Discussion: Books with different US and UK titles

Discussion 2All right, I can’t be the only person who finds this annoying…

Spy Society Also Known As

If you didn’t already know, these are the same book. The one on the left is the UK version, and the one on the right is the US version. I’ve got the one on the right (I reviewed it yesterday). I did not realise until AFTER I bought the book that it’s actually called Spy Society in the UK and it would have been more sensible to buy the UK version since I live in the UK and use Amazon UK to buy my books…

To be honest, I was stupid, since if you search ‘Also Known As’ on Amazon UK, you first get the US version, and then right below that you get the UK version… BUT I WAS TOO HASTY AND I ONLY LOOKED AT THE FIRST RESULT. I mean, I didn’t expect the book would be called a different title in the UK!

Sleuth or Dare Going Rogue

Here’s the UK and US version of the sequel. I have the one on the left this time (but the Kindle edition), since I bought this after I realised this book has different titles in the UK and the US. I wanted the Kindle edition and you can only get it for the UK version if you use Amazon UK.

Also Known As Spy Society by Robin Benway
Going Rogue / Sleuth or Dare by Robin Benway

I haven’t been book blogging for long, so the only other recent books I know where this has happened are:

amy and matthew Say What You Will

Say What You Will / Amy & Matthew by Cammie McGovern

Midnight Riot Rivers of London

Midnight Riot / Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

Why do they do this? I’m sure they must have good reason to confuse us poor book bloggers so. I mean, I know this isn’t really a problem for most people! If you just go around looking in bookstores and stumble upon a book and you think “that looks good” and you buy it, sure, that’s fine. You don’t ever have to worry about whether the title is different in the US or not. But as a book blogger, it is SO CONFUSING. I want to make sure everyone knows what book I’m talking about! I remember people being like, “Oh wait, you mean Amy & Matthew is Say What You Will? OH, OKAY. THAT’S NOT CONFUSING AT ALL.”

Different US/UK Titles: Do they bother you as much as they bother me? Do you know of any other recent examples? Do you find that if there are different titles, one grabs you much more than the other, or does it not seem to make much of a difference?

25 thoughts on “Discussion: Books with different US and UK titles

  1. Jo 8 January 2015 / 4:09 pm

    It winds me up a little! I tend to review the book under the title I on the cover,mention in the review the other title, but when I list it on my reviews page, I’ll do “TITLE / TITLE” under author’s surname. But it’s a little ridiculous. I have no idea why they change them.

    The only recent-ish book I know of that it’s happened to is a UK book who changed it’s title later to match the movie; Before I Die by Jenny Downham, also Now Is Good. I don’t know what was so wrong with calling the movie Before I Die.

    The only other one I know of that you haven’t mentioned came out over here in 2010; it’s called My Love Lies Bleeding over here, but Hearts at Stake in the US, by Alyxandra Harvey. Again, I don’t know why. I find it really strange.

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 10:44 am

      Oh, I hadn’t heard about the movie for Before I Die. I read that book years ago. That is weird. WHY IS THE TITLE CHANGE NECESSARY. It’s not like Now Is Good is a fantastic title, really. Like, is it to disassociate the movie from the book? But why would you want to do that? Surely, you’d want readers of the book to realise that this is a movie adapted from the book? I DUNNO, IT’S SO CONFUSING.

      • Jo 18 January 2015 / 4:41 pm

        “Now is good” is a line from the movie, if I remember. Towards the end, I think. Something along the lines of, even though all this crap death stuff is happening, life right now is good. But I prefer the book’s title. The movie wasn’t that great either.

  2. Ashana Lian 8 January 2015 / 10:51 pm

    It annoys me only in the sense that for a moment you have to clarify that this other book you found is actually the same book and not a completely different one. Otherwise, I try to ignore it.

    I adore the book Rivers of London, although someone online once said it sounds like a geography book. That person kinda had a point. Midnight Riot is a lot more vague as to the plot, but it’s more punchy and actually sounds like a fiction book. I think one cover/title will always grab you more than the other, which is why it is a bit pointless having different ones. That book called If I Stay has like 12 different covers. Why??! >.< Good post!

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:29 pm

      I absolutely love Rivers of London too. I actually like that title a lot because I feel like it gives a better sense of what the book is like. Midnight Riot doesn’t fit the atmosphere of the book for me, but I suppose that it is actually punchier and more likely to attract readers. Still, yes. JUST HAVE ONE TITLE, SERIOUSLY. That would just make things easier.

  3. Lola 8 January 2015 / 11:43 pm

    I am assuming there is some marketign reason or publisher related reason they change the title. Often books in different countries are published by another publisher so maybe that publisher can decide they don’t like the title and change it?
    I don’t really get why as it’s confusing. I don’t mind different covers as much, but the same title makes it easier to know which book you are reading and prevent accidently buying the same book twice. Especially when the book is in the same language, when it’s being translated it’s not always possible to directly translate the title, but in this case it’s just weird they changed the title.

