I believe this essay is a very similar issue to think about with the "is magic really worth it?" essay, that is by far my favourite. Great essays Brad.
Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed them. I have about 6 other essays that are currently being polished, updated, and revised. But they are now all part of an even BIGGER project. A project that will probably be awhile, and I am sure most have already gotten a hint from my "signature." The idea initially started out as a 'gather all my essays and formulate them into a collected works' manuscript for myself, and possibly a few others. But more people have exhibited interest than I would have thought, and I have been strongly encouraged to pursue my lifelong goal of publishing a book.
So I am very happy, as well very excited to have begun the long, and tedious project. I will also be revising, and updating all my current essays again, so there will be even more content to absorb. I have always received frequent requests, and have been encouraged by many to publish a book of some sort for quite some time now. Many requested that I publish an e-book consisting of PDF files. Although that is certainly possible, and would be a lot less time consuming, and expensive, it would also not be nearly as satisfying.
As stated above, my book would consist of a collection of essays that I have written over the past two years, and include all of the compositions that I have submitted online to forums, as well as to other online publishers who publish contributions from magicians. This is actually where a lot of my inspiration to pursue this dream has come from, as the members who really enjoy my work continually encourage me to publish it in some shape or form.
I have not submitted all my essays though obviously, only about four or so in total, as I knew that I would one day want to formulate them into a book. But my current submissions was seemingly more than enough to spark a serious interest from a few publishers, as well as many readers in general. You wouldn't believe the supportive emails, and Pm's I have received over the past two years, even I don't believe it.
I submitted just enough to give the members a "taste" if you will, and it has seemingly paid off -- at least from a personal gratification point of view, being I am always glad to help those budding magic enthusiasts find their way, as well experienced professionals who may need some guidance. Being that I received so much praise on a daily basis, and stories about how my input has had a positive impact on someone else's life, and their magic, I was then even more motivated to pursue this dream--and publish my work more widely.
I wanted to now go back and collect, and review all the information that I usually provided strictly on 'whims,' as that is when my 'creative mindset' was at it's best. But when I am being 'overly critical,' I tend to freeze. So I want to gather all of that, and more, and compile it into one place for easy reference. I am sure that if I would have tried to sit down and write everything that I did on these forums by myself, and without the influence, and questions of others, I would have never been able to do so. It was their questions, discussions, and debates that fueled my creative and intellectual fire.
So I basically wanted to gather all of the essays that I ever wrote, as well as the new unpublished ones, and throw them all together into sort of "Collected Works" if you will. I also had inspiration from other successful authors/magicians who wrote similar books. Those such as "Shattering Illusions" -By Jamy Ian Swiss, which in fact is a collection of his own essays from the magic publication of Genii Magazine.
Also "Mastering the Art of Magic" -By Eugene Burger, and a book I still have on my "to read list." It should be due up soon thankfully, bu8t as of right now my 'magic plate' is full. I would like my book to be reminiscent of those books, but still somewhat unique from them as well. As I already stated previously, I could simply release a PDF file, or e-book, but I would not derive as much satisfaction from doing that, nor is it as safe and secure.
My life long goal has always been to be able to hold a copy of an actual 'printed book' written by myself, see it on a store shelf, and share it amongst others. It still seems like a long shot, but is now definitely possible. I have spoken with numerous publishers, and I am trying to bring all my material together so it makes sense, and so that the material flows together well, and remains consistent.
I have already revised many of my essays, and I am working on chapter titles for each. My initial goal with this book, is to have a small number of copies on hand to start out. Then distribute them within a small magic community "on demand," and do all the selling myself.
But with the current structure of the book, I believe it could also be accessible to the general public, as there is no real exposure involved. Plus I want it to have a price that generally attracts the magic enthusiast who is willing to pay a little more to get such a book, as opposed to the average layman who is looking only for "cheap secrets."
Eventually I would like to submit my book to online wholesalers for distribution to magic shops as well, but I will make that gradual progression slowly. I like the whole 'print on demand idea,' as well, as I do not have much room to store a 1,000 of my own books. Although it would certainly look cool, and make appear as though I was rich. Of course if they are got sold, I may not be too far from it.
I am doing this project first and foremost for the love, and excitement of writing about something I have loved doing for more than two decades. Financial gain is secondary, and would definitely be a plus should the book ever sell well. In fact any income that I derive from magic, I reinvest it back into magic at least 50%. But my expectations are not too high as far as income goes, as magic tends to be a rarity these days as far as hobbies go, and usually just a "passing phase" for many unfortunately.
As I am sure you know, books that elaborate on magic 'theory and presentation,' are especially rare these days, and I feel these are needed even more so than books that merely teach "tricks." But I will get into that later....in the book.
I guess it is somewhat obvious that I enjoy writing, so maybe this will be a great opportunity for me to finally be able to realize my long time dream of getting published...Hope you enjoyed the essay!