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Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by terpette, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I prefer mm myself but I haven't minded the Trade size since they've been larger story collections and since the Trade size is inconvenient I can generally finish a story or what ever and if I'm going someplace where I don't want to carry it just pick up an MM sized book.

    I start to feel uncomfortable with the announcements of novels coming out in Trade size. To me that's something that can come out in MM size but I'm paying more for a format I don't like as much. I hope that doesn't become a trend in new books. I know only two have been announced but hey, it's a slippery slope. :)
     
  2. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    The "ENT: Romulan Wars" TPB was originally mooted to be a possible duology or trilogy, IIRC, so I reckon we can expect something chunkier/heftier than a normal MMPB. ie. an "event" novel that's normally a hardcover.

    The last three NF novels have been hardcovers, which are traditionally bigger novels than MMPBs, so this is just a move from expensive hardcover to less expensive TPB for gift giving, and should satisfy the people who've been building their collection of NF hardcovers.
     
  3. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well, to my way of thinking, if Cryptonomicon can be put out as a mmpb than any book could be put out as a mmpb. :)

    When I visit a book store now I just see shelves of books in Trade size that used to come out as mmpb's. A Philip K. Dick book is going to cost you $14 or what ever instead of $8 because the publisher that now has the rights is only publishing them in Trade form. I'm just saying, I hope we don't start seeing a lot of ST books coming out in in the more expensive form.
     
  4. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    On the plus side, science fiction sales have been dropping a lot lately, and it's pretty likely that by increasing the trade lines of their most popular authors they make enough money to take chances on more new books. People like China Meiville and John Scalzi, to name two, tend to have their releases done in HC, Trade, then MMPB, three releases instead of two; the money they make from each one of those extra trade releases probably funds a few new authors.

    I don't mean to sound hysterical; Sci-fi is hardly a dying genre. But it isn't selling as well as it used to, it's simply a fact. When you look at it this way, buying trades is probably helping keep the genre thriving for longer. Kinda like how the Battlestar Galactica season 2 DVDs were definitely overpriced, but if that's what it takes to convince network execs that sci-fi shows that underperform on TV are profitable in the long run, I'm all for it. I bought them both.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  5. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    And I'll wager it's impossible to read without cracking the spine.
     
  6. Jack Bauer

    Jack Bauer Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I read it without cracking the spine. Of course I was real careful. :D
     
  7. BrotherBenny

    BrotherBenny Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm all for TPB but I need a good stock of MMPBs, since I also read the TPBs at home only, unless they can fit into the jacket pocket of my suit. That's the real benchmark, if it fits, I'll read it on my way to and from work.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It already is a trend. Bookstores these days prefer TPBs because they have a higher price point (more profit per book for the store) and a more prestigious look to them (apparently). Pocket is merely responding to the market trend that already exists.

    And as Therin said, it's safe to assume that Trek TPB novels will not be skimpy in terms of content. One of the two announced TPB novels is one that was originally proposed as a 2- or 3-volume work, and the other is the next installment in what's hitherto been a hardcover series.
     
  9. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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    Market surveys, IIRC, have shown that people prefer to give hardcovers as gifts. As hardcovers have become more expensive, many gift-givers have moved their preference over to trades.

    I think it was John Ordover who explained that ST authors whose book comes out in hardcover get a higher royalty than if it came out in MMPB, plus they get a MMPB royalty when the reprint comes along. I assume TPBs also have a higher royalty than a MMPB? (Which is useful for the omnibuses with two, three or more authors splitting the royalty.)
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The royalties on a TPB are a bit higher in percentage terms, and that's a higher percentage of a higher price. So yeah, it's certainly not a bad thing for us writers to get our books published in trade paperback. Especially if they get MMPB reprints later.
     
  11. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

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    And we know Pocket is stalled at only doing 12 MMPB per year. For whatever reason anything over and above that has to be a different format. So it's either get this stuff in trade or wait until 2010 for the next Enterprise and NF books, which would take up 3-4 slots in the schedule for 2010 and then we'd all be moaning that there's no room left for DS9/Vanguard/Titan.

    For years people have been complaining that the move from 2 MMPBs to 1 per month has meant longer delays between installments of series as there isn't enough space on the schedule for everything, and next year we have generous use of the trade format to get around that and people are still annoyed.

