Friday, 20 April 2012

International editions - case study 'Angel's Blood' by Nalini Singh

I find it interesting to compare different editions of the same book, especially foreign language editions. To that end I've collected various editions of Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh. The original version of Angels' Blood was published in the US in 2009. Angels' Blood reached our shores in the form of the UK/Australian edition in 2010.

US Edition
UK/Australian Edition

The title's typeface in the US edition draws heavily on romance genre conventions: decorative, foil stamped, drop shadow. The UK/Australian edition is edgier, and hints at horror/thriller elements with the dripping blood in the title.

Other editions are as follows. 

The Spanish and Portuguese editions are effectively the same as the UK edition, except the typeface for the title has been altered in the Portuguese version. The European versions seem to be more monochromatic than the various Asian editions as a general rule. The UK, Hungarian and French covers seem to be following the trend for predominantly black and white covers, with a single highlighting colour, very reminiscent of the iconic Twilight cover.

I think the Indonesian and Polish versions are the least successful, mainly because of the bad photo-shopping. On the Polish  cover the woman’s breasts have been photo-shopped out, leaving the model with an unnatural appearance. I've made some more detailed comments on the Indonesian cover below.
The Indonesian version also doesn't clearly express that this is a book with strong fantasy elements – this cover could belong to any romance novel. The other editions lacking a strong fantasy element on the cover (such as the US and Japanese editions) still have a fantastical feel because of mystical background lighting.

Another thing I find interesting with the different editions is whether the author’s name or the book’s title is deemed more important. The most important element is the biggest, boldest, and is usually located at the top. The editions seem to rank the importance of the title versus the author’s name as follows:

Title more important
Author more important

The logic behind this is probably because Nalini Singh is most well-known in the US market, so her name has strong brand appeal there. Outside that market, the name of the book is more likely to entice potential readers. I’m not sure why the Indonesian and Thai editions deem the author’s name more important.

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