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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old June 7 2012, 11:03 PM   #31
Sho
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Mage wrote: View Post
You try and make us understand something here, but do you get our point of view?
Sure I understand that! I think we got off a bit on the wrong foot there, which is probably my fault: No more am I trying to paint you a luddite than it's accurate to characterize me as a posterboy for ebooks . I'm simply being anal about the physicality thing, because I'd like for scifi fans to be more rigorous in their application of concepts and terminology. We're kind of supposed to be the people who care about getting it right, I think.

There are some nifty things codices afford experience-wise that ebooks don't which I find very interesting, in particular a connection to past readers of the same book: I inherited a truckload of books from my late father, and whenver I read one of them and come across a section he underlined or a coffee stain and I realize he read the same tome at some point, that's a powerful experience.

At the same time, I think it's entirely possible to overstate the qualities of the codex experience, though. For one, I think they have real ergonomic flaws where many e-reading devices do better. The whole, err, "clamshell" design really bugs me, for example, it's lopsided near the beginning and the end of a work, awkward to hold with one hand, etc. So I would like to submit that just like the codex is an alternative to earlier implementations of "book", the codex may not be the end of the road, or guaranteed to be the definitive implementation.

As for the whole romantic thing - I'm a software developer, and passionate about these machines and what they allow their users to realize, that's why I suspect it's much easier for me to feel also emotionally satisfied by e-reading. It's not a "cold and hard keyboard and screen" to me. In fact, my personal reading experience is partially shaped by software I wrote or modified myself, so it's a very personalized experience.
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Old June 7 2012, 11:28 PM   #32
Christopher
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Mage wrote: View Post
The thing is, it's a bit unfair to publish the novella's in e-book only.
It's not as if there's another option. A few decades ago, there were plenty of print magazines that published novella-length stories, and novels were often quite short so novellas could be published as standalone, illustrated works or in something like an Ace Double "flip book" with two tales in one binding (a format emulated by DS9: Fearful Symmetry). But these days, neither of those is really the case anymore. There's no market for standalone volumes that short, few print SF magazines exist anymore, and there's certainly no market for Star Trek novellas as standalone works -- except in e-book form.

And is that really "unfair?" I don't see it that way, since there's nothing stopping you from buying it as an e-book except your own resistance to the format. As long as you're given the freedom to make your own choice, that's fair. If you choose not to buy, that's your own decision, not something imposed on you.


I don't have an e-reader, and I just don't like sitting behind my compuer reading books. I do that on the couch, or in bed. Or during lunch. We are being forced to either buy e-readers (which I'm not going to do for two or three Trek novella's) or sit behind computers, reading them that way, which some of us just don't like.
Again, that's your own choice, so don't blame the publisher. The option is readily available for anyone willing to take it.

And frankly, I don't understand the notion that mild discomfort is a reason not to read something. Heck, I've read enormous hardcover tomes that I found uncomfortable to read because they were so heavy, or old paperbacks that were falling apart and smelled funny. I've read sitting outside in frigid weather, or in dusty library stacks that made me sneeze, or just in uncomfortable chairs. Being comfortable didn't matter; what mattered was reading. If you like the story, if it engrosses you, then you probably won't even notice the circumstances you're reading it in.


Also, and this is my biggest point.... I'm paying for bytes, something I can't hold and only exists in a digital form.
No, you're not. You're paying for labor. You're paying for the months of hard work done by the writer, the editor, the copyeditors and proofreaders, the typesetters, the researchers, the cover artist, the cover designer, the legal department, the sales and marketing department, etc. You're paying for the fruits of their creativity and effort. The actual cost of the physical paper, ink, and binding of a book is negligible, especially if it's published in bulk. That's mere pennies of value. (I just got some advance reading copies of my upcoming novel, and although they're in a cruder paperback format, they're actually more costly per unit to print than the final hardcover because there are so few of them printed.) What you're paying for isn't the physical book, but the content thereof. The physical book, like the computer, is merely the storage medium for what you're buying.


Hopefully, Pocket Books wil realise that they can make some extra money by publising these novella's in a binded volume. I mean, they cater to both markets by releasing all the other novels in both paper and digital form, why not with these novella's?
Because, again, there aren't enough of them yet. There's effectively zero chance of getting a single novella published as a physical book. All the paperback collections of Star Trek e-books to date have been omnibus collections of 4-8 separate e-books, because that's what the print market will bear. And so far, aside from the eight remaining uncollected Corps of Engineers novellas and the 6-part TNG Slings and Arrows miniseries, there's only one standalone novella available yet, with two more yet to be published. There will need to be more of them before it's practical to publish them in print form.


