetary "gift" was suggested "to keep the innovation going." These books were listed at $10 and $20 based on eBooks offered by other people.

The results were that only 6% of the buyers made any monetary contribution. Even worse, only 27% of the American buyers even provided the committed feedback! For non-American buyers the feedback rate was 54%. Each person gave a commitment to the feedback as a condition of receiving the material. Thus, I gave away 112 eBooks and still don't know if people liked them, perform them or if something was wrong with the effect descriptions.

So, I wouldn't get my hopes up for this approach.

What has worked is giving a limited number of copies away in return for reviews. The posted reviews can prompt sales.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Michael Daniels
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Funsway,

Interesting to hear that you tried this. Your figures on purchases and responses are very disappointing. I had better expectations of magicians.

It looks like giving away some review copies, or providing "taster" extracts may be the only viable approach.

Mike
funsway
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Methinks that for our younger age cohorts concepts such as commitment and accountability are as illusive as woofle dust. "Something for nuthin'" is the battle cry, and entitlement the badge. If people had just not offered to pay anything I would shrug it off as a poor marketing approach. But now I fear for them as performers -- will he show up on time? Will she remember all of her equipment? Will they have offer refreshing entertainment or just some egoic drivel?

Note that many people will not purchase eBooks because they can't be resold if the trick just "doesn't fit their stlyle. Rather than devevope a character and a unique routine plan and seek effects to support hose goals, they buy anything, read the instructions once, and then dump it. I just gave them an easy way to do this.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Caliban
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Quote:
On 2010-09-01 07:21, Michael Daniels wrote:
Has anyone thought of (or tried) offering magic ebooks as shareware? Basically giving away the ebook as a free download but asking for a donation to reflect the perceived value of the book. A suggested donation could be indicated, or readers could decide for themselves how much to pay, depending on what they think the ebook is worth. Donations could be easily made using PayPal.


I've had a couple of ebooks from people who offered free PDF's and then asked for donations when they sent them out. This strikes me as being very bad form. There's nothing wrong with offering an ebook in return for a donation if the recipient finds the contents to be of value - but the fact there will be a request for donations should be made clear when the ebook is offered.
Michael Daniels
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Quote:
On 2010-09-02 16:42, Caliban wrote:

I've had a couple of ebooks from people who offered free PDF's and then asked for donations when they sent them out. This strikes me as being very bad form.



Yes I agree - that would be very bad form indeed.

Mike
Dick Christian
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Quote:
On 2010-09-02 04:13, Michael Daniels wrote:
Funsway,

Interesting to hear that you tried this. Your figures on purchases and responses are very disappointing. I had better expectations of magicians.

It looks like giving away some review copies, or providing "taster" extracts may be the only viable approach.

Mike


Mike,

Maybe I'm being a pessimist, but I fear you may be mistaken in characterizing the "takers" as "magicians." Assuming that the majority of them were typical of the average subscriber to the Café, they IMO it would be a misnomer to think of them as "magicians." At best most could be described as falling somewhere between "collectors of secrets" (or "the merely curious") and "wannabes." Not that there is anything inherently illegal, immoral or unethical about either -- but let's be honest about their actual status. D*** few have really achieved the status of "magician."
Dick Christian
funsway
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I think you are mostly correct, Dick -- that most of the takers were not serious magicians. However, I have had commitments on effects from some very well known magicians who did not follow through. In three case I was contacted by them for more information on one of my eBooks. I sent it to them on the condition that they actaully perform one of the effects and give me feedback. All three agreed and never followed through.

Therefore, while agree that accountability is a word not even in the vocabulary of younger people, many older/experienced persons have allowed integrity to disappear from their lives.

I have considered this approach: you pay full price, then I give you a rebate of 10% if you give me meaningful feedback on the clarity of the instructions, another 15% if you give me feedback after actually doing an effect (workability) --and another 25% if you give feedback after performing for a lay audience. Thus -- every eBook can be had for 50% of the sales price.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Spellbinder
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I would want to see a photo of the performance as well a written review, and then I'd give a choice of 100% rebate or a free e-Book on another subject.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry

http://www.magicnook.com

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Daniel Nicholls
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Quote:
On 2010-09-03 07:18, funsway wrote:

Therefore, while agree that accountability is a word not even in the vocabulary of >>> most <<< younger people.



Spot the difference
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funsway
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Quote:
On 2010-09-05 01:30, Daniel Nicholls wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-09-03 07:18, funsway wrote:

Therefore, while agree that accountability is a word not even in the vocabulary of >>> most <<< younger people.



Spot the difference


not sure what you are asking. During a "blind" conversation can I usually guess the approximate age of a reponder based on questions about accountability? or "from a group of young people can I pick out those who have some sense of accountability." Yes to both. Note -- I am note talking about "responsibility" or "culpability" which are more difficult to distinquish without verifying the truth of the response.

These distinctions can be important to the performing magician who desires to "know his audience" and modify patter or story to have maximum impact. Nothing judgemental here -- just an observation that various age cohorts have different perceptions as to the importance of these concepts to daily living. As a job recruiter these distinctions are extremely important in matching a candidate to a specific position.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Daniel Nicholls
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What I'm getting at is that you tarnished everybody below a certain age range based on prior experiences. Do you claim to have met every young person on Earth? It annoys me when people say things about "a certain age group" with no grounding. You may have had experiences with some younger people who were unscrupulous but you certainly have not dealt with all of them.

Dan
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funsway
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Wow! I certainly never used any concepts of "unscupulous" or indication that I though any group of people are "tarnished" by their degree of accountability. It is interesting that you would apply such terms to my observations that are based on many hunderds of recruiting experiences, not to speak of classroom teaching.

Please do not overlay my words with your own prejudices.

I also did not deliniate "below a certain age." Each labeled age cohort has its own verifiable perceptions of many social norms: courtesy, prejudice, faith, accountability, punctuality, etc. It is important that a performer recognize these in evaluating a potential audience. That is all.

As a recruiter it is my experienced view that younger people do not have the same view of accountability as older people. If the available job requires a high degree of accountability I would test that level of personal perception in every candidate -- without judgement. Other issues like punctuality and appropriate dress might also be important -- as is demonstrated ability to do math, proper punctuation, knowledge of geography, etc. I don't hire people because of their age -- but by their ability to meet the standards of the job.

So, I have the right -- even necessity -- to make decisions based on key factors of human interaction. Perhaps the thousands of applicants I have screened have been "poor examples" of their age group. I would wonder why the "good ones" don't apply to go to work?
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
edh
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Quote:
I would wonder why the "good ones" don't apply to go to work?


Could be that they are employed and not looking for work. Smile
Magic is a vanishing art.
Daniel Nicholls
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Quote:
On 2010-09-05 11:22, funsway wrote:
Perhaps the thousands of applicants I have screened have been "poor examples" of their age group. I would wonder why the "good ones" don't apply to go to work?


Have you not seen one good example come through the process at all. If not maybe its time to move to a new area.
Close your eyes. Open your senses.
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