According to Ian
Personal Notes & Notions on Magical Matters
by Ian Adair
Writing for Magazines
I must admit I cannot count the number of magic magazines that have featured my articles and effects. Their number must surely go into the fifties. Over the years some of the magazines I have written for have sadly ceased publication including, sadly, my own Magical Express. Printing and publishing magical magazines is just not a feasible or profitable business! Just consider the magic magazines that have gone out of business: Magic Wand, Magical Digest, Wizard, Magic Magazine (Andrews), The Mag, The Tops, Pentagram, New Pentagram, Magigram, Alakazam . . . the list is endless.
The ones I write for these days are Magic Circular, Budget, Linking Ring, Joe Steven’s Magic Emporium Network, Abra, Repro and, of course, the magic club magazines. Small though the readerships of the society magazines are, they’re still important to me, and I love writing for them. Within their pages I feel I am sharing things, and often new things, with my friends in magic, and with the next generation.
I am often asked “How do you think up so many ideas?” I tell them “it’s easy.”
I carry a notebook around with me at the time, and sometimes a pocket Dictaphone. I use the latter at night when going to bed, switching it on and off as required, and recording a new idea when it popped out of my mind. Sometimes, when playing back the recording I can’t understand a single word of it, and several times I’ve been ‘told off’ for awaking my partner.
But one thing is sure, however I jotted down the ideas, it will sell in thousands. (Not going to the extreme of saying millions.) How little did these people know or realize that magic products do not sell in the thousands, often they don’t sell in the hundreds unless you have a real ‘winner’ on your hands.
But let’s get back to writing for magic magazines. Many struggle. A friend of mine said “if you find it hard to write a letter, you will certainly find it hard to write an article or write-up an effect or two!”
“Why do you do it Ian?”, they ask me. “Is it to see your name in print?” “No,” is the answer. I know I can write articles, can write-up magical effects and routines. There is no real challenge any more. What I like about it is that I get an idea out of my system, share it with readers whom I love and respect, and hopefully they can use the material. There’s nothing better than learning that someone, somewhere, in this country or overseas, is using an item of mine. I know for a certain fact, that four people at least, are using my “Pair Trick”, which I gave readers freely and willingly in The Griffin. Good! It could well have appeared in a large circulation magazine, but I wanted the members the North Wales Magic Circle to have it. Writing for 10,000 people makes you sit up and wonder — that’s the circulation of the Linking Ring for example. But writing for the Griffin’s 70 or so readers means a lot to me. I have about 80 effects, ideas and notions in the pipeline for different magazines at this moment, with another hundred or so in preparation — many for the Griffin. And hopefully, long may they continue.