Friday, October 29, 2010
Today, in the current issue of The Chess Reports, I wrote two pages on a new subscription model for Semester 10, and likely new everywhere else.
In it I detailed a new vision for getting people the information and entertainment they seem to want. This magazine (via email) is in its 10th semester--that's since Dec. of 2006. Almost 1800 full size pages, in color, with oodles of games, instruction, letters, articles and other chess info, it is about to be unleashed in two formats: email and CD/print/audio.
This will allow me to offer more, concisely, and even as important, through a medium whereby if you are on the road you can listen to a CD on various chess topics (such as biographies or important chess info to ""think about"), no chessboard needed unless that issue requires you to print out the contents.
Additionally, it is now out that I and another are working on a web site. Don't know yet when IT or others will be up. Another meeting tonight. Soon, perhaps, I can hire an additional, qualified employee. A go-getter too. You guys support me and I will give you more than you have dreamed of. I want to help support a new rise in the economy too. That means, hiring.
If you want to read up on this, let me know and I will put you on my list of those who get excited about new developments in the chess world.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Tuesday I was out of town and didn't get back until midnight so I have to wait until today to write and it already is late.
I am writing a report for the Chess Reports on the Chess Clinic. The mail I am getting indicates people had a great time. As you might figure, we are plotting for next year and a couple of interesting ideas are maturing as is the case for the Chess Reports.
The Chess Reports will be different for Semester 10 which is coming up in a month. But I can't say more until I have worked out the niggling details. It's something I have been "planning" for some time. It's rather exciting and once again will require additional work. You will benefit in a major way.
Back to the drawing boards. I have 3 new DVDs, the new ChessBase 11, and a new book to write about, so that is coming up too as well as The Critical Secret for Success newsletter for owners of the book.
Monday, October 25, 2010
The chess clinic, the last one, is now history. It was a good one. I did miss George Laven as I did want to meet the man I have corresponded with over the years.
I've kind of been off the "air" while this clinic was percolating over the last few days. 35 people and lines waiting to purchase things from Terry Ratcliff while I spent my time answering questions, problem solving, and tipping them off to up and coming events. Terry's husband Bob was one of the attendees and he was having a good time with a great friend of mine, Ken MacDonald.
The evening dinner at Mo Brady's was a riot with about 25 people there whom I can't mention for fear of missing someone (my sister Rita showed up!!) My food was great and others told me theirs was too. Nobody got too nostalgic about the end because there will be something NEW next year... not totally sure what, but perhaps three events with one possibly being called a Book Camp. I've already been thinking about it.
I also mentioned the possibility of a GM being at one of the events. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood or a great mood. I've even gotten some emails and some I've sent out. Testimonials are always welcomed. Photos and commentary will comprise some of this Friday's RECAP edition for those who wanted such. Certain things I forgot to tout (mostly my own stuff). One was the Chess Reports. We'll also be sending out some PDFs and whatever else is due, perhaps in stages.
I'm welcoming reviews from buyers of The Critical Secret for Success. Andrew has done one for the Chess Reports subscribers. I think he understood perfectly what I was getting at. The book on the critical secret sold very well, almost everyone got one. Many picked up Purdy's My Search for Chess Perfection and all the Upgrades for ChessBase 11 were sold.
Talk with ya later...
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Yes, I am hoping for a Fedex next day package tomorrow of ChessBase 11 and its upgrade. $50 just for the shipping but it is MY job to impress you. G&L CHESS will be the first if not one of the first to have it. I haven't seen the price tag yet, that may come today. Should have it.
However, coming in at the last minute, though not on purpose, is CJS Purdy's My Search for Chess Perfection at $39.95. It showed up yesterday afternoon. Close call. It was shipped last week! Handsome looking it portrays chess "gravity." The extensive index looks good too.
Lastly, I could not get the newsletter out last night, too much to go into it. So it will go out this morning while I am running around picking up various items for this weekend. Cody Wilson will do a little videography for me on Saturday and Terry Ratcliff will be helping me sell.
