Q. Our guest today is B. W. McCarron, managing editor of Magic World Publishers. Welcome, B.W.
A. Thank you. It's good to be here.
Q. What kinds of books does Magic World Publishers produce?
A. Magic World produces both traditional (print) books and digital (PDF) ebooks on topics aimed at magicians, mentalists, and psychic entertainers of all skill levels and abilities. The Magic World product line ranges from brand-new content, published for the first time, to reprints of classic titles, available to new generations of performers.
Q. You said "ebook." What, exactly, is an ebook?
A. An ebook — short for "electronic book" — is a digital file that the user "reads" on a computer, such as a iPad or other tablet, a notebook or desktop computer, or a smartphone. If you've ever looked at a PDF file, then you're familiar with the concept.
Q. I've always been a print book kind of guy. What are some advantages of a digital book?
A. A major advantage is the number of digital books that can fit onto your tablet, smartphone or laptop. Imagine if you tried to take your entire physical book collection on a trip with you. You'd be paying a lot of money in excess baggage fees! With digital books, you can fit thousands of titles on a single thumb drive or USB stick!
Q. And, I imagine, a digital book never gets dog-eared, unlike a print book.
A. (laughs) Exactly. For me, the main advantage of a digital book — as compared to other digital media, such as a text file, is that the text and illustrations in an ebook appear just how the author and publisher want them to appear, regardless of the device that's used to display them. And if it's prepared properly, the reader can quickly search the content of an ebook to find a particular word or phrase. In fact, your computing device can search the contents of your entire digital ebook collection in the blink of an eye. With a print book, you'd have to go through every book, page by page, to do this. Ebooks are also great for persons with disabilities, as the digital content can be converted to audio, or the text enlarged, using available technology.
Q. Do I need special software to enjoy reading an ebook?
A. The nice folks at Adobe will hook you up with a FREE copy of their Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which allows you to view PDF files. You can find it here. Acrobat Reader is all you need to view any ebook in the Magic World Publishers catalog.
Q. As the managing editor of Magic World, what are the main duties that you are responsible for?
A. My responsibility is overseeing all areas of production involved with getting a particular title released to the wholesaler or distributor. This entails digital typesetting, artwork, layout, cover design, editorial and additional content, and assembly and packaging of the title into finished form. If the work has previously appeared in print, a thorough copyright clearance process must also be completed before any production work begins. There are a lot of moving parts involved. A breakdown in any one area impacts the production schedule for the entire project.
Q. That's a lot of responsibility for one person to bear. I don't think I'd like to have your job!
A. It has its rewards. I feel like a proud parent every time a new title is released. Each publication stands on its own as a quality document that any customer will be pleased to add to his or her library.
Q. What sets Magic World ebooks apart from those of other publishers?
A. Two things come to mind: quality and value. Magic World ebooks are painstakingly crafted, very similar to how the "old world" publishing process works. The vast majority of our titles are not simple "warts-and-all" document scans, but are ground-up restorations that include new digital typesetting, grammar and spelling corrections, digital restorations of existing artwork, oftentimes with the addition of new illustrations to supplement the text, and bonus features such as updated information, additional routines, or other enhanced content. Lastly, the final product is sold at a price point that is very competitive, often less than ten percent of the price of a dog-eared original copy on the collector market.
Q. Who is Blamepro.com? What does it stand for?
A. Blamepro.com is one of the true pioneers of the Internet, online since 1996. It is the web presence for The Blame Productions, an entertainment marketing and promotion site, now focusing exclusively on print and digital content for entertainers. Magic World joined forces with Blamepro in 1996.
Q. How many titles have you published to date?
A. As of today, we offer over 700 books and ebooks, covering topics ranging from How-To guides for beginning performers to specialized routines for magicians, mentalists, hypnotists, comedians and other professional entertainers.
Q. That's an impressive range. How does a customer find a particular book from your site?
A. There are two ways, both of them easy to use. One is to simply browse from the several categories on our Categories page. There you can find books devoted to a particular field of magic, mentalism, or even specialized branches, such as gambling-type routines, comedy magic, hypnotism, etc. The other way, especially handy if you want to search for a particular title or author, is to visit our Search page, which is powered by Google.
Q. Do you offer a print catalog?
A. Anyone can obtain a personal catalog by visiting our list of available titles and printing it to their personal printer. Or better yet, simply bookmark our web page at mw.blamepro.com to always have an up-to-the-minute list of books in our online catalog.
Q. I noticed another online reseller offering Magic World titles. Is this legit?
A. Our products are offered through two resellers: Lybrary.com and House of Mystery Books on eBay. Lybrary.com handles our digital titles; House of Mystery handles the print books. Both are fantastic companies. There's no duplication of our content among the two sellers. If you see any other site offering our copyrighted content, please let us know.
Q. What is Magic World doing to combat the theft of intellectual property?
A. Aside from our print and digital books being copyrighted materials, each with a prominent copyright statement, we are doing our part to work with web hosts, credit card processors, search engines, and government agencies to report unauthorized sites offering our intellectual property.
