Thursday, October 4, 2012

Houdini The Key released in limited Second Printing

Patrick Culliton has released a Second Printing of his book, Houdini The Key. This new edition, which was actually published August 2, 2011, is limited to 113 copies.

As far as I know, there are no differences from the First Edition other than the new copyright page with the edition number and Patrick's signature. The First Edition was limited to 278 copies.

Houdini The Key reveals many of Houdini's most closely guarded secrets. It’s a mammoth 460 pages, profusely illustrated, and comes in an attractive slipcase. The book is filled with rare photos that reveal the secrets of Metamorphosis, the Milk Can, and the even The Chinese Water Torture Cell.

Says Patrick, "I wanted to write a textbook on how Houdini did it, a book that would open a thousand doors."

You can purchase Houdini The Key - Second Printing for $195 plus shipping. Visit Houdini's Ghost for details on how to order.


  1. John, I posted most of this on Kevin's site. I'm okay with printing 113 more and , as you pointed out, sitting on them for a year. I try to address that in my blog.
    I'm selling this 2nd printing to one person after another that, for whatever reasons, missed buying a book during the first run. These are people that are really interested in the subject and I'm very glad that I have a book for them and they seem very happy to receive it.
    Fifteen years ago, I self published a set of books called Houdini Unlocked. I advertised 250 sets–I actually had only 246 saleable sets. 160 of these sets were bought ten or twelve at a time at a pre-publication price by dealers and–it turned out–speculators. Some of those speculators are holding on to multiple copies of Houdini Unlocked to this day. Suddenly, we had a rare book. I hadn’t even kept set #1. I sold it to a dealer who turned out to be a speculator in sheep’s clothing. The price of the set soared, peaking in three of the crookedest auctions I can remember when 3 separate sets sold for over $3,000 each.

    For 13 years I received emails, ultimately in the hundreds from people who needed Houdini Unlocked and I didn’t have a set to sell them because speculators were waiting to skin them and collectors who had never read the books had them proudly sitting on a shelf. When I published Houdini–the Key, I never once presented it as an investment or a collectible. I called it a textbook–which is what it is (the only textbook ever published on Houdini’s secrets). I priced it in line with the college textbooks I had just purchased for my son–and Houdini-the Key is a better textbook than those college textbooks were.

    By August, 2011, I was selling 15 books a month and I was about to sell out. I ordered a second run of the exact same book–not a 2nd EDITION–a second PRINTING! Same book, I didn’t change a comma except for the copyright page which says: “This is a second printing of 113 books of which this is:”–suddenly, the sales dropped to about one a month, so it wound up taking over a year to sell all the sale-able (undamaged) books from the original run. This second printing is not available to people who already have the book, although Arthur Moses and Kevin Connolly broke me down on that. It costs exactly what the previous 278 cost: $195.00–and it is worth every penny to the people that can use it. As for collectors, I tried to make it beautiful, I tried to make it special. I’ve printed a total of 391 books plus another 40 (with a different copyright page) that are strictly for libraries and universities. I still have most of those because, with a few exceptions: The Magic Castle, the Library of Congress, etc., I don’t want them to have it.
    Anyway, 278 and 113 go together--278 by itself always felt incomplete to me.

    1. Fantastic. Thanks for the extra info on this, Patrick. It's great that those who missed this are getting a second chance. It is required reading. :)