Mnemosyne (_lethe_) wrote,
Mnemosyne
_lethe_

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Spot the differences!


Today What Was Lost arrived from the Book Depository, the UK edition with the original cover illustration. Many people seem to dislike it, but it happens to be my favourite of all the different covers I've seen. I can actually imagine Kate looking like that, something I can't with the girl in the American cover's photograph. Inside the American edition looks better though: nice font and chapter headings, and easy-on-the-eye spacing.

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Checking the books side by side I quickly noticed that not only the spelling had changed. Here is a paragraph from page 5 (both editions):

She realized that it was Wednesday and that she'd forgotten to buy that week's copy of the Beano from her usual newsagent. She had no choice but to go to the dingy kiosk in the centre to get it. Afterwards she stood and looked again at the True Detective magazines on the shelf. The woman on the front didn't look like a detective. She was wearing a trilby and raincoat... but nothing else. She looked like someone from a Two Ronnies sketch. Kate didn't like it.


She realized it was Wednesday and she'd forgotten to buy that week's copy of the Beano from her usual newsagent. She had no choice but to go to the dingy kiosk in the center to get it. Afterward she stood and looked again at a current True Detective magazine on the shelf. The woman on the front didn't look like a detective. She was wearing a fedora and a raincoat... but nothing else. She looked like someone from a Benny Hill sketch. Kate didn't like it.


As far as I can tell (I haven't checked beyond the first few pages — yet! I am curious now) the American editor has done a good job, but I'm still completely bemused by it. Is it common practice? Does it happen to all (beginning) authors? If so, are they notified? Do some publishers do it but not all? Does it depend on the target audience? (My copy contains a reading group guide, including questions for discussion.) Questions, questions...


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