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eBook line on hiatus - KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
eBook line on hiatus
It's been formally announced: the monthly line of original Star Trek eBooks that have been published (and that I've been editing) since 2001 is going on hiatus after the publication of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Slings and Arrows Book 6 this month.

The door is open to possibly do more original eBooks in the future -- the choice of the word "hiatus" is deliberate -- but for now, the line's taking a break. I'm obviously not happy about it, but all good things must come to an end -- I seem to remember somebody saying that once -- and I've got 74 S.C.E./Corps of Engineers eBooks and two anniversary miniseries to look back on and be immensely proud of.

If this decision annoys you, the best thing you can do is support the line. Buy the eBooks -- they're not going anywhere, there just won't be any new ones for a while. Buy the print compilations -- they're not going anywhere, either. The COE compilations Aftermath, Grand Designs, and Creative Couplings are in bookstores now, Wounds will be out this fall, and we're looking at 2009 for Mere Anarchy (possibly timed to coincide with the Abrams movie, but that's very preliminary right now). Show Pocket that there's an audience for more adventures of the good ship da Vinci and for cool stuff like Mere Anarchy and Slings and Arrows.

Finally, many many thanks to:

Mike W. Barr, Christopher L. Bennett, Ilsa J. Bick, Randall N. Bills, Margaret Wander Bonanno, Greg Brodeur, Scott Ciencin, Loren L. Coleman, Mike Collins, Kevin Dilmore, John S. Drew, Ian Edginton, Dave Galanter, Allyn Gibson, Christie Golden, Glenn Greenberg, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Jeff D. Jacques, Heather Jarman, Robert T. Jeschonek, Dan Jolley, Kevin Killiany, Paul Kupperberg, William Leisner, David Mack, Andy Mangels, Jeff Mariotte, Michael A. Martin, Steve Mollmann, John J. Ordover, Terri Osborne, Aaron Rosenberg, Cory Rushton, Michael Schuster, Dean Wesley Smith, Dayton Ward, Howard Weinstein, Phaedra M. Weldon, Richard C. White, Christina F. York, and J. Steven York.

You guys all did amazing work and made me look good (yes, Bubba, even you). Thank you for that from the bottom of my feet.

Edited to add: Please go to sceforthetroops for discussion of getting some of the da Vinci stories to troops overseas....

Current Mood: sad sad
Current Music: "When a Soldier Makes it Home" by Arlo Guthrie

45 comments or Please comment
scifantasy From: scifantasy Date: March 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry to hear it, Keith. I've enjoyed the hell out of the series through the print collections for several years now.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.
od0_ital From: od0_ital Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I've been buyin' the print collections since they started comin' out, so no point in stoppin' now, even if the ebooks are takin' a break.
troll_bridge From: troll_bridge Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, gosh, my day just picked up another load of suck.

Is this something that is uniquely affecting the Trek line, or is it indicative of a trend at S&S and/or of the industry in general?
kradical From: kradical Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I used the phrase "original eBook line" on purpose. The eBook editions of print books will still be published. And there really wasn't an equivalent to the line anywhere else, so it's hard to say it's indicative of a trend in either direction......
terri_osborne From: terri_osborne Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, in the spirit of the song you have listed for music, what about a campaign to buy CofE for the troops?
kradical From: kradical Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh! Me likey....

(Let's talk when you get home.)

(Yes, folks, we converse over LiveJournal. We are a 21st-century geek couple.....)
jeff_morris From: jeff_morris Date: March 3rd, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Shoot, my wife and I used to private-comm on IRC channels even though we were in the same house, in adjoining rooms. :)
trampledamage From: trampledamage Date: March 4th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Still do this - but use google-chat nowadays :o)
drewshi From: drewshi Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very cool idea. Please let me know, when you have worked out the details, what I can do to contribute.
terri_osborne From: terri_osborne Date: March 4th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I'll look into it. Has anyone had any experience with Operation Paperback? They look like they would be an excellent organization to work with.
defcons_treklit From: defcons_treklit Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
First of all thanks for the SCE/Coe series, Keith! And thanks to all the authors who have participated!

