Sometimes the byline IS very important. Diane Duane's Trek works got me into her original stuff, and by now I've amassed a fairly large collection. The author's work has to grab me and be very distinctive for that to happen--and unfortunately I think the early years of Treklit were much more conducive to that, than later, since far more latitude was given to the authors to write what they wanted (and the comparative lack of official canon made this a very reasonable approach).
Look at how (IMHO) Intellivore
suffered compared to earlier Duane works in Treklit such as The Wounded Sky
. The restrictions on the numbered novels at that time definitely did not work in her favor. And while I think Duane relates better to the TOS characters than the TNG ones, as a rule, Dark Mirror
proves she COULD do well with those characters when given the latitude to write the sort of strong, distinctive story that favors her talents.
(As far as Peter David...while I've checked out of official Treklit in general, I'd say he's had it coming for a long
time. I want to read a novel, not a comic book and/or Monty Python spoof of Trek.)