Well, this is my most difficult Cover Wars post so far. What happens when one book is given different titles in different countries? I’m not talking about language differences. No, this is completely different titles in two English speaking regions.
I was recently received The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke from The Willoughby Book Club. Fine. I had never heard of the book, but the story sounded a little familiar. Oh wait! The Sea Sisters is the same book as Swimming at Night! That explains a lot, or does it?
Why do publishers change titles for different markets? It may be because Harper published it in the UK and Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster published it in North America.
I remember they did that with Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes. It was also known as Someone Knows My Name.
They changed it for the American publishing because of the history of the word “Negro.” Though the book title is borrowed from the actual historic document of the same name, they knew that many people wouldn’t buy it because of the use of the word. It had a similar backlash in the Netherlands because of the title.
I actually avoid covers with people on them so I’d probably pick Swimming at Night. That being said I think that title “talks” to me more as well. Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything was released as Severed Heads, Broken Hearts in the UK. It really confuses me!
I never realized how many people do not like a cover with a person on it. Interesting.
I would choose Swimming at Night. Like another poster, the person on the cover throws me off a bit. And the title doesn’t jump at me. To me, The Sea Sisters makes it sound like it would be mythical or have some fantasy element to it, Swimming at Night doesn’t sound like that.
Totally agree with you about the titles. But in defense of the other title Clarke uses the phrase Sea Sisters a number of times in the novel.
Having read this one, I think that Swimming at Night fits better – both cover and title. Still weird when they change titles! I don’t like being confused
I don’t like being confused either!
Is the Swimming at Night cover the US one? I’m curious because I feel like I often like the US covers better. The publishers really have my number!
Yep. It’s the American one. They do have you pegged.
The North American version of this book, Swimming at Night is the clear victor!