That's all the news this month from Lake Chess Wobegone. Three new books from Thinkers' Press:
a) The Critical Secret for Success. $39.95
b) Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter. FREE
c) My Search for Chess Perfection. $39.95
Picked up T-shirts yesterday! Look great. Will have a couple extra XLs.
See ya soon!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Andrew Martin arrived safely and soundly this afternoon at O'Hare international. Then we had supper with our mutual friend, a master from the Chicagoland area, Vince Berry. Vince, ever the gentleman, picked up the tab and hopes to play in Hastings next year (the December after this December). Andrew is tired and has gone to sleep. All three of us thought "Jamie" was an excellent waitress at "Al's Steakhouse." In Joliet, try it.
The second "safe" landing is the arrival of the Lasker The Ultimate Streetfighter book. It looks very nice and everyone who comes to the Chess Clinic this weekend gets one for FREE. There will be copies available at $12.95 after the event plus $2.00 for shipping in the USA. Or you can join the G&L Continuity Program and get a FREE book from the "Chess Gangs of New York and London" collection if you purchase an average of $50 a month or more for each paired month (Nov-Dec, Jan-Feb, Mar-April, etc.)
Sorry I didn't write yesterday, have made up a list of 39 things to take care of before this Friday. It wears one out just looking at it.
If you come to the Chess Clinic this weekend at the last minute, we will welcome you, but right now I am thinking of the 35 who have paid and bought in early.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Yesterday I announced The Critical Secret for Success. I don't expect, so far, the book to be a giant commercial success because the suspicious won't buy for one reason: it's not the price, it's that there is a CATCH--they will have to do something. Isn't that amazing?
No what some will hope for is a "blue pill," an object embedded in their head, etc. First of all, if that was even remotely true, the cost would be a lot higher than $79.95--think about it.
Secondly, if it were true, too many would get it and you would have no advantage over those you would want to have an advantage over! I call this the "Heaven Scenario." If everyone is terrific at everything should they get to heaven, how exciting would that be? None of us really have any idea of Heaven, so, no more speculation.
Those I admire the most are those who will take the chance to find out. What they will find out is something very profound. Not unexpected, but confirmed. I've already started in on Follow Up Programs based on what I recommend in this expensive book.
Did I say Expensive? I wrote for 5 months, read about 12 other books, rewrote and rewrote. I figure, with luck I will sell 50-100 copies at prices from $50-$80. Let's average at $65. That's between $3250 and $6500. Is that a lot? I don't think anyone who was sane would think so.
Give it a shot, it comes with a Money Back Guarantee. $79.95 + $4.00 for S&H in the USA.
PS: If you wonder if I am qualified to write this book, read it and find out. You will see that the answer is an easy "Yes." Would you classify Garry Kasparov as a visionary? If so, why has he hired trainers or coaches who were inferior to him rating wise?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Today I had a meeting with a most likely future client--concerning the marketing of his "art business." As times got tougher he let a lot of things slide. We had a nice conversation. He was genial, smart, and informed, but he's older than I by a few years and he wants to keep making money without working as hard. Don't we all?
There's a process to revitalizing a business and in the past he did many good things, but now, he has let them "do" themselves, and you know what happened? Nothing.
I told him about The Critical Secret for Success and showed him a copy of the book which came in yesterday! He said, "Is it signed?" My reply: "No, this is MY copy. But I can bring another by this afternoon." It was a done deal, he bought it. We're getting together again when he gets back from a Big Delivery in Pennsylvania... and he takes a week off (I've heard of those, what are they again?)
The questions I asked convinced him I had been in business and that I knew something about marketing. Funny enough, we had a number of other things in common such as our love for Key Lime pie!
He wanted to see what was in the book as I talked to him. When I left he was fanning through it and told me he would be reading it on the way to PA while his SO drove!
There are a few typos in the book as there always are when one proofs their own stuff. BUT the important thing was to GET something in the pipeline instead of "goosing it" forever like so many do. People, in general, are forgiving. I think Dan Kennedy's books are amazingly great, I've read almost all of them and there are some typos in them too. But I am buying valuable information, AND, a reference work. I am not shelving this in a hermetically sealed vault.
