Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by GaryH, Aug 1, 2019.
Whereas I think a shelf where all the books are the same size is a bit boring to look at.
I'll admit, that does bug me just a bit. The only thing I guess is since all future books will be trades it will balance out over time. It'd be worse if it was a mix.
Discovery, of course, has only ever been trades, and I'm sure the original series will continue as long as Star Trek is out there in some form.
It'll probably be worse with TNG and the upcoming Voyager book, because I have a sneaky feeling those will be the last for those series (at least in print form). I suspect future books featuring TNG characters will carry the Picard banner and the only reason we're even getting a Voyager book is it's a holdover from a prior contract (or something to that effect). So the two TNG books and one Voyager trade book will stick out a bit if you keep the series together (as I do).
A challenge for me in my arrangement was where to place crossover books, like the Typhon Pact books and Section 31 books (Destiny felt like a TNG series so that one was easier). I ended up putting the Typhon Pact---and The Fall within my TNG collection and Section 31 within my DS9 series (though I guess that was an easier call since it focused a lot on Bashir, a DS9 character--even though it had implications for TNG universe at large).
I know, I put a lot of thought into it, probably too much. I'm OCD about my CD's and my DVD/Blu-Rays as well. But then, I can always find something if I'm looking for it so there's that
Agree to disagree, but I have almost 60 Trek novels on my shelf with the same side except for two, I would have preferred the last two have the same size but it is not that big a deal.
Just as a reader, that gives me those sort of feelings
As the author of a few "unbudgeable turkeys," I find that this poem by Clive James always hits me where I live:
‘The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered’
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy's much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life's vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one's enemy's book --
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seemingly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.
Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler's War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyard with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee's Promenades and Pierrots--
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".
Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error--
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.
In the movie YOUNG ADULT, there's an excruciating but oh-so-real moment where the titular YA author tries to show off one of her books to a bored bookstore clerk who could not care less. To add injury to insult, the book is being remaindered.
A lot of movies glamorize the writing life, but that bit's dead-on.
They try not to do that with trades. The number-crunching, to determine the (usually shorter) print-run, tries to be more accurate. They try never to have too much back stock because warehouse storage costs have soared. It is actually cheaper to pulp, then reprint!
Note that old "Star Trek" MMPBs, now made available as reprint-on-demand (or very short runs for bookshops), tend to be the same MMPB text file, but with huge gutters, printed in trade size.
The reason for trade paperbacks is so the price can be raised to a much more expensive price. There is no advantage to the consumer vs. MMPB.
Take a current Star Trek eBook from 2019. The eBook is $11.99 in the US. Star Trek eBooks used to be $7.99. Trade PB is a different container then MMPB or HC. So yes, it's not unexpected for the prices to be different with a different container. But the eBooks But given that the eBook is the exact same container, the price should be the same. The thing is, the price has risen $4 and for some, that could stop them buying. It's best to sell in bulk for less profit then to sell less for more profit sometimes because in bulk, you can end up making more.
Wrong, because trade paperbacks have always existed alongside MMPBs. And you're making the wrong comparison. The reason MMPBs have become unprofitable is because e-books have replaced them as readers' preferred format for inexpensive or "disposable" books. Trades remain in the same niche they've always occupied, a somewhat higher, more prestigious grade of paperback, the format previously used for Trek anthologies and the like.
TPBs do have one advantage over MMPBs: they're usually printed on acid-free paper so they'll last longer.
Not many titles were available in both MMPB and TPB, though. It doesn't seem like publishers were actually able to base that decision on any data.
Does it matter what the specific titles were? What matters is that MMPBs overall have gotten less profitable compared to e-books and less desirable for vendors because of the price point and the whole remaindering thing. Individual titles aren't the issue -- it's the performance of the medium as a whole that's the issue.
Those are all good, valid reasons for publishers to change to TPBs. But that doesn't seem to say anything about whether "readers' preferred format for inexpensive or 'disposable' books" changing. You can show that readers' interest in digital over print is happening; but not whether readers prefer to buy their disposable books as TPBs instead of MMPBs.
So, what's the current lineup for upcoming Trek novels?
Suggest you read the first few posts on this thread. Nothing more has been added, AFAIK.
That's not what I'm saying! I'm not comparing MMPBs to TPBs at all. I'm saying that the rise of e-books has pretty much killed MMPBs, and therefore Pocket has moved to doing Trek as TPB-first as a side effect of that larger, distinct phenomenon. Sometimes the reason for a thing is not specifically about it, but about some separate thing that happens for its own reasons and has a secondary effect on other things.
Star Trek is just one tiny fraction of the publishing industry, and its choices can be limited by what's going on in the larger publishing world. If MMPBs are dying overall, then the preferences of readers of one small, niche line of books are not going to be able to change that.
I'm getting nostalgic for the years I spent as a bookseller
I was talking to someone who worked in publishing once and she thought I was a writer because of all the jargon and insider perspective I'd picked up from threads like this on the TrekBBS.
(On that note, no one I've spoken to in publishing understands the thing Therin mentioned about Trek print-on-demand books being the MMPB layout, at the MMPB size, just with half the area of the page blank, and have all thought that magnifying the page would be trivial, and re-flowing the text for the larger page size and then sanity-checking it also wouldn't be remarkably difficult.)
Bingo. Plus, in general, the old mass-market outlets are drying up. Between Amazon, ebooks, and Barnes & Noble, I'm not sure how many people are buying books at drug stores and newsstands anymore, which is what mass-market books were originally intended for. Indeed, TPBs are called "trade paperbacks" because they were intended for bookstores, whereas mass-market paperbacks are called that because they were meant to be sold at mass-market outlets like grocery stores, train stations, etc. And that market has been shrinking for years now.
A bit of history: mass-market paperbacks are basically the descendants of the cheap, pocket-sized books produced for American G.I.s during World War II. They've had a good, long run, but their future is in doubt.
As I’ve said before, most of the books I buy now are TPBs. MMPBs are the exceptions.
Indeed, I believe that the first MMPBs were actually called "pocket books," which is where the publisher got its name.
Separate names with a comma.