Wow! Four days. Unbelievable. Five days ago I released my lecture notes, ELEVEN here on this website. That same Friday I flew out to lecture at a convention in Norway with a good chunk of the notes in my suitcase. I saw the sales go through the roof as I eagerly refreshed my commerce admin page while waiting to board my flight. I couldn't believe how fast they were selling.
Yesterday, they were officially sold out. I returned home from the convention with two or three copies and the stock I had added to the web store was completely depleted. I didn't list all 111 copies for sale, because I wanted a handful to give to a few friends that helped me realize them, and I also wanted to make sure that I didn't oversell.
Now that all of the orders are fulfilled and shipped I still have a very small supply of notes left. I expect these will be offered for sale in the web store in a couple of weeks or so. I'd like to wait to make sure that everyone's notes arrive safely to those that ordered a copy.
If you missed out the first time, and I know a lot of you did because I have been getting messages the last two days from people saying it's sold out and wondering how they can buy one - you will get one more chance. And I will announce it at least a couple of days in advance. You will have an exact time and date - just like with the original launch. Except this time, we're talking about no more than a dozen or so copies, so if you aren't there when it happens, you probably will never get your hands on a copy of Eleven. Which brings me to my next point.
This was the first product I set into the world for the English speaking market - but it's certainly not the last. I went on an amazing journey to write these notes. Everything from finishing the material within, to figuring out how to teach it, writing it, to having an amazing and stunning cover painting done, and having the most incredible and elegant layout created. I was heavily involved in every step and I couldn't have asked for better collaborators. My partner Katie and one of my best friends in magic, Donald, did an amazing job on these. They took my work and ideas, and they helped me present it the way I would want it to be seen. I can't thank them enough.
As I begin to think about what my next project will be, I need to ensure that I bring on board the same values and the same high standards with every project I start. I frequently talk about how much I dislike the current state of the magic "companies" selling subpar downloads of poorly designed effects that have never been real-world tested, by "teachers" that don't know what they are talking about, and usually at best are only a couple of lessons in front of the people that they are teaching. This is a disgrace to the art form, which is why I have always turned down the opportunity to publish anything when it's come my way. I've turned down downloads, I've turned down lecture note and book projects, I've turned down a DVD.
I turned them down because they were offered to me at a time when I did not feel ready, and I didn't necessarily feel that what I had was of much value. I mean, I'm still learning, what qualifies me to teach others? I'm in a position right now where I'm hardly confident that I even have something of value to share. But at the same time I know that it's that kind of mindset that maybe sets me apart. I'm very very critical of myself and my own approach to what I do. Sometimes that's a curse, but most times it's a blessing. It means that I don't put anything out into the world unless I am really happy with it.
I just wish that a lot of people put a little more thought and a little more effort into their work. Especially in the magic community. There are so many products out there that makes me go "who approved this? why is this even out there? this is terrible." - but of course I understand why it's out there. It's to suck money out of beginners' pockets and into the companies and individuals that have no ethical or moral qualms when it comes to exploiting the young and hopeful practitioners of the art they once loved... It's a very common theme for magicians to be linked to con artists, and even for us to play the role of a con artist, but I feel that we're now dangerously approaching a stage in which some of us become con artists. I don't like that.
So to round off this little rant - I'm super super thrilled so many of you picked up the Eleven notes, both from my website and at the convention. If you have yours already - what do you think? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!
I put so much thought, effort and passion into this project, and I hope it shows. I hope you can feel that passion when you hold it in your hands. When it comes to releasing and sharing some material - some of it I've been holding back for over ten years - for the first time in my life I can say, "I'm ready."
It is at this point I need to be extremely careful and not let that corrupt me and suck me into the temptation of releasing a lot of stuff, but instead putting this much care and work and effort into everything that is out there. That means that, even though I'm talking about a new project now, it might be a very long time until you see anything of it. Or not. I don't know. But I hope it will be as warmly received as Eleven was.