Where have all the ebooks gone?

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by sparky99, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. sparky99

    sparky99 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Ever since the cancellation of the CoE ebok series, it seems that there have been very few other ebook releases.

    The release date for Fearful Symmetry and MU:Infinitiy's Prism has come and gone.

    This does not bode well for future releases such as Greater than the Sum, MU:Echoes and Refractions and Kobayashi Maru.

    Used to be, back in the olden days, that the ebook version usually came out before the paper version.

    Does anyone have any idea what the hold up is? There are still plenty of us out here that prefer the ebook format (and no, I'm not trying to throw kindling on that fire). I would much rather have an ebook, but I'm getting to the point that I'm going to throw in the towel rather than wait a month (or months) to get my trek fix.
     
  2. Saratoga NX-3842

    Saratoga NX-3842 Supreme Overlord of the Universe

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    I'm checking daily for Greater than the Sum and Infinity's Prism. I need it now!
     
  3. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Admiral

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  4. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    About the only thing that I can come up with is that S&S's ebook people hate Star Trek. The most recent Warcraft novel was scheduled to be released the same day as Fearful Symmetry; it was available by 10 AM or so that day.

    Star Trek's ebook release schedule has been maligned for years, unfortunately.
     
  5. David Henderson

    David Henderson Commodore Commodore

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    For the Fearful Symmetry eBook, are the pages of Side Two actually upside-down? If so, are you able to rotate the images in the reader?

    davidh
     
  6. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hard to say, since they haven't been arsed to release it yet. But for MS Reader, at least, it's unlikely that they'll be upside-down (as they're a glorified web page). Maybe the PDFs might be like that, but I think that's the only format which would support such a transformation.
     
  7. Brynthe2

    Brynthe2 Commander Red Shirt

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    Can we get an official response from one of the editors on this? I'm a proud owner of a Kindle, and have been quite pleased with the selection of Star Trek books that have been available since I purchased the unit last year. However, it is really disappointing to see that the recent ebook releases seemed to have been overlooked. I understand that the stand alone ebook series like CoE have been cancelled, but does that plan include the cancellation of the ebook version of regular books as well? I thought KRAD had stated that those ebooks would continue.

    As mentioned above, the ebook versions used to come out faster than the paper books reached the stores for the most part. A result of the ease of publishing something on a website vs. the physical need to move the product from one location to another; and I also presume that it was used as an attractor to get people to try out the ebook medium. But recently, they've stopped showing up at all, or at least they're showing up very slowly.

    So can we please get a response from an editor or even an author with knowledge about the fate of our ebooks?
     
  8. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    Well, we got tired of writing the e-Books. While we can spend short periods of time at our computers writing message board postings and blog entries, trying to write an entire book is just too hard....... ;)

    On a more serious note, I'll offer up the same answer I provided on the S&S board when a similar question popped up. I provide this with the caveats that a) circumstances may have changed since I was given this info and b) I may have misunderstood what was told to me. Anyway, what I wrote was:

    "As it once was explained to me (not sure if this is still how it works), the e-Book file is made available to the different vendors who sell e-Books via their respective proprietary formats in time for the e-Book version to be available on or about the dates the printed versions begin showing up in stores. Once S&S does that, it's out of their hands and up to the individual e-Book vendors, who convert the file sent to them into whatever format they're using, adding in whatever bells and whistles go with a particular format, etc.

    As for why the individual vendors are dragging their feet...that's a question for them. Maybe they're backlogged in prepping e-Books for release."

    Something else I thought of (and I have nothing to base this on) is that perhaps the different e-Book vendors prioritize what they prep for release based on past sales history of related books. If Trek books aren't big sellers, perhaps they get shuffled out of the way of books which are viewed as being better money makers.

    Maybe somebody else with better knowledge of the process can chime in and clarify or correct my comments as appropriate.
     
  9. Brynthe2

    Brynthe2 Commander Red Shirt

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    ^Thanks for that info Dayton, I had no idea that it was so out of S&S's hands. Does anyone have information regarding who we can contact to express our concerns? One person probably won't make much of a difference given the number of books being published daily, but it will at least make me feel a little better to get it off my chest :P
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2008
  10. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Individual vendors" is slightly misleading; in the case of MS Reader (and I believe Adobe) books,they're distributed via Lightning Source, a reseller owned by Ingram. So stores selling in Lightning Source's formats--including S&S's own shop, Powells, and IIRC Fictionwise--are waiting on the reseller, as opposed to being the points of failure themselves.

