Hi dear friends,
Today I am asking you to join me in the list of things you don’t like (hate) that publishing houses do and that you would like to change!
It can be small or it can be big but …don’t tell me there is NOTHING that is bugging you from time to time in their choices?
Personally, I have two main problems with publishing houses that I will illustrate below:
1) When publishing houses stop translating a series!
WHO does THAT????
Are they REAL book nerds?
Seriously I have two examples here:
Throne of Glass series!
In French, the publishing house has only translated three books of the seven main books! Heir of Fire was the last one translated! And they don’t plan on resuming the translation…
My daughter had to watch it being translated in Italian, German and many more languages while despairing to read it in French.
The bright side of it she was so desperate that last year she tried to read my books and …read it in two days in English! But still.
Second famous example: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh!
Only the first book has been published in French. When I met Renée at YALC a few weeks ago I asked when the second one would be translated and she told me that currently, the publishing house in France was no more interested.
I was all “WTH????”. She assured me that she was trying to find a solution. Changing of publishing house in France maybe?
But why is that? Are French people so different from us Belgians, Italians, Germans? Is speaking some topics too raw for them? Is it something else? And yes maybe some books can’t be translated as they would clash with the culture but then why begin translating the first(s) one(s)???
If you know the answer to these questions please enlighten me!
2) When publishing houses change the covers of a series while it’s not even been published a first time.
I HATE it! Because my set does no longer match!
They did it for An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir Flame to the Mist by Renée Ahdieh and now for the UK cover of Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff (when I found MY UK paperback cover of Lifel1k3 so cool with the eye)!!!!!
I have nothing against a revamp once all the books have been published. Owning some special edition can be an extra kick for some fans but NOT IN THE MIDDLE of the first publishing round!
I love Instagram and take lots of pictures. I always try to match the colors and have great aesthetic. With a sequel very different from the first book it is pure and simple ugly to my eyes!
Newsflash publishers: we are NOT made of gold! Many readers are either students, either people with not a huge budget and buying the first book again is just wasting money they could use on something else!
Or maybe you could organise swaps and take the shipping costs at your expense? No? That’s what I thought! I think it’s not fair!
Now do tell me: do you agree with this? Do you have other complaints to voice? Changes you’d like publishing houses to make?
Thanks for reading!
PS: Next week I’ll stop ranting and will be my bubbly self again. I just had to get it out of my chest!
That translation thing sucks… i remember having similar experience in Hungary when i still lived there. They also had a habit of “refreshing” stuff. Like, some Agatha Christie books that were published in hungarian in the 90s, got translated again, got the title changed, just so we can all be confused whether it’s a new book or basically what the hell just happened 😀
I didn’t know that about the translations! That sucks. You’d think once they’ve started, they’d continue!
I’m 100% with you on the cover changes too. That bugs me beyond belief!
I can’t immediately think of any publisher annoyances beyond taking forever to release subsequent books in a series… I’m sure other annoyances will come to me as I think about it though!
Ahh yes I HATE it when they stop translating a series! When I was a kid I read all my books in Dutch, my native language and I was OBSESSED with the Animorphs series. But not even halfway through the series they stopped translating and I never got to finish my series. It’s why I started reading in English, cause it annoyed me so much! Hate the mismatching covers as well and adding another frustration: different heights/formats of books in a series. Why???
Oh wow, I’d be livid if I had started a series and then couldn’t finish it because they stopped translating it. Mismatched series covers annoy me too.
I so agree with both of these! Mostly with the translations! There’s so many books I’d like to recommend to others but since they read their books in Finnish, I rarely can do that. There’s no use to say “hey, you should read Throne of Glass series!” when they are only able to read the four first books and there’s that.
Exactly Hanna! Now as I said the side effect was that my daughter is now reading in English but I’d love to recommend some to my “non English speaking” mother in law and I can’t.
Oh yes, I can only imagine how frustrating it is to see the cover change mid-series. It’s one reason why I love used books and don’t always pay for new books. I prefer finding out what books I REALLY love and then, in the future, buy the whole series in their best edition. 😀 Great post, Sophie!
Oooh but that’s a fantastic idea that you have Lashaan! I don’t have book shops or libraries selling English books here so finding used book is nearly impossible but that’s the strategy I’d follow from now on if I had the possibility!
