Friday, November 30, 2012

But it's the pelvic thrust!

Hey I remembered to update this every day this week yay!

*Ahem* So it's the last day and what have we learned? That you DO have options when bringing your magic afterbirth into the world. I offer you a final wrap up.

My personal opinion is to just do it all yourself. You will ultimately end getting what you want in every respect. If you build it (and it's a hit and you pimp it right) they will come.

However if you have no artistic vision and just want quick cash the distributors are there for you. (just don't expect long term income) If you are tapped by a magic company just remember to read the contract carefully. Some of them will give you cash up front as a buy out and that's it. Others will offer you a percentage. Make sure you know what you are getting into.

The biggest advice I can offer up is to sit on your creation for a bit. Really decide what's best for the community and art, not your bank account. If it's a variant, just hold onto it and put it into a collection of things. If you are gonna explode if you don't share it, try a download. That way you can keep the cost down and not clog magic stores with "just another card trick".

Now go forth and don't multiply!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bring you knees in tight...

As we close in on the end of the week and my guide to releasing magic stuff we look at the dangers of your actions.

To be frank, distributor companies such as Murphy's have kinda fucked up the magic marketplace. Very few companies or shops will go directly to the artist when they can get huge amounts of stuff in the same place at once. The problem is distributors ask for a jobber rate (which is usually 60-65% off retail). This is where it gets kinda funky.

In the real world jobber rate is usually gotten when a gross or more of something is ordered. Magic distributors will make a big order right at first (anywhere from 200+ pieces give or take) and make the jobber rate worthwhile. Later down the line they expect that same rate for a dozen items. You are now making crap money on that and passing the savings on to everyone else. It's kind of a raw deal.

However if you just want fast cash to recoup costs and then go buy your crack rock that's fine I guess. (Especially if you have a name and can keep pumping out mediocre crap) There is a way for everyone to be happy though. You can go the wholesale route THEN hit the distributors.

The biggest issue with just wholesaling yourself is there is more work involved but on the upside you make more money in the long run. You have to contact the stores, you have to ship the items, you have to set aside time to run a business. However wholesaling is 40-50% off retail. Do the math on that for a second.

You have a 20$ item. Wholesale is around 10-12$ profit for you. Jobber is 8-6$ for your lonely pocketbook. I would rather take the little bit of time and effort to make that extra cash and build a client base than be another faceless item on a shelf. When the momentum dies down, you can then contact the distributors and let them pick up the slack, but as mentioned above, you will likely get less wholesale orders once they can get it with everything else.

The third option we discussed yesterday was letting someone else do the heavy lifting. Most of these companies (T11, Papercrane, Blue Crown, etc) look for something unique (usually anyway) that will hopefully turn a profit. Once you catch their eye the pros of this route are they do all the legwork. Advertising, packaging, producing, filming, etc. You will only get 25-30% of the profits but you just gotta sit back and do very little. This may sound appealing at first but you don't get as much control or say so as you would self-releasing (that sounded dirty). Again it's possible to release something, sell it wholesale yourself, and then be spotted by a bigger company and let them take it further than you ever could. One big negative point can be it will be anywhere from months to years before the item can be released for various reasons or another.

So while you chew on that I'll leave my wrap up for tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Put your hands on your hips...

Welcome back those of you still hanging on. Today we are going to talk about Options.

So after you create your product there are a couple of routes to take. You can A. Wholesale 2. Sell it to a company or III. Go thru distributors.

Wholesale is more work on your end but ultimately more profitable in some cases. Going thru someone else can be just as profitable for a while. Your name reaches a market it might not otherwise have because they focus on pushing the item but you only get a small amount of the profits. The last one is the most precarious because they only push the item for a little while and you get a small bit of cash. This is the least desirable.

You can combine A and III if you do it right. Do the work, get your money, then when the initial push is done send it off to the distributors and let them pick up from there.

Generally with downloads your only option is to go thru someone else, but due to various factors (torrents and flooding of the market in some cases) it's not as profitable a route as it once was. DVDs and physical product generally have to be self produced unless it's such a hot unique item someone like T11 or Paul Harris wants it. However you can start out self producing and only wholesaling until it gets discovered. I have seen items that have been around for YEARS and then become brand new because someone discovers it. It's much like local bands you like that suddenly become famous.

