by Sherrie Wilkolaski
While looking at what new movies are out I noticed that there is a new Star Trek movie in theatres. It got me thinking about how things keep coming back around. Remakes of old movies or TV shows, or even books. More importantly, it got me thinking about how authors should look at their surroundings and take advantage of what the media is promoting and tie their books to the buzz.
With Star Trek Into Darkness out in theatres, I thought I would check out the Infinity Publishing catalog and see if I could find any books on the subject. Turns out, there is a Star Trek book at buybooksontheweb.com called What Is It About Star Trek? by Russell Hany.
This is a wonderful opportunity for author Russell Hany to market and promote his book. To ride the coattails of the movie promotion and reignite interest in his book. Introduce his title to new and old Trekkies alike.
What about authors who don't have a connection to Captain Kirk or Spock? Keep your eyes open and find other media connections. They are everywhere. You just have to look.
Tell us about how you’ve connected your book to a recent media story below and inspire other authors to do the same!
A television series in the 1960s was written about a starship called Enterprise, which was on a five-year mission to explore the galaxy. The different episodes consisted of stories about the 430 crew members and their adventures among the stars. The captain of the ship was James T. Kirk, "the youngest man ever to be assigned a starship command, and a brilliant, irresistibly attractive and hard-driving leader who pushed himself and his crew beyond human limits."* His first officer, Mr. Spock, was half Vulcan (and half human), which meant that he was very logical and rarely showed his emotions. The rest of the crew was very diverse in ethnic background and showed great loyalty to their captain. This series, created by Gene Roddenberry, was called Star Trek.
Ever since the first episode of Star Trek was broadcast, on September 8, 1966, its presence in the American culture has been growing. That original series lasted three seasons and consisted of 78 episodes. The third season was originally canceled, but due to a tremendous amount of fan mail it was saved. Although new episodes were not being produced, Star Trek was still being watched. Syndication had taken over and reruns of the original episodes continued to be broadcast. In 1973, another resurrection occurred when 22 cartoon episodes were created for Saturday morning programming.**
For a series that existed only in reruns the number of fans and their continued dedication to the show was unprecedented. Fan clubs, Star Trek conventions, books, and magazines were all evidence in support of an uncommon occurrence. A Star Trek letter writing campaign instigated by two fans, Bjo and John Trimble, succeeded in getting over 500,000 letters written to President Gerald Ford, who in turn changed the name of the first space shuttle to Enterprise.** The legacy continued on with further Star Trek sagas being told through nine motion pictures and four additional television series, Star Trek: The Next Generation (7 seasons), Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (7 seasons), Star Trek: Voyager (7 seasons), and Star Trek: Enterprise. Something about these shows continues to attract countless fans - even in re-run form.
The motivations behind fans' devotion to watch Star Trek will be one area of focus of this study. These motivations will be examined through a uses and gratifications process. Uses and Gratifications is used to examine the effects that television has on its viewers and also attempts to determine what motivates people to watch. The differences between viewers' desires to watch Star Trek and their desires to watch other programs will be the second area of focus. A determination will be made as to whether Star Trek has a different value to people that watch it than general television does.