Progress report on my bibliography of Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets . . .

The proofreading on my bibliography of Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets continues. It actually is going a little beyond straight proofreading, since it has involved some revisions.

I have tried to make the text a little more, oh, maybe succinct, or compact. This has had the impact of eliminating one or two pages, which is good. But I could not simply shorten the book (have it be fewer pages), because that upsets the apple cart in other ways. (As a made-up example, if I eliminate two pages at the beginning, then almost all of the table of contents has to be changed, and it will also make certain page-references in the text inaccurate.)

So I have had to do “clever things” to keep almost all of the text on the correct pages, like adding images and perhaps rearranging one or two. But the amount of work left is quite finite and should not take more than maybe a week or so.

—Tom Sawyer

July 21, 2017

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My forthcoming bibliography of Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets is almost complete . . .

Well, my work on the book is now basically finished. I am now involved in proofreading. (I am also prevailing upon my daughter Elizabeth to do some proofreading.) Since this will be (I believe) a softcover printing, it is likely that from this point on things will move rather quickly.

Below are examples of a few pages (as they now stand). First, though, I’ll show the present design for the front and back covers. This may stay the same as it now is, but there is a good chance it will change a little, or possibly a lot. The cards depicted date from before Hoffmann’s earliest booklet, but they look so awesome, I still might keep them in the design.

Format will be 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches.

Front cover:

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Back cover:

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Contents page:

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Beginning of entry for Rubicon Bézique:

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 11.31.22 PM copyaaa.jpg

—Tom Sawyer

July 15, 2017

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Just a little FYI . . .

For those few (maybe zero at this point) people who visit this blog from time to time, hoping for a new post, I want to say that it will probably be months before I post anything else on this blog. And obviously there is not much to see here at the moment.

I just checked the stats, and I see that I have ONE post that is now visible.  And I have made 491 posts “private,” meaning they cannot be viewed by anyone but me. Just when I will make those (or any of them) public again, I do not know. A lot of them did not have anything like real lasting value.

A lot of them were devoted to time-consuming and rather ineffective efforts I made to market various recent books I wrote.

By the way, the mere fact that I have stopped offering such books for sale does not mean I do not have any more copies, at least as to most of them. In fact, I hope someday to offer copies for sale in the future. But that may be quite a long time from now, like six or eight months, or maybe more, cuz I have pretty much moved on to other projects, and at the moment I have no noticeable incentive to bother myself with marketing them.

I forget offhand how many copies of Angelo J. Lewis of the Chancery Bar I have so far sold.  I think probably about a dozen.

I just counted the copies of Professor Hoffmann and His Conjuring Serials of 1872-1888 on one of my shelves, which carries most if not all of my remaining copies.  I counted 21.   I had possession of 51 copies originally.  So, you might say, “Great, Tom, you sold 30 copies.” Not quite, cuz I gave away I think four or so copies.

I gave a copy of the lettered version to my daughter’s mother–it was pretty funny, and it points up a kind of unforeseen aspect of the lettered copies.  Those have tipped-in a “leaf” from Every Boy’s Annual. Now even though those were all pretty nice, there was sort of a “pecking order” to them (not necessarily according to the letters written in them). Some of the leaves were very cool, solid Modern Magic text on both sides, and with a “Modern Magic” running head at the top, and with cool illustrations. Others varied.

The one I gave Connie was one of the worst ones, if not THE worst one.  (I knew she would not mind.) It had Modern Magic text on one side. It had a “Puzzles” running-head, because an unrelated section, on puzzles, started partway down the page.  It had no Modern Magic illustrations. And it had, I forget, maybe like eight lines of Modern Magic text (two columns, though, so maybe you could say 16 lines).

My next “magic” project is likely to be the book on Professor Hoffmann’s card-game booklets (see the post below for information).

–Tom Sawyer

December 2, 2016

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Planning my next Hoffmann-related book — on card-game booklets — if you might be interested, you had better contact me . . .

Well, I have already done a moderate amount of planning.  And I have not really RESUMED work on it yet.

But it is fairly certain that my next Hoffmann book will deal heavily with his card-game booklets. I hope to impose (a little bit) on my friend David Levy and on my friend Mike Goodall in connection with that work, since they are both very nice guys (and are both scholars who unquestionably make me look like small potatoes), as well as being  avid and perceptive collectors–and they have Hoffmann card-game booklet material that I do not have.

(I strenuously doubt whether I will ask for any help from anyone besides those two.)

But anyway, I expect (or hope, anyway) to issue that work around the middle of 2017.

And my present plan (or hope) is to do essentially zero “post-printing marketing” of that book (re the first printing), and I may actually do a formal limited edition thing with it.

So, anyway, at least as to the first printing, I will probably have printed only a small number beyond the number of orders that I receive before placing the print order. And I don’t expect very many such orders!

The quantities I am now contemplating are multiples of 32 (the number of cards in, e.g., a Bezique pack), or 52 (the number of cards in, e.g., a Whist pack).  Then I hope to affix to the interior of each book a cool Goodall playing card probably from the late 1800s. I am also thinking of having the book be of very small format (maybe 4 by 6 or the like), as an echo of the small sizes of the booklets themselves.

So, anyway, logical quantities would be things like 32, 52, 64, 96, and 104.  Those are multiples of 32 or 52.  I don’t think I would do something as messy as 32 plus 52, for a total of 84. I heartily doubt that there will be more than 104, at least of the first printing.

Strange to say, I have so far sold I think 22 copies of Professor Hoffmann and His Conjuring Serials of 1872-1888. Whether this is due to the truly abominable job of marketing that I have done, or something else, or some combination of elements, I do not know.

But it does suggest that the first printing of the book on Hoffmann’s card-game booklets will be either 32 copies, or 52 copies, or 64 copies.

Anyway, I am not accepting orders for the card-game-booklet book at the moment, but I don’t think it is too early for me to ask everyone WHO WANTS ME TO EMAIL THEM “MARKETING INFORMATION” ABOUT THE BOOK to write to me at the following email address and tell me so. So that is what I am hereby doing.

Now, it so happens that I have in my collection quite a number of beautiful Goodall booklets by people other than Hoffmann, and it is possible that I will to a significant extent deal with some of the other booklets as well. I also have many of the De La Rue booklets, but for various reasons, I probably won’t deal with them much in this book.

So, I don’t know exactly what ground will be covered, but (a) I will probably keep it manageable, and (b) it is highly likely that I will focus primarily on Hoffmann in this book. I am fairly certain that a great deal of the text will be based on posts on my Goodall blog.

I’ll probably post this same post, or one like it, on my Goodall blog.

Here is a link to that blog, in case you want to visit it:

—Tom Sawyer

September 28, 2017

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