So yes, I strongly urge Pocket to find out if releasing both The Struggle Within and In Tempest's Wake together as one book is possible. Then everybody can read these two novels.
They're not novels, they're novellas. Which is why only two wouldn't be enough. But a third, TNG: The Stuff of Dreams by James Swallow, is in the works for March, and it's logical to assume that Pocket will continue to publish more, because plenty of people do buy e-books and will continue to do so. So there should probably be enough to get collected eventually. But if you insist on waiting for that, it's your own choice, so please stop pretending you're being persecuted somehow.
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Old June 8 2012, 12:42 AM   #33
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books. I love ebooks. For me all I care about is the story, and e-books tell a story just as well as a codex. And to be entirely honest, there are IMO alot more positives to a e-book than codexes, the biggest being a consistant size and weight, changeable text sizes, and they save alot of space. No matter how big a page count a novel has, the will be the same size and weight, so in the e-book format, STTP: The Struggle Within (100p), and Storm of Swords (1216) are the exact same size. There's also the fact that if I don't like the text size or style in a e-book I can change, while I'd be stuck with it if it was a codex. I also don't have to worry about a lack of shelf space now that I'm reading e-books. Right now I have over 50 books in a Nook that is only half an inch thick. As for the complaint that you can't look at your collection on an e-reader, they do show a list of what you have in you're Library, or if you want something more visual there are sites like Shelfari, or Librarything.
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Old June 8 2012, 12:25 PM   #34
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

JD wrote: View Post
I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books.
Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
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Old June 8 2012, 07:39 PM   #35
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

*sigh*

I've explained a few times already, that I don't have any issues with the format by itself. I just don't wan't to fork out money for a device I don't like using, and it's not a way I like to read. I've tried reading on a computer, I've tried reading on a handheld device. It's just not my thing.

Now, Christopher, don't get me wrong, but you say the option is there for anyone who's willing to use it. Now, I'm appereantly not willing, simply because it's not my cup of tea. You make it sound like I have a choice. But I don't, not really. If I want to read these books, I'm not given an option how to read it. The only option I have is to read or not to read, to buy or not to buy. Now, from a sales point of view (I work in a store, I know a thing or two about sales) that's kind weird. You basicly want to eliminate the option of not buying, and give your consumers choice. You this by giving people several options, not just one. We make sure we sell several versions of one type of item (say a coffee machine) so people can make a choice that way.

My only real choice here is, do I buy a piece of equipment that to me personally takes some of the enjoyment of reading away, or do I sit behind my computer reading in a way that's not comfortable to me?? To someone who doesn't like reading either way, I'm forced to choose between two dislikes. And reading is something that should be enjoyable.

It's a very simple step for Pocket books to take two or three of these novella's and publishing them in a collected works. It's a freaking win-win situation!! They sell both e-books AND hardcopies.
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Old June 8 2012, 07:40 PM   #36
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books.
Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
Well said!!
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Old June 8 2012, 08:06 PM   #37
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Just to throw in my two cents into this. I prefer the dead tree format myself, but I have no objection to E-Book (my wife has a Nook Color so I could use that). My major gripe right now is the pricing model. Currently a physical MMPB book sells for $7.99 for anywhere from 300 to 400+ pages. However, the E-Book cost is $5.99 for a novella that is typically only a third to half that size. I have a hard time mentally jumping that "hurdle".
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Old June 8 2012, 08:24 PM   #38
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Mage wrote: View Post
Now, Christopher, don't get me wrong, but you say the option is there for anyone who's willing to use it. Now, I'm appereantly not willing, simply because it's not my cup of tea. You make it sound like I have a choice. But I don't, not really. If I want to read these books, I'm not given an option how to read it. The only option I have is to read or not to read, to buy or not to buy.
You do have a choice. You could choose to read e-books occasionally, even while preferring paper books. That's what I do. That's what I'm sure a lot of people do. But for whatever reason, you instead choose an absolute, inflexible refusal to read an e-book even once in a while. That absolute refusal to make any exception whatsoever to your normal pattern is entirely your own choice.

