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

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Old June 12 2014, 10:26 PM   #1
Johnhead99
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Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

I apologize if this is not the right forum. It's been awhile since I've posted.

Lately, I have been hooked on audio books. My time is limited, so listening to a book while running over lunch has been amazing. The problem I have noticed though is that I've already burned through all of the Star Trek content on Audible; and I can't find any of the newer novels in audio format.

What does it take for the author / publisher to produce such a product? And is it simply not being done because it's not profitable? I actually just finished "The 34th Rule", which I found to be fun, fast, and high production quality.

Any thoughts, input, or alternate locations where I can purchase audio book content is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old June 12 2014, 11:15 PM   #2
Danlav05
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Sadly the only Star Trek audiobook releases since around 2006 are the adaptations of the JJ movies in English.

Germany has released Titan, Vanguard and Destiny as audiobooks however they are of course not in English. The Titan and Destiny stuff I'd particularly love to hear, leading of course on to Typhon Pact, The Fall etc..

Admittedly I prefer my audio full-cast as GraphicAudio have done with DC/Marvel books, however a narrator is retained - and I think they would recast rather than have the TV stars back.
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Old June 13 2014, 12:39 AM   #3
borgboy
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

I do a lot of driving with work, and I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I would LOVE to have more Trek audio books.
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Old June 13 2014, 12:51 AM   #4
Boo! Did I Scare Ya?
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Yes, me too. I listen to audiobooks while taking public transit. I can't really see the process costing THAT much to make it cost prohibitive. I mean, the author has done the hard part by writing the book.
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Old June 13 2014, 02:17 AM   #5
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

The Trek books are a victim of bad timing. Trek audios sold great for a very long time, and then sales started to plummet to the point where it wasn't cost-effective to keep doing them, especially since sales of audiobooks in general were going down. But then the MP3 revolution hit, and suddenly sales of audiobooks went back through the roof after being in the toilet for so long. Sadly, by that time, S&S had given up on Trek audio, and nobody's really tried to start it back up again.

I have no idea what the rights situation is with Trek audio these days, honestly, so I have no idea what would be involved in starting it back up again......
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Old June 13 2014, 03:49 AM   #6
Destructor
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Agree with all the posters here- I recently subscribed to Audible (in order to get the Veronica Mars novel on audio - since it was read by Kristen Bell- only to find it wasn't available in Aus!) and since I had all these credits I decided to get some Trek audio- only to find they pretty much stopped producing them when I last listened to them!

I finally selected 'Imzadi' as my audiobook and am listening to it now. But I'm super unimpressed that none of the recent Treks are available on audio. The Titan series as read by Jonathan Frakes? Yes, please!

Q: Cory Doctorow used to have a podcast where he would just read his books out loud. If a gang of enthusiastic fans just recorded themselves reading out the books and put the resulting mp3s online (not for profit, obviously), would we be breaking copyright? If a blind person purchases a book, do they have 'right' to have it read to them?
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Old June 13 2014, 04:04 AM   #7
Greg Cox
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Destructor wrote: View Post

Q: Cory Doctorow used to have a podcast where he would just read his books out loud. If a gang of enthusiastic fans just recorded themselves reading out the books and put the resulting mp3s online (not for profit, obviously), would we be breaking copyright? If a blind person purchases a book, do they have 'right' to have it read to them?
Publishing contracts often differentiate between recordings for the blind and commercially-produced audiobooks intended for the general market. And certainly nobody can object to a friend or family member reading aloud to a blind person. Just as, say, a parent is perfectly entitled to read a "Harry Potter" book to their kid. But if that parent starts posting recordings of his or her readings on-line, that could be a different story.

Fans producing and distributing their own audio versions seems a little dicey, legally, since, in theory, it could be seen as reducing the potential value of a book's audio rights. Even if those rights are not currently being exercised, the publisher still retains the option to do so at any time.