I took the other 48 copies to a printer to be shrink-wrapped. 50 cents extra per book. Most selelrs would NEVER do that but I had an experience where I did that with a high-priced item in 1988, and sold all 40 of them within 24 hours. Somehow we just like the idea of occasionally being the first person to open certain types of books and being the first to read them. There will be, at the Chess Clinic and in other private sales, an occasional newsletter for owners of this book. I am already gathering information for a followup. It pours forth. I'll be offering more details in a short while. I know some won't pay the high price I am asking for this book--too bad, I'll get over it. This is for those who really, really want to change the way they have been doing things all these years--taking forever just to get where they are and not being overly satisfied with that. Unless you have a Gold Card for 2010 or are a subscriber to The Chess Reports or have been to a previous Chess Clinic or Festival, the price is $79.95 and will go to $99 at the end of the year. It will be listed on Amazon.com at $99.00.
If I tell you what I have been doing in the last 5 days it will just sound like bragging, so all I will say is that eventually it will make a big difference in other things I produce for you. It has been really time consuming. I've been on no dates, no extra restaurant activity, sleep deprived nights, and using email like a maniac, to get things in place and bring the right people to the counter. More, coming up... leave your dial set to this blog... don't touch it!!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Yesterday I did something I rarely do and while doing it I did something I rarely do--I didn't tell the whole truth in what I was after.
A Mac web site was offering a free copy of Adobe's Premium Design Suite if your name was "drawn" in some contest they were having. Since this past weekend I switched much of my heavy duty publishing work to a higher speed and functionally even more capable machine I became aware (I knew this was coming) that I would need newer versions of Photoshop, Illustrator and possibly a couple other things. Hence I am still working "split screen." I.e., doing some things on the G4 and other things (such as learning software for the catalog making process of using images, as well as The Chess Reports) on the G5. I don't know when I will be able to afford to do that kind of upgrade without "winning" that design suite... haha.
So, I clicked on the link and was taken to some place to do a 4 question survey. Easy, right? Almost. I answered one question feebly. That is, the "truth" was less than what I knew they wanted to hear. Thing is, to me it was unimportant enough that I don't even recall what the question was. I just knew I "fudged." Why? Because if I didn't answer it the way I perceived they wanted me to answer it (i.e., other than that I was there to win something for FREE), my survey answers would be tossed into the bone pile. (Like Publishers Clearing house had done when thousands upon thousands of people who answered, but who didn't subscribe to anything, had their names put into a dumpster!)
I've had regrettable experiences with this:
A. My girlfriend in the late 80s suggested I write a jingle for a hair care company and possibly we could win a Trip for Two to Las Vegas if "we" won (somehow). It was fun, a little exasperating, but I did, sent it in... and she was happy. Six months later, in the same women's magazine, they published the winner's name (it wasn't us). She said to me, "Doesn't that look like the headline jingle you wrote?" I thought about it and said, "Yes, it does." Screw me!
B. I read in a trade magazine about businesses who encourage business people, at a "show," to drop their business card in a fishbowl, with the chance of winning some big prize if their name was drawn. Problem was, it was fixed (it's not illegal). The "winner" would be someone they were trying to solicit future business from.
C. MacWeek. A journal for the Mac computer industry. If you had certain qualifications, you could get a FREE subscription for a year. I would fill out those cards and never got a subscription, ever, 3-4 times, until I gave up. It occurred to me that to "qualify" I MUST be someone of influence at the top of a sizable company (such as CEO, chief buyer, etc.) The key word is "sizable" company--i.e., spends a lot of money (hundreds of thousands of dollars). Over the years I've bought close to 30 computers and systems for my businesses, about half Mac and half PC. I've bought lots of hard drives, fonts, scanners, printers, modems, etc. in the dozens (quantities) and tens of thousands of dollars. But that wasn't enough. Later they changed their name to eWeek and I still pay no attention to them. They had already "lost" me.
