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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:21 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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For the record, the Repubic Commando series was incredible for a lot of people. I was more interested in reading those books than any others, and I can say that without a doubt. They contained almost exclusively new characters from day one, and I loved them for it. I became more attached to Darman, Etain, Bardan, Kal, etc., than I ever became to most of the new characters in LotF and FotJ. Why? Because they were written well.

The problem is the writing. As shown by RC, if internal arguments didn't flare up, series not featuring the Big Three could easily survive on their own two feet. If Karen Traviss currently chose to write the second Imperial Commando book, I would be more excited for that book than any other. Period. Neutral

And using a website listing sales ranking, the RC books steadily climbed the ladder with each release, eventually climbing a total of 100,669 places between Hard Contact and Imperial Commando: 501st. That's quite a bit. And to indicate comparison, 501st ranked above Invincible and right behind Conviction.
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:50 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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What website are you using? It's hard to find anything that indicates how successful books are, and admittedly I'm going off very limited information, so I could be wrong.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:46 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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The Book Depository

I will admit that I have no idea how legit those rankings are, or what they even refer to in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps sales on their own site? Which would still reflect at least slightly as to the popularity of the book. Although not overall, I know. *shrugs* Confused
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:24 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I'm guessing those are the sales rank for that particular store. Amazon has sales ranks too.

I would compare Republic Commando stuff to books like the NJO and Bantam stuff, but it's difficult to do that because I imagine most sales data at this point is cumulative, plus you have to account for inflation if you're dealing with actual dollar amount in sales rather than copies sold. It's probably impossible to get sales data within a certain time frame for 10+ year old books.

It's my understanding, however, that the Fate of the Jedi books aren't selling well from a standpoint relative to earlier stories featuring the Big 3. Which would explain why they've shifted gears so frequently in this series, introducing new subplots in the middle of it, among other things.

Regarding inflation:

http://www.hawes.com/1991/1991-06-30.pdf

look how much the hardcover for Heir to the Empire cost!


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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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LivingJediDream wrote:
Regarding inflation:

http://www.hawes.com/1991/1991-06-30.pdf

look how much the hardcover for Heir to the Empire cost!


Ha! Wow...I miss those days. Wink
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:57 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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I think part of it is that they simply raised prices, regardless of inflation. It's also why they went from the three hardcover, six paperback model to the nine hardcover model.

My new project is to see which Star Wars novels hit the New York Times bestseller list, although it doesn't track Internet sales which could skew it toward stuff from the 1990s. So I'll see if I can find some other bestseller lists, maybe Amazon has a historical list rather than just cumulative sales ranks?

Edit: Interesting... TFU and the Clone Wars film novelization both outsold Invincible in 2008.

Not entirely sure whether that's due to Invincible being Invincible, or the other two being multimedia releases. I'm inclined to believe the latter. The children version of the novelization outsold Traviss'. In fact, every children's TCW publication from 2008 outsold the adult novels, with the exception of one which didn't outsell TFU.

And so, the reason why continuity has gone by the wayside has been revealed. And, if I might speculate, why a reboot would actually generate more sales if the reboot resulted in a TCW-esque series starring Han, Luke, and Leia, and generated young reader books set after the films.

Edit 2: So yeah, it seems that the last time a Star Wars novel sold more than 100,000 copies in a year of its release was 2008 with TFU, TCW, and Invincible. And it didn't achieve this feat the year before. On the other hand, kids books related to TCW regularly sell over this number. Unfortunately, it seems book sales data is otherwise extremely hard to come by, and usually isn't free. And the bestselling Star Wars novel seems to have been The Phantom Menace, followed by Attack of the Clones and Heir to the Empire.

Edit 3: Oohh, I may have hit the goldmine. More to come later, I don't have time to process what I just found. Brief snippet: In 2002, both The Approaching Storm and Destiny's Way sold over 100,000. The Approaching Storm sold better than Destiny's Way by around 25,000 or so. Attack of the Clones sold a whopping 784,750.

Edit 4: Here's some numbers:

The Phantom Menace: 1,419,852
Attack of the Clones: 784,750
Vector Prime: 200,000+
Rogue Planet: 200,000+
Balance Point: 150,000+
The Approaching Storm: 125,000+
Destiny's Way: 100,000+
The Unifying Force: 107,775
The Force Unleashed: 103,232
Invincible: 101,034

There's also a lot of children's Star Wars books that sold in excess of 100,000 between 1999-2003 that I haven't listed, like the Jedi Apprentice books. Unfortunately, I haven't had success finding stuff from earlier than 1999, and I don't think the stuff I've found covered paperback. And my attempt to find 2006 and Betrayal's sales have been unsuccessful thus far.. but it would appear that Sacrifice didn't break 100,000. Nor did the first three FOTJ novels. So far I've found data for 1999-2003, 2007, 2008, and 2009.

