Last Call for The Jerx, Volume One

I'm sitting at a table surrounded by dozens of bookmark tassels, looping them into the bookmarks I've had made to go with The Jerx, Volume One. Yes, it's a $260 book, but did I mention it comes with a bookmark!? Actually, the bookmark is part of one of the tricks in the book. There are couple tricks that use the book itself as part of the trick and one of those uses a special bookmark as the climax to the effect. I think you'll like it.

This is a prelude to saying that the book is written now. There is some editing and layout work that needs to be done. And of course it will need to be printed (and we're working on some special stuff in that regard as well, so that may take slightly longer than usual). However, I think it's a relatively safe estimate to say that the book will ship in July.

If you were waiting to order the book, now is the time to get it. Here's the thing, I'm only ordering enough copies to cover people who have ordered the book, then a few more to give to my potential grandchildren and or trade for crack cocaine (chewables -- I'm a kid at heart). I'm a minimalist and I have no desire to have boxes full of unsold books to deal with. So while there will be some available after publication, the price for those is going to go up. After publication they are a finite resource that is only going to increase in demand. This book was never meant to be marketed to a mass magic audience. It was intended as a bonus for the people who contributed to keep this site going. 

Here is my one, completely earnest, statement about the quality of the book: You know how you'll work on a project for a long time and by the end of it you kind of hate it and you have no idea if it's even any good or anything? I used to think that feeling was inevitable. But this is probably the biggest project I've ever been solely responsible for and I just keep liking it more and more the longer I work on it.

I'm genuinely not trying to sell you the book. I could argue that it's in my best interest if there are less copies floating around out there. Then... let's see... let me do the math here... I'm 10 years ahead of my time... so let's say in about 25 years when everyone is like, "Hey, remember that guy who redefined magic? Did you know he wrote a book? Yeah, but only a small number of them were ever printed. And they're super valuable. So he just sells one of the 10 extra copies he had printed every few years and lives off that money." Imagine if you had 10 first editions of Expert at the Card Table, and it had only ever had one printing, and that printing was a relatively small number of copies. You'd be rich. That's my long term plan. Write a book. Redefine magic. Cash in a few decades later by selling the copies I have of the book I once wrote. 

And, of course, it's insane of me to compare my book to Expert at the Card Table. I would never seriously do that. My book is nothing like that dull turd written by that five star bore. My book blows that garbage out of the water. In fact, if you own a copy of that book and you buy my book, you have to promise to keep them at least 3 books apart on your bookshelf. Promise! That book is responsible for 100 years of focusing on all the wrong things and subjecting people to shit like this. In fact...

Contest Time!

If you buy my book and you then make a video of yourself burning or destroying your copy of Erdnase, you will be entered into a random drawing where you will get the cost of my book refunded to you. I'm 1000% serious. Here's how it works:

  • You take a one-shot video where you clearly show the book and then you clearly destroy it in some manner (creativity is encouraged).
  • You tweet me a link to the video (@thejerx) with the hashtag #erdnaseblows
  • It's more than likely no one will do this. If one person does, you're very smart. You just destroyed a $10 book to get a $260 one. If more than one person does this, we'll pick a winner randomly via the NY Lottery numbers for that day. 
  • I'll refund you the money you paid for my book

As I said, this is only open to people who buy the book (and, of course, those who have already bought it in the past.). Although, if you haven't, and you still want to burn your Erdnase, go for it, it's just taking up space on your bookshelf.

It might seem risky if other people have already submitted their videos. I mean, you might destroy your copy of Erdnase for nothing in return. Don't worry. The magic gods will reward you. For 100+ years that tedious tome has been heralded by magicians. Not surprisingly, the book barely mentions the people you're performing for at all. What a shock that this "bible of card magic" gives no shits about the audience's experience. It's all making sense now why so many magicians I know are oblivious to the audiences. Why would they care about the people when all Erdnase cares about is where to put your pinky. Well, Erdnase, you can put your pinky up your butthole as far as I'm concerned. And, on the off chance you're still alive and reading this, you just come and find me and we can have it out. I know you'd have to be at least...oh...130-something. I don't care. I'll crack your old ass like a walnut. Bring it, bitch.


Where was I?

Right, the book. If you want it, now is the time to get it. 

Ordering now:

- Guarantees you a copy of the book at the lowest price it's going to be.
- Guarantees you a free copy of Amateur At the Kitchen Table
- Guarantees you the iphone app.

I want to make this all clear because I don't want you coming back to me 6 months from now being like, "But I didn't understand, I thought...." So here are some clarifications on things some people have asked or may be thinking.

"Why should I buy the book when I can read it all here."

Well, you can't read it here. Half the book is new material. All new tricks that won't be explained anywhere else. These are some of the strongest effects I've ever created, as good or better than the best effects that have been on this site. So if you like this site, you'll like the book.

"I'll buy a used copy."

Sure, but I think people are generally going to be hanging onto the book, if only to sell it for 1000s a few years down the road. Savvy investors.

"I'll find a bootleg copy."

You might. I really don't know if I can prevent that. But I do have a couple things in my arsenal that might make bootleg copies less likely. 

1. I've had conversations with most of the people who bought the book and can tell that they're generally good people. And they bought the book because they like the site, and because they want to have something special. For the sake of this site and for the sake of the value of this book they just purchased, I think they'd be less likely to make a copy of it.

2. I have a system where each book is differentiated in three ways. If someone tries to make a bootleg copy, I'll know who did it.

