First, a book update. It's at the printer now and is hopefully going to be in my hands, ready to be shipped out at the end of August. This is my first time publishing a book and what I'm learning is that it's a series of small delays that you have no control over. That's why I like writing a blog. There's no one else to rely on. At the moment there is a delay in the processing because the way I'm doing the cover requires them to stamp flat sheets so that the debossing can bleed. I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!!! That has been the most difficult part of this process—the fact that I know nothing about the process. I'm doing this primarily by myself with the help of a couple friends who are handling the interaction with the printer, but they don't have any book publishing experience either. But, thats also the fun part for me—learning something new. And I wanted to farm out as little as possible on the book because I wanted it to feel like the blog feels, like there's a person behind it that you can recognize.
So, anyway, my point here is I can either just say, "You'll get it eventually," or I can give estimated dates that may have to be pushed back depending on the printing/delivery process. I've chosen the latter. As of now we're looking at an end of August delivery, I'm hoping.
Now I want to make an apology. Once or twice a week I'll get an email that says, "I just found out about your site, is there a way I can still get the book? Can I get it with the bonus book? And the app? Can I get the newsletter? Can I pay via the Coffee Club." Or similar words expressing the idea, "I'm late to the game, is there still some way I can get on board with what you have to offer?" Going forward, the answer to this is sadly going to be "no." And it's not NO because I'm trying to be a dick. It's NO because I'm trying to be fair to the people who were supporting this site early on.
I was never selling a book. In October of last year I gave people the opportunity to support the site to keep it around for the coming year. In return, early adopters got a year's subscription to my review newsletter, the iphone app, the Amateur at the Kitchen Table book, The Jerx Volume One, and I'd write a post about anything they wanted. I was following the public television model. Pledge your support and get these things in return.
After that initial donation period, anyone who pre-ordered would get the iphone app, TAATKT, and the Jerx Volume One, until the point where the book was sent to the printing company.
It's always been super important to me honor my pledge to the people who supported this site early on. So I've taken the bonuses off the table as those offers passed. And while it may seem like a dick think to do, for example, to not offer the newsletter for free to those who bought the book recently; I'm not trying to be a dick to those people, I'm trying to be fair to the people to whom I said, "You'll get this free, but only if you order now." You know?
Now that the book is at the printers, all of that is off. There are still ways to get all of these things individually but they're even more expensive. And that's where the apology is coming in.
But first, I want to mention why the book project didn't go off as I originally planned. I was explaining this to a friend of the site via email recently so I'm just going to copy and paste it here:
I think, originally, my plan was sound. I was going to see how many orders came in and if I reached a certain level I would continue the site and then gather the best posts for a book at the end of the year. And if I didn't reach that certain level I would stop doing the site, and just write the book in my free time for those who did order.
Then, when the initial orders came in, I was just under where I thought I wanted to be to keep the site going and I made the dumb decision to continue the site but to keep all my strongest tricks going forward for the book. So instead of just duplicating the posts from my site in the book with some rewrites and illustrations, I was in a position of making fresh content for the site and fresh content for the book. I doubled my work like a numbskull.
So, instead of the book just becoming a "best of" from this site, the book became it's own thing. And I think it turned out pretty damn good. And so my apology is to those people who find out about this site and the book sometime in the future and they want their own copy and they find out it's now $1200 or something ludicrous. That's only because, at that point, I'll be selling one of my last few copies that otherwise would go to my grandkids or something.
The high price and exclusivity of the book is not intended to punish late-comers, its only a result of keeping a promise to the people who had my back early on. Had I known I would be writing one of the greatest magic books ever and the bible for 21st century magic, I probably would have planned a different distribution strategy, but it is what it is.
For those Jerx completists out there who are late to this site, here is how and when the various bonus items are available.
The Jerx, Volume One - Is currently $300 with no extras. I know, crazy, right? And it's only going to go up (with no warning) from here. See the link at the top of the page.
The Amateur at the Kitchen Table - This will be a 36-page physical book, available separately in a month or two for $20ish, shipped. Essentially it's a compilation of my thoughts on the presentation of amateur/non-professional magic. The content is all new, but the ideas are similar to what I've proferred throughout this site.
The X-Communication Newsletter - Goes to people who donated last October. People who ordered the book at a later point can also get all this year's issues for a $12 donation. Email me if you're interested.
The Friends of the Jerx post - This is essentially like an ad or sponsored post (and is marked as such), except with two differences, one good and one bad. The good difference is it actually gets read. The bad is that I write it and you have no editorial control (this is why it gets read). Email me for a price point because I just base it on the average number of readers.
The iPhone app - This will be officially available at some point in the future. The version people have now doesn't have the main functionality, but it will at the next update around the time the book is released. There is a routine in the book that uses the app, but it's a utility app that can be used in a bunch of different situations (stage, close-up, street). I have been using it for the most convincing faux-hypnosis routine recently and it kills people. It's such a subtle idea; very different than any other magic app out there at the moment. And, as a bonus, it leaves a souvenir of the effects on their phone. There will be a free ebook with additional ideas released when the new version comes out.