U.S. vs. U.K.

Posted by Unrepentant Escapist

April 19, 2009 -- 5:29 a.m.

Agent Kristin over at Pub Rants had as an interesting blog entry about U.S. vs. U.K. publishing and bookselling, including a demo book that has a U.S. and a British version with completely different covers and titles. I like the U.S. version myself. I guess I'm more interested in wizards than ghosts. I'm also more into the U.S. cover picture—a meeting of people plotting together—than in a little girl sitting up in a tree. To me, the British version of the cover screams Pippi Longstalking age. I'd pick up the U.S. version to look at the jacket, but the British version I'd pass on the shelf.

From Kristin's comments page, I guess I'm the minority.

Here's the link.


  1. Craig Lee said...

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog after seeing your stuff on Dragonmount. I found this post, and the linked article, to be very interesting.

    I'm from the UK and have, many times, looked up the US versions of particular books out of curiousity regarding the covers. I've yet to find any US covers that I prefer, so they clearly have the marketing right in this country where people like myself are concerned haha.

    For example, as a big Wheel of Time fan I almost dread to think what would have happened if I'd have spotted the US cover in a book shop or on Amazon. The US versions don't appeal to me in the least and yet they are much more colourful and dynamic. It would seem that on this side of the pond we just prefer things simple and minimalistic.

    I imagine you've read Brandon's books or are at least aware of the covers, so check out the version of 'The Final Empire' they have released over here, as another example (Unfortunately I can't copy and paste the rather large link but if you search for 'the final empire' on amazon.co.uk it will be the first item on the search results). Again, I much prefer our version.

    Though I can't offer any real explanation to this I wonder if maybe the British have a more serious attitude (not to imply that we are uptight lol) and will always favour a cover with a more 'mature' feel to it - hence the release of Harry Potter with 'adult' covers. Incidently, I bought those versions of the books and refused to purchase the non-adult covers, and yet consider myself to be very laid back and fun.

    Either way, I think it's all good and just adds to what makes cultural diversities so fascinating.

    Anyways, this is a great blog and I look forward to reading more.


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