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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > Star Trek - Original Series

Star Trek - Original Series The one that started it all...

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Old December 31 2013, 02:30 AM   #856
Harvey
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

That's interesting. Hopefully the new material is at least integrated into the text. If it were to simply take the form of an appendix at the end...

Well, finish the revised version first and let us know.
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Old December 31 2013, 03:07 AM   #857
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

stcanada29 wrote: View Post

... I wonder if anyone at Pocket might now have seen a complete published copy and whether or not they might consider taking over / buying out the book series -- to produce more robust editions, if that is even possible at this late stage since Jacobs Brown seems to have the printing rights?
Since Mr. Cushman's wife is legal "console" I am assuming this worthy endeavor is sort of self-publishing "with the help of my friends." I myself formed a company and logo/letterhead so as not to appear self-published. But since J/B doesn't seem to have inroads to bookstores (correct me if wrong please) this seems like a circle-of-friends, quasi-self publishing venture.

Rarely does a traditional publisher take over for a self-publisher. Only if sales are proven, and likely to go much higher. Every fiction writer thinks he or she can do the next Fifty Shades, which was self-published originally. Random House then sold 70 mil more in the trilogy. That's one in 10,000. Or more. Super rare. If a nonfiction author has a great platform (speaking gigs, hot website) and can show promise of greater sales, a publisher might be swayed and take over. Unlikely. These Trek books do have a built-in core audience, and libraries might like it if they know about it. My local library has Justman/Solow.

However, publishers, I have read, are loathe even to publish a different book of yours once you have gone the self-publishing route once. As for taking over a project from another quasi-publisher? Might fall into the realm of unheard of. Publishers like input along the way. Each has its own look and voice. Even if you say you're willing to adapt to its needs, your book, if written, has already taken a shape and form. That's why nonfiction writers don't write the book in advance, but submit a detailed proposal with a couple chapters.

stcanada29 wrote: View Post
. . . which explains the almost unheard of, expedited release of a second edition of Book 1 . . .
You're advertising again.

stcanada29 wrote: View Post
. . .then I think the question comes up whether or not printing it through a small publishing outfit (with all its imperfections) would be better than trashing the whole project in light of Pocket's rejection. Perhaps Cushman was faced with that scenario. I'd prefer to see these works published. . . .
That's a false dichotomy. Many (most) small publishing outfits will do a quality job for you.

stcanada29, since I think you might know someone close to this project, there are some super-knowledgable people here on this bbs who would fact-check vol. 2 and 3 for Mr. Cushman for a nominal fee, I bet. (Even 1 could be quietly fixed since the files are electronic). And not just Trek stuff, butTV/entertainment/general knowledge. And there are a plethora of editors available on the net. I could connect Mr. Cushman to mine, with whom I was well-pleased. There is expense involved, but this multi-volume work deserves as much care at the finish line as it received over years of research.

Wishing you and all connected with it well, and a happy new year.
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Old December 31 2013, 07:23 AM   #858
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The Warlord wrote: View Post
Sorry if this has already been answered, but can anyone tell me what the difference is between the originsl and revised editions? I have the first version and wandered if it was worth getting the second edition? How much more material is there?
There are some corrections... for example, in the original version, the "Court Martial" chapter mislabeled the Starbase 11 commander as "Commander Stone." The revision has that corrected to read "Commodore Stone."

However, there are errors that persist, much to my disappointment.
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Old December 31 2013, 12:51 PM   #859
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I should emphasise after my criticial posts earlier that I want these posts to be read by the author/editor/publisher/anyone with a pecuniary interest in the project and be spurred on to do better work next time. It isn't too late - a third edition could be made, and the next two volumes could be the definitive story of Star Trek that we have all craved for so long. It seems to be what the author was going for, and it staggers me that he would willingly let his mountains of research be let down by the presentational problems people have noticed in this thread.

We are critical because we care. I consider a lot of folks here in the TOS forum as good friends after all these years posting here, and I would never encourage any one of them to buy something without revealing all the warts as I see them. I understand the economics of this project, but the price is high, and a decent outlay for us on average incomes, and in my case having to pay significant postage costs and an exchange rate premium. I held off the first edition, but caved when the new version came out. When the first paragraph I read on the back of the book just cut off mid-sentence, I got that horrible sinking feeling.

In my opinion such premium pricing demands professional presentation, especially in a revised edition. Having cooled off a little, it's not the typo's that bother me the most, it's the nagging doubt I get every time I read an assertion unsupported by another source. If you can't get one of the key actor's ages right, how can we be sure a new "fact" is correct? I suppose it's just more for us to debate on here, but with the reams of BS spouted by Roddenberry and others about this show over decades, you need to verify things before drawing solid conclusions about what happened on this show.

Not one poster on here wants this project to fail, and everyone will be grateful for the hours of additional discussions we'll have on here on the new matters Cushman has brought up. Equally, I don't think there is a single poster on here who isn't looking for a significant improvement in future editions.

