Lack of new Star Trek Audio Books

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Johnhead99, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. Johnhead99

    Johnhead99 Commander Red Shirt

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    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!
     
  2. Danlav05

    Danlav05 Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  3. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  4. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  5. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    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......
     
  6. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    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?
     
  7. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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 . . . .
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  8. Destructor

    Destructor Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  9. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  10. Peak

    Peak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  11. Johnhead99

    Johnhead99 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  12. Paris

    Paris Commodore Commodore

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    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 :)
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  14. KRAD

    KRAD Keith R.A. DeCandido Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. Johnhead99

    Johnhead99 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  16. Smitty

    Smitty Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I burn through a ton of books (any money) with audible, I listen to books minimum 90 minutes a day while commuting. It really is the best way to spend the time for me. I certainly wish that Star Trek books were an option.
     
  17. borgboy

    borgboy Commodore Commodore

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    While I'd prefer Trek actors do the readings, I'd happily accept non Trek readers.
    I definitely prefer unabridged, to the point where I might not bother getting new abridged audiobooks.
    I love Big Finish's audios - Doctor Who and Dark Shadows especially, but I get just about everything they put out, their quality is very very good.
    I have gotten a lot of Graphic Audio books too.
    I think Audible is an excellent potential to produce the audio books themselves.
     
  18. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't Margaret Clark recently say in an interview that S&S Audioworks was looking into resurrecting the line?

    My page of annotated Trek audios:
    http://therinofandor.blogspot.com.au/2007/05/i-hear-star-trek.html

    It's my understanding that some groups of vision-impaired people do this regularly with all kinds of books. MP3 files etc must have made sharing so much easier. I think there is some kind of copyright waiver they organise, but the resulting products cannot be shared beyond the group, of course.

    Once upon a time, abridgments were preferred over full-length. Mainly because of the huge boxes required for commercial unabridged-books-on-cassette.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  19. otomo

    otomo Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Don't know if the powers at be read any of this, but I'd purchase way more trek books if there were, and this is very important, UNABRIDGED trek books coming out on audio book!
     
  20. Danlav05

    Danlav05 Captain Captain

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    I think Trek actors would be a lot more lucrative. I wonder who would agree to do them now?

    Could some books like Titan, Destiny, Typhon Pact etc be released as box sets? I guess you would need one-offs like Articles of the Federation and A Singular Destiny and the TNG Relaunch to fill plot gaps.

    How far back would you go if commissioning this series? DS9/VOY Relaunch? A Time To...? I wonder if Shatner still wants to narrate his last book (The Academy one)

    Enterprise would be quite popular possibly as it leans toward continuity of TOS, TOS seems to be the most popular market since Enterprise ended, and a fair few of them are put out annually.

    I personally would be 10x more interested in the top stuff, going post-Nemesis and developing from there.