11/28/2012 Feature: "Return to Ravnica: The Secretist, Part One"

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This thread is for discussion of the feature article "Return to Ravnica: The Secretist, Part One", which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Pre-ordered this, about to start reading now, glad to know there will be a confirmed Dragon's Maze novel.
Doug, I have been waiting for this and was super excited to learn I could read it on my Android (no e-reader... yet)! The Magic novels have meant so much to me since The Brothers War, so it's great that the story is being serialized triune like back in the glory days. Hopefully more books are on the way! Really can't wait to read this one.
Yeeees, I was afraid this wasn't going to get advertised at all! Classy move, giving it a feature article. Nice work, WotC.

The sample chapter looks good. Doug has improved quite a bit since Alara Unbroken. I'll be picking this up for my laptop for sure.


@Kraken Hatchling, how long is the first installment?
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I'm sure I'll be in the minority when I say I am disappointed to not have another book to fill my bookshelf with, what with the growing popularity of digital goods these days.

That said, this sample looks good!
Is this only available for purchase in the United States? I live in Europe and tried to get this but its not available for purchase on amazon.
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Yup, "Pricing information not available" for us europeans. Darnded, can't even get the original trilogy either.

And are we linux users limited to kindle cloud?
Not available in Australia either along with most of the catalogue. Why restrict an ebook from international purchase? Surely a larger audience must be attractive
Indeed, more people to buy the product = more money. I really hope it's not that grade A bull about copyright and just a tragic slip.
Size seems to be roughly 1/6th of Alara Unbroken. So, altogether, if the others are the same size, that makes the Return to Ravnica's story the size of half of Alara Unbroken. But, it's at a much, much lower price, and I mean. It's Ravnica. Who's going to argue with that? I pre-ordered. :P
November 28th

So this is the real reason why Venser was killed in the terrible TQFK? He was more interesting, heroic, charming and well-developed than Jace...

...but the Mind Sculptor were predestinated to be the next teenagers's hero.Almost 300 pages of  scum in TQFK just to open space for him? What a great department!

I hope you transform Jace in a better character, Mr. Beyer, because most of the other neowalkers are just as plane as a blank page.  

I believe you do care Mr. Beyer (as your fellow friend Mrs. Helland too) but unfortunately you two have to follow really bad rules. I wish you luck.

I was hoping to see some Dominaria's memories next year for the MTG's 20th birthday but...

JV
Well - I shan't be buying anything from Amazon until they stop avoiding paying tax in the UK, so it looks like I'll be experimenting with Nook for the PC. Anyone used it? Any good?

ETA: Never mind. Same bollocks on Nook too -  'Billing address must be in the United States' Well, that's just marvellous... :/
Guys, we just got word from MaRo that they're trying to fix the availability problem. So, it's not by deliberate design, don't worry. No hint as to when it'll be fixed, but keep an eye out.

@Coralus:

Hm, if it's about a sixth of the size... it's actually more expensive per page, because you're paying for it three times. Not sure how I feel about that.

@Johnny Vintage:

Uh, did you actually read Agents of Artifice? What are you basing your characterization of Jace on? And for that matter, what are you basing your characterization of Venser on? Because he is not a widely liked and respected character. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Why in all that writhes in the 9 Spheres is this NOT being released as a paperback? I think that that's just ridiculous. It's a complete backhand to people like me who have done everything we can to obtain all of the novels. And now I need to obtain app A, fill out credit card information form B, and download book C, just to read another one of the books on a digital screen (instead of feeling the pages between my finger tips). This is an outrage, a disgrace, and travesty all in one.
Why in all that writhes in the 9 Spheres is this NOT being released as a paperback?

Because there aren't enough people interested in purchasing physical novels to make them worth the massive amounts of time, trouble, and money that WotC would require to print them. There's not enough profit to justify the investment.

Ebooks minimize many of the costs associated with traditional publishing, so WotC is taking a chance on them and hoping that this way they can still publish novels without losing money hand over fist.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

i know you can't make them real books, but... (begin rant)

WHYY!!! I LOVE BOOKS THAT AREN'T JUST WORDS ON A SCREEN. BOOKS SHOULD BE ENJOYED AS MUCH AS A PHYSICAL THING AS AN ELECTRONIC TEXT. ITS THE REASON WE STILL HAVE PHYSICAL CARDS AND NOT JUST MTGO!!!!!!!!!!

(END RANT)

sorry, i had to get it off my chest
real excited there is a novel tho
Maybe if lots of regular fans buy the books we'll see some print novels again.

But storyline fans are only a small portion of the fanbase, and we're not enough to support a novel line. Maybe this will make a difference, maybe it won't, but them's the facts of the case, as it were. There's not a lot that we can do about it other than pick the book up and hope that WotC manages to reach the wider fanbase.