Obviously nobody is trying to prevent any given consumer from reading this book. It's for sale to anyone willing to pay for it. So the only thing keeping you from getting it is your own lack of willingness. That makes it a consequence of your choice.


Now, from a sales point of view (I work in a store, I know a thing or two about sales) that's kind weird. You basicly want to eliminate the option of not buying, and give your consumers choice. You this by giving people several options, not just one. We make sure we sell several versions of one type of item (say a coffee machine) so people can make a choice that way.
But as I've explained, the current print market offers zero options for the publication of novella-length media tie-in stories. That's simply not going to happen. E-books are what enable that option to exist in the first place. So publishing e-books does increase the number of options available -- maybe not for you as an individual, but for the audience as a whole. After all, the audience doesn't share a single uniform taste. Some people prefer print books, others prefer e-books, others prefer comics. Some prefer adult fiction, others young-adult fiction. Some prefer mass-market paperbacks, others prefer hardcovers. So it only makes sense to put out multiple products targeted to all those different audiences. Sure, if a specific customer is unwilling to give a particular format a try -- for instance, if someone doesn't believe in reading comic books, or doesn't buy hardcovers because they're too expensive -- their choice not to purchase that format will keep them from experiencing the work. But because there's a breadth of material available in different formats, there will still be something else they can enjoy. So collectively, there's something for everyone. And those customers who are willing to sample different formats can experience everything. Again, it comes down to the customers' choice of which formats they are or aren't willing to buy. There's no obligation to make every story available in every format simultaneously, otherwise there'd have to be a novelization of every comic book and vice-versa.


My only real choice here is, do I buy a piece of equipment that to me personally takes some of the enjoyment of reading away, or do I sit behind my computer reading in a way that's not comfortable to me??
I don't understand the whole "not comfortable" thing as a reason for absolutely refusing to read an e-book even occasionally. Do you really expect me to believe that you've never, ever felt the slightest bit uncomfortable reading a paper book? That you've never sat in the same chair too long and gotten stiff and sore, or read a big heavy hardcover that made your arms ache to hold, or got a paper cut turning a page, or got eyestrain because the text was really small? You've never once in your entire life been willing to read under circumstances that weren't absolutely free of discomfort?

I just don't understand the absolutism of your position here. Preference for paper over e-books, I can understand. I have the same preference. But I still read e-books occasionally, particularly if it's the only or most feasible way to read a story I'm interested in. I don't understand an absolute refusal.

For that matter, if reading on a screen is so intolerable for you, then how are we having this conversation? Are you dictating your posts to a friend?


To someone who doesn't like reading either way, I'm forced to choose between two dislikes. And reading is something that should be enjoyable.
As I said before, if the work itself is enjoyable enough, then you don't even notice the discomfort of the reading situation.


It's a very simple step for Pocket books to take two or three of these novella's and publishing them in a collected works. It's a freaking win-win situation!! They sell both e-books AND hardcopies.
Two or three, no. Four to eight, yes, of course, as they've already done fourteen times with e-book collections, so it's pretty disingenuous of you to be talking about it as if it were some daring idea that they were unwilling to contemplate. It just takes time, as I've explained.


Mike Winters wrote: View Post
Just to throw in my two cents into this. I prefer the dead tree format myself, but I have no objection to E-Book (my wife has a Nook Color so I could use that). My major gripe right now is the pricing model. Currently a physical MMPB book sells for $7.99 for anywhere from 300 to 400+ pages. However, the E-Book cost is $5.99 for a novella that is typically only a third to half that size. I have a hard time mentally jumping that "hurdle".
But compare it to the price of a hardcover (typically 25-28 dollars for about the same page count) or a comic book (around 4 dollars for under 2 dozen pages of story) or a DVD of a feature film (maybe 15-20 dollars for an amount of story equivalent to a short novel). If anything, the price of MMPBs is an exceptional bargain.

