Online Instructions…

Each year more and more magic tricks are coming out that come with online instructions and that’s the only way to get the information. In theory everyone wins, you get video instructions, it drops the cost for the creator, and possibly the buyer as well. It also makes things cheaper to ship.

Now for the downside, not everyone will have access to the information. What I mean by that is that access won’t last forever like the instructions in some physical form. Sure you can download the instructions (usually), but that only is good for as long as the tricks producer has the video online.

A good example would be a trick that’s been out for several years, but you just bought it at a magic shop. You open the trick, find the download card and go to the site, but the site no longer exists. What do you do? If the company is out of business, you’re out of luck. I guess you could return it to the magic shop, however that’s doesn’t solve the problem of product being out there where producer of it got rid of content that was paid for.

Personally I don’t do online only instructions, every magic trick I sell comes with a DVD or print instructions. I do offer “bonus content” online for tricks I sell or for stuff in my lecture notes. The pain in the butt with these things is that I just changed my hosting on my website and I had to service all of those links, many are to products I haven’t sold in a few years. Unfortunately a lot of creators don’t do that.

The hard part now is that less and less computers have DVD players, how do I deliver video content without it being online? The current solution I’m considering is thumb drives. The downside is that they cost much more than DVD’s, but the upside is that they are small, and versatile. I could order 100 of them and use them for a variety of different products.

If you’re a magic producer, you need to think about what’s going to happen when someone buys your trick 5 years from now…unless you’re just in it for a quick money grab (but then you’re an a-hole).