I am hopeful.

I am not optimistic.

Still, we've got Jenna's column now, so it's not all bad. And maybe that's a sign that things are turning around for the storyline.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
As a recent convert to Magic, I was really looking forward to a fresh block of novels to go with the new set, but I have to say this is more than just a letdown. For starters, I am a little old-fashioned in that I like tactile things. That's why I play the actual card game with cards, not Magic Online of Duels of the Planeswalkers. Beyond that, I'm the type who still listens to cassette tapes and has a rather large record collection - needless to say, I am not impressed with the e-book status of the new story. Secondly, the sample chapter is so full of such hasty, nonsensical writing! Save for the use of the word 'progressively', the sentence, "His handwriting had gotten progressively less sane–looking lately" is the quality I would expect from the 5th grade essays and papers I grade. I don't want to come off as a nitpicker, but almost every sentence of the sample chapter is equally as half-finished, or just as much lacking in flavor or thought. In paper form, I could bring myself to read through it, but as it stands, there isn't enough going for it to make me want to sit at my computer reading when I could be reading a physical, paper-bound fantasy novel unattached to this franchise. Sigh.
Bought it. Reading through it right now.

Uh, did you actually read Agents of Artifice? What are you basing your characterization of Jace on? And for that matter, what are you basing your characterization of Venser on? Because he is not a widely liked and respected character. 


Venser is (technically) a pre-mending character, Jace is a post-mending character. For some people, that matters more than the actual quality of their stories.
I am looking forward to reading it! I can only assume that it will be miles better than The Fifth Dawn, Ravnica:City of Guilds, Guildpact, and Dissension.

I also wish to add that....I can't believe I am going to say this....but...I really wish there was a printed version of this book.

I am an Anti-Paper Nazi IT Professional that has been spearheading paperless for years, but in recent years, I have found that I really enjoy owning books that I love (Actual Novels, not electronic versions). I really do not want to stare at my monitor to read a book, nor do I desire an e-reader. Tuff luck for me?

Why in all that writhes in the 9 Spheres is this NOT being released as a paperback?

Because there aren't enough people interested in purchasing physical novels to make them worth the massive amounts of time, trouble, and money that WotC would require to print them. There's not enough profit to justify the investment.

Ebooks minimize many of the costs associated with traditional publishing, so WotC is taking a chance on them and hoping that this way they can still publish novels without losing money hand over fist.

I question the validity of your post as to why they are not publishing on paperback. The reasons are valid, but is that an official Wizards of the Coast stance? I know plenty of people that prefer a real book over electronic, me, for example.

Also, I think what they could do is run a limited number of publications, marketing the paperbacks and maybe even hard cover sets in a more "Mythic Rare" offering. The limited editions would be more appealing to people that really appreciate books and Wizards could save money of publishing and make more $ per sale of the products.
Finally, I have been waiting forever for the second part. Basically a day after the first was released. I've really enjoyed the stories so far and would love to see more fiction. 
Why in all that writhes in the 9 Spheres is this NOT being released as a paperback?

Because there aren't enough people interested in purchasing physical novels to make them worth the massive amounts of time, trouble, and money that WotC would require to print them. There's not enough profit to justify the investment.

Ebooks minimize many of the costs associated with traditional publishing, so WotC is taking a chance on them and hoping that this way they can still publish novels without losing money hand over fist.

I question the validity of your reasoning as to why they are not publishing on paperback. The reasons are valid, but is that an official Wizards of the Coast stance? I know plenty of people that prefer a real book over electronic, me, for example.

Also, I think what they could do is run a limited number of publications, marketing the paperbacks and maybe even hard cover sets in a more "Mythic Rare" offering. The limited editions would be more appealing to people that really appreciate books and Wizards could save money of publishing and make more $ per sale of the products. 

It really isn't worth the hassle of printing, as a limited run would cost more than most people would want to pay, so the demand would be for more to be printed, but without pre-order commitment... as such Wizards would have to just fill shelves around the country and take a loss. Unless it's something that has confirmed appeal to a wide range of potential but unaware customers, it's a huge risk to print or commit to printing. Which is why I'm guessing that Wizards has a fairly limited fictional department, at least when compared to the sheer volume of intellectual property that they own.
I hate e-books. If I don't buy this one and recommend that my kitchen table group not buy it, will that lead to you being more likely or less likely to make real books in the future?
I hate e-books. If I don't buy this one and recommend that my kitchen table group not buy it, will that lead to you being more likely or less likely to make real books in the future?

Yes, obviously showing Wizards that not even two dollar books can sell is a great way of making sure the novel line--that was discontinued because it didn't sell--starts being produced again.

I can't imagine how that plan could possibly backfire.