At least that's my take on it. But I'm no lawyer, nor, just to be clear, am I speaking for Pocket Books or CBS . . . .
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Old June 13 2014, 05:44 AM   #8
Destructor
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

I think you're right, unfortunately. Like, it's true that I probably wouldn't buy a Trek novel if the audio version was just sitting there waiting to be read to me, so the argument makes sense and Pocket/CBS has the right to defend their property from that.

But it's also kind of bonkers. Not the fan thing, but that there aren't audio versions of Trek novels. I mean, surely the production costs would be less than the money they make? Or am I overestimating the demand for audio versions of Trek novels.

Kate Mulgrew reading the two Jeri Taylor Voyager novels are two of my favourite TrekLit experiences.
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Old June 13 2014, 01:14 PM   #9
borgboy
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

I think Mulgrew only read Mosaic, and Pathways was read by Robert Picardo.
Nearly all of the audiobooks that are available are heavily abridged too, it's a very sad state of affairs.
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Old June 13 2014, 02:14 PM   #10
Peak
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Yeah, I really want Star Trek audiobooks, and it's a shame that there isn't any. I got my hope up when "Sarek" was released unabridged a few years ago, but that was an old recording that was republished.

Doctor Who is a franchise that does audio right (even if there's only Big Finish at the moment, since Audiogo went under).

I wonder if there would be any interest from Audible to produce Star Trek books? They (Audible Frontier, I think) did do the Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books inhouse if I remember correctly.
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Old June 13 2014, 03:36 PM   #11
Johnhead99
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

borgboy wrote: View Post
I think Mulgrew only read Mosaic, and Pathways was read by Robert Picardo.
Nearly all of the audiobooks that are available are heavily abridged too, it's a very sad state of affairs.
To be honest, it really doesn't matter to me if an actor from the series does the reading; or just a random narrator. In fact, I'd prefer a random narrator as their salary would likely be cheaper which makes getting new trek audio a touch more likely.

As for the heavily abridged versions, that too I don't really mind. When done right, it can reduce the length of the audio while still retaining all quality components of the story.

I'm willing to make some calls or write some letters / emails; but I doubt it will do any good. I guess we need to start somewhere -- I just wish I really knew if there was a large demand or not.
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Old June 13 2014, 04:56 PM   #12
Paris
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Loved the audiobooks and would absolutely love to have them back. Unabridged as well. I'm currently listening to Shatner read his ninth book (3rd in the totality trilogy) of his run of trekbooks
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Old June 13 2014, 06:22 PM   #13
Greg Cox
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Johnhead99 wrote: View Post
borgboy wrote: View Post
I think Mulgrew only read Mosaic, and Pathways was read by Robert Picardo.
Nearly all of the audiobooks that are available are heavily abridged too, it's a very sad state of affairs.


As for the heavily abridged versions, that too I don't really mind. When done right, it can reduce the length of the audio while still retaining all quality components of the story.
At one time, there were technical limitations on how many hours of audio you had available; you could only cram so much audio onto each cassette, so something had to give. Friends of mine used to make some freelance money abridging books down to a designated length of time. I gather there was an art to it.

Not sure if that's still an issue anymore.
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Old June 13 2014, 06:44 PM   #14
KRAD
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Not sure if that's still an issue anymore.
It's not. It honestly stopped being an issue with CDs, though a lot of people continued to abridge out of inertia and because they would sell on both cassette and CD, so they had to conform to the lesser format.

But with MP3s it's not even a consideration.
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Old June 13 2014, 07:40 PM   #15
Johnhead99
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Re: Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

KRAD wrote: View Post
Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Not sure if that's still an issue anymore.
It's not. It honestly stopped being an issue with CDs, though a lot of people continued to abridge out of inertia and because they would sell on both cassette and CD, so they had to conform to the lesser format.

But with MP3s it's not even a consideration.
Good to know. So now the question is, who can I throw money at to make this happen. $14.99 seems like a reasonable number you could charge. Or maybe package it in with the soft cover for a bundle of $19.99 or something. So many ways to consume information now, I am surprised that we can't find a profitable business strategy to make trek novels into audio novels.
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