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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Price of Mentalism (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Yellowjacket
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The price of mentalism seems to continue to increase and I am not sure why. As I have purchased much in the years and even quite a bit of the items here in the form of E-books, I have noticed that mentalism for some reason is priced quite a bit higher than a comparable magic product.

Both essentially serve the same purpose (to entertain an audience) yet the price difference is quite surprising. I will concede that one may price their product as the market will bear but why is mentalism considered an elitist purchase?

Richard Osterlind puts out great DVDs and products that are modest in price for what you are getting, yet here in the café I have seen E-books go for three times the price of one of his DVDs. It makes me wonder why these E-books written by comparatively unknown persons are worth so much more? I have never seen these individuals perform, they have no Youtube videos for me to watch, no proof that they actually can perform these miracles they sell.

Now, I want to be honest. I have purchased a few E-books by authors on the Café that I have never heard of and some of them have been very good. I have also purchased some that have been exceedingly poor. In fact, so poor, it was easy to ascertain that the individual that wrote it does not perform for live audiences but merely thinks up ideas while sitting behind the computer screen.

Three of the authors I have found to be solid in their writing and felt were well worth the purchase were Mick Ayres, Paul Brook, and Jim Callahan (or whatever psychotic name he goes by) Although Callahan is irritating here in the café his work is very good.

However, I have read a many other manuscripts that were utterly ridiculous. Many of these manuscripts love to dabble in psychological principles that are although possible, they are not 100% reliable. I might have fun with them sitting with my friends at the pub, but I would never use them on stage where a show would depend on it. Yet to my amazement they tell me that they do them in their show all the time. Hmmm

Additionally, I have read some manuscripts that were quite lackluster and yet most if not all here in the café will tout them as, “well, if so-and-so put it out, it must be brilliant. I am surprised to see that no one seems to call a dud a dud. And if someone does…they will be chastised by the entire café community.

I am not unopposed to spending $50 for a E-book . . . but I don’t want to play Russian Roulette and have to purchase 20 of them to find a good one because no one here in the café wants to call it truthfully. I hate to tell you all, but many of you have formed your own clique where outside opinion that is against the group is attacked and silenced.

Actually I applaud Bill Cushman for offering his work on Rhyme Time at a very reasonable price. I do not have it yet, but at least if it was not to my liking, I don’t feel he robbed me. Many of the other E-books here , I shudder to think I will pay $40 or more for a mere 8 pages of dribble.
Chris K
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I've posted on ebooks that I thought were terrible. I was in the minority but it isn't fair to say "no one seems to call a dud a dud. And if someone does…they will be chastised by the entire café community. "

People didn't agree with me, and as much as I get "chastised" by the community, it wasn't for that. I think people often would rather NOT post than post negative reviews. With that in mind, here is MY recommendation:

See which people seem to have the same tastes as you, based on things you have. Then see what they say about a product you don't have. If they don't say anything, stay away, if they say it's good, try it.

That's my approach since the two items I thought were worth less than the paper I printed them out on, and so far, seems to be pretty good, FOR ME.

Lem
Davit Sicseek
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YellowJacket, I agree with a lot of your post.

I'm not sure that I'd level the criticism specifically at ebooks. Personally, if ordering internationally I'd rather ge the ebook, it's not as nice to read, but it saves a lot of time. I even had the good fortune this week of purchasing a book from a UK supplier, assured the product was in stock, and it wasn't even dispatched for 6 days! Either way, each to their own.

There is a certain chastisement that happens if you post a negative review... unless the product is universally hated ("The Game" springs to mind.) There is a certain assumption that if one doesn't like a particular product or effect, it somehow casts doubts on their performance abilities or artistic adaptability. I've been a victim of this in the past, even when giving detailed reasons for my dislike of something.

I certainly respect people that will call a 'dud a dud' as you put it. There are many, many, many people here who ONLY post positive remarks. To me, this casts a shadow on the value of their positive reviews as well as leaving a black mark on their character. As if often said towards pacifists, the decision to do nothing is an immoral position. My refusing to resist evil, one gives license for evil to murder, surpress and torture. (Fill in the roles of terrible authors, wasted purchasers and buyers remorse as you see fit.)

I tell you one thing for sure... if I see person X criticise an ebook by author Y, I might be wary. But if I see X give praise to another ebook by author Y on another occasion I'm certainly going to give more trust to that reviewer.
Send me the truth: davitsicseek@gmail.com
Chris K
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Quote:
On 2009-02-04 19:32, Davit Sicseek wrote:
I'm not sure that I'd level the criticism specifically at ebooks.


Excellent point!

Quote:
On 2009-02-04 19:32, Davit Sicseek wrote:
There is a certain chastisement that happens if you post a negative review... unless the product is universally hated ("The Game" springs to mind.) There is a certain assumption that if one doesn't like a particular product or effect, it somehow casts doubts on their performance abilities or artistic adaptability. I've been a victim of this in the past, even when giving detailed reasons for my dislike of something.


My main issue with reviews, bad or good, is that most people review things without actually trying them in front of <gasp> people. That is the only time I take exception with a review, pro or con. You have a point though, I suppose I can remember times when the ability of a negative reviewer was questioned. Hmmm, I need to rethink my position here...
edh
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Lemniscate, if you notice it is always the same people who will give glowing reviews for their fellow authors. They will never, never say they didn't like a product.

And it does cast a black mark on those.

Yes there is a clique mentallity here. But it exists throughout the Café and other forums as well.