For the rest I'll cross-post what I posted on Terri's journal:

I suspected that this was the case both because there just was no information coming from anyone when the question came up on message boards and because of some comments you (Terri) made a few months back that somehow still were floating around in the back of my mind.

FWIW I have all the reprints published to date and plan to buy all that are still to come. SCE/CoE simply is the most consistent line of the whole franchise, there are few stories of those I've read so far that I didn't like and even those were at least readable.

What pissed me off a bit is that Marco lets his lackey make the "announcement", if you want to call that loveless post he made that, instead of let Keith do it. I sure as hell hope that they at least let Keith edit something else, cause quite frankly I think he is better in the job than those who are actually working for Pocket full time.

kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the kind words!
daytonward From: daytonward Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, thanks back at ya (and to John) for inviting us to play in the first place, and then inviting us back. :)

Here's hoping the hiatus is both temporary and short-lived, and I'd like to hear more about this "CoE for the Troops" idea of Terri's.

kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, it was really John's fault. I was just kinda stuck with you. *wink*

Seriously, though, you guys wrote more eBooks than anyone. There was a reason for that. *grin*
daytonward From: daytonward Date: March 4th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
There was a reason for that. *grin*

Yeah, and you still can't have those photos back.
cahalith From: cahalith Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

I admit I've only bought the dead-trees of SCE so far, but I love what I've read of the series so far. Hearing it's put on hiatus, if only for awhile, sucks a lot.

The CoE for the troops idea sounds excellent, actually. I bet a lot of military engineers'd get a kick out of it. When there's more information on that, I'd love to hear about it!

And, Mere Anarchy is coming out in dead-tree? Really? When was this announced?
kradical From: kradical Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
And, Mere Anarchy is coming out in dead-tree? Really? When was this announced?

By me, today. *grin* And what I posted is all I can say right now....
From: evansmj Date: March 3rd, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Already posted my thoughts over at terri_osborne's, but please do let those of us who already buy both the eBooks and the print compilations do to support and revive the line (other than, y'know, continuing to buy the print books).
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
kvaadk From: kvaadk Date: March 3rd, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I already do what I can. Buying copies, both e- and tree. Maybe I'll start buying them as gifts for all my friends. (That's two more right there!)

Keith, thanks for letting me add my small bit to the CoE corner of the Trekverse. I really hope the saga continues.

And I like the books for troops idea. Anything I can do to help, let me know.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're welcome, and thanks!
jslinder From: jslinder Date: March 4th, 2008 12:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Not like Keith hasn't heard me opine on this before...

I honestly feel this call was the direct effect of 3 things..

1> There not being a GOOD usable E-Book standard/reader out there other than PC Based (Ironically, of course, NOW we get the Sony Reader and Kindle).

2> Simon+Schusters APALLING lack of marketing the E-books and providing them in a timely fashion (case in point, Bob G's Part 4 is still showing as publication 2/1/08 and as of Friday was not up yet). The only point in their defense is unlike dead tree versions, it's hard to give out samples at cons.

3> An inherent prejudice against E-Books by a lot of literary fandom. (Yes, I will elaborate if asked).

With those in mind, I can see why S+S made the call. In the case of dead tree first novels, e-books are supplementary income, not the sole source. For e-book first, the online income is (if you will pardon the pun) paramount, the dead tree versions are supplemental. What I think happened here is that the initial release numbers were low, and the long lag between online and print version disconnect the two in the minds of the bean counters.

kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. Yeah, the fact that this is happening just after the Sony Reader and the Kindle is quite irritating.

2. The releases of the eBooks are no more or less consistent than the releases of the print books. *shrug* And the next thing that Simon & Schuster successfully markets will be the first thing. *sigh*

3. Hells, yeah... *grump*
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 4th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
The one thing that annoys me about the Sony and Amazon eBook readers is that they seem to be lacking a few titles that I would really want. The last time I checked Sony's store and Amazon.com neither of them offered Douglas Adams' "Mostly Harmless" as an eBook. The first four H2G2 books yes, but not the 5th!?
jslinder From: jslinder Date: March 4th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of distance to go with acceptance and title availability.

