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Blaze Magic
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I just published my first book, 101 Riddles, How To Write Them & Use Them In Your Show. And got it published on Penguin Magic a few days ago
But so far I have no reviews or sales, and I am trying to think of the best way to promote it.

My current ideas:
1. Post some of the riddles in different places, and the first people to solve them get a free review copy.
2. Find people who review a lot of different magic products, and ask them if they would like a review copy.
3. Possibly write an article somewhere about the book and riddles in general. I'm not sure what website would be best though.

If anyone has any suggestions, that would be excellent - thank you!
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Mindpro
First, congrats on your first published book!

In reality, you should have had a promotional plan in place long before the releasing of the book, or at least have a promotional campaign in place.

I have released many books and have assisted other entertainers, speakers, authors, and business professionals in over 300 book releases and launches.

Perhaps my Press & Media For Entertainers books would be of great help to you as well. While designed to teach and assist performers and entertainment business owners how to properly and best utilize press and media for their businesses, it can also definitely be used for promoting books as well. It is a great way to get tens of thousands of dolalrs in free media coverage and promotion for you, your product, or business. PM for more information.

Also, I would strongly push to make sure Penguin is doing everything they can to promote your book to the magic community. They have several excellent resources and opportunities they could create that you should have access to in order to promote this book. It should've happened with an initial pre-launch "coming soon" campaign, but at this point, you need to play some catch up quickly.

The magic media is a small industry but it is exactly who you should be targeting with this release. Is it in independent magic shops? Has the magic media been contacted?

No offense, but is this book any good? I mean other than just your opinion or the fact that Penguin has picked it up? Reviews should've been done long ago before ever going to print so you could have taken some of the feedback and information received to possibly make changes or corrections if needed. Are performers even looking for riddles? Do you know or are you just assuming because it is of interest to you that you think it will be to others?

There are about 25-30 promotional things that you can (could've done). The three you mention, I guess can't hurt, bit likely will not produce many sales or results. Doing something here or there is only going to result in onesie or twosie sales. You needed a full promotional effort behind such a release.

This is the same thing that happens to performers. They will spend months or sometimes years on creating and getting their show together, then.....nothing. They don't know what to do with it. Sure they want bookings, but throughout their entire process of getting ready, they focused only on their performance and did little or nothing in the most important area - getting it market-ready, appealing, and strategically planning how to reach, expose and present it to your target market.

Get some reviews to first get some real feedback. Is this new material or a collection of previous works you've just complied? What is your background and expertise to write such a thing? Are you an author? A performer? What is your "angle?"

So much more at play here than perhaps you've realized.

Even here in this thread/post - who are you? You come in asking for help yet we know nothing about you. Introduce yourself, provide some background on yourself and some insight into this project. Read and know the room before diving in and asking for information. Same for releasing a book to the magic community, having a better understanding of it's workings and doing things in the right sequential order will help you a lot.
Blaze Magic
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Thank you very much, that's all very excellent advice, I will send you a PM.

Some background on how I got to the current situation (which is far from ideal, but if I learn from it, maybe I will do future projects correctly).

I am a performer, and several years ago I thought about giving away a printed sheet of riddles after my show. After getting some old tradition riddles, I ended up rewriting them, and then started writing some of my own, until I had a huge collection. Over the years I compiled them into a book, and decided to include my methods of writing riddles, along with different ways they could be used in a show. And I wanted to maintain the original idea of having a printable sheet of them you could give away, which is included at the end of the book (anyone who owns the book can print unlimited copies and give them away or sell them).

As far as marketing, as you probably realized I am going into it rather blindly. I emailed Penguin to ask if they would be interested, and finally got it finished after all those years. I suppose my main motivation up to this point was getting it released at all, when I should have been thinking of the marketing ahead of time. I suppose part of the reason is I have a number of other magic project I have been working on for many years now, and I wanted to get at least one of them released, but I probably skipped some steps in the process.

Thank you again for the advice! I read a lot of your posts on the Café, and I am always extremely impressed by your knowledge!
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Eternal Order
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Profile of Mindpro
It's great you can realize your woulda, coulda, shoulda's. That's how we all learn.

This is also great as there are a couple of other threads here in Tricky Business currently going about diversifying and creating additional sources of income in your business, so all of this works perfectly into your exact situation.

It's also great to see you posting this here and being open to receiving information, insights, and criticisms you will receive. I get many of these types of emails and PMs on a weekly basis here, and I try to encourage others to post these in this forums as I truly feel it can also help others at the same time. Some prefer not to do this because of some of the responses and members they will encounter, but when you can try to look beyond that you will realize the many benefits and how it can directly assist your business and operations.

I think many often think of writing a book and like you, it becomes a partially done passion project left on the back burner or on the shelf. So again, good for you on finally getting it done.

Thanks for your backstory and a little info on yourself. I'm sure it will go a long way in getting assistance from others willing to help and share.
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Eternal Order
20567 Posts

Profile of Dannydoyle
It is amazing you spent the time on an original BOR item.

