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Old September 14 2011, 06:00 PM   #17
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Re: First 20 Pages of The Struggle Within Avaiable on S&

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
You of all people Chris should realise that there is no such thing as the wrong or an unreasonable question, it is a fully reasonable question and until it is published on paper instead of digitally, people will ask.
How is it reasonable to think it's likely that a 25,000-word novella would be published as a standalone book? That hardly ever happens these days. Maybe 40 or 50 years ago, but these days it's only done by very small presses, mostly vanity publishers.

As for publishing it in "hard form." How about it being included with another Typhon Pact related story.
Sure, that could happen eventually. I already said there are long-term possibilities. But as for near-future possibilities, there are no other short-form Typhon Pact stories in existence or known to be scheduled for the next year. If it does happen, it won't be for a while. And it would probably take years to accumulate enough of them to justify a trade compilation. There's just no reason to expect it to come out in print soon.

It's an e-book. That's what it's meant to be. That's the market it's specifically designed for. And I wish people would just accept that.
Well that is fundamentally wrong from a business viewpoint, I'm sure ebooks are really easy and have their own place, but how is an ebook any different from a normal hard copy book in the way the prose is presented?
Because there is virtually no print market for novella-length fiction these days. The few remaining print magazines rarely take anything over 10,000 words, and there's no longer a significant market for standalone print books shorter than 75,000 words. But electronic media don't have those limitations. You talk about appealing to a broader audience -- that's exactly what adding e-books to the line does. It broadens the possibilities and the markets. The Struggle Within could not exist as a print book. Electronic publishing makes it possible.

Is it "fundamentally wrong from a business viewpoint" to publish comic books instead of prose novels? Or to make half-hour TV sitcoms instead of feature-length movies? Or, for that matter, to publish prose tie-ins to a television show instead of just keeping it exclusively on television? How is it bad business to diversify? To give the audience more options? Sure, not every single audience member is going to be equally interested in every format, but the market isn't designed to appeal to only one audience member. If some people are more interested in one format of story and others are more interested in another, then it's obviously good business to reach out to both markets instead of focusing solely on one.

By only aiming it at one type of readership, yes it's a larger audience then it was five years ago, but it's still not a massive audience and by only aiming at that one audience, you are alienating people who would read the story because it has Star Trek or Christopher L Bennent on the "front cover" and I just wish people accepted that!
Nonsense. A story is a story regardless of how it's presented. We have print books, we have comic books, we have magazines, we have TV, we have movies, we have live stage shows. What's so horrible about adding even more formats for getting stories out to audiences? The e-reader audience is the same as the print audience, mostly. Just because some people are unwilling to experience Star Trek in e-books rather than television or film or comics or hard-copy books, that doesn't mean they represent the universal response. Certainly not among Star Trek fans, who -- as you'd expect from a franchise whose motto is "To explore strange new worlds" -- are generally early adopters of new technologies (for instance, they were early adopters of online purchasing, which is why it's often hard to find Trek novels on brick-and-mortar store shelves). Plenty of people are happy to read a story regardless of whether it's on real paper or digital paper (and the distinction in look and feel is increasingly nonexistent). So the audience is the same. The audience is for Star Trek, not for flat sheets made of processed wood pulp.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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