I have done a quick search on two of these "authors" that price their products high. These "professionals" don't even have a website!! hmmm...that should get the wheels turning.
Magic is a vanishing art.
Reuben Dunn
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We all want a "quick fix", that "one" prop, book, DVD, etc., that will "make" our act one of the "best".

Some can become like the sterotypical junkie, just needing one more fix to feel right.

Why spend $$ on ebooks?

I think, in some cases, not all, that the phrase, "There's one born every minute" comes to mind.
Good Thoughts.


Reuben Dunn


www.reubendunn.com
Davit Sicseek
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I heard that ebooks peddled on the Café have a lower purity that real books sourced elsewhere Smile
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entity
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I don't think that the format of a book has anything to do with the quality of the information. I've purchased some absolutely dreadful hard copy books, and some wonderful ones. Ditto with e-books.

In the current economic climate, e-books make some sense, as production costs are minor, so the book can be sold at a more reasonable price than if the book were hard-bound.

Question: Let's say that someone has written a quality book on a subject that interests you. Given the choice, would you rather spend $35.00 for the information published in an e-book, or $75.00 for the same book, hard bound?

- entity
Paul
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I thought for a moment I was in an alternate universe Café. I've seen plenty of stuff get rubbished on the Café over the years.

If higher priced e-books you don't like have not got negative reviews, (if its not just you, lol) another possibility could be that many of them have not been sold?

The story of the emperor and his new clothes also comes to mind.

Paul.
sleightofhander
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Switchcraft really sets the bar high. Best bang for the buck.
Brandon Queen
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I'd rather spend $75. my computer crashes a lot
It occured to me at once that love could be a great illusion, that makes fools of brilliant thinkers everyday
max88
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Mentalism using brain so maybe it is the reason cost is high than normal magic which use hand skill mostly. Just like IT indrustry engineer be paid more than manufacture workers. Just kidding...
Garrad
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There's an awful lot of the emporers new clothes sham used by many here; you just have to go on your instincts and learn by experience.
You might say reality is the result of complex negotiations between the observer and the observed. But that is simply a point of view.


Many Thanks
Garrad
dmkraig
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I think the real problem here is that production and advertising costs used to be so high that is was expensive to get your material produced. Now, any bozo can write something, distribute it as an eBook, and advertise it for next to nothing on websites. No longer do you go through a publisher who edits it and knows enough about the subject to tell whether something is garbage or of value enough to make publishing it financially viable.

I know of one person who I'm not going to name because he has lots of fans. The advertisements for the booklets and products he sells are incredible. Everything is the most amazing, bizarre, and incredible übersecrets ever published. So, sucker that I am, I purchased numerous items from this person. Some are decent. Some are unusable garbage. One included a DVD of is performance of an effect he so proudly advertised, and he was just horrible (at least on that DVD). So, in spite of this person's fame and advertising, I'm very wary about buying anything from him. I do still love his ads!

Another person on another site sells a set of videos teaching stage hypnosis. His ads sound great. If you follow his videos, in order, everything makes sense. Then, the last video shows him doing shows. He's horrible!! He doesn't understand the basic concept that when doing a hypnosis stage show it is the people on the stage who should become the stars and you need to get out of their way.

The bottom line, unfortunately, remans caveat emptor--let the buyer beware. Perhaps if we loudly proclaimed "such and such a product is crap...and here's why" we could get rid of the people selling garbage. Of course, more than likely, we'd also get sued.

As long as we are based around secrecy, it seems like garbage will continue to sell.
mindshrink
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I agree...but till now the only sure shot way to avoid being 'duped' is relying on ur gut instincts.Or there are some reliable folks in the Café who would readily call a spade a spade.
There are groups and 'mutual admiration societies'...nothing wrong with that but it is the poor buyer who becomes a sucker.
Cant there be a centralised system of reviewing books/DVds on the Café..at least if the e-book is touted or is introduced in the Café or if the effect is 'marketed' in the Café.
ElliottB
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Quote:
On 2009-02-04 23:44, sleightofhander wrote:
Switchcraft really sets the bar high. Best bang for the buck.


Thanks, sleightofhander.

I agree with the sentiment about mentalism getting a bit expensive. I used to buy anything and everything to do with mentalism, but, these days, I only buy the stuff that looks too interesting to pass up…and only if the price is reasonable (unless I need it for research.)

Elliott
tboehnlein
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I truelt agree with he originalposte I nave viewed some of the high priced docments mentioned on this board although I own none. It is laughable the ego and greed that drives these prices along with the good old boy network that sells it.I recently viewed one document selling for 300 bucks that may have had one original thought in the whole bookbut it was valued due to it being a performance piece'korans medallion can be found in a book for tenth of the price with many other performance pieces, jay folks looking for the grail I guess.

Posted: Feb 7, 2009 1:38pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sorry for the typos day fingering on the pda
tboehnlein
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Sorry for the typos day fingering on the pda
Jerome Finley
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This old song and dance again?

How can I put this clearly? If you don't like the price of something and cannot afford it, move on. Nobody is forcing you to consume, hoard secrets and purchase mentalism and/or mentalism related material. !@#$%ing and moaning about it does nothing.

Why don't you guys go work on your act and do something productive for once? Do you really believe threads such as this one are going to make creators change their mind on how they price and release THEIR OWN WORK??? If you don't like it, simply pass it by.

Price is a relative thing. What may seem 'expensive' for some is a drop in the bucket for others.

-Jerome
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Dr Spektor
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Also, seems besides gangs of fans, gangs of new users with posts involving axes to grind and a strange command of MC history also appear!!!

Dance!!! Dance!!!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
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