Sunday, 12 June 2011

What Title Would You Go For...?

Like the ‘What Cover Would You Go For...’ posts but, well... you can see the difference ;o)

I really don’t get why publishers decide to give the same book different titles (like Gollancz and Del Rey did with ‘Rivers of London’/’Midnight Riot’). Are they hoping that gullible customers will buy the same book twice? Here’s a hint guys, we’re not that daft... Are they trying to put their own mark on a book that they’re effectively having to share with another publisher? And doesn’t the author get any say in what his own book is called?

Take Daniel Polansky’s debut for example. If you’re buying it in the US then you’ll have a copy of ‘Low Town’ gracing your shelves. If you’re buying it in the UK though, you’ll buying the much cooler sounding ‘The Straight Razor Cure’ (although, funnily enough, I'd want that title on the American cover...) At least I think it’s the better sounding title anyway, what do you all think? Will any of you be ordering from abroad because a particular title takes your fancy? Comments please!

Here’s the blurb for anyone who’s interested,

Welcome to Low Town.

Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found.

Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You'd struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his.

But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley. And then another.

With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he's the only man with a hope of finding the killer. If the killer doesn't find him first.

All being well, I’ll be reading this one very soon, I'll let you know how it goes.


Cate Gardner said...

Weird. They've even made them look like two totally different books. The first title appeals more.

GavReads said...

You know I've just spotted this one on Amanda's blog and I much prefer both the UK title and the cover and the same with Rivers of London.

I'm a UK boy mostly - it's very rare I'll like the US cover over the UK one.

Mark Lawrence said...

I'd go for the first cover but have him pull his hood back.

ediFanoB said...

In this case I decided to go for the German translation:
Der Herr der Unterstadt
which means
The Lord of Low Town

Have a look at the German cover which differs from the UK and the US one.

Der Herr der Unterstadt will be published in September 2011.

Bryce L. said...

I really like both, but it really seems like two different books. Even though they're going with the hood, I really like the title of the first.

Celine said...

Its usually done with books that are coming out in different regions ( so, UK edition vrs AUZ/NZ edition or US edition for example)and usually because the publisher feels that their particular choice of name/cover will appeal to their particular section of the market. One house may think the book will sell best to the Urban fantasy reader for example, while another may be more comfortable marketing it to the crime fiction reader and so the different names/covers/marketing approaches.

If you think it's confusing for the buyer, try being the author doing all the usual online interviews/answering fanmails/promoting the book via your blog etc. It can be a right pain in the @rse :)

I have to say in the case of Midnight Riot/Rivers of London I'd be tempted to seek out and buy Rivers Of London ( the husband, however, would do the opposite)

I've had readers hunt down and buy editions of books from other regions, just so they could have a certain set of covers, and readers have told me they are determined to do the same with the new book - so apparently it DOES make a difference and the publishers are maybe right to go their own way :)

James said...

I prefer The Straight Razor Cure for a title, but hate the cover.

I started reading this book last week and made it to the second page before it ticked me off and I put it to the side. Will have to pick it up again later, but for now I have moved on to something else.

RedEyedGhost said...

Honestly, I like the US title and cover better.

Elfy said...

I seem to like the covers everyone else thinks are cheesy. Overall it really doesn't matter to me, as long as the book in between is good I don't care what's on the cover. The only time it bugs me is when I'm collecting a series and they change the design partway through.

Dovile said...

The books look totally different. Without reading the blurb, I thought the first one is probably a fantasy novel, and the second one a murder/mystery book.
The German cover seems to capture the book the best.