Just a quote from the upcoming book so you know that I haven’t just written one of the greatest magic books ever, but also an important piece of art.
So, a Book 2 update. When we* contacted the printers last week to see if the most recent shipping date we’d received from them (January 8th) was still accurate, we got this reply:
“Manufacturing is running around 3 days behind schedule. They are working overtime and weekends to get caught up so check back on Monday and lets see where we are at.”
On Monday we wrote back and heard this:
“The ship date is 1-14-19.”
So that’s the latest news I have there. I will keep you updated. Assuming that date holds up then we’re looking at an end-of-the-month-ish date for delivery from me to you.
[* This isn’t the royal we. When I say “we” on this site, it usually just means “not me.” I get a good amount of help on certain logistical aspects of running this site and producing the products. I’m not dealing directly with the printers. Hence “we.”]
Pre-illustration photo and illustration from the trick Ass to Mouth from Magic for Young Lovers
Season 4 Q&A
Are you definitely doing another season of The Jerx?
There’s a good chance, I think.
The first question I ask myself is, “do I have the content for another year?” I do. The next question is, “Is there interest in another year?” I’ll know that when I put out the call to this year’s supporters to see if they want to sign up for another year. If there is enough interest in another year, I’ll do one.
How will the (potential) next year be different?
Well, there are three types of posts here that require a lot of time on my part: effect/presentation posts, theory posts, and research posts. These types of posts will no longer be on the site and will instead be in publications for supporters only.
Not everything that could potentially fall into one of these categories won’t be posted, but the more fully realized effects/presentations (which is something I haven’t posted on this site for a while now), the fleshed out theory, and the posts related to focus-group testing or other long-term research won’t be up here anymore.
Wait… so what types of posts does that leave? Making fun of Ellusionist? Joshua Jay photoshops?
Yeah, mostly. There will be shorter, but more frequent posts. Imagine the typical Friday posts, but spread throughout the week.
Oh, I see. So you’re going to take the good stuff away and make people pay for it and just leave the dumb stuff here?
I’ve been saying for a couple years that I’m going to be shifting my focus to the people who support the site. If you thought it was “good stuff,” you would have hopped on to support it already. Right?
Look, I get it, you’re thick as pigshit and you can’t fathom why someone is only willing to devote 100s of hours of his time for free content and not all of his time. I’m a true monster.
You’re just trying to make money.
Well, yes… to a certain extent. This is time consuming and it’s taking away from time I would be using for other work.
But money is only part of the equation in finding the balance between my time, my interests, my need to eat, the niche focus of this site, taking care of the supporters, etc.
If money was my primary focus, I would not have stopped allowing new supporters for this site.
Yeah, I don’t get that move at all.
Well, there are two reasons for it.
The first reason has to do with how I see the “business” of this site. I don’t see it as people paying me to produce a $260 book every year. I see it as a type of consulting service. Most non-professionals don’t have the time, energy, or social circle to try something out 20 or 30 times in a casual situation. But they like the that someone is, and they’ve found some value in the ideas and effects generated by the time I devote to that pursuit. I see it less as selling a product and more as providing a service. And if you’re providing a service, you can’t just take on unlimited clients. I’m at the point where I have enough people on board to keep the site going, but not so much that I can’t read everyone’s emails and at least consider ideas and suggestions they send my way.
The second reason to limit supporters is as a form of anti-piracy.
Huh? How does that work? Won’t there be even more bootleg copies of things if there are less legitimate ones to go around?
Well, maybe/maybe not. If I write a book and give one copy to my friend, and he’s a good guy and doesn’t share it, then there is no piracy and there is only one legitimate copy. At the same time, anyone who wants can go to Penguin and buy an online lecture—there are unlimited copies for sale—and yet people still steal the content.
Fewer copies means I can keep better track of what’s out there, and who is screwing me over. But ultimately is very difficult to stop people from ripping you off. I will be able to find out who did it and terminate their “membership.” But who knows what I can or can’t stop completely.
So as much I want to be anti-piracy, my way of doing so is to come at it from the opposite end. I’m going to be pro-supporter. By limiting the number of supporters, I’ve created a situation where it’s better for you to support this site rather than rip me off. First it’s better for your state-of-mind because you don’t have to look in the mirror and think, “I’m a piece of shit.” But it’s also better for supporters financially. Supporters of this site will have a physical product to enjoy. And one that was made in smaller quantities than there was a demand for. Which means there will always be a secondary market where you can at least get your money back. So it’s pretty much free to support this site.
So here’s what a potential Season 4 holds:
For Non-Supporters (and everyone else): You will still be getting a bunch of content here, but it’s going to be of the less in-depth, less substantial, more fun variety. There will probably also be more off-topic posts as well (music, life-advice, things I’m into.)
For Supporters: Once the initial Book 2 mailing is complete, you will get an email with more details about staying on to support the site and reserving your spot in the new super-secret magic society. That email will include the details about the rewards for Season 4 which will include Jerx Deck #3, a physical publication of some sort, the pdf newsletter, an ebook covering the focus group testing done from late 2018 to mid 2019, and access to at least one exclusive effect that I’m thinking about releasing that won’t be available anywhere else. For the most part, this is going to be discussed off this site. (Either on a new separate site or via email.)
For Non-Supporters Who Want to Be Supporters: Any Season 3 supporter who chooses not to sign up for Season 4 will have their spot made available for someone else to take. I will have a sign-up for people who’d like to be on the waiting list posted here in a couple weeks.
I know this is all stupidly complicated, but it is how it is.
I’ll be back next week with any further updates I receive from the printer. And for the few of you who like the music posts, I’ll be posting some of my top songs from 2018.