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David
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Northern Ireland
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In a recent post in this forum I expressed my frustration in trying to acquire two out of print Darwin Ortiz books , ( Strong Magic and Cardshark ).
Whilst searching for these I discovered that many other magic enthusiasts were as frustrated as myself in attempting to find these books .
This therefore made me curious as to a few matters regarding the publishing of magic books .
What type of sales numbers qualify for the term 'Top Seller' within the magic industry ?
Why, when there appears to be obvious demand , ( proven demand in my opinion when you look at the prices these books fetch on ebay for example ), are these books not automatically reprinted, when their profitability seems assured ?
What monies are involved in the production and publication of books such as the forementioned ?
Just curious , and interested if anyone has any opinions on the above.

Regards
David
david_a_whitehead
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It can be frustrating. but in a way it is nice to know that not all works are completely available to everyone. It makes people be more creative and different acts develop. At least this is what I think. Reprinting of books also costs the publisher A LOT of money and takes a long time usually. When demand is high, the books will get reprinted...it is a just a matter of being patient. Both those Ortiz books will eventually get reprinted. In the meanwhile there are lots of other stuff out there just as good, if not better that what you are looking for. Sometimes you have to realize that out of print books can really be overhyped and when you eventually get them, you will probably disappointed as your expectations were higher. Both Ortiz books are absolutely brilliant, but there are a ton of other brilliat books out there that are available and I am sure you do not have. Search for those for now...and be patient. This is one fault of magicians that we have to learnt o control.
joeKing
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Mr. Kaufman has announced that Ortiz's books will be reprinted (if it means anything)...But I agree with whitehead, it's nice to know that the material isn't available to everyone...it's selfish, but you know what I mean
~joeKing
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Publishers of magic books usually only print 500 copies, the least amount for the investment. You must remember magic books are published by individuals, not the million dollar book companies in N.Y. city.

It is only good business, they take a chance on magic Enthusiasts to purchase. Some books are still available from the 1960's and 1970's. It is a gamble, and just because someone is asking about something does not mean they will buy it.

I have offered items on the Café to people says they need this and that above everything. When I offer my valued item, then they are not interested or worried about price, postage, condition. The focus changes. So they really did not want it as bad as they thought they did. The same goes for a book being republished. Why should someone warehouse thousands of dollars of books waiting for an inquiry.

You can see on the Café that one person thinks a book is valuable and another does not.

I agree I would like all books always available. L&L Publishing has come the closest to a corperation book publisher. They should be supported 100% so we can keep them in business and keep publishing.

Example, Harry Lorayne was on the Café and he still has copies of his old books from years ago. Namely, one of his latest the Himber Book from 5 years ago. We are truly lucky that we have the few that will invest in publishing. In the early days, there wasn't any books published by magicians. It was all word of mouth, sharing tricks.

So if you want reprints, buy the current offerings.
seraph127
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Yes, guys, I do know what you mean and yes, it is selfish. It also rather defeats the very point of publication. If the author of that book of fine material wanted you and you alone to have access to it, he'd have corresponded with you personally instead of writing a book, eh? Moreover, a book like Strong Magic should be in the hands of anyone who wants it, since its purpose is to challenge performers to develop better performances, and to offer some guidance in meeting that challenge. Do we not want others beside ourselves to better themselves and secure the reputation of magic as a craft/art? That's perverse!
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
david_a_whitehead
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There are other books like strong magic that are available. this is not the bible concerning presentation.
blindbo
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I have 30 years experience in my day job, printing.
The last 13 in digital, on demand, just-in-time printing.

I have many customers who are self publishers of their own material. For those customers, I produce in quantities as small as one, overnight, to any destination in the world.

In short, technology allows for small runs, when you need it, where you need it. There is no reason to shell out cash for longer runs that stay on shelves until they go stale.

In my world, out of print is a thing of the past. An order triggers print. Now, isn't that what inventory levels are supposed to be?
Pekka
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But printing just one is often economically unfounded. And as I have myself been involved in the printing industry I must say that the digital prints, while they have been improved, are still lacking quality.

Books are published for economic gain and reprinting something just so that it is available is not smart. Providing on demand supply may decrease quality and may not appeal to the author of the book.

So for magic books, it is not enough to have 100 or 300 people to ask for reprints of great books. You need a 500 or a 1000 customers who will, if fact, buy the book.

Before blindbo will slack me off due to my criticism of digital printing I must say that digital technology is great. If you begin to work for your book knowing that it will be digitally printed and especially if you are unsure how much it will sell, do go for digital. For first time author, who often seek peer recognition before monetary gain, it is the most feasible way of printing.
DaveS
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Occasionally the author publishes a very limited run by design -- e.g., Alain Bellon's "Obsidian Oblique" (on his billet peek methods), of which only about 100 high quality copies were printed and sold. Essentially it was "out of print" immediately after it was published! If you can find a used copy for sale, it fetches a multiple of its original selling price.
DaveS
We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time. (TS Elliot)
Glenn Watson
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I contacted John Carney about his secrets book about 4 months ago, He replyed that he needed 100 requests to republish but would put me on his list. Despite the fact that this book got great reviews and is listed on many best of lists on the Café, He hasn,t contacted me again.This means he cant get 100 orders of this great book. If anyone wants this Book please contact him through his web site.oblique
David
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Oblique,
I do not know if that is normal procedure in a situation such as this , i.e.Mr Carney will reprint this particular book subject to receiving confirmation of 100 orders .
If this is the case, is this publicised anywhere?
I for one had certainly never heard of it.
Perhaps if this option was more widely known , more sought after books would be reprinted .
Is it not an idea for publishers to open some form of
communal web site whereby an ongoing poll can be conducted to ascertain which out of print books are genuinely sought after ?
Or is this an idea for one of our own forums?