3. I have an outlet that other authors don't. From this site I can shout the name of anyone who tries to fuck over the people who paid for the book. And I'm savage about it. I'll happily broadcast what a piece of shit anyone is and I'll never let it go. You'll see part of that plan soon. And you'll ask yourself, as I asked myself, "Is that even legal?" And according to a lawyer I talked to, it is. More details on that next week.

I'm less worried about this happening than I was when I first decided to write the book. I've put a lot of effort into making the book something that will be a joy to read, but also a very nice physical object -- the type of thing people will want to have in their collection. Anyone who tries to get a copy outside of buying one through me won't have the experience of the book itself; won't get the props that come with it; won't get the app; won't be able to do the effects in the book that rely on having the physical book there; won't be able to say, "Yeah, I was an early adopter. I knew him before he was famous. True, he's famous for stalking Kate Beckinsale. I'm just saying I knew him before then. When he wrote a magic blog." 

Ultimately it's just a question of if you want to try and pull one over on some dude whose site you derive some pleasure from. That seems like a weird way to go through life.

"So when you say it won't be reprinted, you just mean there won't be another hardcopy. You'll do an ebook or something, right? Or you'll add a chapter and say that means it's a different book so you can do another printing. Something like that?"

No, this is really it. I'm not one of those people on the Cafe who try and weasel their way around offering something as a limited edition and then coming up with some lame excuse a few months or years down the road. 

Screenshot this page. I won't alter it. I'm not going to put these effects in print again.

"Can you give us a hint about the contents in the book?"

Sure, I don't want to give too much away because that's part of the fun of going through a magic book -- not knowing exactly what you're going to get. Also, I should say, some of this is still in flux. I have a lot of material to remove to get this down to the 350-400 page range.

The book starts and ends with two stories. The first is a formative experience in my early magic life. And the last is the greatest trick I've ever performed. Perhaps the greatest trick anyone has ever performed. There is one long essay on presentation that expands on some of the ideas from this site. Then the rest is just tricks. People's favorites from this site, and my favorites that haven't been on this site. You can read about some of those tricks in the "Buy the Book" link in the menu above.

If you asked me my favorite it would be hard to answer. I think I could pick a favorite aspect of all of them and I have fond performance memories of each of them too, so it's hard to say. These are four moments in some of the effects that I have been particularly enjoying lately.

I Know What You Need: This is the trick that the Jerx App was created for (although there is a non-app version that I used when developing this trick and that's described too). At the end of this effect the spectator picks up their phone and watches a video of an interaction you two had earlier in the night. That moment when they're watching the video and things are playing out differently than they remember... it's so great. They get this look on their face like they're losing their mind. It's fantastic.
And Now He Is Me: I performed this last weekend and it gets the biggest, most genuine laugh of anything I've ever done. There is a definite time investment to perform this trick (it involves watching a movie with someone), but it's one of the most fun tricks I've ever come up with.
A Very Unusual Camera: I'm still moving stuff around, but this will be the last trick in the book. It took 40-something steps to describe in print but it's very simple for the spectator to follow. The trick is so strange yet so believable that I had to add a final phase to the end to release the tension it creates. But, if you're an animal, you don't need to add that phase and can just really screw with your spectator's mind.
Dear Penthouse Forum: Hmmm... I don't know what to say about this. For a long time I had a somewhat funny story deck trick that I thought I'd put in the book. It always got a really good response, but not really a "magical" response. Then I had a brainstorm that reinvented the story deck trick. Instead of being a dull demonstration of bad puns and false shuffles, this is a trick with two genuinely powerful magic moments. The first moment completely upsets the spectator's understanding of what has been going on while you tell this dumb and dirty story deck trick, and the second moment brings the whole thing full circle to a botched gambling demonstration you started with. It's not just a kicker ending, it helps negate the method you actually use to create that first magic moment. You'll see. It's pretty awesome. 

"I don't buy anything without seeing reviews first."

Okay, well... I don't know what to tell you. You've read this site, right? You can't make a judgment based on the 280 posts that preceded this one? I think you can handle that. 

"Oh, right, I guess that was a dumb thing to say. Okay, so how do I reserve a copy?"

Right here, pal...

The Jerx - Volume 1


Here are a couple questions that came in that may be of interest to some of you.

"Do the tricks require any expensive props?"

No. Well, other than the book itself, no. I don't think there are any props required that would be more than $10. And most you probably already have.

"Are any of the tricks easy to do? Not in skill sense but in a I-don't-have-5-hours-to-set-this-up sense? Just in terms of practicality, are there tricks that take less than an evening to perform?"

There aren't really any big set-ups, but there are a number of effects that require a big time investment. If I look through the new material, this is how long I would estimate the effects playing out from start to finish: 2 hours, 15 minutes, at least half a day (but better still 3 or 4 days), 30 minutes, 3-5 minutes, 5 minutes, 15-20 minutes, overnight, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 3 minutes.

So, there are some shorter pieces, but I have to be honest, if those are the types of items you're looking for, then virtually every magic book ever written would be better for that than mine. This book concentrates on more experiential, immersive effects. I almost feel like it's a new genre of magic in a way. And if you're looking for more traditionally "practical" material this may not be the book for you.

As I mentioned in the last post, I'm taking my pre-summer break but I will return next week. If you have any questions about the book, feel free to email me. I may update this post in the meantime as well. If not I'll see you next week. For those of you in the U.S., have a good Memorial Day. And for those of you in Puerto Rico, Happy Lod Massacre Remembrance Day.