Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by JJMiller, Apr 8, 2022.
I ordered this book I hope to get it soon.
Had an opportunity to pop into Chapters today, and figured I could pick this up. Sadly, the Star Trek "section" was down to a paltry eight books, and this was not one of them.
I checked their website when I got home, and this book seems to be marked as "not sold in stores". I've seen that happen to the occasional MMPB in years gone by, but I don't think I've ever seen it for one of the hardcovers.
And I completely forgot to look for Supernova while I was there, but it's also listed as "not sold in stores" on their website. Is it possible their recent cybersecurity incident has made them temporarily unable to receive new releases, or something? I'm hoping it's not a case of they just decided not to stock new Star Trek books in-store.
Although these days I order new books pretty much exclusively from Amazon, I decided to look up books I've gotten so far in 2023 on the Chapters website, and they too are all listed as "Not Available in Stores." I can tell they are still getting new releases in stores though, I decided to look up James Patterson books, which I know to be popular sellers, and most of the ones that were released in January and February are listed available in stores. I even checked the listings on the site for my local stores, which have about four copies listed for each store.
So, at a guess I'd say they are limiting their in store selection to options they know they can move. Understandable, I guess if more people are indeed ordering books online these days, if they even bother with physical books. Though still sucks all the same. Though I said I get a majority of my books from Amazon, there were a couple incidents in the past year where that wasn't an option, related to issues I was having with my credit card and thankfully being able to walk into Chapters (or one of the other book stores owned by Indigo) saved the day for me. Oh well, the price of progress I suppose.
Yes, that certainly is unfortunate if true. The Star Trek line seemed to move fairly well, at least in my local store, but obviously I don't know how well it does chain-wide.
I do buy a fair bit of things online, but I prefer to buy my Star Trek novels in-store whenever possible, because I try to pick out the nicest copy I can find. I don't really appreciate ordering a book online and then getting a bent cover or ripped dust jacket or whatever. Since Amazon usually ships in envelopes these days, it seems that there is more potential for books to get damaged. At least Chapters/Indigo still seems to mostly ship their online orders in boxes, based on the few times I've ordered online from them recently.
Distressing news, this.
The last time I was at Barnes and noble they had a very small selection of Star Trek books and more Star Wars and fantasy books on the book shelves. They were the older Star Trek books on the one shelf. I was lucky to get the Picard Raffi novel that came out last fall. I still can't find Harm's way by David Mack there they haven had it in the store .
Min you, there have been more Star Wars novels released in the past year than Star Trek.
Yes but my Barnes and noble always had more Star wars book than Star Trek on the shelves. Even when there were more Star Trek books came out. I'd go and buy them when they came out they used to have 3 shelves of Trek books now only one small shelf full of trek books.
I'm reasonably certain that Star Wars novels have always sold better than Star Trek, and also that both of them are doing a lot of digital business now that cuts down on print sales in stores.
Though I have no citations for any of this and would be happy to be corrected.
Star Wars does seem to be more popular than Star Trek in general, anyway.
Pretty much every Star Wars book that comes out is a NYT Bestseller, but only a handful of Star Treks have made it onto the list since the franchise's heyday back in the '90s.
And why is that?
I got the book today I'm so glad it finally came today.
I've just always assumed it was because Star Wars is more popular.
That is really true?
What, that Star Wars is more popular than Star Trek? Totally, yes.
Of course, popularity has never been an arbiter of quality. Trashy reality TV is more popular than high-quality educational programs.
Wasn't saying it was.
Having written for both: yes, one book-buying audience is significantly larger than the other, though the gap is not unbridgeable, and doing hardcovers is a MAJOR step in getting onto the same playing field.
This spring's conventions — I have Galaxy Con Richmond next weekend and C2E2 the weekend after, come see me! — are a reflection of that, because for the first time in my career, I'm stocking about the same dollar value in Trek books at conventions as I am in Wars books. (Or at least I was until this week, when the new Knight Errant collection came out — at $50 each those will have an outsized influence until they're gone.)
The Barnes and Nobles are all now doing their display pieces based on the local managers' recommendations, rather than doing the kind of paid displays that Trek was always priced out of; hence I've seen several photos of endcaps with Trek releases together. The way to make that happen more is to buy those books there, and — critically! — let the manager know it's in your interest area. Barnes and Noble is going through a renaissance right now and it is mostly due to that local control, not the Bookscan algorithms.
As to the number of releases, one way Star Wars has addressed that — and which Trek absolutely should replicate — is with its Essential Legends editions, which are slowly bringing all the old mass-market paperbacks back as the trade paperbacks that stores prefer to stock, while giving some of those releases audiobooks if they never had them before. A similar program for the Pocket Universe novels is devoutly to be desired, and would really bulk up the bookstore sections.
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