    Sure, it's slightly annoying if they don't match up with the others books or are more difficult to read but far rather that than not get them at all.
     
  12. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm looking at my copy of Creative Couplings, a TPB which I'm reading now and it's got a cracked spine. Ditto for System of the World. Not sure what your point is.
     
  13. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When you say TPBs are good because that gets around the 12 MMPB a year rule what I think is that doen't make trades good, that makes the 12 MMPB year a rule dumb if they are going to just get around it by publishing trades.

    I see the point on the NF book, they have been HC releases, now it's going to be a TPB. I don't buy hard covers so I've been waiting for the paperback release. I will probably buy the trade and not wait.
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    "Stalled?" Compared to virtually any other tie-in line out there, that's an amazing pace. The line hasn't stalled, it's simply shifted down into a more appropriate gear, one that's still quite speedy but doesn't overstrain the engine. The choice was made to improve the line, and I think it's proven to be very much the correct choice. More isn't automatically better.


    Heck, you don't need the trades to get around that. The 2009 schedule is the most balanced one in a long time. Looking only at the MMPB schedule:

    Jan: TOS
    Feb: non-series
    Mar: Titan
    Apr: VGR
    May: Vanguard
    Jun: TOS
    Jul: TNG
    Aug: DS9
    Sep: DS9
    Oct: VGR
    Nov: Titan
    Dec: Vanguard

    So it's not true that the trades are needed to "get around" some kind of inability to spread the wealth with 12 MMPBs a year. They help, but it's not as if a one-per-month MMPB schedule is somehow unsustainably sparse. The reason some series have been underrepresented in certain years is because most of the past few years have been anniversaries of one sort or another, meaning that one series got a greater focus than the others. 2009 is a more "typical" year, and it's the most diverse one in a long time, especially if you include the trades.
     
  15. MHJH

    MHJH Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Speaking of that proposed trilogy, have we heard yet why Mangels and Martin are breaking up the band? I was sad to hear that one of Treklit's premier duos appear to be going their separate ways.
     
  16. Deano2099

    Deano2099 Commander Red Shirt

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    Didn't mean to imply any negative connotation with 'stalled'. Just that there's an inflexibility or unwillingness there to do say 12 monthy MMPBs + a few more. 12 seems to be the limit of what Pocket want to put out in that format, for whatever reason. Could be down to distribution or printing or who knows.
    Keith mentioned a while back, for example, that the SCE reprints moved to the trade format "partly so we could go back to doing 2 a year". If that's not using the format to increase the spread of stuff on the schedule I don't know what is.

    As I say, not a criticism of Pocket's choice to do just 12 MMPBs per year just a statement of the fact that that is what they are doing, so it's either having the books come out in trade, or not come out at all, or replace a spot for something else in the schedule the next year.

    And yes, the MMPB schedule next year is very balanced. But you're seriously telling me that if that was released as being the only books for next year there wouldn't be two threads on here saying "Where's New Frontier?" and "What's happened to the Enterprise books?".
    You might not agree those whinges, I might not agrees with those whinges but you can bet they'd be there.

    Which is why I'm just saying I find it a little ridiculous that in a year with a schedule that really does satisfy everyone, people are complaining about the format of two of the books.
     
  17. ronny

    ronny Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Wave...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  18. Thrawn

    Thrawn Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hear, hear.
     
  19. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The primary reason we were given when the downshift was announced was that the reduction was being made to reduce the editorial burden and produce higher-quality books thanks to the greater amount of oversight. Not sure how much this still holds up, since more material to edit is more material regardless of whether it's coming out in MMPB or TPB, not to mention that the discrepencies between Q&A and Before Dishonor is the biggest editorial goof since Richard Arnold was thanked for his services.

    Another reason (and I'm sorry that I can no longer recall if this got official recognition or if it was just a very convincing speculation) was that analysis of sales figures found that the reader market was no longer able to sustain the two MMPB per month rate of production. That reason I can see as still being in effect, although I wish they would let themselves cheat more often - particularly if the alternative is regular books in ongoing series being produced out-format.

    But... we're Star Trek fans. As logic is to Vulcans, as honour to Klingons, so is griping on the Internet to us. :vulcan:

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  20. JAG

    JAG Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey Trent, Can I use this in my sig line? I love it.