If you can sell them personally I'll take 10. (No joke PM me.)
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Blaze Magic
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Mindpro: Thank you again!

Danny: PM sent Smile
Senor Fabuloso
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Let me start by saying I LOVE PUZZLES. Even before I was bitten by the magic bug, I did puzzles.
Linking and unlinking those twisted metal puzzles, Chinese and Russian secret trinket boxes. All
sorts of brain teasers to make me think. Today I play Sudoku every day, and do the Rubik's cube
just to stay off Alzheimer's disease.

So when I saw this book, I contacted Nathan and told him that I would give him an honest review, in
exchange for the work. Nathan graciously accepted my offer and what your read now are my impressions
and criticisms of the tome. But before continuing there are two things to keep in mind,

1. Riddles are puzzles, in writing or done orally.
2. If one chooses to incorporate them in magic there is a danger of making the magic look like a puzzle.

Some will say that magic is a puzzle, to be figured out by the audience. I say it's not. It's entertainment
to be EXPERIENCED by the audience. Like all good art. So if we are going to use riddles in our work let's
be mindful to NOT use our riddles to associate magic with puzzles but to enhance the presentation of our
magic with a mental exercise, that enhances the magic. I'll talk more about that later.

First a description of the book itself, Nathan give us 101 (actually more) and there answers about 5 at a
time. I won't go into what they are (you'll have to get the book if you want to find out what they are)
however I can say that as with most riddles the answer are usually nouns. Person, place or thing. Why is
that important? Well lets say you want to produce a rabbit from a box and want to clue your audience in on
what you're going to do , you can begin by tell your riddle so that your audience will imagine the rabbit prior
to it's production.

You can also revolve a whole story around your riddle as Nathan tells us of the "Riddle of the Sphinx" which
could lead us into an Egyptian presentation. So numerous presentation ideas come to mind, as I pondered the
riddles and there answers.

Next Nathan give us an outline of how to write riddles and the "rules" involved in good riddle writing. Again
this along with presentation scripts can make our magic much more fun and even help our audiences to identify
with the performer through understanding the answers to the riddles.

Then Nathan talks about how to use riddles in our shows. Here I think Nathan fell a little short but together we
are working to correct this issue. Not that what he suggested in not sound, only that I saw much more potential
and offered to help include my thought in the work.

Finally we are given 4 pages of printable riddles that we are given permission, to use as giveaways or sell.

My love of puzzles and riddles had me like the book and had my creative juices flowing from the moment I started
reading. I'm not sure however, that the magic community, will be as excited as me given how most magicians just
seem to be interested in the latest greatest tricks. There are none in this book. Only riddles that a creative
person can use to enhance his magic. Nathan has also graciously given us a link to view
the first 50 riddles for free.

Thank you Nathan for the book and I hope this review helps the community know what this is and what it isn't?
No matter how many times you say the wrong thing, it will NEVER be right.

If I'm not responding to you? It's because you're a TROLL!
Blaze Magic
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Thank you very much for the review!

If anyone here purchased my riddle book from Penguin, I just wanted to say that there is a new version with improved formatting, and some extra content added to "Using riddles in your show".

It should be available now on your Penguin account for anyone who owns it.
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Profile of NEKKODDD
I would try to sell it through Amazon. If you have the digital file of the text, get it formatted for Kindle. The amount of eyes that go to Amazon is ridiculous! Good luck!
Blaze Magic
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Excellent idea! I have actually been in the process of signing up for that purpose, but then I came to all the tax stuff, which is difficult to answer at the moment, as I am away from home. I will probably keep the current version of the book exclusive to Penguin, and have a second version as just a normal riddle booking on Amazon, without any of the magic stuff.
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Profile of AndreJ
Can you sell it yourself or does Penguin have exclusive rights to it? I would personally sell it through a sales funnel so I can keep the profit, build an email list and also add upsells and downsells to the equation.

I can explain it in more detail if you want, but I don't know if everyone else here would be interested in that Smile
My background: Loved magic for 25 years, always wanted to do paid gigs but never had the courage. Faced my fears some years ago and now perform regularly.
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Profile of MikeClay
For a Digital Book Amazon...
There are so MANY things you can do once your on Amazon.

The Authors page gives you some massive OMPH to your digital assets.
You can even feed an RSS feed to it and post article links back to your blog (hint hint)

Once it is on Amazon do a video Ad on Facebook and push it..

I would even look into a Manychat chatbot to help with some automation.
Blaze Magic
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Sorry for the very, very late reply. Things have been rather crazy for a while.

AndreJ: Penguin doesn't own any rights, so I could do that, and I was considering it. The main thing stopping me is first of all the time involved in arranging it, and secondly, even just having it on Penguin has been generating the occasional sale. I should still look into arranging it in the future though.

MikeClay: Getting a version on Amazon should definitely be my next step. I started the signup process, but then I got to all the tax information and decided to leave it until later. I really need to make time for it though.
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