But finally, there are two devices that have the readability and flexibility to push ebooks closer to the mainstream. It's a good step in the right direction.
popfiend From: popfiend Date: March 4th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC) (Link)
This saddens me on multiple levels.

1.) I know how much work you put into this.

2.) I've loved the series.

3.) I think it out some "OOMPH" back into the universe.

4.) What's going to happen to the character you named after me? Deputy Security Chief's gotta work.

Love ya man.

I really hope this isn't the end.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hey, the crew's still in place. Hawkins is still on the da Vinci, helping Corsi keep the ship safe...
bill_leisner From: bill_leisner Date: March 4th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
And my thanks in return to you, sir, for shepherding this branch of the Trek franchise for all these years, and for letting me play some small role in it.

Here's to an abbreviated hiatus.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ya velcome...
j_steven_york From: j_steven_york Date: March 4th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC) (Link)

Back atcha

This is sad news, Keith, and its especially sad given some signs that the eBook market might finally be getting off the ground.

Just wanted to thank you back for all the great work you've done on these books over the years. You've always been a pleasure to work with, and the creativity and energy you've put into these things just can't be overstated.

To me, S.C.E. in particular was one of the finest examples I can imagine of attempting to redefine the tie-in business into something that expands and brings something new and vital to the fictional work it derives from.

I hope this isn't going to have too much of an impact on you personally. (Though I know these things are more than just a job to you. The fact that you actually give a rat's ass about the material is what makes you special. No, that's not at all fair to the many other great editorial folks I've worked with on tie-ins. Let's just say that you have a unique passion for the stuff you work on, that's above the call.)

kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Back atcha

The effect on me personally is two-fold: I lose income (though not a lot -- I took a really cheap rate to do this), and I lose the creative thrill of running the line. We really had some big plans, too. *sigh*
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 4th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank *you* for letting us play in this corner of the Trek universe. You have done an incredible job, and I appreciate all the help and support you have given me, and all your writers, over the years. Frankly, I think you kept the line alive through sheer force of will!

And let me reiterate what I said in A Sea of Troubles: Keith is a god. The cool kind, with tentacles.

Seriously, Keith, as an editor, you rock. And I hope we can work together again some time. But the upside, for me, is that you'll have more time to write *BG*

All my best,
Chris York
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
That tentacle line's still a fave. *hee*
meharet From: meharet Date: March 4th, 2008 03:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Son of cthulhu??
gemsweater From: gemsweater Date: March 4th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)

As someone who's read the entire series exclusively in eBook form, I am super disappointed.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
As am I, obviously, and thank you VERY much for the support. Would that there were more like you....
michaelschuster From: michaelschuster Date: March 4th, 2008 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Bad news, though not entirely unexpected.

Thank you, Keith, for giving newbies like Steve and myself a chance. I hope you didn't regret it too much. :D
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 12:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I regret nothing.

Except maybe Dilmore...............
terri_osborne From: terri_osborne Date: March 4th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
For those who were interested in the S.C.E. for the Troops idea, I'm in contact with Operation Paperback now and trying to sort what we need to do. I'll put all future messages about this drive in the sceforthetroops community.
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
meharet From: meharet Date: March 4th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
Star Trek for me is a Guilty Pleasure, hands down. And being able to play in this universe with You as an editor—a dream come true.

I LOVED working with you on S.C.E. as well as Slings and Arrows (even talking me down from the Word Count Ledge), and I hope to again in the future. Anything you need, you just ask. Always.

But as Chris York said, now you'll have more time to WRITE. More KRAD!

You know...there's an anime character called KRAD...
kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, thanks! *blush*

You know...there's an anime character called KRAD...

Gah -- really?
meharet From: meharet Date: March 4th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gah -- really?

Yep. I love his counter part... DARK


kradical From: kradical Date: March 4th, 2008 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm scarred for life......
45 comments or Please comment