D. In my own businesses I would have drawings for merchandise from my store(s) and invariably the winner would be someone(s) I didn't know, from out of town, never would see again, etc. But they were weren't rigged although they may have looked that way from the customer's viewpoint. (Groceries stores where I live would have Big Prizes and it was always someone who was passing by that day who won! Casinos here would have jackpot prizes and 1 out of 10 or 20 winners would actually be from around here!)
Now for the Flip side... I think.
Now for the Last Chess Clinic we have Ron Suarez, who I didn't know, but who has since become a customer. He won the Jackpot Prize for next year's event, whatever it is (I haven't had time to work on it).
Earl Zismer won the DVD package set for Black and White Shockers (he wrote and told me he was on a roll!). I've known Earl for years.
The last drawing, for which there were a bunch of prizes offered, and which ended Sept. 16th, sad to say, I haven't done yet! It should happen this week. I've been so busy taking care of the management of the Clinic, newsletters, and books, it has slipped my mind... and while all that was going on, I literally have seen very few people who I could ask to draw names! But I will.
So in case you are wondering, this will be done this week. And yes, it's ALWAYS above board unlike some of the examples I've listed earlier. Good news for the winners--soon.
Monday, October 11, 2010
is about issue #115 of The Chess Reports. The format, at least for this issue, will be quite a bit different. I will be telling readers what I have been learning after proofing 93 games for LASKER THE ULTIMATE STREETFIGHTER and BLACKBURNE THE BLACK DEATH. The old guys can teach us a lot, and Bobby Fischer knew that. No, it's not about openings this time but the execution of certain tactics. $59.95 for a 13 issue subscription. Also will have mroe coverage of the upcoming Last Chess Clinic. So far about 15-16 have signed up for dinner. Let me know if I missed you. Why all 35 would surprises me, but, the "cookie and crumbling" and all that.
Lastly, Sunday even I made a big conversion of computer systems and straightened out my office. There will be some glitches, there always are. So far, things (except for fonts) aren't too bad. Have begun using my more powerful Mac to run newer software. Catalogs will have a whole new look and it will be easier (I think) to produce them. That's how to blow a Sunday evening.
Gotta run, a lot of writing to finish up. Sorry about Saturday, worked all day on the Blackburne book and did not look up for air.
I am also looking forward to My Search for Chess Perfection showing itself next week.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sorry I couldn't get to this yesterday... was finishing up Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter. It just went to the printer. I'm happy and proud of the book. I should have stuck with a plan for 44 pages instead of 52 because the printer charges a whole dollar extra for those few extra pages. Doesn't sound like much but there is a lot to marketing many are not aware of. I left the price blank on the back cover in cases of stuff like this, so there may be a future price increase unless you get it now ($12.95). The book will be free to all those who have paid to come to the chess clinic.
Here is a quick rundown of some stuff I got in two days ago. Most are from Quality Chess:
Boost Your Chess 2 by Yusupov. Retail is $29.95.
Grandmaster Repertoire: The Sicilian Defence by Ftacnik. Retail is $34.95
The Cutting Edge, The Open Sicilian 1 by Pavlovic. Retail is $27.95.
The Alterman Gambit Guide (White Gambits) by Alterman, Retail is $25.95.
Soviet Chess Strategy by Suetin (Chess Classics series). Retail is $29.95.
These are all substantial books in quality, size, and content. I will have the discounted prices posted very soon. Anyone who wants to go ahead and order can, I will figure it out and email you back the pro-forma invoice. There are those who trust me.
Three other titles are very good, but one is an oldie, reprinted:
The KGB Plays Chess by Popov with contributions by Felshtinsky, Gulko, and Korchnoi. Retail is $19.95. An amazing book that names names and tells the story of chess "troublemakers" like Gulko and Korchnoi and who the "agents of change" were for the KGB (not surprisingly, Karpov is one, but a few others are surprises). Reviews later in The Chess Reports.
Emanuel Lasker by the Linders, father and son. I have the original book in Russian from some many moons ago. It is quite excellent as Linder perceived Lasker as one of the best players ever and has a lot of ammo to back it up. Never got to use any of this for my Ultimate Streetfighter book except to confirm a few things. Retail is $24.95.
