When I have polled members at st.com, most there consider the books nothing more than fan fiction they have to pay for and don't appreciate the editorial controls and licensing that goes into them. I get ignored when I site the books in discussions there with "the books are meaningless" or "the books don't count".
And it's funny, because the books matter almost exactly as much to Trek as they do to Star Wars; George Lucas feels obviously free to contradict whatever the hell he wants to in the books when he's making movies or animated things, exactly as in Star Trek. And the Trek books, with only a very few notable exceptions, treat each other as part of the same continuity, exactly as Star Wars does.
I think if and when more Star Wars
TV series are made, people will finally have to confront this. It will certainly be useful in convincing people to give the Trek novels a go. Sadly, I too have seen many dismissive comments about Trek books "not counting" because they're not canon. That includes more than a few explicit assertions that "I don't even read Trek books because
I suppose sci-fi fans who operate through a primarily Star Wars
worldview are used to the idea that the canonicity of a work determines the degree to which it matters. If I recall correctly (perhaps one of you can confirm?), because the Star Wars
tie-ins have always been linked together, a lot of Star Wars
fans treat that universe in a manner parallel to how they'd view real history - like a fun fictional exercise in something resembling historical research. Of course, that's pretty much what Trek novel fans like I do with the Trek verse (in this very forum among others), only with Star Wars
the idea is that they're justified in doing so because it's deemed an "official" history. Which I believe is why some fans are angry by creative choices in the Clone Wars
series - it undermines the sense that the books they've been buying are the official history of that universe.
Under this view of things, linked with the idea that the Expanded Universe is canon, non-canon Star Wars
works "never really happened". So I think people whose "first franchise" is Star Wars
often carry those assumptions over to other franchises and judge works meaningful or meaningless based on "did this actually happen or not" - so, determined through the question, "is it canon?" Again, I suppose this is really not that different from what continuity fans like I do anyway, except our standards of what "actually happened"
are only ever personal, not backed up by official labels of canonicity.
I've certainly been in conversations with other sci-fi fans to whom Star Wars
is what Trek is to me, and when I've mentioned the books, they politely ask "but they're not canon are they?"