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:31 pm

      I completely agree. Like, when books are being translated it also matters a lot less because it’s in a different language entirely and reviews will be in a different language and everything, but with English titles… I just think wouldn’t it be easier to generate more buzz online for a book if everyone is talking about the book using the same title? I dunno. It’s just really weird to me.

  4. Kayla Sanchez 9 January 2015 / 12:01 am

    OKAY DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THIS. It happened to one of my absolute favorite books and it still kills me so much I think I need to get a UK version just to satisfy my poor soul.

    Anyway. It’s The Beginning of Everything in the US, but Severed Heads, Broken Hearts in the UK. AND THE LATTER FITS THE BOOK SO MUCH BETTER.

    UGH. RANT. So sorry 😀 I will say though, since you’ve put this together, that I like the UK edition of Say What You Will better. It’s just cute ❤

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:20 pm

      Ah, yes, I had known about that book! I read it at the beginning of last year and sadly I didn’t like it very much, but I agree that the UK title fits the book a lot better and tells you a lot more about what to expect from the book. Although it’s also just a little clunky? I dunno.

  5. vlangloisx3 9 January 2015 / 2:59 am

    IT BOTHERS ME A LITTLE. But luckily this doesn’t happen that often. I feel like it would definitely bother me more if I were buying books across countries, and I didn’t know what the book title was called in that country. But since I’m in the US, it’s fine. What bothers me more are non matching covers, but that’s a whole other topic.

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:13 pm

      Hahaha, non-matching covers. Yes, that’s a whole other topic. 😛 But probably one we can all rant about for a whole post, haha.

  6. Aimee 9 January 2015 / 6:07 am

    I’m not sure why this happens, but it bothers and confuses me as well! Some books also have different Australian titles, which makes it even more dizzying! Usually I just stick to the US title since that’s what’s available here in our country, but sometimes I find myself getting the international versions if they’re prettier.

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:12 pm


  7. cheeralotte 9 January 2015 / 3:44 pm

    This definitely bothers me too but I think a lot of it has to do with the publishing rights since each country has different publishers and they probably want to cater to their market. It is interesting to observe actually because you can really see a difference between US and UK covers and titles. I don’t really mind for titles but I definitely do for covers, I’ll always get the prettier cover 😛 This entire situation is really frustrating for us readers but alas, not much we can do unfortunately except be a little more careful haha

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Different titles are annoying, but I do like seeing different covers and comparing which is prettiest! I just think for titles, it’s not really like one title is necessarily hugely better than the other, whereas covers can really make quite a huge difference. I just don’t see why title changes are necessary. 😛

  8. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) 10 January 2015 / 8:39 am

    Dude I am in complete agreement! It bothers me quite a bit and I get all confused gah! Another example is The Beginning of Everything–the UK title is Severed Heads, Broken Hearts and I thought they were two different books for like half a year grrrrr.

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:21 pm

      Hahaha yeah it’s seriously so misleading for book bloggers as we’re obviously quite an international community!

  9. Cayce 11 January 2015 / 6:36 pm

    Haha, this is definitely weird. It’s like both titles are in English, why the changes are needed???

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:22 pm

      I KNOW RIGHT. It pains me endlessly. I honestly don’t think it’s like one title is like miles better than the other. I wonder if the author has a say or what?

  10. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review 12 January 2015 / 11:28 am

    It is very confusing. In the past the markets may have been more separate, but now that it’s so easy to order books from abroad it seems a bit much. Maybe it’s a conscious ploy to get us to buy two copies of the same book?

  11. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction 12 January 2015 / 9:08 pm

    Interesting – I didn’t realize that this happened very often. I agree that it’s very confusing! Especially because I would NEVER recognize the UK version of the book if you were reviewing it and I might pass your review over, even if it was for a book I would have been interested in (if I had realized what it was). Say What You Will is a perfect example of that. I wouldn’t give Amy & Matthew a second glance, but I definitely know Say What You Will!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:24 pm

      Exactly! But it’s also annoying for me to have to like, SIGNPOST THAT THIS BOOK IS ALSO CALLED A DIFFERENT TITLE IN THE US or whatever. It just shouldn’t happen. 😛 I was really confused with Amy & Matthew for ages, especially when I was getting excited for it pre-release and Goodreads at that time hadn’t quite realised the two titles referred to the same book so it confused me even more.

  12. ebookclassics 15 January 2015 / 1:24 am

    Wow, I find this very confusing and don’t get why publishers do it. How are you to discuss the book with other people if you can’t have a consistent title? Great post!

    • Cynthia (Afterwritten) 17 January 2015 / 12:25 pm

      Yeah I know. It’s terrible. I completely understand title changes when translating into different languages but whyyyyy have different English titles. WHY.

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