Deciding that you don't want to buy it is one thing. Persuading everyone else not to buy it because you somehow think that'll get you what you want is quite another.

I really do not understand what is so difficult to grasp about the concept of "The Novel Line Failed Because No One Bought Our Print Books, So We Are Trying Something New." It really is not that complex a concept to grasp.
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Doug - seriously, go to Amazon, write the first review.  Say hello to your potential customers, say how long the book is. Maybe weblinks.  You want the first review in Amazon to be positive - either write it, or have somebody that read the book write it.  Do it now.
Hm, really torn on this one. I'm really interested in the story but I really dislike the idea of getting into e-books. I don't have a smartphone or an e-reader...

This is not a limited time offer is it? I need to think about this a lot.
(in any case, I'm definitelyu not the reason for the novels not selling, I have a really nice row of books lined up in my bookcase. Pride of my book collection)
I question the validity of your reasoning as to why they are not publishing on paperback. The reasons are valid, but is that an official Wizards of the Coast stance?



Yes it is. MaRo has said so multiple times on Blogatog.
Actually, I have been reading more because of e-books. It's more convenient to stuff in my pocket and carry about on lunch-break at work, and no shipping costs for out of print stories, over Amazon! I have Alara, Zendikar, the original Ravnica block, Arena, Purifying Fire, Agents of Artifce, Tests of Metal, the first two Secretist books, and the third on preorder. I highly encourage that the MtG novels continue! [Will we see any of the older novels reprinted in ebook form? Like Invasion?]
I didn't even know these exsisted until I saw a tweet about Part 2 on Twitter a few minutes ago. Personally prefer paperback, but I'm not going to pass up reading a Magic novel, and hopefully this will be better than Zendikar and Scars of Mirrodin block books.

(at)MrEnglish22

Ok, there seems to be two groups here. Those that like ereaders and ebooks, and those that do not. I have to say though, at the last FNM I went to, I asked over 20 people if they read the books and most said yes and preferred real books over ereaders/stareing at a screen to read. Tongue Out
At the last FNM I went to, I asked over 20 people if they prefer to buy boosters or get them for free, and most said the latter, so yeah you know what to do now Wizards.
Hm, really torn on this one. I'm really interested in the story but I really dislike the idea of getting into e-books. I don't have a smartphone or an e-reader...

This is not a limited time offer is it? I need to think about this a lot.
(in any case, I'm definitelyu not the reason for the novels not selling, I have a really nice row of books lined up in my bookcase. Pride of my book collection)

It's not a limited time offer. Or at least there's no indication that it will be.

You don't need a dedicated e-reader for this, though. Like Doug pointed out in the article, you can read this stuff on your computer. I'll probably be buying it through Google Play and reading it on my laptop, personally.

@Toby:

 

Well said, sir. Well said. 

@Jman:

So far people are saying that it's solid, and naturally WAY better than Scars.

@Coralus:

Might want to stop by the Flavor and Storyline board and ask Brady Dommermuth that question in his big, stickied thread. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
After a operation that left me in bed for a full week I picked one book to read.

I picked the Scars of Mirrodin book.

Never. Ever. Will I read a magic book again. What a total piece of crap that was. I even felt crap giving it away (FOR FREE) knowing the crappy story they had to go trough..
OK I just got my first fancy phone, and I would like to read this book. Im in the UK and I am using a San Diego (Android). Its already got Google Play on it, but I cannot seem to find The Secretist on the Play store. Any help?

~ Tim
I am Blue/White Reached DCI Rating 1800 on 28/10/11. :D
Sig
56287226 wrote:
190106923 wrote:
Not bad. But what happens flavor wise when one kamahl kills the other one?
Zis iz a sign uf deep psychological troma, buried in zer subconscious mind. By keelink himzelf, Kamahl iz physically expressink hiz feelinks uf self-disgust ova hiz desire for hiz muzzer. [/GermanPsychologistVoice]
56957928 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
That makes no sense to me. If they spelled the ability out on the card in full then it would not be allowed in a mono-black Commander deck, but because they used a keyword to save space it is allowed? ~ Tim
Yup, just like you can have Birds of paradise in a mono green deck but not Noble Hierarch. YAY COLOR IDENTITY
56287226 wrote:
56888618 wrote:
Is algebra really that difficult?
Survey says yes.
56883218 wrote:
57799958 wrote:
You want to make a milky drink. You squeeze a cow.
I love this description. Like the cows are sponges filled with milk. I can see it all Nick Parks claymation-style with the cow's eyes bugging out momentarily as a giant farmer squeezes it like a squeaky dog toy, and milk shoots out of it.
56287226 wrote:
56735468 wrote:
And no judge will ever give you a game loss for playing snow covered lands.
I now have a new goal in life. ;)