And while you're right about the price for The Struggle Within, didn't I read that In Tempest's Wake will be $3.99? I imagine TSW was priced more steeply because it was a test case and they weren't sure whether it would sell in enough quantity to let them make a profit at a lower price point. Since the experiment worked and they're publishing more, maybe that means they feel a lower price can be profitable. New things often go down in price once they become established and popular.
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Old June 8 2012, 08:30 PM   #39
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Christopher wrote: View Post
And while you're right about the price for The Struggle Within, didn't I read that In Tempest's Wake will be $3.99?
You did. Hopefully S&S will lower The Struggle Within's price at some point.
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Old June 8 2012, 08:34 PM   #40
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Dimesdan wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books.
Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
Mage wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books.
Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
Well said!!
I didn't mean what I said as attack. I'm not saying there's something wrong with not liking e-books. I just don't see why people would have a problem with it.
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Old June 8 2012, 08:50 PM   #41
Mage
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Christopher wrote: View Post
Mage wrote: View Post
Now, Christopher, don't get me wrong, but you say the option is there for anyone who's willing to use it. Now, I'm appereantly not willing, simply because it's not my cup of tea. You make it sound like I have a choice. But I don't, not really. If I want to read these books, I'm not given an option how to read it. The only option I have is to read or not to read, to buy or not to buy.
You do have a choice. You could choose to read e-books occasionally, even while preferring paper books. That's what I do. That's what I'm sure a lot of people do. But for whatever reason, you instead choose an absolute, inflexible refusal to read an e-book even once in a while. That absolute refusal to make any exception whatsoever to your normal pattern is entirely your own choice.

Obviously nobody is trying to prevent any given consumer from reading this book. It's for sale to anyone willing to pay for it. So the only thing keeping you from getting it is your own lack of willingness. That makes it a consequence of your choice.


Now, from a sales point of view (I work in a store, I know a thing or two about sales) that's kind weird. You basicly want to eliminate the option of not buying, and give your consumers choice. You this by giving people several options, not just one. We make sure we sell several versions of one type of item (say a coffee machine) so people can make a choice that way.
But as I've explained, the current print market offers zero options for the publication of novella-length media tie-in stories. That's simply not going to happen. E-books are what enable that option to exist in the first place. So publishing e-books does increase the number of options available -- maybe not for you as an individual, but for the audience as a whole. After all, the audience doesn't share a single uniform taste. Some people prefer print books, others prefer e-books, others prefer comics. Some prefer adult fiction, others young-adult fiction. Some prefer mass-market paperbacks, others prefer hardcovers. So it only makes sense to put out multiple products targeted to all those different audiences. Sure, if a specific customer is unwilling to give a particular format a try -- for instance, if someone doesn't believe in reading comic books, or doesn't buy hardcovers because they're too expensive -- their choice not to purchase that format will keep them from experiencing the work. But because there's a breadth of material available in different formats, there will still be something else they can enjoy. So collectively, there's something for everyone. And those customers who are willing to sample different formats can experience everything. Again, it comes down to the customers' choice of which formats they are or aren't willing to buy. There's no obligation to make every story available in every format simultaneously, otherwise there'd have to be a novelization of every comic book and vice-versa.




I don't understand the whole "not comfortable" thing as a reason for absolutely refusing to read an e-book even occasionally. Do you really expect me to believe that you've never, ever felt the slightest bit uncomfortable reading a paper book? That you've never sat in the same chair too long and gotten stiff and sore, or read a big heavy hardcover that made your arms ache to hold, or got a paper cut turning a page, or got eyestrain because the text was really small? You've never once in your entire life been willing to read under circumstances that weren't absolutely free of discomfort?

I just don't understand the absolutism of your position here. Preference for paper over e-books, I can understand. I have the same preference. But I still read e-books occasionally, particularly if it's the only or most feasible way to read a story I'm interested in. I don't understand an absolute refusal.

For that matter, if reading on a screen is so intolerable for you, then how are we having this conversation? Are you dictating your posts to a friend?




As I said before, if the work itself is enjoyable enough, then you don't even notice the discomfort of the reading situation.


It's a very simple step for Pocket books to take two or three of these novella's and publishing them in a collected works. It's a freaking win-win situation!! They sell both e-books AND hardcopies.
Two or three, no. Four to eight, yes, of course, as they've already done fourteen times with e-book collections, so it's pretty disingenuous of you to be talking about it as if it were some daring idea that they were unwilling to contemplate. It just takes time, as I've explained.


Mike Winters wrote: View Post
Just to throw in my two cents into this. I prefer the dead tree format myself, but I have no objection to E-Book (my wife has a Nook Color so I could use that). My major gripe right now is the pricing model. Currently a physical MMPB book sells for $7.99 for anywhere from 300 to 400+ pages. However, the E-Book cost is $5.99 for a novella that is typically only a third to half that size. I have a hard time mentally jumping that "hurdle".
But compare it to the price of a hardcover (typically 25-28 dollars for about the same page count) or a comic book (around 4 dollars for under 2 dozen pages of story) or a DVD of a feature film (maybe 15-20 dollars for an amount of story equivalent to a short novel). If anything, the price of MMPBs is an exceptional bargain.