Tal Botvinnik 1960 by Mikhail Tal. 6th edition. $19.95 retail.
Other titles will be in just before the Chess Clinic. If you want a copy of what I have I can send now. If you want to reserve one for the Clinic, I can do that (just don't pull the rug out from under me by changing your mind at the last minute after I have saved it for you--man I hate that!)
This is all I have time for today, sorry. The chess world is moving with lightning speed.
ONE FINAL NOTE
I have a manuscript in front of me to be made in either PDF or eBook format on the 3... Qa5 variation of the Scandinavian (Center Counter) by Andrew Martin. There will also be a DVD with Andrew annotating 14-15 games not in the previous book, all new stuff since then. We are contemplating adding a large DB of selected games. Price not known yet. I see some great stuff here. The eBook and DVD will be sold as a set.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
is being printed. Hopefully it will be here next week. If you aren't coming to the Clinic, you have up to two weeks after that to get it at your BEST price.
Tomorrow, Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter goes to the printer. This book, now $12.95 will be given away FREE to all Chess Clinic attendees as well as a gift I bought tonight for use at the Clinic and which you can take home with you. I bought 36, so I have one extra from the number we have currently registered.
The Lasker book part of a series called The New York and London Gangs of Chess have a specific purpose. Every two months a new one will be released. The starting months will be November and December, just in time for Christmas. Then January-February, March-April and so on. I have 24 months planned, or 12 featured players.
Anyone who orders a minimum of $100 worth of merchandise, for each paired set of months, will be mailed, or included with their order, the next in TNYALGOC series. So if you buy $125 worth of stuff in Nov.-Dec., in January you will get the LASKER book for FREE (if you didn't already get one at the Last Chess Clinic). You may include subscriptions such as The Chess Reports, Chess EXTRAS, equipment, software, and books. Events will not count for 2011, whatever they are, but purchases AT them will. Keep your invoices. Usually you get one in the package and another emailed to you.
The book is QUITE good if I don't mind saying so. Probably 50 pages, algebraic notation, notes, copyrighted caricatures. No crosstables or fluff. In the first one, Lasker, there are 50 annotated games from his early period, 1892-1902, and then some lesser known games (10 of those). All wins including one of the most amazing endgames ever seen!
The second volume will contain some of the most crunching games ever seen over the board by another super master, who will belong to the London Gang. No, Leonardo diCaprio is not included.
A number of new books came in today, I will list them tomorrow. I am starting to get lists of books people want me to set aside for them to purchase and pickup at the chess clinic. Smart guys because if it is sold out, I won't be able to make more of them magically appear at the clinic and will have to reorder them.
T-SHIRTS were ordered today. I will have a couple XLs left over to meet the minimum quota. So if you aren't coming and would still like one, I can get it for you. If the XL is too small for you let me know and I will see if they can switch before the print run. This is NOT guaranteed. Mrs. Deem told me today that the second largest picker of cotton, in the world, after the US, is Pakistan. Container shipping prices have more than doubled. Cotton, for GOOD shirts (and I ordered the Beefy-Ts, which are the best) costs much more than 6 years ago, hence the bigger prices. I'm just the messenger. Most of you will want this souvenir.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
HOPEFULLY HERE... before October 20th.
Beefy and probably will be in much demand even though it will be $39.95.
And I am putting up a web site next week to announce this and other Purdy offerings.
My Search for Chess Perfection by CJS Purdy. New testimonials on the back too.
Purdy's book, co-hosted by John Hammond and Robert Jamieson (though one doesn't hear much about them, they are the reason this book existed in the first place).
418 pages. Huge in size, 7x10. Same as 2007 edition with a few exceptions. There is a new chapter called "On Castle Walls" about defense of the King with pawns in front. And, there is a 20-21 page monster Index so you can find out almost anything on combinations, analysis, Lasker, pawns and passed pawns, the center, the endgame and loads more.
If this book was any bigger you would have to hire a moving van. It weighs in at 1.5+ pounds.