    I also thought that S&S did at least some of the in-house conversions--specifically PDF and MS Reader--themselves. (Because I doubt they're handing Adobe or whoever their page layout files...) I'll check the publisher info when I get home, see who it says Readerworks was licensed to. But even if S&S does the conversion, it could still be Lightning Source who's the cause of the delay. I doubt it, but it's possible.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Now, there's a paradox for you. ;)
     
  12. Dayton Ward

    Dayton Ward Word Pusher Rear Admiral

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    Drat. You've seen through my clever ruse.
     
  13. ATimson

    ATimson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No implications intended--I was just trying to help provide the clarity you asked for. :alienblush:

    Turns out that yes, S&S probably does contract out the MS Reader conversion to someone else, at least for recent titles; either they changed producers or their producer changed style between Foundations Book 1 and Foundations Book 2, to that used in the present day.

    (But while S&S and Harper Collins share a producer, Random House and Penguin Putnam don't share their style--and all four distribute via Lightning Source. So it's seemingly not required to let the distributor handle the conversion, just an option.)
     
  14. sparky99

    sparky99 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    In an interesting development, I just noticed that the ebook version Fearful Symmetry is no longer listed on Simon & Shuster. If you do a search for the title, or look at "new releases" here http://www.simonsays.com/content/ene/search.cfm?Nr=AND(Subsite:Star%20Trek)&tab=24&N=8074&Ns=CP_PUBDATEGAP&pid=523075 there is no listing for the ebook.

    Also noticed that one cannot buy anything from S&S.com at all!!! Is my memory failing me once again? Didn't S&S.com sell books directly from their site? Both paper version and ebooks are not available for purchase. There is a link under each book that gives you a list of on-line retailers that you can buy from.

    Wonder if this is significant or a snafu?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2008
  15. Trent Roman

    Trent Roman Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Where have all the ebooks gone, and where are all the engineers? Where's the tech-savvy C.o.E. to fix the broken gears? Isn't there a captain leading his starship brave? Before closing the computer I grumble and squirm and dream of what I crave.

    I need an ebook! I'm holding out for an ebook on my screen so bright. It's gotta be Gold, and it's gotta be Duff, and it's gotta have a cover by Mike. I need an ebook! I'm holding out for an book of made of electonic bytes. It's gotta be Tev, and it's gotta be Blue, and it's gotta have DRM copyright.

    It's the OP's fault for putting the song in my head every time I read the thread title.

    Fictitiously yours, Trent Roman
     
  16. Brynthe2

    Brynthe2 Commander Red Shirt

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    Trent, I was actually singing the chorus to that yesterday, but couldn't come up with good enough lyrics for the rest of the song. I'd almost gotten it out of my head, but you just wedged it back in there. Thanks.. I guess. ;)
     
  17. sparky99

    sparky99 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Hi Trent,

    Was kinda hoping to. Awesome lyics, btw.:rommie:

    ...to bad I can't add a subtitle to my original post: "Holding out for an eBook"

    So, has anyone else noticed Simon & Shuster's website situation?
     
  18. Brynthe2

    Brynthe2 Commander Red Shirt

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    I checked out the link you posted, it does seem odd that now there is no Fearful Symmetry ebook noted on their pages, while other books like GTTS list an ebook. I'm not sure about buying books/ebooks from their store, as I'm still an old fashioned, "spend an hour or two in the bookstore kind of guy", rather than one who buys them online (unless I have to). And ever since I bought my Kindle, all my ebooks come from Amazon. So my familiarity with purchasing through S&S amounts to pretty much nil. However, I thought I'd read here that others had purchased their ebooks directly from that website.

    I had really hoped that KRAD would have popped in here by now to help shed a little light on the whole subject.
     
  19. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    Damnit Trent, I had just gotten to the point where I didn't hear that song after each time I read the thread title. :scream: :p
     
  20. SAS

    SAS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    Trent that was well done.

    As for the ebooks, at least you used to be able to buy them, there are no stores in the UK that sell Trek Ebooks. And getting them from fictionwise cost more due to currency converstions.