Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by NKemp3, Oct 5, 2012.
I was curious.
The three "Captain Sulu Adventure" original audios, plus the "Klingon" and "Borg" game audios would fit that category.
"Vulcan's Soul, Book 1: Exodus" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Boyd Gaines, 2004, 240 min.
"Captain's Glory" by William Shatner with Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens, read by William Shatner, 2006, 180 min.
"Vulcan's Soul, Book 1: Exodus" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2004, 510 min.
"Vulcan's Soul, Book 2: Exiles" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2006, 630 min.
"Vulcan's Soul, Book 3: Epiphany" by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz, read by Richard Poe, Recorded Books, 2007, 694 min.
"Sarek" by AC Crispin, read by Nick Sullivan, 2012 (Re-release of 2001 Chivers/BBC version, now by S&S Audio via Audible Frontiers download), approx. 879 min.
I've worked with BF on a bunch of their ranges (Doctor Who, 2000AD, Stargate, Highlander) over the years and I can tell you there have been discussions about doing Star Trek audios here and there.
Back when Gary Russell was still executive producer at BF, we kicked around the idea of a spin-off series set on a new ship with a new crew, with guest-star appearances by Trek actors, but then Gary went off to the BBC to work on the new Doctor Who TV series and it never went any further. Later, I pitched a webcast audio series project to CBS but again that just never caught fire with them.
I'm sure that BF could do an excellent job of bringing Star Trek to audio as an ongoing series, but I think the key issue has always been the cost of the licence. Still, it remains something I'd love to have a crack at...
If S&S produced CD audiobooks of the Enterprise relaunch books, on my shelf they'd end up in custom-made covers alongside DVDs or Blu rays of the TV Series proper. Such is my need for there to have been a fifth, sixth and seventh season.
Chapters which happen to have a focus on one character more than another, read by that actor. Or a pairing as happened in the old days, with Nimoy topping and tailing a narration otherwise provided by Takei or Doohan.
Abridgments don't bother me and there's often something to be said for tightening up the pace, and losing some of the minutia - references to non-TV, sprung from some details found in (before my time) FASA roleplay or gratuitous nod to another book (I'm not likely to read given I'd be listening to a dramatic reading on my way to work). None of which, is likely to be all that relevant anyway.
Great to have a reply from you James I've heard some of your work!
Yes I have heard they turned down the offer of a licence - I had a brief chat with Jason Haigh Ellery at the first Big Finish Day. A pity, through Big Finish more than perhaps any other company I think it could be quite successful...
You seem to suggest that the publishing companies have to shell out a whole lot of money in order to pay for the audio companies to hire the voice actors, the sound people, the musicians (if ones are needed), etc. No. Most of these companies like Audible have in-house production teams and talent whom they rely on again and again. I believe those folks are salaried or being paid by the hours they work. Companies like Audible have contracts with the publishers too to prevent costs from getting too high. Therefore I don't think it is a by-the-book basis in terms of price.
However even if I'm wrong on that front (in some instances at least) the extra money involved would still only be a one time production cost (for each book). Regardless which way it is done you have to spend money to make money and if a growing audience is going the audio route then spending on making an audio presentation is justified.
We may be spinning in circles here because you are bringing up the same arguments and you still seemed bothered by the fact that those who listen to the audio won't go out and buy the book. Why should they? They have already absorbed the whole story just as the author intended, not some shorthand version of the tale. Only difference is that they listened to it rather than read it. Either way they got every single word the author felt was needed to tell his/her tale. Abridged versions don't give you that option at all and most authors hate abridged versions of their work. They agreed to it for financial reasons and because of contracts, but considering how writers fret over editors making suggestions of taking minimal slices from their written work, just imagined how they feel when outsiders come in and gut 4/5 of the carcass for the sake of an abridged audio presentation? There is a reason that the audiobook download business does unabridged versions almost exclusively : authors prefer them over abridged ones. Besides as Greg Cox wrote just before your response, abridged audiobooks can cost just as much if not more than unabridged versions.
That's just plain wrong. As a person who worked in book stores for about six years I know that wasn’t the case. While I suppose there were some who used audio books in the fashion you mentioned, the vast majority of consumers who spent money on an abridged book did so because 1)they didn’t want to take the effort/time to read the book 2)because it was cheaper than an unabridged version or 3)there wasn't an unabridged version in the first place. What that vast majority was not doing was listening to an audiobook for two to six hours in order to decide to go out and buy the actual book to read. Not only is that a waste of time, it is also counterproductive because the abridged audio versions would still spoil the most important developments of the story, including the ending.
That's even a more niche market than the overall market for abridged audio novels done by non-celebrities.
All this time I had no idea I was having this discussion in order to convince you. I wouldn't waste either of our time. Clearly you are not interested in long-form audio books. You are part of that demographic who not only preferred shortened audio work, but shortened audio work read by some of your favorite celebrities. Even more you viewed abridged audiobooks (and audiobooks in general) as barely more than a tool to promote the actual book itself rather than seeing them as two sides of the same coin. Guess what? You are not the target audience and there's nothing wrong with that. You have a preference that is perfectly acceptable and to be honest you may think its too late for you to change your way of doing things now. I understand. But if you take a look at the Audible site you'll see that virtually every new book that gets an audio version are getting ones that are unabridged. And you'll see that the vast majority are being read by non-celebrities. In other words the way you think an audiobook should be done and the reasons you think an audiobook should be made are not in step with the industry's take on it. Therefore you aren't part of the targeted demographic, neither the industry or myself is trying to convince you to switch and the audiobook industry is growing despite the reluctance of people like yourself anyway. Me, I don't care for bluray. But bluray continues to take over from DVDs. Not only doesn't the industry need to convince an individual like me, it probably doesn't care.
I know this. I believe I even already wrote that in my previous posts. But the library packaging, regardless of whether it was cassettes or CDs, was always less appealing than the ones put out by the publishers for consumers. Unless the library was given a store-purchased package brought by a library member who later wanted to get rid of it, the library was stuck with the editions that had the bland covers and bulky cases.
Once more...some don't want to read the book and therefore would be uninterested in the story in book form. I don't mean to insult but it appears as if you can't or won't grasp the concept that some would prefer to listen at their own leisure rather than to read. And those that prefer to listen tend to want the entire story, not a truncated one.
How is that the same? When you go to a bookstore to hear an author read passages of a book are you expecting the entire book or even a four-hour abridged version of the book to be read by him or her? Of course not. Selected excerpts mean just that: selected exerpts. People can handle that because typically it goes no more than a half hour and most of the audience can sit still in a chair or stand alongside a wall during that duration without feeling the impulse to do something else. At a Trek convention I'm sure the excerpt readings take even less time. Indeed the reading of selected excerpts is a great way to sale the book to those in the audience who have not purchased it. That is far different from an abridged version of an audiobook that would be no less than two hours in presentation while giving away all the important plot points and developments.
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