In many cases, the illegal books being sold are poorly scanned, such as smartphone pictures made from a print version in a book store. The user satisfaction is just not there. There's no emphasis on quality control when a scammer sells a pirated work. All they want is thecustomer's credit card data.
It's a fact that anyone who purchases our texts from an unauthorized source is supporting online piracy. This puts the customer at personal risk. Please see our anti-piracy information page for more information. I hope that all entertainers will heed this information and keep themselves, their information, and their credit history safe from these online predators. Buy only from a legitimate vendor who sells authorized products.
Q. Speaking of products, I really like your product line. Do you have a "brick and mortar" store where I can buy these titles locally?
A. Thanks for the kind words. We closed our Magic World retail store, in order to devote more of an effort to producing quality print and digital books. A former magic shop owner once told us that he could fill half a dozen mail orders in the time that it took to wait on just a single in-person customer. And with the advent of the Internet, it's even worse. Now, there are lots of "tire kickers" who think nothing of spending an hour in a brick and mortar store to watch demonstrations, handle props, etc., then make their purchase online, instead of from the shop they visited in person. We figured that with the increasing ease of e-commerce shopping and content delivery methods, the time was right to exclusively offer our books for online purchase.
Q. I have an awesome idea for a new book! Are you interested?
A. At this time, we're not accepting new book submissions from outside of our existing author pool. We're only able to produce so many books in the amount of time we have and are currently working at full capacity.
Q. I want to keep tabs on what you guys are up to. What books are due for release in the next few weeks?
A. Glad you asked! You can visit our "sneak peek" page here.
Q. Who owns Magic World Publishers?
A. Magic World is owned by the McCarron family.
Q. Is magic a healthy hobby?
A. Yes, magic is a wonderful and safe hobby for people of all ages, as it can help to build and improve self-confidence, improve physical dexterity, and provide a healthy outlet for demonstrating new skills and abilities. Performing tricks in front of an audience helps build cognitive functions, as the magician stays one step ahead of his or her audience. Assembling an interesting story or "patter" to accompany the effect helps build imagination and inspires the magician to learn to entertain and speak in front of audiences of all sizes. Plus, magic helps keep you young, since magicians range in age from 8 to 80 ... and beyond!
Q. I don't want to appear stupid, but I have to ask: what is mentalism?
A. Mentalism is the art of (apparently) reading the thoughts of another person. Dunninger made a living at performing feats of mentalism from the 1920's through the 1960's. Max Maven and Kreskin are two other famous mentalists you've probably either seen or read about. The mentalism effects and books we offer rely on purely scientific means to make them work; you don't need to be the seventh son of a seventh son in order to present them!
Q. Which is better, magic or mentalism?
A. Magic, with its colorful props and enchanting story lines, enchants audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Some professionals even perform their magic silently! Mentalism, on the other hand, is more cerebral. A good mentalist must have a strong command of language and an arresting personality. Mentalism does not play well to young children, either, who don't yet understand that mindreading is an uncommon ability.
Our #1 most popular book is about magic (comedy magic, at that), while our #2 best-selling book is for mentalists. Eight of our current top ten titles have a mentalism theme. But we are seeing several magic titles beginning to work their way towards the top. Which is better? You decide!
Q. Why are there books about scams and con artists on your site?
A. We believe the old adage that "an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure." The best way not to get conned is to be aware of the scams and schemes that these wiley crooks use. That's why titles in our Gambling and Cons section are part of the Magic World catalog. You can learn about hoaxes, scams and outrageous rip-offs -- and how not to get taken in by them. If only more people would learn to steer clear of the shysters and crooks, the world would be a better place.
Q. I heard a rumor that you, yourself, are an authority on scams and cons.
A. Guilty as charged! I retired in 2016 as the CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) of a state law enforcement agency. I keep my gold badge on display in my office as a reminder of my 37-year career, managing all aspects of information security, including physical, data, systems and the safety and training of employees and customers. Our customer base numbered in the millions, so it was not a small undertaking.
My security knowledge and experience also includes bunco scams, casino cheats and rigged carnival games. In fact, my second book, The Gambling Magician, was published in hard copy by D. Robbins, way back in 1976.
Q. Are there plans to issue more titles on scams and cons so that your readers can stay safe?
A. Yes. We have some exciting titles in the works that will be of interest to the public at large, as well as magicians, mentalists and anyone who loves stories of swindles and cheats. Not only are the stories and methods good to know for your own protection, but they also make fascinating reading.
Q. Well, B. W., thanks for taking the time to answer questions for us today. How can folks, who are interested, find out more about the various titles that Magic World offers?
A. It's been my pleasure. I invite anyone to visit blamepro.com to find out more about our current catalog of titles on magic, mentalism and protection from scams and cons. You can also enter 'Magic World Publishers' into your favorite online search engine (such as Google or Bing) to get to our home page. Thanks, and I hope that you take a moment to visit our site. And be sure to check back often, as we add four to six interesting titles every month.
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