I wonder if the declining sales after the initial onslaught caused by Episode I is why we saw such an increase in volume after the New Jedi Order ended. It's also notable that the first novel in that series sold in excess of 200,000 and the final novel sold just over 100,000. It's also plausible that this data is skewed based upon when a novel is published in the year; for instance, The Unifying Force was published in November, and this data only accounts for that year. OTOH, Vector Prime was published only a month earlier in its year of publication, so I think that it does represent a decline in sales through the course of the series. Plus there seems to be a general trend of sales declining through time, as the list is ordered by number of sales, but seems to be completely chronological with the exception of Attack of the Clones.

It seems plausible that Star Wars novels did not sell all that well, with the exception of Heir to the Empire and its direct sequels, until Episode I's release. If that's the case, the question is whether the license fee has risen since 1991, and whether those types of sales warrant it being renewed by Del Rey or purchased by another publisher.


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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Mara Jade Skywalker
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I know you mentioned it once, but do those sales you mentioned near the end include copies sold online? Because that seems incredibly low. Confused
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 PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:29 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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As far as I know, the exclusion of online sales is unique to the New York Times bestseller lists. I got the data from Publishers Weekly. The impression I get is that the data might be gotten from the publishers directly (Books shipped - Books returned = Books sold), especially since for some of the books they list very specific numbers for sales. But it could be like NYT.

But yeah, Star Wars doesn't seem to be the juggernaut that Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are. Those sell millions of copies, and AFAIK The Phantom Menace is the only one to have done that.


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 PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:55 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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I don't think a reboot would be a bad thing per se but that would depend on what authors they brought on board to do that. For example, I don't think a reboot of the Thrawn trilogy would benefit if a writer other than Zahn wrote it. Mainly because the original authors would be able to keep the style of the novels we know and love but with new twists. The original authors would also be more aware of possible plot lines/details that didn't make it into the final version (or even a draft) but might fit a reboot perfectly. A new author wouldn't be working with this knowledge and I don't think they would be able to do it justice either through attempting to mimic the style of another author or just taking the basic plot and changing it on a whim.
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 PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:38 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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If I could, I'd like to open the idea of a reboot into another area here.

What if there was a reboot, but it wasn't of the current EU. Instead, it was some sort of alternate reality or timeline (much like what has been seen in Stargate and Star Trek)? It doesn't replace the original, but runs alongside it?


For my part, I am (surprisingly) against this, too. It runs the risk - one I think is most likely to happen - of simply retelling stories with different twists and endings and such, much like what Vorn has stated. however, I could live with it, if I must. I even think it would be quite popular.
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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:56 am Reply with quote  
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  EricxDu
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I don't think I'd like to see it happen, but I think a reboot here or there could do good things to the Star Wars timeline. The benefit of a reboot is that writers can re-tread ground with retrospect and foresight. For example, perhaps a campaign to re-write and chronicle the short period of time between the Battle of Yavin and the Battle of Hoth in a more logical, consistent way than the myriad of different stories that filled that area previously.


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 PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:06 am Reply with quote  
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  Lord Ree'dius
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That sounds more like a retcon than a reboot.
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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:47 am Reply with quote  
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  EricxDu
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I'm probably misunderstanding the difference between the terms then.


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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:48 pm Reply with quote  
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  Lord Ree'dius
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With a reboot all of the EU history up untill now would be discarded and wouldn't be taken into consideration anymore.
The term retcon is sometimes used when they talk about a reboot, but most of the times a retcon is when they alter a previously established story or fact without discarding it totally. There are of course several reasons to do this, but it's mostly done to correct continuity errors.
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 PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:49 pm Reply with quote  
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  Crash Override
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Lord Ree'dius wrote:
With a reboot all of the EU history up untill now would be discarded and wouldn't be taken into consideration anymore.
The term retcon is sometimes used when they talk about a reboot, but most of the times a retcon is when they alter a previously established story or fact without discarding it totally. There are of course several reasons to do this, but it's mostly done to correct continuity errors.


I would consider discarding all Expanded Universe set after Return of the Jedi, but keeping prequel Expanded Universe, to still be a reboot.


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