UK vs US editions

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Postby Lady Vetinari » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:40 pm

Personally I prefer the new covers to the older covers ... it's a good thing I did not judge a book by Josh Kirby's covers otherwise I would never have picked up Pratchett.
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Postby Fizz » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:52 pm

Cliche as it is, you have to admit that there are some books that really are amazing and should not be judged by their covers.

I've read some brilliant books with some atrocious covers.

I think that fantasy in general though has improved with the types of covers they now use to draw readers in. Cheers.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:42 am

As I got CoM and LF around 1983 so when they were first out, there was nothing around like Josh Kirby's coverwork and they really did match the spirit of Terry's writing at a time when SF&F was still v.influenced by heavy duty fantasy. So Discworld needed something as different and innovative as the 'fun' art that Josh was brilliant at - and Terry loved his work anyway and for that reason.

But times change and I can see the attraction of the black covers 'cos they're beautifully photographed but they don't 'match' the tone of Terry's writing that well, although they're visually attractive and look slick on a rack. Terry's work is slick but it's also and more importantly multi-layered and rich in texture of all sorts with the humour threading through - the lovely sea-chest with the coins on top may say a bit about the Luggage and Twoflower with all his dosh, but says nothing about the chaos and naked greed of the Broken Drum burning down or the adventures at Wyrmberg or in the Temple of Belshamaroth. Kirby's illustration of the riot at the Drum caught the spirit of that mayhem and playfulness and because, at the time, it looked fun as well as different and new for that genre, it did the writing justice.

In the US the market is different perhaps so different cover art is needed and that's evidenced by the reaction of some people over here to Unseen Academicals for instance. As 'soccer's' :roll: a minority sport over in the States the nuance and beauty of Paul Kidby's cover is completely lost on most US fans so you get the truly naff (to UK eyes) US version with the arms in the air and the round ball (thankfully they got that right! :P ) which perhaps doesn't do much for them either but at least says something about the content even if not particularly accurate of the gameplay... :twisted:

Horses for courses and times change but for fans who've been there from the start Josh's covers are inextricably linked to the pleasure we all felt when we first discovered Discworld and for that reason he'll always be my favourite Pratchett illustrator :D
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Postby Fizz » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:41 am

JVQ

Very well said. I can appreciate where you are coming from, cheers.
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Postby raisindot » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:45 am

Jan Van Quirm wrote:In the US the market is different perhaps so different cover art is needed and that's evidenced by the reaction of some people over here to Unseen Academicals for instance. As 'soccer's' :roll: a minority sport over in the States the nuance and beauty of Paul Kidby's cover is completely lost on most US fans so you get the truly naff (to UK eyes) US version with the arms in the air and the round ball (thankfully they got that right! :P )


Well, I'm not much of a fan of the Kidby cover but that's personal opinion and has nothing to do with a Brit/US POV. although it's heads and tails better than the execrable U.S. cover. In fact, the Kidby cover would have probably drawn a lot more "browsing" interest among the un-initiated. It's not like you find a lot of soccer fanatics hovering around the fantasy section of your typical Borders, but everyone in the U.S. is totally famliar with the stiffly posed, sepia-toned team pictures that are a mainstay for every two-bit local paper in America. So who wouldn't be piqued piqued by the sight of a giant orangutan front and center?

In any case, blame the U.S. publisher for going with their horrible covers, rather than the public. Changing covers is not going to increase sales of DW books among the initiated. Better marketing will do it.

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Postby mystmoon » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:24 pm

My main complaint is that the black cover versions tend to be bigger than the Kidby versions, so I can't carry one in my pocket like I normally do :(
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Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Mon Mar 22, 2010 1:17 pm

I like the black cover ones ,they look cool and I would never have read Terry Pratchett books if Kirby stayed the cover artist,because it was the cover that got me to read Thud!,then the name made me read the some of the others.I intent on buying the Kirby ones until I get to the Kidby ones(which I really like :) ) and in my opinion the US ones are down right ugly :wink:
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Postby manicmama » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:41 am

Nothing to do with Dicworld books, but I recently bought a book from amazon. ca to replace a British copy lost years ago. The book was Solzhenitsyn's A Day in The Life, and the copy I received is an American imprint. All I can say is, it's not the book I remember. I'm fairly certain the British copy left all the Russian slang in, with asterisks so you could check the meaning at the bottom of the page. The edition I now have, has no Russian words whatsoever, and a lot of Americanisms which in my opinion, simply don't fit with the tone of the book. It's hard to remember that you're reading about a prison camp in Siberia, and not perhaps, Texas. Also I feel it's a bit insulting to American readers, it almost suggests that they won't be able to understand or enjoy the text unless it's put in familiar language. And surely half the pleasure of reading books from a different culture is to get some of the flavour of that culture?
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Postby Ponder Stibbons » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:21 am

I dont have any Paul Kidby's. :( They dont seem to have them here. I have 4 josh kirby's and 8 rubishy computerized images from harper collins

The_Discworldaholic wrote:No i agree with you Fizz im a purist collector with over 500 in my collection now but i do like the new covers, its just a shame they fall apart so quickly, (theyre not glued very well i think ;) )


Thats why i always read them with them only open a sliver and try to peer down the page :wink:
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Postby Catch-up » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:35 pm

raisindot wrote:In any case, blame the U.S. publisher for going with their horrible covers, rather than the public. Changing covers is not going to increase sales of DW books among the initiated. Better marketing will do it.

J-I-B


Well said. :wink:

Sometimes I prefer the US covers, sometimes the UK covers - depends. Either way, I'm not all that bothered by what's on the outside. I tend to think what counts is what's between the covers. I've also read both versions of many of the books and I can't say I noticed a huge difference other than a lot of extra "U"s in one. :lol:
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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:58 pm

raisindot wrote:In any case, blame the U.S. publisher for going with their horrible covers, rather than the public. Changing covers is not going to increase sales of DW books among the initiated. Better marketing will do it.

J-I-B


How will better marketing increase sales of DW books among the initiated? :? It's the uninitiated that should be the target for marketing. 8)
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Postby raisindot » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:28 pm

poohcarrot wrote:
raisindot wrote:In any case, blame the U.S. publisher for going with their horrible covers, rather than the public. Changing covers is not going to increase sales of DW books among the initiated. Better marketing will do it.

J-I-B


How will better marketing increase sales of DW books among the initiated? :? It's the uninitiated that should be the target for marketing. 8)


It took you a whole month to get that snipe in? Usually you're much faster than that.

8)

Of course I originally meant uninitiated, but the fingers don't do what the mind commands sometimes.

:)

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Postby poohcarrot » Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:12 pm

raisindot wrote:It took you a whole month to get that snipe in? Usually you're much faster than that.

J-I-B


...but when you posted it a month ago I couldn't be bothered to read it. :roll: :lol:
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