And while you're right about the price for The Struggle Within, didn't I read that In Tempest's Wake will be $3.99? I imagine TSW was priced more steeply because it was a test case and they weren't sure whether it would sell in enough quantity to let them make a profit at a lower price point. Since the experiment worked and they're publishing more, maybe that means they feel a lower price can be profitable. New things often go down in price once they become established and popular.
Sitting behind the computer reading a few posts is one thing, reading entire texts is another. There is a difference. I've tried reading fanfiction, I just get completely uncomfortable after a while. Can't help it.
As for the e-reader... perhaps that is more a psychological thing that physical. But everytime I've tried reading with something like it, or on a smartphone, it just doesn't work. The e-reader feels clumsy, the phone to small.

And I have tried. It just isn't working for me.

As for my comments about releasing them as a collected works, I didn't realize you needed so many novella's to make it costeffective. I figured with the average length of a novel, three would do the trick. Ofcourse it makes it a different matter altogether if it doesn't become costeffective.
But to me, buying a device that average at about 70 euro's, to read 2 or 3 novels I've wanted as e-books sofar just doesn't justify it for me. It's not costeffective for me personally.
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Old June 8 2012, 08:52 PM   #42
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

E-books are shit and I would advise anyone not to buy any of these novellas so S&S will think twice about future releases.
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Old June 8 2012, 09:10 PM   #43
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

JD wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post
JD wrote: View Post
I've never understood why so many people seem to have so much of a problem with e-books.
Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
Mage wrote: View Post
Dimesdan wrote: View Post

Remember that everyone is different.

What we all like is thus different.

It's similar to the old saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If we were all the same, liked the same things and had the same opinion on things, life would be very boring and uninteresting.

If you take that all into account, then maybe, you'll start to understand.
Well said!!
I didn't mean what I said as attack. I'm not saying there's something wrong with not liking e-books. I just don't see why people would have a problem with it.
Well I didn't see it as an "attack" more as a frustration at not understanding why someone would hold an opinion counter to your own.

When faced with such a thing, just remember what I said earlier and also: Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations.
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Old June 8 2012, 09:15 PM   #44
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

wahwahkits wrote: View Post
E-books are shit and I would advise anyone not to buy any of these novellas so S&S will think twice about future releases.

I wouldn't go that far. I just (personally) feel that it would be nicer to have a choice between paper or bytes. But, as I said earlier, I had no idea the costs into publishing novella's on paper (even as a collected set) was so expensive.
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Old June 8 2012, 09:37 PM   #45
Christopher
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Re: Star Trek Vanguard: In Tempest's wake by Dayton Ward

Mage wrote: View Post
Sitting behind the computer reading a few posts is one thing, reading entire texts is another. There is a difference. I've tried reading fanfiction, I just get completely uncomfortable after a while. Can't help it.
Well, you don't have to read a whole novella in one sitting. That's what chapter breaks are for.


As for my comments about releasing them as a collected works, I didn't realize you needed so many novella's to make it costeffective. I figured with the average length of a novel, three would do the trick.
Trek e-books tend to be in the 25 to 35,000-word range, so theoretically you could get an MMPB out of just three. But the MMPB schedule is constrained to one per month, so putting in an e-book omnibus in that format would require bumping an original novel. I assume that's why the SCE collections went from MMPB to trade paperback after Pocket went from releasing two MMPBs a month to just one. So probably an omnibus would have to wait until there are enough for a TPB, which, going by past precedent, would mean 4-6 novellas depending on length. And the trades haven't come out on a predictable schedule; we're still waiting for the eight Corps of Engineers installments and Slings and Arrows.


Mage wrote: View Post
But, as I said earlier, I had no idea the costs into publishing novella's on paper (even as a collected set) was so expensive.
It's not that it costs a lot to print them, it's just that it wouldn't be profitable because there's no print market for such short books anymore. Book buyers have become accustomed to getting tomes that are at least 300 pages long, and interest in shorter books has dried up. Also, bookstores prefer ordering books that have higher price points so that they can make more profit from them, and that's contributed to the pressure for longer books.
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