No it doesn't. Familiarity doesn't prove popularity, not at all. Just because fans might keep their ears to the ground to keep abreast of what's out there, that doesn't mean they actually like it.
Practically every Star Trek fan has heard of Plato's Stepchildren, because it's been heralded for the interracial kiss scene, but that doesn't make that a popular episode. Similar remarks apply to Spock's Brain.
This is a Star TREK forum where everybody in this thread has heard of or read the Thrawn trilogy and knows who Thrawn is. Go and start a thread on TheForce.Net asking people what Plato's Stepchildren is. None of them would have any idea what it was.
That is the point I'm trying to make. None of you can say Thrawn is entirely unheard of outside Star Wars fandom when this is the opposite camp and all of us know what it is. Do you seriously think this many Star Wars fans could name a single piece of Star Trek literature?
Not to mention the argument that not adapting a book because it isn't popular makes no sense. The Thrawn trilogy were best sellers
. There are huge, hit movies based on far more obscure books.
I think discounting the entire EU yet keeping The Phantom Menace as part of the canon is the wrong way to go about it.