For some time I have been contemplating a specific type of "chess newsletter." Again, like all Thinkers' Press, inc. "stuff," it will be unique. There is nothing like it anywhere that I am aware of. It will be in English (how invaluable?).
It won't be cheap by current standards (such as $20 for SCORE). Unique, interesting, and worthwhile stuff always costs money and is invariably gobbled up by those who want something others can't have or are too "cheap" to want (and who will be the first to try to make or get copies of it).
When I was in the typesetting business I subscribed to the Seybold Report. $200+ a year for 12 issues. That was 30 years ago. I studied and read everything I could about typesetting systems and ended with getting the best, not just for MY client needs, but "best all around." I made a selection, then visited, several times, and at that point dropped tens of thousands of dollars to get what I felt would be very useful. It was. A $50,000 investment produced $70,000 EXTRA sales in the first 12 months. That's a good ROI.
About the same time I put out a magic newsletter called The Sorcerer's Eyes. Not only were people jealous of the title, issues are now very valuable. It too was in printed form. I had a well known close-up magician helping me write it too and I met some of the most interesting magic people in the world such as Slydini (look him up).
I subscribe, right now, to a marketing Newsletter for which I pay $500 a year for a monthly subscription. As a by-product of that, I hear from other "vendors" who want to increase my sales and who have some incredibly good ideas or "historical" (not hysterical) moments in which they SAY or WRITE something extremely useful for me and you. Yesterday I had one of those moments and if I had $2,000 and the time to implement I would have bought it sight-unseen. Sure, it probably would change the whole chess industry as I know it, but I am busy paying off a building mortgage, building a new website (already, I have almost 200 of 500 entries completed in just the last 4 days!), The Chess Gangs series, SCORE and catalogs. Time will tell, time is valuable.
But while in the shower this morning (many good ideas are born there and I have the water bill to prove it!) this long delayed (no pun intended--Bob Long) idea just made amazing sense!
I have teamed up with a reliable printer. Yes, you heard that right, this publication, called TO THE POINT, will be printed. No PDF download. So that means folded pages, put into an envelope, and mailed first class, every month. It will lay on your table or allow you to read it when going to bed, in the bathroom, waiting for a traffic light to change, a barge to go by (or a train), and you can glean and re-glean. No need to print anything out.
There will be NO Sample copies. This is my personal GOOD stuff (I am reluctant to send out Sample Copies of anything because life is NOT a risk-free business and at this time I send out NO sample copies of the Purdy Chronicles and ONLY the Premier issue of SCORE--Sample Copies actually LOWER the value of the final product as some people pop up every 4-5 months and ask for another Sample Copy and never subscribe). This is the stuff you might have once known but since forgotten. It will point you to new resources or old treasures (such as using you OWN chess library!). If you want to buy them (if you have to) that is up to you.
Most likely I will mail a copy of THIS announcement to people who have purchased from me this year because with them I will have at least a street address (those aren't needed so much with PDF downloads--except for my accounting program).
The newsletter will be tied in with another project which won't be mentioned at this time, except to say that I will be contacting professionals in all walks of life about getting "Fitness for the Brain" (Chess). If you want to be there when what really matters shows up, I seriously advocate Bob Long's new publication, a name you have always been able to count on. Love me or hate me, I am reliable.
Naturally, I would like you to subscribe; I have no illusions about who will subscribe and who won't. I have made no pre-determination. I will probably be surprised by those who do subscribe, and surprised by those who do not. Such is life. But, content is KING.
It will be TIP SHEETS of several pages (to stay within 2 ounces first class) to improve all phases of your game. I will be delving back into history as well as CURRENT status as I read so much chess anyway. In a surprise move for those who loll around all day looking at chess websites, I will not spend hours trafficking through websites UNLESS there is really something important there, which so far, I have rarely seen. Much chess that is online is "fodder" and written by people you wouldn't hire in your business (of any kind). I won't mention names. The tips material will have been gleaned from those who practice what they preach and know what the heck they are writing about. I may promote their products but not because THEY asked me to.
I will welcome verified tips, suggestions, and ideas from readers (no pay). This newsletter's FIRST issue will be out late October and then 11 more months after that about the same time each month, subject to the whims of the Post Office.
It will not be about Opening Theory though some is likely to be mentioned here and there with several prime suggestions in systems, variations, and what not... and why! For example, if some GM has been advocating some system for years, with success, how is he doing now? (In one case, not so well--you might want to know what slowed his success.)
Already I know the topics for the first issue. I invite the curious, the not-so-curious, and the chess savvy to join up. As I said, it will be printed and mailed and give YOU something "chessy" to look forward to EACH month! I hate to say it, but there are publications I receive EVERY month which I do not look at, at all. Some are chess. Most are cranked out, edited, and page filling B.S.
If you are interested in TO THE POINT, A CHESS TIPS NEWSLETTER, make sure I have your street address (you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Price? $195.00 for 12 issues or $20.00 per month with your credit card information. Satisfaction completely guaranteed for all the undelivered issues. Please do not photocopy and send to others as you will only be hurting yourself. It is likely the "others" will be future opponents! If I were you I would do it today, without delay, so you won't miss that valuable premier issue. 100 copies will be printed. No PDFs. Another advantage to this price is those who "review" chess products will not get a FREE look at this one. Too many reviewers are only interested in building their library, not in helping you. If you use PayPal, please add 5% to cover the conversion fees.
I am so fired up about this I can hardly contain myself. I have no idea how the present email list and customers will receive this, but as I said, a whole new group of people will also be notified, to whom a valuable newsletter like this is a drop in the bucket to what they are accustomed to paying (as I did and am doing in the opening paragraphs above.) I've seen financial publications, accounting publications, car publications, etc. and most of them are laden with advertising but still cost a pile. Mine will have limited advertising (pointer advertising, you can get that from the FREE "Chess Gazette", also from Thinkers' Press.)
Since 1971 I have been in the chess business. You can count on great product from Thinkers' Press, now and in the future. There will be NO discounts offered on this publication unless you want me to charge $300 for it, but have a special reduced price to $195 if you act within 2 weeks. Too much bookkeeping.
Yesterday I watched a very productive two hour webinar on how to take a business from zero to hero and I know this guy can make it happen. He's done it with hundreds. He treats money like I treat chess, but he also wants 10X as much for his stuff as I ask for mine. He's been in his business for 35 years, I've been in mine for 40.
When you read much of the current crop of chess publications, of any kind, except for perhaps the games (and that is iffy), NONE that I have seen or read are concerned about YOUR understanding (getting it!) nor improvement. I am not making this up, I get emails about this subject ALL the time! I write for YOU!
PS: There will not be, at this time, a website for TO THE POINT. As you might've figured out, I am too busy. Don't count on Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, etc. either. I don't even own a smartphone.