Tomorrow the real dangers of the unholy three...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Then a step to the right...

So yesterday I revealed step 1 of my 286 step program for releasing magic products. Today you need to figure out Paper or Plastic?

I once had a product reviewed and the individual in charge of that suggested the trick would be better in lecture notes. (thus for years after it was just to spite them but I digress) However due to instant-gratification technology we just can't wait to put something out and make a quick buck off it. The real question is how to deliver that idea? With the rise of options like Penguin Partners or The Wire downloads are a very direct route. PDFs and booklets still can sell as well if you can't afford the production costs of DVDs.

The compilation DVD has given way to the single trick video market. Personally I believe if you have one idea that is just "ok" (your version of an already existing idea or routine) then perhaps put into a PDF or video with multiple ideas so you can charge a bit more or they feel they got their money worth.

Each one has their ups and downs and once you decide what format is best now you have to figure out how to get it into their hot little hands.

Let's chat about that tomorrow huh?

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's just a jump to the left...

As promised here is my guide to releasing magic products. Will it be informative or amusing? It's a 50/50 shot really.

The first step to releasing a new product into the magic market is: DON'T F$%#!& DO IT! There is already too much rehashed crap out there and it's choking the internet to death.


That product is something very unique in method, prop, or visual. If it's a utility prop that has multiple uses and allows other to create for themselves then by all means go for it.

All of that aside, let's assume you ignored the first few sentences of this post, and are going to release your "brand new" handling of an ace assembly. In today's world it's so easy to create something, film it, and put it online or on a DVD in the SAME DAMN DAY that it's mind wobbling.

The real first step is this: Do some R&D first! (That's Research & Development not Record & Distribute) Go out and see what your effect can do. See if there is a way to clean up the handling, see what effect it has on REAL people, and make sure it hasn't been done before. Youtube and the rest of the internet is NOT the way to gauge how well a magic effect plays. You have to leave your house and actually perform it. (I know, out into the "real world" sorry.)

Only after making sure it's something new (or so old no one can tell you but the people with no lives who can quote you every page of Erdnase verbatim) then you have to decide what medium to put it on. DVD, download, flash drive, morse code? That will be tomorrow's article.

Now get off my lawn...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Poking and producing...

I decided that next week I am going to spend Mon-Fri discussing my thoughts on releasing magic products. So come back at the start of the week for Bizzaro.'s Guide to Magic Capitalism. You might learn something...

but it's highly unlikely.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Protect yo shiz...

So this last week at a venue there was some talk of using someone else's hands in a spike roulette trick and how it can invariably go wrong eventually. While this is true, I recently saw a product I think everyone should have if they plan to use real spikes. (With their, or anyone else's hands)

Remember: You have to be smart to do stupid things...

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Salt and...

Just a little note to any magician who uses anything electronic - You get what you pay for.

I just learned Rayovac, despite saying they are equivalent to Energizer are NOT. Do yourself a favor and use Energizers. (Especially if you own one of Sylvester The Jester's Funkenrings)

That is all...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Radiating lines...

A mask maker friend of mine posted This on his Facebook. If you are any kind of creative or want to be this is likely a good idea to read. A few things stick out in this article for me. One is the numbered list about halfway down. The other is this - "It takes a certain amount of courage, thinking out loud. And is best done in a safe and nurturing environment."

The squeaky wheel gets the grease sometimes but only by those who don't like the noise. I have often said that you need to seek out a small cadre of folks who share your same beliefs and outlooks on art and create with them. Trying to get the opinion of EVERYONE just because you think they think they know what they are talking about is creative suicide. In the end the only opinion that matters is yours when it comes to your art.

Sure you should still remain open minded to random bits of advice from your audience, friends and certain bloggers *koff* but it's your art. It's ok to do what you want but as the article suggests...

might be good to sleep on it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

It seems so simple...

Watching Craig Ferguson (who is possibly the most "real" person in show business right now) and he said something that, if actually heeded, would make magic forums ghost towns...

1. Does this need to be said?
2. Does this need to be said by me?
3. Does this need to be said by me right now?

Good rules for life not just the internet.

Friday, November 09, 2012

True dat...

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Speaking of vanity...

With my rant on card decks lately, anyone remember these?

Sunday, November 04, 2012

I can almost see the strings...

This amused me... (and their website was easy to use and had good prices)