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Old November 21 2012, 08:48 PM   #7
Keith R.A. DeCandido
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Re: Star Trek Author's black list?

Okay, here's the dirty little secret of the tie-in business:

It doesn't matter who writes the books.

I mean, it matters to some degree, in the sense that someone who doesn't know the franchise shouldn't write the books (Greg Cox and I can tell horror stories about the hiring of two writers who obviously did not know Farscape to write Farscape novels, to give one example), but not to the same extent as it would in non-tie-in fiction. Putting Picard or Spock on the cover is a decision that is far more likely to drive sales than the byline. The sales on my books are all over the map -- the Klingon books didn't sell so hot (the first two did okay, the third horribly, the fourth okay), all my TNG books sold really well (especially A Time for War, a Time for Peace, which made the USA Today bestseller list), Articles of the Federation was mediocre, but A Singular Destiny sold decently (riding the Destiny trilogy's coattails, no doubt).

For that matter, Tales of the Dominion War continues to sell well, but Tales from the Captain's Table hasn't performed as well. *shrug*

To folks on this board -- which is, unfortunately, a statistically irrelevant sample of the overall readership -- it matters a great deal. But to the readership at large, their decision is far more likely to be based on whether or not it's a TNG adventure versus a DS9 adventure, or some other plot/character-based criterion.

Having been a tie-in editor, it's better for everyone if the editor works with an author they're comfortable working with. For whatever reason, while I was lucky enough to work well with two previous editors, the current editorial regime aren't comfortable working with me. That's their perogative.
Keith R.A. DeCandido
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