07 October 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name

Some of you may have noticed that I was reading Eon: DragonEye Reborn (Allison Goodman) earlier this week. (I'm not now, but the reason why is an entirely different post *grin*) Anyway, when I went to add the cover of the book to my Currently Reading gadget I realised that on the FantasticFiction site it is actually called The Two Pearls of Wisdom. Hmmm.

Then, because I was a little behind with my reading and the book was due back at the library on Saturday, I trundled over to my local library's online catalogue to check whether it would be possible to renew this book with two names (or if I would need to read like a demon this week *grin*). But then I realised that the book wasn't listed as I thought it was. So, I headed to Wikipedia, and that's when I realised this book has three, yes three names:

* Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (USA)
* Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye (UK)

* The Two Peals of Wisdom

And weirdly, my library has all three titles! My question is - why? Why do publishers feel the need to change the name of a book? Covers...nope! *shakes head* I'm not touching that one. Do publishers not realise that it confuses us poor readers, who excitedly think that there is another book out there? I know they sometimes 're-package' books - a two for one deal and all that (which occurred with two Mercedes Lackey books), but re-naming is just [insert suitable adjective here]!

So, what do you think about the re-naming of books depending on the geographic location of the book's release? And have you discovered any examples?


  1. I hate books with multiple titles. It just confuses me. I also hate it when a book comes out with what appears to be the title and then when the second book comes out that has turned into the series title and book 1 gets a new title. Star Wars aka A New Hope would be the classic example, but it's been done with books quite often too.

  2. Hmm, this isn't something that I've particularly noticed, except for Breakfast at Giovanni's being turning into Billionaire Italian Virgin, or whatever it was (UK title: memorable; US title: Harlequin word salad). I imagine publishers do this because they think another title will be more marketable in their country. Personally I think Two Pearls of Wisdom is the best of the three titles.

  3. The Outlander books--Outlander and A Stitch in Time in the USA and UK respectively (and I believe that with different covers)

    On the title change, I believe that publishers are perfectly aware they create confusion and actually expect readers to buy the same book twice--double the revenue for them, after all.

  4. Kerry - I'm so with you on that, particularly the latter. To play devil's advocate, I'm guessing the author doesn't have that much control, but it is still frustrating.

    heidenkind - I agree, the publishers probably think it is more marketable. I know the title of the first Harry Potter book was changed for the US market because of the word 'philosopher'. It's just that with the internet crossing borders, everything is muddied...

    azteclady - I'd seen the second title for Outlander, but thought it was a different book. GRRRRRRRR!

  5. I don't know if it was deliberate, but the duology by Marie Brenna 'Witch and Warrior' was also released as a single Doppelganger. I was all set to buy Doppelganger, thinking it was a third book. Thankfully I did my research before the purchase.

    Anywho, they've done this with a couple of Elizabeth Lowell books (can't remember which ones). They were re-released under new names. I was ticked I'd bought them; especially as I thought I was getting a new story.

  6. Mariana - the same thing happened with two Merceces Lackey books. They were re-packaged into one book and re-named. It is frustrating to have to be so vigilent. At least we have the internet :)