I absolutely hate cover changes, Sophie! I’m quite disappointed with the Deviate’s cover! It’s really not a bad cover but it doesn’t match with the first book’s cover at all. Are the publishers blind? Is this some kind of weird marketing strategy? I don’t see the same thing happening with the US covers! Yeah, the translating thing pretty much sucks! I can imagine how much frustrated you are.
Well Raven I could not help but comment on the publisher and on Jay’s post on IG when I discovered the cover change…I hope if others voice the same remarks they will avoid it in the future? A girl can hope …
I was just ranting about #2 last week! I get if a publisher wants to rerelease a series with new covers down the road. Or if a series is acquired by a new publisher and they release them with all new covers. But changing the covers mid-series? Nooooo!!! That happened with Armentrout’s Lux series and I was so upset! Suddenly I had 4 books with one cover and a fifth (and final) book with a whole different cover. That is like cruel and unusual punishment, I say!
Exactly Tanya! And I don’t understand the logic behind at all!
Rant away, Sophie, if we don’t let our voices be heard then these companies will never know that people are upset. This use to drive me nuts too, when I worked in the industry. Translation rights are really funny, and sometimes only one book in a lengthy series gets sold to a specific country, while the rest never get sold or translated.
Covers and titles also differ from country to country because publishers are antsy about certain words offending or being misunderstood — which, in this day and age, is a load of crock!
When all is said and done, it’s all about that all-important bottom line, profit verses expenditure.
I will rant away Alexandra promise! I forgot about your “previous life as working in the bokk industry” but yes of course you are right: it’s about making money! What I do not get though are Sarah J maas books as they should have sold very well!
🙁 I’m sorry they stopped translating the books! That one really sucks! The cover thing is annoying too! I wonder if the authors have any say over it? What do they think about it?
Brittany most if not all traditionally published authors don’t have a say in the covers!
I wish publishing companies made it really easy to find who to contact for ARCs! I don’t know how others figure it out. 😉 I also don’t love cover redesigns. I understand (from reading an insider article about covers) that they change the covers to help draw in readers and because now the books are popular enough to get a better cover. Go figure!
Thats’ true about contacting the right person to request ARCs Dani! I usually end up writing “To whom it may concern” which is not the friendliest and most personal message!
I’ve had some posts lately about what publishers can do differently. One is more earcs to international. I know shipping a physical book is super expense outside of the US (like it’s more than a hardcover book). Another I want to see is trigger warnings on the actual book (so people aren’t shocked or hurt after they buy something). And another blogger, Samantha, bought up a good point on my arc post. It would be nice if publishers let the early reviewers know if there were major changes in the finished book. That way we choose if we want to reread them or not. I agree on cover changes. I hate those so much. I want mine to match and sometimes they only have the new cover on book one’s paperback. I buy mostly HC. Great post! I know I have some other things and I have another discussion post going up again in the next few weeks about another issue/question.
Kristi you have very solid arguments here! Yes the eARC should be easier for international readers but what you said about triggers is true! When I write a review I include said triggers if they are major ones as people could either react badly (as in being shocked) or be furious because they paid for a book they maybe won’t finish because of said triggers.
And indeed Samantha is right about the changes between the ARC version and end version. Normally an ARC is finished except some editing and typos. It should not be the same as a beta read where nearly every thing is allowed to change following betar readers feedback. But the difference between ARC and beta can vary among authors so yes, it would be really helpful or at least if there are major changes, a mail to ARC readers would be a good idea!
Thank you! I’m sure it’s tough for publishers, but it would be nice to see them listen to reviewers for suggestions from time to time.
I cannot imagine how frustrating it must be to get all into a series, and then they don’t translate the rest of the books. I was mad for you about that. So wrong!
Thank you Sam! My daughter was fuming! She can have quite a temper LOL
I really hate when publishers compare books to another and it’s nothing remotely close. Great post!!
Oh Gigi that’s a good one! Luckily it did not happen often to me but when it did I was so furious! Unless the suprise was a good one…
Mines not a hate but I wonder how they pick blogs for physical copies. I’m UK so even an e book is like gold dust these days from a publisher!!!
Really Caro??? I thought UK readers had it easier but it seems that I am mistaken!
I go on Netgalley and the UK version doesnt have anything I want. But it does mean I request more new to me authors so there is a win!!!