Working like a fool lately.
Tomorrow, hope to send Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter to the printer.
Monday, October 4, 2010
The front and back cover design is finished for the revised Purdy book.
The inside of the book is finished... but an ad will go in for a Purdy URL and web site, which I am working on tonight. But first, I am reading terms of working with this company--15 pages of small print.
You have to do that, even if you don't want to because they may have a clause which says something totally ridiculous. I had that happen to me once when I was about to sign a leasing contract for a photocopier. At one point it said, "Machine may be removed, at any time, for any reason, at the request of the lessor." I called him up and told him this wasn't going to happen. He told me to "strike" that phrase and initial it.
I figured that the reason for that clause is not really to sabotage a good customer it is to handle bad customers who want to fight everything and anything. So with that clause it allows the lessor to just remove it and say, "Talk to you later," otherwise the user may damage the equipment.
So when I read through a 15 page, fine print document, it is very hard to exited about doing anything. It could kill sex between two praying mantis'... thereby saving the male's life!
Maybe something tonight, we'll see.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Here 'tis Saturday night. Taking a day off on Sunday to visit Northern Iowa and see the trees, hills, small towns. That's been a while. Last time I was in Decorah was about 1991-1992. Nice Swedish town. When I lived in Georgia near Savannah I was impressed with the downtown and the savannah grasses, but not the modern parts.
Going to look at some artist studios in barns, on the streets, and wherever. Many people don't realize how artistic Iowa is. A super artist named Rose and her husband live in Maquoketa and she is from Iowa and sells lots of her works in NYC (while he is from NY and moved here!) Recently she did portraits of 200 of the citizenry of Maquoketa for the Smithsonian! This is how to make Buck$ -- use your talents in some excellent ways!
The University of Iowa has a big art collection. There are publishing companies in this state besides little old me in Davenport. Big one in Dubuque, an educational one in Iowa City, and another in Des Moines (Meredith is the first or second largest in the world!)
The big insurance companies reside in Hartford, CT, San Francisco, CA, Omaha, NE, and Des Moines, IA. So if you arrive early or leave later, take a look around and see what we have in the way of clean air, lower crime, and a place where they make plenty of movies. We also have one of the best educational systems in the country. Almost none of this stuff is in Davenport because we have had idiots for leadership for years! So I like it here because it keeps people who want to change everything, away! LOL. Thus I can get things done. Great parks though.
Look forward to seeing all of you. Info sheets going out soon. $150 at the door, probably no gift bags because I have to make them up in advance. Register by Oct. 16th.
But, my gig is Thinkers' Press, inc. and it will be The Last Chess Clinic on Octo. 22-23. Hope y'all come for a great time.
Friday, October 1, 2010
should go to the printer tomorrow, if everything goes well.
It will be about 420 pages or almost 30 more than the last edition. There will be an additional chapter (On Castle Walls) and a huge index of about 20 pages so that you can find almost anything in that voluminous book. There have been many times when I was looking for a particular quote or object and it would take waaaay too long to find it... way too long. Now I can probably find it under the various subject headings (which go as much as 3 deep) and pick it out quickly. The Index is detailed.
For example, if you want to check something out in ATTACKS, but you want to know more, such as involving pawns, then you can go even further with respect to "chain base" or "from flank or rear."
There are also game references which are easier to look up. Players, their books, etc. There are "weirdicisms" too.
Under the subject heading of "chess" you will find about 50 items and that one is comfortable low compared to combinations, or position play, pawns, and strategy. It took me about a week to prepare the index and while I don't admit it is perfect, it's pretty darn useful, already! (I used it the other day to find something.)
Lasker the Ultimate Streetfighter should be going to the printer soon too as well as the "Secrets" book.
And there are some new titles coming in next week from Quality Chess.
More on other subjects such as Referrals, Renewals, and other "R" words such as Rewards, but then my good customers already know about that one.
I need you guys to keep me busy handling orders so that I won't have time to put together another catalogs (catalogs are probably the least used of all my services and yet everyone wants one!) I have Informants now also.
See ya tomorrow.