The ball is in your court. We will keep our minds open, and celebrate with you when your next work knocks it out of the park with its flawless attention to detail, presentation and referencing.
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Old December 31 2013, 05:57 PM   #860
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

^Yup.
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Old December 31 2013, 07:07 PM   #861
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Premium pricing? Is the book particularly expensive then? I thought it was about normal. Mind you, I don't know what prices books go for in America. But 19 quid on Amazon UK is about average for a book this size from a small press publisher. (And I buy a lot of these about Doctor Who, for instance.)
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Old December 31 2013, 07:22 PM   #862
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
Premium pricing? Is the book particularly expensive then? I thought it was about normal. Mind you, I don't know what prices books go for in America. But 19 quid on Amazon UK is about average for a book this size from a small press publisher. (And I buy a lot of these about Doctor Who, for instance.)
US$40 for a paperback is pretty high, at least for something not from a 'scholarly' press.
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Old December 31 2013, 07:35 PM   #863
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Daddy Todd wrote: View Post
Andrew_Kearley wrote: View Post
Premium pricing? Is the book particularly expensive then? I thought it was about normal. Mind you, I don't know what prices books go for in America. But 19 quid on Amazon UK is about average for a book this size from a small press publisher. (And I buy a lot of these about Doctor Who, for instance.)
US$40 for a paperback is pretty high, at least for something not from a 'scholarly' press.
Ah right. That's about 24 pounds. So more than it cost over here. But like I said, I wouldn't consider 19 pounds excessive for a small press publication over 600 pages. Big publishers can afford to discount their prices more of course.
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Old December 31 2013, 08:59 PM   #864
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Currently on Amazon.com.

Hardback (original edition): $24.95
Paperback (revised edition): $32.78
Kindle (revised edition): $14.86
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Old December 31 2013, 11:24 PM   #865
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I don't think $33 for 600 pages is bad at all. Six cents a page. That's cheaper than mine, but we think in terms of "a product" rather than how many hours it'll give ya.

There aren't many comparables: TV/film histories/backstories that large (i.e. hours of reading) with so much exclusive content. If you want a book to sell in bookstores, it needs to be in line with the market. But this one is pretty unique. And if their model is as I think, they're trying to make up for smaller sales (not in stores, niche market) in larger profit margin. That can be a trap since people (as on this bbs) have price points in their heads based on the market and traditionally published books.

If I were that interested in that level of detail, I might bite, since you're getting a lot of book. Oddly, though TOS is "it" for me, I just don't care in that detail. Again best wishes to everyone and a sweet 2014. I am pumped for an even-numbered, solid-feeling year.
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Old December 31 2013, 11:25 PM   #866
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Damn, should have gone with the kindle edition! I don't recall it being an option when I did my christmas shopping a couple of months ago.

For what it's worth, when I picked up the 2nd ed. -

Paperback book : $39.83 AUD ($37ish USD back in Oct) add shipping and currency conversion, up over $50 USD.

Making it easily the most I've ever paid for a paperback book. But I understand physical books have overheads, it's impossible to build scale on a (presumably) small print run, etc.

Anyway, I think pricing is the least of the issues here, I'd have been just as disappointed and written the same review had I picked it up for $5.
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Old January 1 2014, 12:05 AM   #867
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

The hardback edition is apparently priced to try to move those copies. The paperback version is indeed not badly priced also considering it's revised and sixty pages longer than the original edition.

The kindle version is also the revised edition and apparently became available when the revision was released. This is the option I went with to get the revised version. I might well go with the kindle for the subsequent volumes assuming those versions are released.
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Old January 1 2014, 12:13 AM   #868
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

I haven't seen any edition of These Are the Voyages but would like to note that major publishers (allegedly with professional editors on staff) also have been known to produce supposedly well-researched books that turn out to have problems just as large as those reported here.

Case in point: I recently read last year's biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. by Charles Shields, published by Henry Holt. Despite hundreds of endnotes, there are some serious problems that anyone moderately knowledgeable about Vonnegut's career would have been aware of.

One major piece of missing information involves the 1974 novel by "Kilgore Trout," Venus on the Half-Shell (first published as a serial in F&SF). Shields fails to mention that the title and a short excerpt from it (reused by the actual author, Philip Jose Farmer) first appeared, along with Trout himself, in Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Because Vonnegut is depicted as remorseful that he'd given permission to Farmer to write the novel, it's obviously pertinent that Vonnegut himself had planted the seed for it.

There are also some unsupported assertions. One that I recall (checked Amazon just now for the quote) is "the publisher made the mistake of leaving off 'Jr.' after his surname on the cover" with regard to the 1976 novel Slapstick, as if "Jr." had appeared anywhere else in the book - which it didn't! (Yes, I have the hardcover, and yes, I can see why it got bad reviews at the time.) Vonnegut's final book to use the "Jr." was Breakfast of Champions 3 years earlier, and despite Shields' assertion there is no reason to think a mistake was involved.

And so on.
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Old January 1 2014, 12:34 AM   #869
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

You're right. No book is perfect. (That's why I'm afraid to open the covers of mine now! )

Fact checking is generally up to the author, since no publishing house carries experts in every field. Typos, sentences, structure and flow are supposed to be attended to by the editor(s) the publisher employs (one reason for the publisher's hefty cut, often 40% of cover price, after selling the books at 60% discount to wholesaler; then paying the royalties to the author).

The difference with this project is the sheer volume of errors both English and factual in edition 1. They seem far reduced in ed. 2. We're really rooting for volume two now.
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Old January 1 2014, 01:13 AM   #870
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Re: New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

plynch wrote: View Post
Typos, sentences, structure and flow are supposed to be attended to by the editor(s) the publisher employs (one reason for the publisher's hefty cut, often 40% of cover price, after selling the books at 60% discount to wholesaler; then paying the royalties to the author).
Maybe it's different for nonfiction; but for fiction, the author is absolutely responsible for proper grammar, spelling, and the "flow" of the manuscript, and too many typos and grammatical errors will earn the author an outright rejection. No fiction editor would waste time with an author who hasn't mastered his craft and with a manuscript that isn't ready to be published. It's the writer's job to write, not the editor's. I'm surprised nonfiction editors would bother to take on some of the writing responsibilities.
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