Regards

David
Bill Palmer
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Eternal Order
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Quote:
On 2004-03-03 16:46, DaveS wrote:
Occasionally the author publishes a very limited run by design -- e.g., Alain Bellon's "Obsidian Oblique" (on his billet peek methods), of which only about 100 high quality copies were printed and sold. Essentially it was "out of print" immediately after it was published! If you can find a used copy for sale, it fetches a multiple of its original selling price.
DaveS


I'm third generation in the publishing business. Nowadays, almost everything has at least some digital work in it. Either the formatting is digital or the output is digital. In any case, because of the setup fees that some book publishers charge, it is much cheaper to do long runs than to do short ones, at least on a per copy basis. I'm referring to large books in Smith cases here, not saddle stiched or comb bound items.

If I can find a print house that can produce Smith cased books on a one per run basis as cheaply as they can in quantities of 1000, I would change printers in a snap. So, if you can do this, Blindbo, please PM me. I have two more books coming up really soon!

Nevertheless, if you are a small businessman like I am, you don't want to have a big inventory at the end of the year. I plan my runs on the basis of the size of the market I cater to. The print run on the Cezanne Code was much smaller than the print run on Sheherazade. The remaining stock of both books is proportional, and low, so I didn't miss by too much. But I don't plan to reprint either one of them, ever.
"The Swatter"

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sleightly
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There are other factors at play here...

Low or limited print runs often can have a substantial impact on the price a work fetches, artificially creating a demand (Economics 101).

Promises of never reprinting a work are often retracted later (see Larry Becker).

Proximity of publishing date directly affects the demand. The buzz was very strong on John Carney's Book of Secrets before it was published. After it was available and people saw what it had to offer, they were off onto the next book. The value of the information in the book was not less valuable, but to those in search of the "next best thing" its value has been truncated.

Buzz associated with a particular title comes and goes in waves. Often books (and other works) are lauded as classics by those who have not taken the time to digest the material and works find themselves with a reputation that is perhaps unfounded. A mythic status is built up.

In the small market (and by small I mean TINY, compared with convential mass market) that is magic, having a work perpetually in print often communicates a lack of value, which is why astute publishers create a demand by a limited run and hype. Make the money up front, sell out the run and avoid sitting (and paying storage for) inventory.

It always intrigues me to see people spend mucho dinero on a book through eBay (and I have from time to time been this person) when the same book is likely sitting on a dusty shelf at a hole-in-the-wall magic shop somewhere with its original price sticker on it.

The print-on-demand is certainly a good option for proven authors who intend on selling directly to the public, but if they want any broad distribution (through magic shops etc.) it makes more financial sense to do a larger print run to bring down the individual printing costs.

Intriguing thread...

andrew
Dan Monroe
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Indiana
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If you are having a hard time finding books try http://www.magicbookshop.com. They have a ton of new and used books for very good prices. And they ship fast!

-Dan
The power is within us all...I'm just a little more full of it.
danmonroe.bravehost.com
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Food for thought...
Text = 100pgs (50 sheets), black ink, 50# offset
Cover = 4-color process, 10pt coated 1-side
Perfectbind to 5.5 x 8.5 page size

100 books = $400 (don't tell my retail customers this and no, I won't print one for $4.00)

The only difference between traditional offset printing and this process is quality...
...this looks better.

Can this be printed cheaper offset? Yes, a much higher single run quantity will drive the unit price down. If your sales justify long runs, offset is the way to go. If your market is small, or you are in an out-of-print position with limited demand, digital is the solution.

Many companies use digital to pitch and market test as well. Without naming names, the largest publishers in the world use this technology all the time. You may be reading a book right now and not realize the method used to produce it.

There are many reasons and justifications for both traditional offset and digital printing. I do both. However, there is no reason for an out of print book.
Alan Jackson
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Cardiff, UK
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Here's another good source of out-of-print books. http://www.abracadabra.co.uk/ Look at the left-hand side of the page for "Used Books".
There are 10 kinds of people: those who understand binary numbers, and those who don't.
seraph127
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Blindbo, what is "perfectbind"? I hear this term, but I've never known what it meant. I know comb-bound, paperback, cloth-bound, but...?
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
blindbo
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Bucks County, PA
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Quote:
On 2004-03-06 09:40, seraph127 wrote:
Blindbo, what is "perfectbind"? I hear this term, but I've never known what it meant. I know comb-bound, paperback, cloth-bound, but...?


"Perfectbinding" is an adhesive binding method. A paperback book is an example of a perfectbound method.

Not all adhesive binds are created equal!
I use a milled, scored, and fanned sheet preparation with hot melt adhesive. This method assures optimum integrety of the bind.

Boy, I wish I knew this much about magic!
Schaden
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Purgatory
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I have 3 copies of Strong magic and 2 of CardShark. If you really want these books, you have to search hard. I will sell my CardShark copy, pm me.

Thanks,
Lee
braunmagic
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I have personally seen several books Blindbo's company printed and WOW they look great. I think that it would be impossible to tell the difference between these digital short run books and something run offset. Did I mention they are very reasonably priced.
Brent Braun
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