Friday, November 21, 2014

Mysteries of the publishing industry

In 2013 Richard Overy's The Bombing War: Europe 1939-1945 was published in the UK. In 2014 Overy's The Bombers and the Bombed: Allied Air War Over Europe 1940-1945 was published in the U.S. A note on the inside cover indicates it's the same book. The practice of changing titles is fairly common, I think, but since in this case the publisher, The Penguin Group, can't possibly have had a sensible marketing reason for the title change, one is left to conclude that the publisher's main goal was to sow confusion.
Update: TBA in comments points out it's not the same book: the U.S. edition is shorter.

3 comments:

thusbloggedanderson said...

Unfortunately, it appears it's not even the same book - the US version is abridged, according to an Amazon commenter.

I'm reading the UK version now (found a copy via AbeBooks.com).

thusbloggedanderson said...

... Glancing at the TOC of the US edition, it seems to omit the interesting 1st chapter from which I quoted on my blog, and the chapter about the Soviet experience of German bombing. Also seems to omit the chapter on how the UK dealt with the Blitz. 592 pgs vs 821 pgs.

LFC said...

Interesting. These omissions perhaps could justify the title change, but they also make the note on the inside cover of the US edition (checked on Amazon 'Look Inside') -- which says "this book was first published in the UK under the title The Bombing War" or words to that effect -- rather misleading.