Following on in a way from the post the other day about Angus Donald which, for the one and a half people who read all the way down to the end of the post, ended with me was musing on differences between UK and US covers for the same book.
In that post, I was saying I much preferred the US version of Angus’ first in the Outlaw series. I felt it conveyed more of the mysterious and fleeting nature of trying to tie down the Robin Hood myth. Whether that was the illustrators intention or not, it worked for me.
So, it led me on to remembering a Twitter conversation – if swapping a couple of 140 character messages can ever be called a ‘conversation’ – with James Wilde. He of the really rather superb Hereward series of books.
He was saying that he had finished the draft of the next (and hopefully not the last) in the series; Hereward. End of Days. He was also saying that he had been asked by his American ‘people’ if he couldn’t see about changing the title of the second Hereward book, Hereward The Devil’s Army.
Don’t believe me?
Well, I got the idea that if he was saying Hereward (the name) was the problem with book two, then what about book one, just called ‘Hereward’. So, some checking and plenty of clicking on images later and what had me fooled, what I thought was perhaps another, pre–Hereward book by James Wilde, turns out to be the US version of the first Hereward.
Check this out:
How about that? On the left is the US version, on the right the UK version (click on a picture to go to the relevant Amazon page). Of Hereward. As it came out in the UK first and he is an Englishman, I think it’s only fair it remains the ‘Hereward’ series and not the ‘Time of the Wolf’ series, eh?
I don’t know what to think about that cover really. It is changing two elements, rather fundamental elements at that. The title. And the illustration. It’s a different book. Though the story is the same (I’ve checked). Against all my better judgement, I really like the US version. But it’s not ‘Hereward’. Part of me says ‘Oh for goodness’ sake, come on! No! It shouldn’t be changed!’ Then again, the ex-advertising and marketing man in me says ‘well, they know their business over there and they’ll only change it if they think it’s not going to sell as it is for British audiences’. Having said that…you can order the ‘other’ version of Hereward/The Time of the Wolf on the UK Amazon site! Which, while still thinking it is completely wrong for the story, it still is one hell of a strong, moody picture and I just might get it. Look, I got a shed-load of money back from the Danish Tax man and we’ve (me and the good Mrs D. Though actually, she isn’t. As she’s kept her own surname. And they don’t have ‘Mrs’ over here anyway…) come to an agreement that we can spend some of it as we wish. So why not? It’s listed as ‘available from these sellers’, so it’s going to be a US import and some sellers are saying ‘New’. Prices start around the £11.05 mark, plus P&P. So for me, to get it to Denmark, you’re looking at about Kr 136.84 all-in. Don’t mind if I do!
UPDATE: The Time of the Wolf should be with me this week, I’m reliably informed.
I find I can’t, as yet, explain this:
Can you see it?